Easy, cozy lunch & JORD Watches - Unique Gifts

Monday, November 14, 2016

Some of you might have seen on Instagram my post that we are pretty excited that it is officially grilled cheese & tomato soup season! We love a simple, homey, lunch like that especially when the weather is cold and football is on. Grilled cheese and tomato soup doesn't exactly need a recipe but it is worth telling you that our FAVORITE tomato soup is the Tomato Bisque from Trader Joes...it is so good and creamy. We used to use Campbells as well (which I still love) but it's a little thinner. Might be better for kiddos, though, who are exclusively using for dipping :-)






I also wanted to give my review of JORD watches. We got it in the mail and were immediately so impressed with the packaging (it would make a great gift). It came with all the bells and whistles, nice little wood box to store the watch, lovely little herringbone pillow, basically all you'd have to do is throw it in a bag with some tissue paper for a gift. JORD really has some of the most unique mens wrist watches (and watches for women, too)Anyway, the watch is awesome. We got the DOVER watch in Zebrawood and Dark Sandalwood. Kyle and I both love it. It looks sleek while still being made with wood. Sometimes you find they can look bulky or strange that way. Anyway, hop on over to www.woodwatches.com and pick one up for the man in your life, or for you!

<a id="woodwatches_com_widget_article"  title="Unique Watches">Unique Watches</a>
<script src="//www.woodwatches.com/widget-article/shannonfiona/850/250"  type="text/javascript"></script>

JORD Watch c/o Jord/Woodwatches.com

From Pregnancy to Parenthood - What I learned in the First Month as "Mom"

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Hi guys!

By no means am I claiming to be an expert on the first month with baby, but my experiences might help a mama to be or a mama in the thick of the first month.

Emma turns 1 month on Friday and the last couple weeks have been a cuddly, messy, haphazard learning experience for Kyle and I (and Peanut and Cole). Some of our friends visited the other night and all we could say is that nothing can prepare you for the whirlwind that is being a first time parent. There is such a learning curve, and every baby is different. Reading 100 books could not have prepared us for the 8 lb 12 oz baby girl we now call our own.

Here are 5 things we've learned in this first month as a first time parent:

1. Even if you feel crazy, you probably aren't - The first week with Emma I thought I might actually be going insane. Our family collectively slept probably 3 hours a night, and between learning to latch, understanding how to deal with her needs and what different cries could mean - we were all going a little nuts. For us (ok, ME) the worst was over after week 2 and my emotions are MOSTLY back on track. Sleep deprivation is not getting any easier, but when I look back from week one to this week, I realize how far the 3 of us have come. So if you are crying because your dog looked at you the wrong way, or because you can't find a frame for a print you want to hang (hypothetically), or because of ANYTHING, you will get through it - I promise. I also think it's so silly that openly discussing PPD or PPA is taboo in our society much like any other mental illness. The truth is, it's very common - and there is no shame in it! Would you go to the doctor to fix your broken arm? Then go to the doctor to help you if you feel you can't overcome the "blues" alone.

2. You have to work as a team - There have been many times I say that Kyle does this parenting thing better than me. He is calm, cool, collected - while I'm over here just trying to find a hair tie on day 3 of not showering, crying at a commercial for pampers. The truth is, I couldn't do it without him. My hat is off to moms who do it on their own - the word strong doesn't even begin to describe you. Work with your partner on sharing responsibilities, and on managing new roles. Give each other a lot of grace as you both learn how to be a parent to your new ball of love. Figure out a schedule that works for you, depending on work, responsibilities, etc so that neither of you feel like you are doing it alone.

