What I Read: April 2018 Edition

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman- This is the prequel to Practical Magic and I have to say I actually enjoyed this book a lot more than that one. Though I think I would enjoy that one more if I wasn't so in love with the movie. This book focuses on the Aunts and honestly I loved every minute finding out more about them and their lives before Sally and Jillian. This book was so much fun to read and honestly just fascinating. If you are at all into Practical Magic either the movie or the book then you should definitely check this one out. 

One of Us is Lying by Karen M McManus- I heard so many great things about this one and I have to say I was not disappointed. I actually did keep putting it down so that I could take my time finishing and it kept me guessing until the end. Great read. (I want to write so much about this but I don't want to spoil it and honestly that would be super easy to do and I don't want to ruin it!) 

The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth- Another book that showed up on my holds list that I don't remember putting there but I am so happy it did! This was a light and quick read and while at times predictable it was still so very good. The love story was sweet. The story between the 3 generations of women was amazing. Lots of baby stuff and some of it could be tough for those that are squeamish or have never given birth before. Still it's a great read. 

What have you been reading this month? Be sure to join the linkup! 

Life According to Steph

So What's Up?

The Bump: This week we are 34 weeks and closing in on the final weeks of this pregnancy!
Doing Non Stress Tests until Baby Boy arrives. No worries he's perfectly healthy! 

Nesting: I have nothing done. I'm in a panic. Why do I wait so long to do things????
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Kyra has preschool graduation in 2 weeks and honestly I can't even handle it.
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We ran off to Baltimore and DC for a week.

First zoo trip of the year.

Carter's had a huge sale last week and Robert said to just fill up a cart so he could see what I liked and the stuff should arrive this afternoon! I'm so excited because everything was 70 percent off and I also had an extra 20 percent off so I SAVED A TON.
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Unfortunately that savings is going to have to go to fixing my car as she is in the shop and I'm super sad. 
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So that's what is going on around here? What's new with you? Be sure to join the linkup! 

What I Read: March 2018

When Dimple Met  Rishi by Sandhya Menon- I so wanted to like this. I love silly romance and I love YA but I just couldn't get into this one. For one I really hated Dimple. She was just this back and forth and back and forth and really judgmental while screaming about being judged and I thought we were going to get more of her as a strong female character but she just fell flat for me. Rishi was likable enough but I felt like he was getting the raw end of the deal because he kept trying and Dimple kept being just meh. I know so many who loved this and honestly am bummed that I didn't. 

I Heart My Little A-Holes by Karen Alpert- I don't know how I stumbled upon this but I did and as a currently very pregnant person I was interested in reading something "mom" related. This book was pretty hilarious and it was nice to see a mom that was okay talking about the less glamorous parts of being a mom. Sometimes it is super hard and while you wouldn't change a thing it isn't Instagram perfection around here like....ever. I enjoyed this one but if you aren't a mom or into reading "mommy blog" style stuff give it a pass.

I want my Epidural Back: Adventures in Mediocre Parenting by Karen Alpert- I picked this one up because I really did enjoy the first however this one was just more repeat of the first one and felt like she just threw some blog posts into a book and published it. It repeated a lot of the first book and just didn't have the humor this time around to keep it going. I actually didn't finish it.

Books on Deck:

One of Us is Lying- I am so hooked but trying to savor this one! So far it's amazing.
The Rules of Magic- Again trying to savor it.
Thunderhead- Audio book that I'm trying to listen to but am kind of saving for my road trip next week!
Life According to Steph

Bump Update: 30 weeks

I am 30 weeks this week! Third Trimester baby! I can't believe how fast the past couple months have gone and that baby boy will be here in 2 months! Kyra came at exactly 38 weeks so it is completely believable that this little one will be here sometime around then too! Here's what is going on this week: 

Size: This week baby is the size of a platypus! I use the Ovia app to track my weeks and I love that they do random animals instead of fruit and vegetables. I always get a kick out of seeing what strange animal baby is the size of each week. 

Symptoms: Lightning Crotch. If you don't know what it is it is just what it sounds like. It's like a bolt of lightning to your crotch that can double you over in a second and then it is gone. Also lots of pelvic pressure when walking because I'm carrying pretty low this time around. Also still having trouble eating even though I feel like I'm starving all the time. 

Maternity Clothes: I live in leggings and maternity tops that I find randomly at Ross. They are always so much cheaper than most of the stores and when I found this Mama Bear shirt I was thrilled because the one I had seen previously was like $48 and I got mine for $7.99!

Fun Stuff: Baby Boy is moving all the time and I love feeling him kick and roll. It's just reassuring feeling him grow and move. ALSO not baby related but we got the chance to take Kyra to see Disney on Ice and it was magical and amazing and I am so glad that we got to do a big special event with just her. She was the most adorable little Belle ever! 

Not so fun stuff: I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes this time around about 3 weeks ago. I have managed to keep my sugars completely under control with trying to eat more protein and cutting out things like sweet tea. It's less than fun to have to check my blood sugar levels 4 times a day but I do what I have to do because it is what is best for baby. I plan on doing a whole post on this in the future. 

Cravings: I want Taco Bell all the time and mine is currently closed and undergoing construction so this is a craving that will not be filled. Why Taco Bell? Why must you do this to me? 

And now a little humor: 
Ah the joys of baby crushing your bladder lol

Things that make my life easier

Makeup ovals- I use these nightly for either makeup removal or to apply witch hazel as a natural toner. They are so much better than just the regular circles!

My vacuum- This seems silly to add but honestly I love my vacuum. When you have 3 dogs and a kiddo....yeah vacuum to the rescue.

