Pregnancy Must Haves

Pregnancy Must Haves

It feels like not long ago I was yelling “Nick!!!! I think I’m pregnant!” in our apartment all while feeling extremely overwhelmed and excited. Then came the decision to quickly buy a house and make it a home before baby Hinkle’s arrival in November. Fast forward to now, I must say we are killing it in the productivity over here! I always thought I knew what pregnancy would feel like, but it’s truly so different for everyone. Coming from someone who had no idea what they are doing, I would not have been able to survive without my pregnancy must haves that I’d love to share with you!

  1. PSI Bands
    • When that first trimester hit, it was hard. I was so nausea and had no appetite. Functioning was legit hard, I was so miserable. Then one day my BFF, Katy, showed up with an amazing gift basket that had the PSI Bands in it. She explained her sister used them for motion sickness so I should try them… and they worked! I mean worked enough for me to function. Did it make all the nausea go away? No, nothing did, but I was able to go house shopping and act like a normal human when sleeping all day was not an option! Thank goodness, for these bands and the second trimester. Pregnancy Must Haves- PSI Bands
  2. Maternity Clothing Basics
    • Lucky for me, I have a wonderful SIL that gave me a large bin of clothes to borrow. It allowed me to find some favorite styles and then buy some my own. T shirts, a great pair of jeans, leggings, comfy shoes and a few “nice” tops are all must haves. I found being comfortable during this time is the key to happiness! Read more about it on Maternity Clothing Must Have blog post coming soon.
  3. Cravings
    • Girl, treat yo self! You are growing a human! I’ve never craved sweets like I have the last six months. I could literally have a glazed donut, all day, every day.
  4. Pregnancy books for you and your partner
  5.  Babycenter.com or app
    • If books aren’t your thing, you may find some comfort on the BabyCenter website and app. There is SO much useful information to reference on their site along with a community of expecting mom’s due the same month as you. I personally use the app and look at it every day with updates on the baby and pop into the community every once in awhile for support. A favorite update in this household is how big the baby is each week. Every Friday, we are laughing at references in the size of our little one! He is the size of a large eggplant this week, haha!
  6. A pregnancy buddy
    • Whether you find this within the online community on the BabyCenter app (or many similar sites out there) or in real life, it’s so nice to have someone going through the same things as you right now. Shout out to my friend, Kara, for the endless texts and check ins! She’s a month ahead of me, so her little bundle of joy is almost here!!!
  7.  Smelly Things
    • Like really good smelly things! I treated myself to a little shopping spree at Bath and Body Works to get some plug ins around the house. With a crazy sense of smell, you want to stop and smell something good, not pick up on the slight smell of the garbage. At one point Nick was taking the garbage out every day, this solved that problem.
  8. Boppy Pregnancy Wedge Pillow
    • This was a hand me down that I didn’t know I needed (thanks for saving the day, yet again Heather!). Basically once that belly of yours starts growing, it feels nice to wedge this thing under it while sleeping to alleviate some pressure on your belly and hips. I’ve also put it behind my back to keep me from turning on my back at night, one thing I had no idea was bad for the baby until my doctor told me to make sure I’m laying on my side to help with the babies blood flow for growing. Now that I think of it, I’ve also used it to elevate my head for those glorious acid reflux sleepless nights! So yeah, basically, just get it. You can find it here!

Boppy Wedge Pillow

Like I said before, pregnancy is so different for everyone! It’s just a testament to how every women’s body is so different, it’s a wild, yet beautiful thing. What saved you through your pregnancy? I’d love to know if there is something I am missing out on!

Wishing you a smooth and healthy pregnancy! Until next time…

XO, Anna

Things to do in Deep Creek Lake, MD

Things to do in Deep Creek Lake, MD

Whoa, has life been busy! Between work, moving, doing some renovations at our house and a zillion doctors appointments there is hasn’t been much time or energy left for blogging. I sure have missed it! Though we have had the itch to travel this summer, we’ve been spending all our money and time on our new home, which is so worth it before the little one arrives soon. We did get to spend some time during our short staycation at Deep Creek Lake in Maryland. My family has a place there and it’s always a nice getaway. Obviously spending time on the lake itself is so fun! Who can deny some sunshine, boat blown hair and jumping in the lake? But this summer had me thinking that some of my best memories at Deep Creek actually aren’t on the lake. There are so many fun things to around the lake, so I figured I’d share my favorites!

