Friday, September 12, 2014

Currently - September 2014

After reading Heidi's list over at Idlehide today, I was inspired to share a "Currently" post here on Polka Dot Soup. I so enjoy reading them on other people's blogs, so maybe you do, too.

Here's what's current for me:

Drinking a hot chocolate or David's tea every evening, now that the cooler weather is here

Watching Masterchef online, and looking forward to a library-borrowed 12 Years a Slave dvd with Daniel this evening

Wishing I could paint our entire apartment white and fill it with friends

Dreaming about a home of our own, cozy and simple, with enough room to host delicious brunches and have lots of overnight guests.

Saving for a pair of quality leather boots to traipse around in for years to come. I have just about enough saved to purchase a pair, but I haven't decided fully on a brand or style.

Indulging in the occasional treat, now that my body can properly digest fat again. I had a chocolate square at lunchtime and it made my head feel spinny!

Spending very little on clothing lately, other than supporting a local youth group clothes sale. I'm between sizes right now (yay!), and I would like to solidly be in the smaller size in most stores before buying more clothes.

Looking for vintage paint-by-number pieces and large vintage letter and number signage. I'm ready to change up my living room's gallery wall for fall.

Thinking of what I'm going to make for supper.We have tons of protein and produce to choose from this week, since we did a big double grocery order on Wednesday. I've been using the PC Plus and Checkout 51 apps to help us stay on target with our budget. More on that soon!

Craving pumpkin anything - I've yet to have anything this month with that delightful flavour

Loving how much my girl loves taking selfies. She's amazed by the "other baby" on the camera. It makes her so happy, unless she's upset. If she's cranky and spots the cranky "other baby" she gets even more upset!

Looking forward to a day or overnight trip next week, location TBD.

Wondering when I'm going to hop back into the design world and start making moolah

Justifying that trip by thinking that I'm going to be home by myself again in a couple of weeks. Dan returns to work next Monday, so I'm soaking up every moment I can with him.

What about you? What are you currently up to? Do share!

Have a great weekend - Happy Friday!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Hello September

The lovely flower and herb garden at The Herring Choker Deli
It's September 1st! Here's what I'm saying hello to:

Hello warm days and cool nights.
Hello surgery relief.
Hello sweet and growing and changing baby girl.
Hello design world, I've missed you.
Hello canning and preserving.
Hello pumpkin everything.
Hello budgeting and menu planning.
Hello blogging, I've missed you, too.
Hello farmers' markets and fresh produce.
Hello new tunes. (Any recommendations?)
Hello learning new skills.
Hello FaceTime with my favourite student.
Hello footstool recovering.
Hello body recovering.
Hello snail mail.
Hello reading plan.
Hello local wild blueberries.
Hello family time.

What are you saying hello to this month?

(Sidenote: As of today, I have the same amount of blogposts as I did last year, my most measly year - 45. There's a good chance that I'll beat that total, since I have four full months left of 2014. Yahoo!)

Happy Monday!

Friday, August 29, 2014


One of my favourite bloggers/Instagrammers, Natalie Freeman of Natalie Creates, stated something in her blog post today:

"Right now, I am … focusing on gratitude & contentment instead of my old friends, wants & jealousy."

That line stopped me in my tracks. 

I've been really wrestling lately with an attempt to feel content. We've been going through some big changes lately in our lives. With Daniel's employment, and my lack thereof. Because I was in school for the past two years, I didn't qualify for maternity benefits after having V. Actually, due to my summer employment, I did qualify: I was just short thirty-seven hours. Less than one full work week, and I would have qualified for a maternity income for thirty-five weeks. How about that? 

I've been struggling heath-wise since V's traumatic birth. Not only did her delivery not go as planned, but it took almost three full months for my body to recover. Those of you that are close to me know the details, but the way that V entered the world was much less than a magical experience. My sweet baby girl was well worth every moment, but I'm not sure how I feel about the possibility of that happening again. 

I am scheduled for surgery on Wednesday to have my gallbladder removed. I've been on an incredibly strict, low fat diet for over two months, and it's been quite trying. Let me tell you how extreme it is: over the weekend, we had lunch at one of our favourite spots. I had a bowl of vegetable soup, and half of a chicken sandwich. I forgot that there was mayo and a slice of cheese on that half sandwich, and that night, I had one of my worst gallbladder attacks that I've had yet. I never had a problem with my gallbladder until a couple of months ago, but since it's started, I've had a dozen attacks. It's enough to drive me mad. (The bonus? I've been losing weight at a wonderfully steady weight. I'm at the lowest I've been in about a decade. Yahoo!)

So gratitude and contentment? Yes, I'm struggling. I've shared a few reasons that I'm comfortable posting here, but of course, that isn't the extent of it. Knowing that God has a plan for my life and knowing what that plan is is two entirely different things. I feel as though I've had a lot of learning experiences lately that I haven't discovered yet what I'm supposed to learn. I've been taking pleasure in the little things… and it's all about the little things. 

I have a yummy new recipe that's cooking away in my slow cooker for supper, and I managed to almost entirely empty out of fridge before we went for groceries yesterday evening. Doesn't that give you a healthy dose of satisfaction? I also purchased a couple of large totes so I can store V's clothing that's too big in the basement, so today I've been tackling that. The cooler weather has me itching to nest, and I know that I'm not alone. A sweet friend and I were chatting about it yesterday. 