3. Breastfeeding is hard! Before Emma was out of the womb and on to the boob, it was hard to imagine it being difficult to do. I was so naive to how difficult it really was so for any first time mom - you aren't alone if you feel like you might be failing at it. For me, this was a huge emotional hurdle to overcome. Pregnant me was happily registering for my medela bottles and getting my breast pump all ready so that once Emma was born I could breastfeed, and pump for Kyle to use to feed her. Postpartum me was asking friends to pick up nipple shields, Mothers Milk tea, and crying over not knowing how much she was getting when I nursed. If you feel like you and your babe aren't getting the hang of it yet - don't worry, and know that it is harder than it seems! At least it was for me. And if you don't want to breastfeed, can't, or whatever, I think that's cool too! Happy, fed baby is the most important thing. It's easy to be discouraged when the usual post on social media on breastfeeding makes it look so easy. The truth is, usually, it's not.

4. Forget the cute clothes (and headbands...) for now - Let's just focus on getting through changing the diaper and getting on a onesie without getting pooped or peed on, shall we?  Emma did NOT like getting changed the first 2 weeks or so (ok, she HATED it), but she's gotten a lot better. My point is, you'll be ready to break out all the cute things you've purchased over the last 9 (10...) months, but you may need to wait a little before actually using them. Not too mention, the headbands might be too big for your little girl's head!

5.  Don't be surprised if you don't yet feel like "mom" - The second your baby comes out, and as far as I'm concerned for the 40 weeks that precede that moment - you are a mom, you're the mom, you're mom! I didn't instantly feel like I am a mother and this motherhood thing is still settling in. Yes, I know I am a mom but it takes a while to adjust to your new role and really feel like you own it. So don't be surprised if you don't feel like you fit your new role yet. You will, and I will. Your husband? He probably doesn't quite yet feel like "dad" either. Give him some time to adjust to his new role, too.


Ladies, we can do it, this whole motherhood thing! Being a first time mom for the first month in my experience is...HARD! Way harder than I thought! Go hug your mom, seriously. Doing this job is hard.

E-mail me if you need support or simply if you want to remind me that I can do it, too ;-)

Happy mom-ing,

Shannon


Welcoming Baby Emma

Monday, August 8, 2016

Can you believe Emma is already in her 4th week here? On Friday, baby girl turns 1 month old. Seems like the day she was born was just yesterday in one sense, but so far away in another!

Kyle and I have been adjusting to our new role as parents and we are so thankful for everyones support and love! We couldn't do it without our friends and family, and all of the instal-blog community of mommas and dads who remind us we aren't ACTUALLY going crazy (are we?).

Here are some hospital photos below of Em when she was just one (!!!) day old!

Tomorrow I'll be posting how to get through your first month and essentials for first time moms. Anything else you guys want to see related to bringing home baby, pregnancy, or anything else?

Xoxo! Love,

Shannon, Kyle and Emma!







^my favorite photo of all time! Legit my background on every device I have!







Moving, Nesting & Waiting on Baby Girl

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Moving, Nesting & Waiting on Baby Girl

 


If you follow me on Instagram you’ve seen that we’ve moved into our first home and we are working on getting it all set-up. Moving when you are 9 months pregnant…is…a lot. We had tons of help from our families and friends and seriously could not have gotten everything set-up without them – but I have to admit it was frustrating to not be able to help in the way I normally would. That kind of sounds like I’m lying but I’m really not – it would be nice to be ABLE to move around and get stuff done. Seriously I CAN’T EVEN BEND OVER TO GET SOMETHING THAT DROPPED! Dropped a nail? Oh well. Someone will get it later. Need to pick up anything lower than my knees? Nope, no cigar. 

 

Guys, the “Nesting Instinct” is for.real. First, we are doing painting and minor things (minor things that are still…expensive!), but a clean home is a happy home so we partnered with Wal-Mart and Proctor and Gamble to get our move-in essentials. Paper towels and toilet paper get eaten up around here (terrible, I know, we’re working on it) so we stocked up on those and other essentials like Tide Pods (we were using baby detergent on our own stuff before we went to the store because it was all we moved with…baby comes first!!!), Febreze (hello – 2 dogs in the summer time!) and the all essential Swiffer. I’m not normally the most tidy person but with baby K on her way I’ve become a crazy person and started washing everything from onesies to shower curtains with baby detergent, and I’ve been cleaning the floors, windows, and dusting like never before. Kyle loves it…if only it would last!


