Valentine's Day Gifts for Your Sweetie

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Valentine's gift ideas for your Man!

Tomorrow is February 1!  The month of love.  Valentine's Day is on my brain for sure and it's got my wondering what to get my sweetie.  If y’all are like me, you love shopping for your husband.  Sometimes it’s tough, don’t get me wrong, but I love picking out things I think he will love and wrapping them all pretty then watching his sweet brown eyes as he opens them.  Love it!  Well we aren’t big Valentine’s Day gift-givers.  We’ve never really done gifts for each other on this holiday other than some chocolate (OK lots of chocolate – and not just for me) and a sweet date night.  But this year with baby coming and all I wanted to get him a little man-gift.  Just a little something to remind him that I love him for who he is and what he loves.  A little something to make him feel special, because trust me, he’s been doing a lot of making me feel special lately, and I think it’s his turn!  So this year, these are the top of my list for Matt and I just so happened to be giving him one (or maybe more) of these items.  Hope this helps you if you’re shopping for your man!

1.       Omaha steaks.  A shipment for the man’s man.  They have tons of varieties from burgers, to filet mignons, to chicken and even some side and dessert dishes.  My man loves his grill, so this is the perfect gift for him as the weather begins to heat up.  And really ladies, who doesn’t love dinner on the grill with no clean-up on our parts?  That’s what I thought.

2.       Golf Lesson.  I actually got this for Matt for Christmas but he loved it so I thought I’d share.  He loves golf and the idea of spending an hour with a professional to “sharpen” his skills gets him all giddy inside.  So if your guy likes to golf, get him a lesson, or a gift card for a round or two with his buddies!

3.       Wake Forest Paraphernalia (substitute your man’s alma mater or favorite team here).  New shirt, hat, lamp, book, blanket, you get the picture.  Anything that has to do with Wake Forest that he can put in his man cave is a win-win. 

4.       Tickets.  To anything.  Well, not a Celine Dion concert (hello, Kate Hudson in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days).  But tickets to a sporting event or man-friendly concert.  I live in a college town and every now and then Matt and I will check out a basketball game or two.  Don’t like basketball?  Take him to a football game, a professional soccer game, shoot – his old high school’s game on Friday night.  If your man likes sports like mine does, he’ll be happy watching any type of sporting event.  Not into sports at all?  Get tickets to a concert he’d enjoy!  You get an experience with your guy that he’ll appreciate.

5.       “Man tools.” Things he needs for yard work, a new tool he’s been wanting, or grill utensils.  As boring as these things sound to most of us ladies, some men eat it up.  Lucky for me, my guy is one of them.  So go to Lowes, Home Depot or Target and pick up something that he’s been eyeing but feel bad buying for himself.  Even if you get the wrong brand or size (he can exchange it), the thought behind trying to get into “his world” will mean enough. 

sky's beauty

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The sky.  Something that is always there, without fail but sometimes I forget to notice.  But not lately.  Lately, I have been mesmerized by the sky.  The sunrise, the sunset – they have all been magnificent around my parts.  And if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably already noticed my infatuation with the sky.  Here are some of my favorites.

10 reasons I love being preggy

Monday, January 28, 2013

we're having a baby!!!!!!!

Sooo the secret is finally out!  So happy about that.  I love preggy-talk and mama-to-be talk and I appreciate all of the encouragement and support from each of you.  It means more than you will know!  And now for your Monday, here are 10 reason why being pregnant is awesome... in my humble opinion at least.  

being pregnant is awesome because....

1.  Excitement.  All the time.  Like the kind of excitement you experience when you’re 6 years old on Christmas Eve and you lay awake all night imagining what Christmas day will bring.  The possibilities.  The surprises.  The joy.  Pure joy.  Being pregnant is a lot like Christmas Eve excitement – only you don’t wake up and it goes away.  Nope it stays and lingers for 9 whole months.  I lie in bed at night and still pinch myself, like “Is this really happening?”  Then I imagine what our babe will be like – will look like – will talk like.  Right now that imagination is pretty broad considering we don’t know the gender but I’m thinking I’ll narrow it down after the big gender reveal.  But the excitement?  It’s amazing.

     2.  Super helpful and handy hubby.  Before elaborating on this I should point out that Matt has always been extremely helpful around the house.  He is always cleaning our floors, wiping down counters and never flinches when unloading the dishwasher (which is one task I absolutely despise).  But since becoming pregnant, he has gone above and beyond what he usually does – and I wasn’t sure that was possible.  He stays up a little later than me to handle some house chores, makes my lunches when I can barely drag myself to the bed.  He is the best.  During my first trimester I was pretty useless.  I was nausea and extremely exhausted all the time.  Now I do have some energy back, but from what I hear your third trimester can hit you like a ton of bricks as well.  But somehow I know my husband will make it all OK.  Better than OK.  Perfect.  Thank you sweetie, for picking up the slack when I am not up for the job.