  1. Swallow Falls State Park 
    • This one will come up a lot if you search the area for things to do, but there is a reason for it!  It’s a beautiful park with gorgeous waterfalls. In the summer you will find people swimming in the water. I like it best in the early morning when you can follow the easy trail to see multiple different falls… quietly!Things to do In Deep Creek Lake, MD- Swallow Falls
  2. Deep Creek Lavender Farm
    • Mmm, the smell of fresh lavender is so relaxing! They have limited hours so be sure to check their website, but I have shown up when they were closed and just took in the pretty views and smell. If you go when they are actually open you can pick your own lavender and shop in their little store. It’s so quaint!Things to do in Deep Creek Lake, MD- Lavender Farm
  3. Day-fire
    • Relax and enjoy the outdoors! Now I know you’re thinking this one is silly, but I’m encouraging you to have a campfire during the day! It’s our family’s favorite time to do so. With little ones around, it’s shifted this way and I think we all like it better! It makes it easy for cooking up some fun and different foods on the fire. Things to do in Deep Creek Lake, MD- Day-Fire
  4. Candyland
    • Do you love candy? Take a drive into the Oakland and treat yo self to aisles of any and every kind of candy you can imagine! There is also a nice variety of Amish food products. You can find it at 12679 Garrett Hwy, 21550 Oakland. Now, don’t get a stomach ache!Things to do in Deep Creek Lake, MD- Candyland
  5. Firefly Farms Creamery & Market
    • Cheese lovers, look no further! They are actually making cheese here… like for real. So go hungry, taste some different cheeses that are oh-so-fresh and take some home to munch all night long! The staff here is so friendly will walk you all the cheese flavors. They also do cheese pairings with wine, but you’ll need to plan ahead for that. I haven’t done that just yet, so if you do, let me know what you think! Things to do in Deep Creek Lake, MD- Firefly Farms(photo taken from FireFly Farms Facebook page)
  6. Take a day trip! My two favorites are to either Grantsville, MD or Thomas WV.
    1. Grantsville, MD is about a 30-minute drive from the lake, but it’s a fun change of pace! Do some shopping at the Spruce Forest Artisan Village, eat lunch at The Cornucopia Cafè and visited the Casselman Bridge.Things to do in Deep Creek Lake, MD- Day trip to Grantsville, MD
    2. Thomas, WV is about a 60-minute drive if you’re up for something a little further. You’ll see the “Smallest Church in 50 States” that you can stop at on the way to break up the drive. The town of Thomas has an amazing art scene, which was such a surprise that we stumbled upon while driving to Blackwater Falls State Park. If you’re a sucker for waterfalls like myself, you’ll love this park! Be sure to make time for the Lindy Point trail for some amazing views. When you’ve worked up a hunger, stop at The Purple Fiddle. If you’re lucky you’ll stop in right in time for some live music!
  7. Schoolhouse Earth
    • If you’re a shopper, this is a must! It’s such a fun and unique store to browse. There is some gorgeous jewelry, gifts, gourmet food, and tons of home goods. Not to mention there are some animals out back for the kiddos to feed!

There dozens of other spots to check out while at the lake like the Honi Honi, Fun Land, golfing, and some other spots that are more well known. Am I missing something you love to do while there? Let me know!

I hope you find some fun off the beaten path and enjoy your time at Deep Creek!

Xo, Anna

Old Wives Tales: It’s a…

 

IMG_4300It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. Being pregnant, moving and working full time leaves me with little energy lately! I wanted to write a new blog post since I haven’t mentioned anything about the pregnancy on my just blog yet. It was so fun to hear our family and friends make guesses on the baby’s gender throughout the process. I can’t believe I’m already 20 weeks along. I’m sure the next 20 weeks will go even quicker with a busy summer ahead. I thought it would be fun to go through some old wives tales to see how they lineup then reveal if Baby Hinkle is, in fact, a girl or boy!

Old Wives Tale #1: Heart Rate
If the baby’s heart rate is above 140 bpm, it is said that the baby will be a girl. If it is under 140 bpm, then it will be a boy. Prediction: Girl, Baby has had a high heart rate since the getgo!

Old Wives Tale #2: Shape of Belly
If you are carrying high with a big, round belly, you are having a girl. If you are carrying low with a smaller belly that sticks straight out, it’s a boy. Prediction outcome: Boy, I’ve been told I’m all belly, which I’m obviously into. 

Old Wives Tale #3: Acne
If you have acne while pregnant, it’s a girl. It’s thought that acne during pregnancy is caused by the extra hormones. Prediction outcome: Girl, what the heck, where’s my glow?