On a baby budget, it's all about the #cleanhomesavings - thanks Walmart! 


Get your products here: http://www.walmart.com/collection/New-Home-Clean-Collection-/47208359


Xo


Shannon

Week 32 – Preggo Update!

Friday, May 13, 2016


We’ve got 8 weeks to go and counting down days to baby girl. I can hardly believe it! Although it does seem like a lifetime ago that we were “keeping it a secret”. Honestly most days I’m a mixture of the following 4 thoughts: I can’t believe I’m pregnant, I can’t believe there is a little human inside me, I can’t wait to meet her, and wondering how life will be once she is here. Oh yeah and that creeping anxiety over GIVING BIRTH. Make that 5 thoughts.

 

Seriously, pregnancy really gives you a run for your money, and I know all you moms are thinking “wait until motherhood”, trust me, I fully believe you.  

 

Physically, me and the bump probably feel best in the 3rd trimester than we have all along. To clarify, me feeling “the best” I’ve felt during this pregnancy still includes: all day heartburn, back-aches, constantly being uncomfortable, insomnia, and occasionally throwing up after taking tums. That and my two new favorite symptoms in the last 2 or 3 weeks – serious baby brain and constantly having to pee! As you can tell, this pregnancy I have not felt great. All jokes aside, I wouldn’t trade it for the world but I think it’s OK for us ladies to admit that this pregnancy thing isn’t always easy for everyone.

 

Hope you all have a great Saturday! I’ll be over here trying to keep my hormones in check!


XO

My Mothers Promise with Pampers & Walmart

Tuesday, March 22, 2016



I've teamed up with Pampers and Wal-Mart to share my mothers promise with you. There are so many things you want to promise your baby. That you will always protect them, nurture them, put a roof over their head and love them through thick and thin. When I sat back to think about a promise I want to make to our baby, all of those things came to mind but this is what sticks out, and what is my #motherspromise to our baby girl:

I promise I will always be your biggest fan.

It's simple, true, and something I want to promise to all of our babies. Being her biggest fan means being the first one to defend her and rally behind her. It means having her best interest at heart and that she knows my guidance always comes from that place. I will be her biggest fan, forever! I will always push her to succeed and be her advocate. She won't have to wonder if I support something she is passionate about, because I always will. 

Writing this has me so excited for her to get here - but I know the oven timer still has a few months! When she does, these Pampers premiums will come in handy - they are so soft and are actually a reasonable price over at Wal-Mart!

So mamas, what is your #motherspromise to your little ones? Comment below or on my insta! I would love to hear what you have to say. 

Xoxo!

*Thanks to Pampers & Wal-Mart for sponsoring this post!

My Favorite Pregnancy Products!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Ok, I'm only a few weeks away from 3rd trimester territory and I want to let you guys know about some of my favorite products so far. If you are a mama to be, daddy to be, or know someone who is - this list should be helpful! 

1. Bump Nest Pillow - admittedly, I ordered this when I was like 6 weeks pregnant. Seriously, though, as I am now much rounder than I was then - this pillow is a life saver for my hips. If I sleep without it, I actually wake up with hip pain throughout the night - not so fun. It's pretty big but it takes the place of your usual pillows (maybe you'd use one extra for head support) so you can totally still fit your husband (and dogs...) on the bed. Splurge item but worth it - I have it in the ____ print. 

2. Dr.Teals Lavender Epsom Salt - ok, preggo baths are not quite the same, warm water and not hot makes it a little different but I still do take warm baths to relieve achey muscles. Epsom salt is a must and Dr.Teals Lavender is the best! Smells good, not overpowering and so relaxing before bed.

3. Palmer’s Cocoa-Butter – a friend of mine actually gifted me a bunch of different kinds of the classic Cocoa-Butter lotion. She gave me a massage crème, belly rub, and lotion – all good for different things. I slather the lotion on legs/arms and use the belly rub for the belly. The massage crème is really good because it’s thick but workable – I usually use this on harder to moisturize places, and Kyle usually uses this…on my legs when I ask nicely!

