February 28, 2019

This is My Motherhood

Thank you to Thread Tank for sponsoring today's post!

I'm working together with a fun tee shirt company, Thread Tank! Something I love about this company is their moto. They strive to create stories you can wear. Comfy tees are my jam as a mom and being able to find a place that makes relatable, stylish tees for all sorts of lifestyles and interests! "Every single one of us has something we want to wear on our chest." The tees I chose were exactly what I wanted to wear ;) My cute tees say "Chaos Coordinator" and "Raising Little People" and I'll tell you why! 

Being a mom is so much of who I am now and I am proud of that. Yes, I have different interests and hobbies but when it comes down to it, having little people to raise is my greatest joy! Life changes you when you have children. For me, I loved Nova with everything I had the minute she was placed into my arms but I will tell you right now that the connection didn't click for several weeks. I struggled with that reality. I thought it was all supposed to be over-the-top natural because I was now a mom. Well, I figured out how wrong I was very quickly. However, over time, my little girl has me wrapped around her little finger!

That isn't all to say that my days are perfect. I have days where I cry in the bathtub because I am emotionally drained. There are times when I yell at my child only to feel completely and totally awful about it minutes later. There are days where I think Nova must be the only toddler who throws a fit at our playdate group. But, there are more amazing and wonderful days in between each one of those. We have days when all we do is snuggle and laugh. Days when Nova eats all the food I made her! We have some really beautiful days together.

That is my motherhood. Every motherhood is different. The one thing we all have in common is we all have a story. Every story is a little different but beautiful and relatable. That's something I have come to really love about surrounding myself with other mothers. I learn so much from them and their stories. I read a quote recently that said, "Motherhood is a million little moments that God weaves together with grace, redemption, laughter, tears, and most of all, love." [Lysa TerKeurst]

There really is no comparison besides the fact that we are all doing our best. Trying our best to do what is right for our families. Which is exactly why I love writing on my blog and sharing my motherhood. In hopes that I can uplift, inspire and encourage other mothers. Whether that be through the days that I feel like I'm winning or the days that I am really struggling. Motherhood isn't intended to be easy. It's full of messy snack times, poopy diapers, laughter and tears, Sesame Street and finding the happy medium between surviving and thriving. We're all just a bunch of professional chaos coordinators ;)

So, what's your story?

Be sure to follow Thread Tank on Instagram for a sneak peak at their newest designs and fashion inspiration! Use my code " LAUREFULL " for 10% off now until June 30th!

February 25, 2019

Three Cheese Stuffed Peppers

I made this recipe up when Ryan and I were about six months into our marriage. I was in the midst of getting familiar with recipes he loved growing up and I wanted to make my own version of one of his childhood favorites! Stuffed peppers have never been my thing. Every time I tried them, they were either too dry or unseasoned. Rest assured, these are juicy and are jam-packed with flavor! 

2-3 Bell Peppers, Halved

1 lb. Ground Beef

1/2 Yellow Onion, Diced

3/4 Cup Pasta Sauce

1/4 Cup Feta Cheese

1/4 Cup Shredded Parmesan

4-5 Slices Pepperjack Cheese

1 tbs. Italian Seasoning

1 tsp. Garlic Powder

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with tinfoil. 

Slice your bell peppers and remove membranes. Place them on baking sheets and bake for about 20 minutes. 

Brown ground beef and diced onion. Drain the grease. Using same pan, add pasta sauce, feta, parmesan and seasonings. Mix it together.

Heat until bubbling then remove from heat. 

Spoon mixture into peppers, cover with tin foil and bake again for about 10 minutes. Remove tinfoil from on top of the peppers. Add pepper jack cheese to the top and place in oven until it is melted. 

Serve with rice and veggies!

February 21, 2019

Finding Clothes for Mama!

Thank you to Pink Blush for sponsoring today's post!

I've heard it both ways: pregnant women either love maternity clothes or find them a complete waste of money. I am definitely somewhere in the middle. It's important to me to feel as comfortable as possible in my clothes while I'm pregnant! The best way for me to accomplish that is by investing in  flattering, comfortable maternity wear. 

I guess I am just not lucky enough to wear jeans from before pregnancy with a hair band holding them together! That just doesn't work for me. Most shirts won't go over my belly past 20 weeks. This is why I love Pink Blush maternity clothes! You can find nothing but affordable prices that provide the highest quality.