Old Wives Tale #4: Cravings
People believe that if you are craving salty foods while pregnant, you can count on having a boy. If you crave sweets, you are having a little girl. Prediction outcome: Inconclusive, though I’ve been wanting sweets more than ever, I’ve also wanted my fair share of salty things. Dill pickle chips anyone?

Old Wives Tale #5: Moodiness
If you are really moody, you are having a girl since you have another extra girl hormones in you. If your pregnancy makes you calm and happier, you are having a boy. Prediction outcome: Boy, cool as a cucumber over here! 

Old Wives Tale #6: Chinese Gender Chart
The Chinese Gender Chart claims to have an accuracy rate of over 90%. It is based on how old the mother is at conception and the month that she conceived. Prediction outcome: Boy

Old Wives Tale #7: Clumsy vs. Graceful
If the pregnant woman is graceful throughout her pregnancy, she’s having a girl. If she becomes clumsy, she’s having a boy. Prediction outcome:  Inconclusive, Nick and I agree this hasn’t changed. 

Old Wives Tale #8: Dad’s Weight Gain
If the dad-to-be gains weight while you are pregnant, it’s a girl. If he doesn’t gain weight, you’re having a boy. Prediction outcome: Boy, but I think Nick is always a skinny minny.

Old Wives Tale #9: What Do You Think?
71% of the time, the mom-to-be knows what she is having. Prediction outcome: Boy, Nick was a confident girl prediction.

Old Wives Tale #10: Breast Test
If a pregnant woman’s left breast is larger than the right breast, she’s having a girl. If the right breast is larger, it’s a boy. Prediction outcome: Boy, is this TMI? Sorry, haha. 

Old Wives Tale #11: Morning Sickness
If you had a smooth pregnancy with no morning sickness, it’s a boy. If you were sick or felt really nauseous during your pregnancy, count on a girl. Prediction outcome: Girl, ugh that first trimester was pretty miserable.

Old Wives Tale #12: Baby Names
It is said that when you can only think of specific names for a boy or a girl, you will have that particular baby. Prediction outcome: Girl, we quickly agreed on a girl name and it’s a toss up for the boy name.

Old Wives Tale Results: Total Girl: 4       Total Boy: 6       Inconclusive: 2

Actual outcome after 20-week ultrasound: It’s a BOY!!!! We are so excited to meet our little boy in November!

 

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Until next time, you can find me deep in a Google search of boy clothes and nursery colors…

Xo, Anna

 

6 Things My Mom Taught me

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Hello, again!

I wrote this blog post a few years ago on my old blog, it was one of my favorite posts. I edited it a little, but ultimately, it all still holds true! What better time to share again than with Mother’s Day right around the corner? It’s so important to pause sometimes and appreciate the people you have and have had throughout your life. This blog post is dedicated to my mom who is very special to me in many ways. She has taught me 6 very important things… okay probably way more than 6 things, but this is a good start!

1. The importance of creativity.
No project is too small to take on. See it in a store? We can do it that better. Doesn’t look like the one in the picture? That’s your creative spin on it. The amount of creativity and talent my mom has always impressed me. As I grow older I have more of an appreciation for it and strive to be like her in this way.

2. Better to be overdressed than underdressed!
Self-explanatory, and always held true in any circumstance. If you know my mother, you know she is always looking her best!

3. Live life to the fullest.
Follow your heart, go for it if it feels right and don’t miss out on any adventure… just go! (but be safe!)

4. Family is everything.
My family, we all have each other’s backs and have so much love for one another. Who do you think is at the heart of that? Mom. She treats us fairly (though my brothers may disagree for the one time I had a later curfew and don’t have to cut the grass… don’t blame me for being the baby) and will treat the deserved like our family. She always reminds us to accept one another despite any differences because we’re family. When things get tough, I think of family because I know they will always be there. The person who makes me realize that is mom.

5. Always be honest.
It’s always better to tell people how you feel and to talk it out. This will lead to the best relationships and will show who matters. Honesty can hurt, but it’s the best route. I was taught at a young age to practice this and growing up I realized this isn’t always something people’s mothers teach them.

6. Mom’s know everything.
They really do. She gets protective towards those she feels will end up hurting me, she knows where I can find that one pair of shoes, and she knows how to do just about anything else I end up asking her. Who needs Google? Mom knows. Lucky for her I use Google so I’m not bothering her all the time!

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I appreciate you mom and love you very much.  Happy Mother’s Day!