4. Gap Maternity Tees – these are the best pregnancy shirt ever! They are stretchy so I know they will keep growing with me and baby girl, and they are good quality without being super expensive. Gap is always having good sales so I’ll pick up one or two when I see they are on sale since I know I like them now! If you’re pregnant and getting to that awkward “my shirts fit around me but they are getting shorter and shorter” this is a really good tee to try. Cute under sweaters or on their own.

5. Good Quality Maternity Pants/Jeans – you guys, this one seems obvious and it basically is. You need pants that will grow with you. I’m listing this because I waited too long to get good quality pants for work and too long to get good quality jeans. I have a couple pairs of J Brand – Mama J jeans that I really like (they are under the bump and have panels that stretch on the side), and for work pants – ASOS has been my savior. I prefer over the bump because you don’t get a weird line/uncomfortable itch. That’s my only qualm with the J Brands. I also have a pair from Motherhood that are super comfy and slide right over this growing bump.

There are like a million other things I’m forgetting (Dove sensitive bar soap, Frank’s Coconut body scrub, Lush butterball bath bombs) that have helped me and my preggo self a lot…but these are essentials! Hope this helps out anyone who needs a gift for themselves or a mama to be!

Oh and if you can, go get yourself a nice prenatal massage - money well spent!

 

XOXO

Pink & Beige & a Pink Blush Maternity giveaway

Sunday, February 21, 2016

I love the way this dress easily falls on my preggo bod. Let's be honest, it's hard to get used to your body taking a different shape, and to figure out what to wear...this dress makes it prettyyyyy easy.



 

I've partnered with Pink Blush to give away a $75 gift card to a mama who needs a little pick me up shopping trip! All you have to do is follow me on insta @shannonkoehl and tag a mama friend who you want to enter, too! Winner will be chosen on Friday!

Good luck & have a great week ladies!!!

Pink & Beige Dress - http://www.pinkblushmaternity.com/p-7016-beige-pale-pink-colorblock-maternity-maxi-dress.aspx?DepartmentID=1




First Trimester - Pregnancy Update #1!

Monday, January 25, 2016



I was unsure on what I wanted to do as far as pregnancy blog posts go, but I decided to do one real quick on my 1st trimester now that I am a couple weeks into the 2nd trimester!

 

First of all, we are SO ecstatic we are expecting our first little baby and we are so grateful for your love and all the sweet comments everyone left us when we announced it!


 First trimester was touch and go (sometimes still is!), I could not eat anything. Nothing appealed to me! I would have to force down food – especially meat…it really freaked me out! I was so lucky not to have morning sickness but I did get a stomach virus around week 7 which was a little scary.
 

That was the worst part, but the best part? Um…hello! Finding out we are having our first baby! I almost could not believe my eyes when I saw the word “Pregnant” on my Clearblue test. In fact, I took 3 more…just to make sure. J Come on mama’s, tell me you haven’t done this!


HOW FAR ALONG ARE YOU?

16 weeks!

WHEN ARE YOU DUE:

July!

ARE YOU FINDING OUT THE GENDER?

Yes, and we cannot wait! Some days I think we’re having a girl, some days I think we’re having a boy.

DO YOU HAVE NAMES PICKED OUT?

We have a list! Once we find out if the little one is a girl or boy, we will be able to narrow it down! I don’t think we are going to tell anyone until the day he or she comes…it will be a surprise for everyone :-D

BEST PREGNANCY PURCHASE SO FAR?

I got a Rebecca Minkoff diaper bag that I am sort of obsessed with! It is so cute…(stay tuned on my Instagram, I will be posting about it soon.) I also got a Bump Nest pregnancy pillow…best investment ever! Look it up & if you are pregnant (even in your first trimester!) it really helps. For me, I got achey early on and it helped me find a comfy spot to sleep. As my belly gets big, I think it will be even more useful.