Pink Blush is designed for the modern mother and caters to not only women during pregnancy but also postpartum and beyond! The creators of these styles know what it's like to be a mom. It can be messy, uncomfortable and truly, unflattering at times. Being able to have style and feel put together is life changing during motherhood! Pink Blush makes it possible while maintaining simplicity so you can focus on what is most important.

You can find my top, the Mauve Striped Layered Ruffle Sleeve here:

Maternity Top 
Regular Top

A screenshot from Pinkblushmaternity.com: 
                                    Sleep Sets                        Midi + Maxi Dresses                           Swim 

Finding out I was pregnant took a huge toll on my anxiety. I wasn't sure how I was going to accomplish every day tasks with a toddler while battling the nausea and fatigue that accompany my pregnancies. Luckily for me, I have had a very smooth pregnancy with little nausea but the fatigue has been real. Which means getting ready and feeling like myself has been a challenge. Putting on my Pink Blush shirt immediately made me feel comfortable and beautiful! Which is essential to me at this point in my pregnancy. I wore my shirt while running errands and going to a routine OB appointment. Typically on these type of busy days, I fight with my outfit either pulling it up or down. Pink Blush allowed me to be completely comfortable - I didn't mess with my shirt a single time! 

Here's how I styled my look:

I love wearing my hair up or back when wearing a top with statement sleeves. It gives them an opportunity to shine and I can show up some cute earrings that I rarely get to wear! My little booties are worn almost every day and I loved the colors in this outfit. Everything paired so well for this time of year but I can see myself putting this together again in the fall - even when I'm not pregnant!

Motherhood is hard enough. Let's not make it harder by having too many clothes that we don't feel good in and simplify our wardrobe with pieces that we love! Every day tops like the one featured in today's blog are what I live in. For more tops like mine, remember to look at Pink Blush!

Disclaimer** I received my top for free in exchange for today's post and my honest review.

February 14, 2019

Weekly Meal Prep & A Free Printable!

Before our sweet Nova came into our lives, I was a huge meal planner. I would prep on the weekends for our entire week full of breakfasts, lunches and dinner. Ryan and I both worked full-time so doing this saved us from having to eat out regularly! With the arrival of our second daughter coming just around the corner, I've decided it's as good a time as any to bring meal-prepping back to life in the Fullerton household! 

I talked a little about how I meal-prep on my Instagram stories over the weekend. It all got interrupted when Nova spiked a fever Saturday evening but I was able to accomplish so much! I'll be sharing just a few of my favorite ways to meal-prep so that your week can run a little smoother. 

This may seem like a no-brainer but it's really a make-it or break-it type situation! If you run into the grocery store with the intention to meal-prep but have no real plan, you will most likely end up frustrated. You will have to run back when you realize you've forgotten something or many things! So, make a plan for your week including all three major meals and even snacks. 

I have found that seeing all of our meals for the week written down helps me to better prepare my grocery list. I can look in the house to see what we have to accomplish every meal and write down the things we don't. I made a printable that I will be sharing for *free* with you! This has been a game changer, people! You are free to print it, virtually write on it or even print one single one out, throw it in a picture frame and buy a couple erasable markers. 

Once you've returned home from the grocery store, grab your favorite snack or drink and throw on some music because you'll be stuck in your kitchen for a few hours! For me, it works best to do this on the weekends when my husband can be home to give our little the attention she needs. She is still a little too small for me to feel comfortable involving her but if you feel your kids would enjoy it, I say go for it! More help, the better.

Here are a few links to my favorite recipes for prepped meals:

The key is to remember that you can meal prep anything. I used to get overwhelmed by meal-prepping because I thought I needed specific recipes or techniques but it's much simpler than that. We have a few favorite recipes that we eat religiously in our house! I just try to make extra every time so that I prepare lunches for several days. For example, I can throw in a couple pounds of chicken breasts, taco seasoning, 1/2 cup of chicken broth and some ranch dressing mix in the crock pot and boom! A few hours later I have chicken taco meat that will last the entire week! 

Find what you like, cook a bunch of it or at least prep it so that when you are ready to cook it for dinner or lunch or whatever, it's ready to go and you really don't have to do much. Along the lines of think simply, cut all your veggies for the week! I'm talking cucumbers, broccoli, bell peppers, salads! Any of the veggies that your family loves to include in their meals, prepare it on the weekend to line up with what you have planned for your weekly meals. 

This is crucial. Don't waste all this time, money and food by getting lazy during the week and ordering take out. Make a plan, execute that plan and stick to the plan!! You can do it.