There's a local exhibition tomorrow that we're hoping to attend. It takes place in the same town that my brother's living in, so I'm hoping to sneak in a visit with him as well. V's dying to see her uncle, I can just tell :) 

Food for thought:
Do you have any favourite verses that you turn to during trying times?
What's a little thing that you've been enjoying lately?
Do share!

Happy Long Weekend!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

How to Build a Maternity Wardrobe

how to build a maternity wardrobe

When I started searching for maternity fashion on the web, Pinterest and various style blogs, I didn’t find a lot of advice. There were various fashion bloggers that continued to have style posts while preggo, but many of them didn’t include tips. I thought that I’d share some tips that I learned along the way, in an effort to keep those of you with a current (or future) baby bump swagged in style.

When I was first pregnant for Violet, I was quite sick. “Morning sickness” lasted all day long, and I couldn’t even keep water in my system. Needless to say, I was hospitalized for almost a week until they were able to put me on the proper combination of medication to keep my tummy at bay. Because of the lack of proper nutrition, I lost a lot of weight in a short period of time. I was pleased about that fact – I had always wanted to be smaller before I had a child – but the way I got smaller wasn’t the most fun. Since I had lost weight, much of my clothing was baggy on me, in spite of my growing mid-section. I was able to put off purchasing many maternity items in the beginning, other than bottoms – non-elasticized waistbands made me nauseated right from the beginning, even before a baby bump started to show. Once I started shopping, oh boy! Lots of fun.

maternity style

 Here are some basic style tips to get you started in shopping for a maternity wardrobe:

Don’t forget about your regular wardrobe:
Cardigans and casual dresses from your own closet will get you through the majority of your pregnancy, as well as tunic tops. Although many of your stretchy shirts will still fit – and will be tempting to wear – resist the urge. They’ll fit you throughout the pregnancy, sure, but once that baby bump is gone the shirts tend to stay a bit misshapen.

Shop secondhand:
Considering the short period of time that one uses a maternity wardrobe, keep an eye out at your favourite secondhand shops. Consignment stores, thrift shops, even websites like Kijiji and yard sale sites are excellent sources for inexpensive, mint condition maternity clothing. Some of my favourite maternity pieces that I purchased were secondhand: sometimes they are fantastic brand-name items at a fraction of the price.  Also, borrow what you can from previously preggo friends that take a similar size as you. Most ladies are eager to share.

Check out the big-box stores:
No need to shop at the expensive, boutique style maternity stores: your local big box stores, such as Target, Walmart, Old Navy and Sears have great maternity clothing at much better price points. If you do happen to stop at a specialty store, make sure to head straight for the back: the sale racks can render many awesome, stylish pieces at a fraction of the price.

Stock up on staples:
I’ll get into this a little more when I talk about what I purchased, but remember – basics and layers are your friends always, but especially when outfitting a baby bump. Simple tanks, t-shirts, and long-sleeved tees are lifesavers and can be dressed up or down.

Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize:
The use of accessories can really stretch your maternity wardrobe. Necklaces, earrings and scarves draw attention to your glowing mama face and away from your possibly less-than-stylish outfit. A belt placed below your bust and above your bump does wonders to define that one part of your body that seems to remain trim throughout your trimesters.

Fancy footwear:
If you don’t already have them in your wardrobe, invest in a quality, cute pair of sturdy heels (a wedge is always comfy and stylish) and an adorable pair of flats with a bit of flair. Your swelling feet will thank you when you’re carrying the extra weight around on comfortable footwear. Nothing worse than feeling as though the only thing that fits is your pair of Crocs that should only see the light of day when you’re weeding the garden.

Wardrobe Essentials:
While pregnant for Baby V, I found that I was able to mix and match my maternity wardrobe much more easily than my regular clothes. I think that this was due to the fact that I shopped more strategically – I wanted to be able to put together outfits quickly. Most of the pieces that I purchased were solid colours, with a few stripes and polka dots mixed in. Most of my pattern tended to come from non-maternity dresses or scarves.

maternity fashion and style

When it comes time to shop for a maternity wardrobe for your expanding tummy, I would recommend purchasing the following items:

Jeans (2 pairs): one dressy, and one more casual or trendy.
Pants (2 other types): I chose a pair of coloured jeans and black dress pants.
Leggings: if you’re able to find them, maternity leggings are the best, since they’re made for your expanding mid-section.
Casual skirts (1-2): I found a maternity jean skirt at a consignment shop that I wore until it fell apart.
Dressy skirts (1-2): try and find skirts that you can dress up or down.
Tank tops (2-3): pick at least one neutral – the much-longer tanks are perfect for under your non-maternity cardigans, and are lifesavers for covering your expanding chest and belly.
T-shirts or long-sleeved tees (2-3): the extra length makes a huge difference between feeling self conscious and covered. Try to find at least one in a fun colour or print.
Blouse: I had a white maternity blouse with black polka dots, purchased through an Instagram sale, that went well with jeans as well as dressier bottoms.
Maternity dresses (1-2): I loved my maternity dresses; in fact, my favourite one was what I wore for our maternity photo session.
Maternity coat: whatever the season, try to borrow or purchase an appropriate coat. You won’t regret it when it’s -15 degrees out and your coat is actually able to button over your bump.

I hope that these tips and suggestions can help even one of you to feel less daunted by your dwindling closet. I had lots of fun dressing myself and my bump, but just wait: dressing your new little one will be even more exciting!

All images in this post were taken by the lovely Michelle Leudy of Hind Heart Studios. If you're located in Cape Breton and looking for a great photographer, I highly recommend them! Let them know I sent you :)

First image/graphic was edited by myself.

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