     3.  I don’t feel bad about not working out.  Need I say more?  Yes I do my Tracey Anderson Pregnancy workouts on the regular like a good pregnant “client.”  And I believe in exersize while pregnant and maintaining a healthy level of fitness.  But on the days where I am just plain beat?  I have no problem, or guilt, calling my walk from the bedroom to the kitchen my workout for the day.  It’s all about listening to your body friends, and sometimes my body and baby say “Nisey, let’s read or sleep, not workout.”  And to that request I simply reply, “Yes mam.”

     4. No pressure to button my jeans.  None.  In fact, I have really stopped that all together now.  What’s the use I cramping my belly and my baby?  That’s what they make long tank tops and belly bands for.  So if you see me on the streets and I’m not in yoga pants, you better believe that top button is flying free.

     5.  The little nursery that will come to life upstairs in our new home.  We just moved in to our new house and we love it.  But my favorite part?  Already the nursery.  No it doesn’t have a thing in it, but it’s still our nursery.  Where my little one will sleep and play and cry and laugh.  And that gives me butterflies inside. 

     6.  The name game.  You know, the game that you’ve played since you were 13?  The one where you talk about what you’re going to name your kid?  Only this time, I’m having serious talks with the love of my life about what we’re going to name our kid.  That reality still blows my mind.  How am I so lucky to get to name a child?  I still don’t know the answer to is, but boy am I excited.

hope our babe gets his looks....
     7.  Feeling healthy.  I’ve heard some women say that being pregnant is the best.  You can feel the healthiest you’ve ever felt.  Now at first it may not seem that way between the utter fatigue and need to barf all the time.  But as soon as those symptoms started to subside – I got it.  And it’s so true.  Sure I am growing and gaining weight which is odd for me because I’ve only ever associated those two things with being unhealthy – but this time it’s different.  I am so conscious of what I put in my mouth that I am eating so much healthier.  Don’t get my wrong, I still love a chocolate molten lava cake and juicy cheeseburger, and so does my baby.  But generally my lunches and snacks are chosen carefully for nutritional value.  And I feel better.  I feel healthier and I feel like I am doing something good for my baby.  And oh man do I eat!  Like all the time.  Any ounce of hunger I feel is quickly replaced with a yummy snack.  So yes it’s weird that while gaining weight, getting a belly and eating all the time and twice as much, I still feel healthier than ever before.

     8.  New reading material.  I’ve since traded in my Shape and Fitness reads for Pregnancy Journals and Parenting Books and I eat it up.  I will devour that information in no time and can’t seem to get enough.  Nice change of pace for me.

     9.  The planning of a babymoon!  Need I say more?  Another excuse to take a romantic getaway.  Even if only for a weekend.  
     Love love love.

     10.  Learning and loving to be still.  This was hard for me.  Especially last weekend when my friends and family helped us move everything we own in to our new home.  But being pregnancy you can’t really lift much, and as I mentioned before, sometimes you don’t feel like doing much of anything.  I mean, hello!  Your body is a little busy making a human – so cut it some slack, right?  Right!  So I have learned that I don’t always have to be on the go.  I don’t have to pop up bright and early every Saturday morning to knock out some chores, before heading to the gym, so I can be home and showered before 12 and ready to run errands with the hubby.  No, not now.  I’ve learned to rest.  And I’ve learned to be still.  And it has a calming effect on my whole mindset.  I hope after baby I remember what it’s like.  And I hope I make time for this.  Time to sit and reflect.  Time to be still and know that He is in control.  And time to take it all in – family, friends and life.

love redefined

Thursday, January 24, 2013

a 13 week bump after a big boost from some spaghetti and meatballs!

So... I have a secret.  A big secret, that for weeks, I have been dying to shout from the top of my lungs.  I have guarded this secret because of the loss I experienced last year (I wrote about that here)... but it's time.  Time to tell the world my good news!  
Matt and I are PREGNANT!  
We are overjoyed and endlessly grateful.  So grateful.  God is so good and His plan is perfect.

It's crazy.  My little babe is only a mere 13.5 weeks old but already I love him/her so much.  Love has been redefined for both Matt and I.  Not only have I turned in to a pile of mush (and my hubs thought I cried a lot before pregnancy - ha!), but my heart has grown exponentially.  And it won't stop.  I mean first, the positive pregnancy test.  That one was funny because well, we weren't technically trying again, and well, we didn't think it was possible.  Once again, God smiles and reminds me "All things are possible through Him."  Heart grows.  Then the first little ultra sound when the babe was just a tiny spec on a black and white screen, but wait - that spec has a heartbeat!  A real, live, beating heart.  Heart expands some more.  And then we get another sweet ultra sound where the spec turns into something that looks like a baby!  Our baby.  Heart almost explodes and tear ducts close to running dry.  With each day comes more love and more gratitude for this tiny life I am cookin up inside me.  And oh the day that I meet those precious baby eyes.  Can't.  Even.  Imagine.

13.5 week bump headed to my appointment yesterday

So there it is, secret's out!  And I am so glad it is.  I love sharing my life on here and am truly thankful for the love and support ya'll have given me.