My planner- I've done the fancy planners. I've done no planners. The consensus? I'm in the middle. I love my planner that already has a layout and I just add my appointments as I need them. The thing is I DO need a planner now because otherwise I would totally forget everything. Between my own appointments, baby appointments, Kyra's school items, my husband's work stuff.....yeah we needed someone to have all this stuff written down!

Amazon Prime- How did we live without this in the old days? I need something quickly but it is nowhere to be found in stores near me? (so not uncommon since I live out in the country) Prime is my savior.

Pinterest- Now this one is a double edged sword. I have found so many things that I can DIY and have turned out and then I find things that honestly it would probably be better for everyone if I just bought it instead of making it but still I love it when I make something myself and avoid paying more than I need to.

Overdrive- I love this option from my library. Thousands of books and audio books at my fingertips 24 7 and all for free! It's so great to have when you want to travel light but still need to make sure you have a book at your fingertips in case you have to wait.

Extra Long phone cords- Life changers. Being plugged in sucks but at least with long cords I'm not literally against the wall all the time.

Watch Later on YouTube- This is such a great option when you see a video that you want to save for later to finish or simply save for later review if you are learning a new project.

Google Photos- All the photos on my phone backed up automatically so I lose nothing and never have to worry about deleting things to make space because they are already saved and easy to access from anywhere you log into Google.

Walmart Savings Catcher- I don't shop at Walmart a ton but when I do it seems I always spend a lot and Savings Catcher is a lifesaver. Basically you scan your receipt and they check to see if anything you bought was cheaper at any nearby store and then they give you the difference! It's automatically loaded up to a gift card on your phone and the next time you are shopping you can use that balance to pay for stuff! I love it because I save them up and use them for those unexpected expenses!

What are some things that make your life easier?

March Recommendations

Burt's Bees oil cleanser- This has made taking my makeup off so much faster! To be honest while I love makeup and totally try to take care of my skin as much as possible there are still so many nights when I'm in a hurry to just get the gunk off and go to bed. This makes taking off eye liner and mascara a total breeze and I have noticed that it also makes my skin very happy! There are lots of different oil cleansers but I admit I picked this one because it is in the lower price range and no regrets so far! 
Burt's Bees Cleansing Oil with Coconut & Argan Cleanser, 6 Ounce

Organizers for makeup- My husband bought these for me for Christmas and I LOVE them. If you are a makeup hoarder like myself these are awesome to organize your stash. 
ELOKI 360 Rotating Makeup Organizer, DIY Detachable Spinning Makeup Holder Storage Bag Case Large Capacity Makeup Caddy Shelf Acrylic Cosmetics Organizer Box, Great for Countertop, Black
Essential oils- I am totally late to the party but essential oils have changed my cleaning routine as far as laundry and cleaning my mattress goes. They smell awesome and last so long and yeah just take the plunge it's worth it. 

YouTube channels- I'm totally into cleaning/vlogging/mommy videos these days. This might not be up your alley but if you are so inclined my favorites are: 

Love Meg

Beauty and Beastons

Flipside of the Moon 

Wet N Wild Foundation- Super cheap and it has the staying power of a much more expensive foundation. I love a deal and this one is amazing. It has a pretty broad shade range and very build-able coverage! 
Dry Shampoo- Again I'm late to the party but I was sent this sample of dry shampoo and now I'm hooked and basically this will have to be in my regular stash especially with baby boy due in a few months and my knowing that showers will be few and far between once he arrives. I love this one but honestly it is super pricey so if you have any recommendations for something cheaper I am all for it! However I will say this one is worth the money, especially if you are a brunette or darker hair color. 
ORIBE Gold Lust Dry Shampoo, 6 oz.
Podcasts- I've told you all about the Curvy Girl Podcast before and I'm still in love with it but now I have a new podcast that I have been bingeing on and honestly I'm probably late to this party too but: 
My Favorite Murder with Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark

I love true crime but I love Karen and Georgia even more. They deliver the stories so well and with hilarity that takes the brutal edge off. Plus they are just realatable and funny and yeah you should listen.

So what are your March Recommendations? 

*Note- No affiliate links here, just stuff I like that you might like!

Sh*t I'm no longer sorry for

Saying No. 

My random taste in music. 

Not finishing bad books. 

Listening to a song on repeat until I can't stand it anymore. 

Loving makeup even when I don't wear it every day. 

Wearing leggings. Look I don't care what you say they are comfy and match everything and honestly with my massive pregnant belly they are about the only things I can wear because maternity clothes are a freaking racket and cost entirely too much for something I will only wear for a couple months. 

Being a massive fangirl and geek. 

Taking a nap. I'm currently making a person and contrary to what lots of people say, it's exhausting. 

For constantly having my hand on my bump. This bump is precious to me. I didn't know if this little rainbow boy was even possible and every time I feel him move I'm so happy. It also reminds me of when Kyra was in there and how joyous that was too. I adore my bump even as it grows heavier and slows me down. This bump is a miracle. Also why the hell do you care if I am holding my bump? Mind your own business. 

Taking long blogging breaks. Sometimes I feel it and sometimes I don't. Sometimes I can't look at the computer for another minute having worked on it for hours at a time. 

That when I'm at home I'm probably dressed in ratty old clothes. 

The only thing I do to my eyebrows is pluck and shape them. I do not have time for all that brow product stuff. 

I do LOVE some highlight though. 

Hating cooking but loving baking. 

For being myself. Emotional, passionate, slightly a mess, ridiculous, but all around good person with the best of intentions. 

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