DO YOU HAVE ANY CRAVINGS?

Not yet! I have some requests here and there but nothing in particular. Except pineapple cream cheese...that's been my go-to. :-)

WHAT BOOKS HAVE YOU READ?

What to Expect When You’re Expecting is a pregnancy must. It is really informative and you can find a lot of info in it…I will say though that it is a little textbook like and I find that others are more mommy-to-be friendly. Mayo Clinic has a really good pregnancy book, my girlfriend got it for me and it is much more reader friendly! There are a bunch of cute ones that I’ve gotten and am working through J

Hope everyone had a cozy weekend! Me, Kyle, Peanut and Cole played around in the snow (Cole LOVES the snow) and got in a lot of lounge time. We got about 20 inches of snow here! Everyone stay warm!!

The moment we've BEN waiting for - The Bachelor Ben - Episode 1

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


Did everyone miss the Bachelor/ette as much as me? It seems like forever since Kaitlyn’s season. HERE WE GO!



 

Episode Recap:


Ben's intro was mostly home in his small town (he now lives in Denver), with his parents talking to him about the journey he's about to embark on. PS his parents are adorable. He also got some advice from Chris Soules, Sean Lowe, and Jason Mesnick. So basically, he got advice from Sean Lowe.


Intros were…interesting. I actually think I liked Caila’s intro where she jumped on him the best even though it was awkward. Nothing too crazy to speak of, although there was a girl that pretty much ignored Ben talking to her and didn’t even tell him her name…and to be honest I don’t know her name either and she already went home, so no one is ever going to know.

 

After talking to a lot of the girls, I saw sparks between Ben and…Becca, Olivia, Lace (ugh), Lauren B, and the girl with… boobs … when they were talking in the dark (did anyone notice Ben was LOOKING AT THE GOODS instead of her face like half of their conversation? Who can blame him I guess!).

 

Ben denied Lace a kiss when she asked for a ‘re-do’ of the peck she gave him in her intro. He declined, saying, “not tonight”, and then went to apologize to her because he didn’t want to make her feel rejected. Since he did that, she now thinks they are like 100 steps ahead of where they really are.

 

First impression rose went to Olivia – the news Anchor.

 

 

Here’s who else got a rose:

 

Lauren B.

 

LB

 

Caila

 

Amber

 

Jami

 

Jennifer

 

Jubilee

 

Amanda

 

Joelle JoJo

 

Leah

 

Rachel

 

Samantha

 

Jackie

 

Haley

 

Emily

 

Shushanna (still not sure if she can speak English or not?)

 

Lauren H.

 

Becca

 

Mandi

 

Lace

 

My favorites:

 

Amanda – single mom from CA

Becca – because, duh.

Caila – software sales rep from OH

Joelle JoJo – real estate developer from TX (she played that game with the illustrated cards with Ben)

 

I also like Lauren B and Samantha but not sure how into them Ben was.

 

And…Olivia.

 

Who can be sent home, like, now:

 

Lace - “so just to be clear, you’re upset because I didn’t make eye contact with you?” let’s just leave it at that…

 

Mandi – … I have nothing to say

 

Couple thoughts about this season:

 

Most of these girls actually have careers, or at least jobs…I feel like in the past there have been a lot of “actresses”, etc, right? Also there are very few that I couldn’t see Ben with, BUT I also don’t really have a front runner. I know you guys already know I’m obsessed with Emily Maynard but just hear me out – we all KNEW it was her from literally night 1. You could see the chemistry and not much else compared. I know that’s not the norm but there is usually at least one that I really like. HONESTLY ok I did like OIivia the best during the intros, but based on the previews of the coming weeks I think she turns out to be terrible. We’ll see.

 

Other thoughts…Ben might turn out to be boring but at least he’s talked more in episode 1 than Chris Soule’s entire season (no offense, Chris, you know you’re my fav). Also I do think Ben has a lot of good prospects so I’m going to say I think 100% there will be a proposal.

 

What do you guys think? See ya next week…!