Now for some preggy details!

How far along?
13.5 weeks

Due date?  
We've gotten July 29 and August 1.  My doctor told me to "pick one." Haha.  So naturally I picked July 29 because Kate insisted that we be due in the same month.  (you know, Kate Middleton? yea, we are planning play dates already....)

Great, now!  A little nausea in the beginning but nothing compared to what I read about.

Belly yet?
I wouldn't call it a belly.  More like a beer drinking kinda pooch, but hey I'll take it!  More evidence that my sweet one is growing fast!

Want to follow along as my bump grows?  Instagram will probably be my mode of delivery so follow along if you like!
Username: deniselopatka

the cutest little monkey hat from my sissy to baby.

hope and future

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

Some encouraging words for your Wednesday!  I am SO excited about my post tomorrow.  Please come back and see what I've got for ya :)

Find me here: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | Subscribe

home inspiration, part II

Friday, January 18, 2013

Today is officially closing day!  And we move tomorrow!  Thank you so much for all the sweet emails and encouragement.  Hopefully next week I will be in our new home AND I have some exciting things planned for next week.  
Like really exciting... it's about time I know :)

Now for my dining room inspirations.... these are kind of all over the place, but luckily my sista helps me reign in it.


Which one is your favorite?

home inspiration

Thursday, January 17, 2013

So today thanks to the sunny and warm weather I decided to stop the ranting about my moving situation and focus on happier things... decorating my house!  Below are the inspiration photos I'm using to decorate my house.  It will be a work in progress for awhile, but hey good things come to those who wait.... and save... and save.  So here ya go - a sneak peak into my inspiration board that my amazing interior designer sissy is working on!
Stairs  //  So our stairs are all hardwoods, which is great!  But I have this fear of sleepily walking around in my comfy socks and then sliding down the stairs head first.  So we are going to carpet them at some point.  And if I have anything to say about it, it will be leopard carpet.

Kitchen Nook  //  Our eat in kitchen is oval like these and I love the long table in the first picture but oh how I love that banquet in the second picture.  Can't you just picture babies and puppies curled up eating their cereal on that?  


Living Room/Den  //  I love neutrals and blues.  And our walls are already khaki so I'm going to go with this general pallet.  So think tan and blue, mixed with browns and creams.

What do ya'll think?  Any suggestions for moving/decorating/all of the above?  Like I said, it will be a work in progress for quite some time.  I'm just excited to slowly make it my own...

- more inspirations to come... i LOVE planning our dining room...even though that will probably take a year to implement:)


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”
** Charles Swindoll  **

I’m frustrated.  Super frustrated.  We were supposed to close on our house yesterday and it is getting pushed back until today or tomorrow.  Yes there is a big “or” in that sentence which symbolizes the limbo that is my life.  It’s a foreclosure and they only give you 30 days, so yes that is fast, and we were warned that foreclosures get pushed back a few days at times because it is so fast…  but it is supposed to be done.  It was on my calendar and I was ready!  UGH.  Yesterday when I got the news I immediately (and shamefully) starting pointing fingers at anyone and everyone.  “Well it’s because so-and-so didn’t get their paperwork to the lender in time, or so-and-so didn’t follow-up enough,” I thought.  But then, I took a deep breath, looked at the time and realized I had to go meet with a kid.  As I am walking to my student’s classroom I passed the above quote, “Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it.”  Boom.  Truth hit me from a middle school wall.  And in reality, it’s not THAT big of a deal.  Perspective comes at the darndest times don’t ya think?  But it comes when we need it.  And I needed it.  In the midst of my crazy life right now (I’ve worn the same black pants to work for 3 days because my others are packed away), I am blessed beyond measure.  And sometimes my selfish and stubborn self needs a reminder.  So happy hump day people!  What are you thankful for today?

Thankful for these moments lately…

1. My parents dog that looks like rat will sleep any time she pleases.
2. My sweet pup.
3. My adorable nephews before a cotillion dance.
4. Checking the mail!
5. Warm muffins with cold ice cream.
6. Sunsets.

Find me here: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | Subscribe

Golden Globes

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Eeeeeeeeeeeek did everyone watch the Golden Globes?  I was so pumped about the award season kick-off, not because of the awards or anything - because of the fashion!  I love an adorable celebrity couple walking hand-in-hand on the red carpet... especially when there is speculation of turmoil in the relationship (thank you Orlando and Miranda - you made my night!)  So without further ado.... my favorite looks of the evening.  What are yours?

 love me some jessica alba.  //  source
i'm liking them together.  //  source
she can do no wrong in my eyes // source
one month after baby? get it girl!  //  source
perfection // source
the length is funky to me but other than that i love  //  source
love them so  //  source
she is stunning.  just stunning.  //  source

PS - I apologize for the not-as-frequent posts.  We are supposed to close on our house today (say a prayer we need it) and we have been in full-blown moving mode.  But I promise I will be better starting next week.  I have so many exciting things to share :)


Made With Love By The Dutch Lady Designs