bella

Just a Few Things



These past two weeks of nonstop fun have taken their toll and I've spent today curled up on the couch getting caught up on everything with a touch of a cough/cold. New Hampshire was wonderful, just not a very relaxing vacation. My family has about 3902 things going on at the same time and between art shows, political events, church things, and keeping the sisters company during late homework nights (which were every. single. night -- silly high school), a nap was always on my mind. I got back with enough time on Friday to wash and dry one load of laundry while prepping two posts (silly NH grocery stores that don't carry what I need) before kissing Ben hello and getting back in the car for a weekend in Cincinnati. 

A few things:

  • I am feeling so blessed to have such wonderful friends as I sit here on the couch and stare at the corner of baby gifts that is taking over the living room. 
  • I am grateful that my days of early morning seminary are behind me. I may have woken up to my sister's alarm last week, but at least I got to go back to bed at 5 am when she got up. (seminary is basically daily bible study class for the four years of high school)
  • I like living with my husband. We've spent plenty of time apart since we've been married (last year I think the days totaled almost 2 months)... but generally I like it less and less. It is always great to be back together and to fall asleep in the same bed (even if I cacoon myself in my body pillow). 
  • I've been wearing these shoes around the house (I started in New Hampshire because of the vast wood floors at my parens) because by the end of the day my feet hurt. I guess carrying around an extra 25 pounds is taking its toll.  

^^This evening Ben and I spent some quiet time catching up and going through baby shower presents. We have yet to buy anything for this little one so all the tiny outfits and little toys have really made this pregnancy more exciting. It is hard to believe that we're going to have a baby big enough to fit into some of these -- but I can't wait. 

^While we looked we sipped on some white grape juice (fancy fancy) and munched on a few new Hillshire Snacking goodies including these genoa salami small plates and honey mustard chicken strips. For someone a little sick and totally exhausted, I was so happy to pull these out of the fridge and have something yummy to snack on with zero prep. The salami was a tad spicy for me (Ben loved it) but I was a huge fan of the cheese and the chicken with dip. 

^How darling is this little sweater and striped polo onesie? 
^and this little fox hat?? I was even more thrilled when I found out my friend made it! 

I love the idea of packing these small plates for little summer picnics or having on hand for hors d'oeuvres for last minute dinner guests. For now though, with 15g of protein, premium meats, and bold flavors they'll be fabulous afternoon snacks :)

And while I'm sitting here getting all excited about baby things and reminiscing about the past two weeks - here are a few snapshots from this weekend:
We love this family, and not just because they've let us live out of their guest room on a biweekly basis since we moved away. 

 ^a 27 week baby bump 
 It wasn't until I met that little boy a year and a half ago that I first thought I could be excited about having a baby boy. (not pictured: T running around in only the shirt, tie, and hat for the remainder of Sunday)
 ^Ben getting some parenting practice in the cutest playroom I've ever seen. 





#spon: Thanks to Hillshire for sponsoring this post!

Easy Halloween Punch with Fanta

I'm excited to bring this fun punch recipe to you as part of a collaboration sponsored by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone, like always :)  #SpookySnacks #collective bias

It's easy enough to pour orange soda into a punch bowl and call good, but this festive recipe really takes your drink up a notch (or five). The key to this punch is the addition of the white grape juice. The unexpected flavor combo is something kids will still like, but definitely adds some palette interest for your older guests. On top of that, the added fun of the orange sherbet makes it all a bit more creamy.

What You'll Need:

  • 2 parts orange Fanta (if it's not halloween I would totally switch this out for Strawberry Fanta)
  • 1 part white grape juice 
  • orange sherbet (either scoop a full half gallon into the punch bowl or serve individually by adding one scoop to each drink)
**Just be sure to chill the Fanta and the grape juice prior to serving. You can either pour the two together into a punch bowl or pour directly into cups. If you do the latter, I recommend pouring the Fanta in first because it gives the glass a fun dark to light gradient :) 

^Growing up in Japan, Fanta was always our go-to soda and they usually had fun seasonal flavors they don't sell anywhere else. I do remember though, on a family trip to Bali, when I first spotted (and then begged for and then tried) Strawberry Fanta. The only thing that would make this recipe better is swapping the orange Fanta and sherbet for strawberry :)

more Fanta here: facebook // twitter


^I can only handle so much carbonation before I need a big drink of water....and these mini Dasani bottles are perfect for any party (no more half full water bottles left around).

more dasani here: facebook // twitter 


While doing a little recipe testing for this I tried a variety of mix-ins with the Fanta before falling in love with the white grape juice. My number one NONrecommendation is fruit punch. Not only does it make the whole thing red, but it just doesn't taste very good.

What I didn't try but wanted to... a blood orange halloween punch. Fanta mixed with blood orange juice and a few slices of floating blood oranges? Too bad blood orange juice was nowhere to be found.


**this weekend select Walmarts are hosting a Halloween demo with Fanta, Dasani, Wheat Thins, and Oreos (find your closest one here)
Happy Halloween! 

If I Wasn't Pregnant // Neutral Sale Finds



Ben and I enjoying our last few hours in Cincinnati and while I have a million things from my trip to NH and yesterday's darling baby shower to share, today we're enjoying what might be our last weekend down here before the craziness of holiday and baby set in.

So for this weeks "If I Wasn't Pregnant" I have few more sale pieces (because realistically, browsing the clearance sections are always more fun):

**all links using a new online shopping site that searches the web for additional coupons before forwarding you to the site (just hit the continue button and it'll take you to the product + show any available discounts) 

Polkadot Sweater // under $25!

Wonderful Sweater // they have a few other graphic print sweaters on sale but this wonderful one is my favorite

Fit and Flare Dress // 40% off 

Striped Kate Spade Tote // I'm a sucker for a fun black and white stripe in a classic silhouette.

Striped Pajamas // because sometimes cute pajamas make all the difference




Graphic Tote // In two different patterns, this black an white graphic tote could easily be your go-to bag that matches everything while still making a statement.

Black Pumps //  These would pair so gorgeously with any holiday dress (or with the fit and flare dress up top).

Polkadot Flats // I love these fun patterned flats in neutral colors because they're basic enough you can wear them with just about anything but add a fun bit of flare to any outfit.

Zebra Flats // A fun alternative to the leopard trend, I love the cross buckles on these animal print flats.





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