What’s something your mom has taught you?

XO,

Anna

We’re moving… Again!

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Hi guys,

Life has been super hectic lately! I never realized that buying a house would be so time consuming! It’s not like HGTV makes it out to be, that’s for sure. The area we were looking at, along with our budget, new houses were few and far between. With that being said, when one did come on the market, we had to drop everything and get there right away to see if we wanted to make an offer. Luckily about after a month of endless trips to the suburbs, we found a new home to call our own. This on top of trips to meeting with the bank, home inspection, packing and other things, we can’t wait to move in at the end of the month!

I always find myself getting super sentimental when moving day comes up. Nick and I have now lived in two different apartments, each with their own set of memories. I guess this blog post is a little selfish, as I wanted to recap our apartment living, while we move forward in purchasing our first home.

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For those that don’t know, Nick and I first lived together in Bridgeport, West Virginia. It was a leap of faith when I moved there after only 6 months of long distance dating Nick. And guess what, it was worth it! One of my biggest concerns was that I wanted to make that apartment ours instead of me just moving into his bachelor pad. Nick of course agreed and the golf ball collection over the toilet was taken down, and we bought a new comfy couch together. At first, it had it’s moments where it was an adjustment living with one another, but all in all, Nick was the best roommate that I ever had! We spent days hiking through WV, nights drinking at the local pub and many evenings cooking with each other in the kitchen. We called this apartment the “Tree House” since it was on the top floor of a big wooden outdoor staircase. It held so many firsts for us as a couple and was a place where we became closer than ever.

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As time went on, we knew West Virginia wasn’t our forever home and we started to think about our different options. It was between Columbus, Ohio to be between both of our families or Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania near my family. As time went on more job opportunities came about in Pittsburgh, so we decided it was our place to start the thought process of putting down some roots. I had been to the Aspinwall Borough of Pittsburgh a lot due to some friends living there previously and had loved it. It was close to the city but still felt like we’d have our space and safety. After looking at some apartments, thinking about his short commute to work and the fact that there was actually sidewalks, Nick was sold on the area!

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So that leads us to where we are today… our Aspinwall apartment! This apartment has been so good to us. It’s a big old house split into two different apartments with a ton of character. We have the entire second and third floor, so it’s spacious! We love our landlords and this area. We got engaged and married while living here, along with countless memories on our amazing front porch. Seriously, we love this porch aka “Bar Hinkle”. We’ve walked to the coffee shop and restaurants here more times than I can count. It has been so nice to be close to people we love again and showing our Michigan family the city!

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I’m so excited for our next chapter in our first home! The TV channel here has changed from countless episodes of “Say Yes to the Dress” to now “Fixer Upper”. We are ready to get in our new home and get settled. The thought of making something ours excites us and I can’t wait to share more with you soon!

Until next time…

XO, Anna

Our trip to Nashville, TN

Our trip to Nashville, TNHi, guys!

Todays’ blog post is a flashback Friday, because well, life has been crazy busy! This post is from the original blog that I had a few years ago and I always find myself referring to it when people ask for recommendations. Nashville was one of our favorite trips! Now thinking about that, we may say that about all the places we have been. But, this one isn’t too far away from PA and is a perfect trip for a long weekend. Funny enough, Nick was then just my boyfriend and looking back, this was the trip that sealed the deal for me! I wasn’t letting him go after how much fun we had on our first road trip together. Read on for the whole story!

May 4, 2014

If you know me well, you know I always talked about going to Nashville. Last spring, I was telling Nick all about how I wanted to go and to my surprise my non-country listening boyfriend said, let’s go! By doing some research we found that Nashville has a “Music City July 4th” festival every year with all kinds of free music, fireworks and more! So we decided to plan our trip during that time and I waited patiently for July to come.

July was quickly approaching and as always I was on my computer doing research on bars, restaurants and other things going on in Nashville. I stumbled upon the Grand Old Opry and realized that Carrie Underwood was in town performing one evening during our stay. Of course, I got really excited and then went to work asking the girls if they thought I could convince Nick into going to see Carrie with me while we were there. Their response was, “What guy wouldn’t want to watch Carrie?”. Knowing that I’d see Nick that evening, I had my speech ready to try and convince him that we needed to go to the Opry! In the middle of my begging, he had a big grin on his face and asks me why I always ruin my own surprises. Which is true, I accidentally always do this! Apparently, he had already gotten the tickets and was going to surprise me when we got there!!! Have I mentioned how great of a guy Nick is?