Then, at the end of your prepping session, you will look into your fridge and freezer and be SO glad that you did all that work. Your evenings will seem a little less hectic around dinner time and you won't be standing at the fridge wondering what to eat for lunch every day. Good luck! 

Last Tip: Washi tape works great to label prepped lunches/dinners!

February 8, 2019

Sweet n' Sour Meatballs

 This recipe may be similar to others but the spin-off is 100% of my own making

Let me start by saying that I have tried several Sweet n' Sour crock pot meals in my time. Some didn't have enough flavors while others were overpowering. After much trial and error, I have come up with the very best Sweet n' Sour Meatball recipe! This is fool-proof and is the perfect recipe for when you have energy mid-day but know you will be too tired come dinner time to whip anything together. This definitely is not an eight-hour recipe where you can let it sit pretty while you go run errands. Think of it more as a beautiful creation that requires a little bit of your attention - but not much of it. Are you still with me? Because your mouth is about to water!

1 32oz. bag of Original Meatballs

4 Bell Peppers (any combination)

1/2 Diced Yellow Onion

1 20oz. Can Pineapple Chunks

1 Cup Brown Sugar

2/3 Cup White Vinegar

3 1/2 Tbsp. Corn Starch 

3 Tbsp. Soy Sauce

Dice your bell peppers until you have about 4 cups. I sometimes will only do green and red but when the packaged bell peppers are on sale, I go for a colorful combo! You will want each dice to be about an inch to an inch and a half in diameter - that way they won't be under or overcooked. 

Dice onion into same size.

Place meatballs, diced bell pepper and onion into your crock pot. 

Drain pineapple juice into a small mixing bowl. You can either place the entire jar of chunks into your crock pot or do what I do: only use about half. 

Now, into your mixing bowl with the pineapple juice, add brown sugar, white vinegar, corn starch and soy sauce. Mix it all together until there are not more chunks.

Pour this mixture into crock pot and place the lid on top. Cook on low for two hours. Mix it to ensure everything is being cooked evenly. Change temperature to high for one more hour. This allows the mixture to thicken and create a sauce! 

Serve over rice or quinoa and enjoy! 

Preparation Time: 10-15 Minutes
Total Cooking Time: 3 Hours

February 6, 2019

Pregnancy Update: Second Trimester!

If you don't follow me on instagram, be sure to check that out for all the latest pregnancy updates or sweet Nova! 

I've always heard mothers say that each pregnancy was different. Whether that be morning sickness, back pain, the way the carried - something felt different from another pregnancy. I'm here to say that that is true!! At least in my case. I didn't even know I was pregnant until I was about 10 weeks along! Yup, you read that right: TEN WEEKS ALONG. I couldn't believe it. I decided to go in for an ultrasound because I still had not yet gotten my period following my miscarriage last summer. I knew something wasn't quite right but honestly, the idea that I was pregnant was the furthest thing from my mind because I didn't feel pregnant whatsoever. 

I decided to call up a clinic that will do free ultrasounds. Went in with Nova that same day and told them my history with the miscarriage, lack of a cycle, and so on. They squirted my belly with that awful gel and hooked up the ultrasound machine. There, only second later, was a fast, steady heartbeat in my stomach. I looked over to make sure I wasn't hearing things and sure enough, there was a sweet little bean of a baby on the screen! I laughed and asked, "Are you sure? This isn't a video of someone else's ultrasound?" We all laughed and then I cried.. How did I not know? Oh my word... all the Diet Coke I've been drinking!! 

I got in with my now OB and discovered that I did in fact get pregnant right after my miscarriage. Apparently, this can happen as you become more fertile following a miscarriage. Thankfully, this baby has had zero complications and is actually measuring quite large for their gestational age! And just last week, we found out that we are being blessed with another little girl! 

So here we are, in the second trimester, almost half-way there and I am just over-the-moon with gratitude. This baby is truly a miracle. Things have been pretty backwards during this pregnancy though. I didn't every feel sick or nauseous until just this past week. As I've gotten bigger, I notice the muscles in my stomach hurting a lot more during the evening which is resulting in a lot of disturbed sleep. But other than that, I really do feel great! It is so weird because I'm as big now as I was at 26-28 weeks with Nova! So, there really is just no comparing the two pregnancies because it has been a completely different experience. 

Nova really has no idea what is going on or what's even coming but she is already the sweetest sister. She snuggles on my belly and gives it kisses. She'll point to stomach and say, "baby!" then point to her own and say the same thing :) Nova is going to be the best big sister!