The day we were leaving arrived and I had my cowgirl boots packed up ready to go! The drive there was pretty easy and not too. too long. As always, we had fun killing time listening to the 7 mix CDs I had made for the trip. We stopped for a while on Kentucky Bourbon trail for exploring and got to our hotel in no time!

I’m pretty sure the rain started as soon as we arrived and would only stop for short amounts of time during our entire trip, but we tried not to let it damper our moods! We booked a hotel within walking distance to Broadway (strategically) and did a lot of exploring. I’ll break it down by the three best parts of Nashville.. the food, the bars and the music!

Food:
We ate very well during our long weekend. Some of our favorites were Merchants, 417 Union, and Jack’s. All of these places were downtown and were recommendations from others. We ate at 417 Union twice during our visit because it was so close to our hotel and delish! I would recommend their breakfast AND dinner. Jack’s had awesome barbecue food and we got there just in time before there was a line out the door waiting! Merchants had a throwback-cool vibe with awesome specialty drinks.

Bars:
The best thing about Nashville bars is the live music. The second best thing about Nashville bars is that there is NO cover charge. We did a lot of bar hopping down Broadway, which is what you are supposed to do right? Every bar not only had live music, but each of these cover bands were really good. Our favorites were Tootsies, Whiskey Bent Salon, and Silver Dollar Saloon. To say the least, we had a good time drinking, dancing and listening to the music. Not that into country music? That’s okay because a lot of these bands were playing rock too! The only thing I didn’t like about any of the bars is that when the bands were taking a break, they come around practically begging you for any cash you have. I guess that’s what will happen when they aren’t charging a cover at the door. We made plenty of friends from all over the states and we all agreed on something… we loved Nashville!!!
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Music:
We were there during the Music City July 4th festival hoping to spend the day in the streets listening to band after band. Unfortunately, because of the rain, practically everything was canceled. Understandably so, because I sure didn’t want to stand outside in the pouring rain all day. They kept the main event scheduled which was The Band Perry and fireworks! We braved the crappy weather and joined the massive amounts of people and could pretty much only hear The Band Perry. It was still fun and we weren’t too bummed because they were playing with Carrie Underwood at the Opry the next night. Add in all the other music from the cover bands we had been listening to the entire time we were there and we were musically satisfied. I couldn’t wait to get to the Grand Old Opry. Talk about a cool experience. They have been recording live shows there since forever and playing them on the radio. All of the artists play a few songs then the next one comes on. Of course, between the artist’s commercials played. There were plenty of older country artists that we didn’t know, but the whole experience was unlike any other. The Band Perry was fantastic, but I was just so excited for Carrie. When she came on, the old people left and the young went wild. She is so unbelievably talented! While visiting the Country Music Hall of Fame, she was the featured exhibit. We got to see all of her stages costumes as well as some other things. The museum wasn’t my favorite compared to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, but still interesting. Anyway, after visiting Nashville it is very clear on why it is called Music City!

As you can see I have a lot to say about this weekend that went by way too fast. Nick and I still talk about how much fun we had there. We also continuously talk about how we can’t wait to go back! That’s all for now! XO

The BEST Bachelorette Party Game

 

The Best Bachelorette Party GameHey, guys!

Whoa. Almost year ago I was with my squad celebrating my bachelorette party! I wanted to keep it small, so it was just me, my mom and my bridal party. We went to Deep Creek Lake in Maryland, where my family has a home and enjoyed a weekend of cocktails, hot tubing, eating, and massages. It was SO much fun!

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I wasn’t really trying to do anything wild for my bachelorette party. I’ve seen and been a part of some of those games that can just make you kind of cringe. I’m by no means a prude, but I just wanted to go out and have fun! Well, while we were sitting around, of course, the idea of playing a game while we were at the bar came up. A quick google search, many ridiculous and kinda raunchy games later, there was only one we wanted to try. The winner was: The napkin game!

Basically, the concept was to ask people for marriage advice on the bar napkins. I can’t even find the original post to where we got this idea. We kind of spun it into our own and decided to give beads we had to everyone that participated! The bartenders got into it and ended up giving us those receipt/credit card holders and a ton of pens to make it even easier once they asked what we were doing! We got a total of 50 napkins which isn’t bad for bar or two at the lake in the off-season!

Here are some of my favorites…

 

So that my friends, is the BEST bachelorette party game! Some notes were silly and some warm your heart, but regardless my favorite part is that 50 strangers still believe in love.

XO, Anna