Tuesday, September 30, 2014

New Look

You finally get to stop reading my Tweets and posts about my new blog design. I have just been so excited since I decided to rebrand Little City Adventures that I haven't been able to contain my excitement. I'm kind of a nerd like that.

How much do you love the new look for Little City Adventures?? I have been working on this night and day for the last few weeks, doing my best to make it as perfect as possible for the big launch. Between friends and Google I was able to do all of the designing myself, mostly because I have a budget of $0 for design, and honestly I'm pretty proud of myself. I bounced around logo ideas with a few people and I love the simple, modern, clean, and bright little city scape that I came up with for the final logo design.

One of the items that I absolutely had to have was a drop down navigation bar. I just love the way they look and it helped clean up my sidebar. One of my bridesmaids does coding stuffs for a living so between she and Google, I was able to make the awesome menu above. Take a look at it, click a few links, check out the awesome category pages which I spent hours making, and have some fun finding your way around the new Little City Adventures.

Along with the new look, there are some exciting new things come this way! Along with more consistent posting and even better content, I've added more in depth 'about' pages and more info for those interested in collaborating and/or advertising. Also, you may notice a tab on the menu labeled 'Shop.' What will I be selling via the blog? I'm glad you asked. By Summer 2015 I will have e-course(s), e-book(s), and a graphics shop with awesome products made just for you! The graphics shop will be open first and will include simple blog logos, buttons, etc. Keep an eye out for these exciting new additions to Little City Adventures.

Take a few minutes and click around the new layout and let me know what you think in the comments below! Oh and don't forget to sign up for the new Little City Adventures weekly newsletter to get sneak previews and exclusive content!

Monday, September 29, 2014

William // Three Months

I swear, William is growing a ton overnight, every night. Everybody said that he would grow quickly but I still can't believe it! He is developing his personality and showing a strong stubborn streak. He continues to think that he is older than he actually is by trying to crawl, and just about succeeding. William is the funniest and never fails to make me laugh, even when I'm exhausted. On the rare occasions when he actually cries, he makes this adorable pouty lip, which he gets from me of course, which is so darn cute that I can't help but laugh at him. I am so proud of him and I cannot wait to see him grow even more into his personality.
He is close to 14 pounds and has grown at least three more inches.
William is getting stronger everyday and loves playing with the rings on his activity mat. He grips on tight and pulls making the whole mat shake causing him to smile. He has started laughing and it's the most adorable thing ever. When I put him down for tummy time his legs do the whole crawling motion deal but his arms having quite grasped what today, but if he squirms enough he manages to move across the blanket. Last month he mastered rolling over from his belly to his back and this month he has started going onto his side while on his back, so he's working on the back to belly roll over. His new favorite "game" is for us to hold him under his arm pits so that he can put weight on his legs and he tries to walk! No joke, he puts one foot in front of the other, he is seriously crazy! 
He still wakes up once during the night, usually around 4 or so, and doesn't like to go to bed before 11pm. We are working on teaching him to self soothe to get to sleep rather than me holding him until he falls asleep and then putting him in his crib. William has been sleeping more during the day, I think because he is growing like a weed, and still sleeping well at night.
I'm obviously still breastfeeding on demand, anywhere from 2-4 hours during the day and up to 5 or 6 hours at night. And the last couple of days he has eaten for 45 minutes which is like four times longer than normal. 
Likes: drooling, his activity mat, playing with soft toys like his teddy bear, trying to walk, funny noises, kisses on his belly, sitting up like a big boy, bright lights, watching tv, and squirming.

Dislikes: being strapped into his car seat, not getting what he wants when he wants it, extra loud noises, having an even a slightly wet diaper, and going to bed before 11pm.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Hour By Hour

Since I still love getting peeks into the day to day lives of others, I figured it was time for me let people see into my world a bit. It's only fair, right? I took these photos this past Tuesday, one of the days where William and I are almost always at home and let Seth take the car for the day. Seth had a meeting at church in the morning then had to go to his full time job and then back to church until about 10pm, which makes for a long day for me since I'm home alone with William all day. I had planned on going for a walk this Tuesday but we left the stroller in the car and he is just getting too big and squirmy to carry in the Moby wrap for long periods of time. Plus William and I had a fun start to our day...

4:40am
William woke me up for his first feeding of the day (and it was also the first time he woke up since he went to bed around 11pm) and immediately after he finished eating he projectile vomited all over himself and me. And then he laughed. I called for Seth to come clean the baby while I changed every article of clothing that I had on, even my underwear. Yeah, it was an epic amount of baby vomit. I took him temperature and it came back normal and he was acting fine so I'm not sure what was up with that. Since I was awake after that and he wasn't feeling sleep either, we moved down to the living room so Seth could keep on sleeping.

William and I watched the local news, eventually we napped on and off, and I enjoyed a cup of ginger rooibos tea.
8:00am
Seth got up for the day to get ready for work and he made me some toast for breakfast, William had fallen asleep on me and I was not about to move him.
9:15am
After Seth left for work William and I moved upstairs to our bedroom so that he could stretch out and roll around in the bed while I got some work done and started thinking about getting ready for the day. I am in love with the first picture in this set, the sunlight is just beautiful in our room in the mornings.
9:30am
Attractive, right? The other day I found a pile of face masks while I was cleaning and decided to try out a rejuvenating mask from H&M. For a $2.95 face mask it was pretty nice! My skin did feel rejuvenated while the mask was but once I washed it off it just felt clean and didn't really do much for me longterm. After the face mask I got up and dressed for the day.
11:15am
I decided to get some work done from my bedesk (despite the fact that just this past weekend I cleaned and organized my closet/office space and it's actually usable) and of course I made my kid look like a unicorn. That's normal, right? It's the little things that entertain me during the day. 

I am working hard on my blog rebranding/design which I am really hoping to get done by October 1st. Above is a little peek at a possible header for my new design.
11:30am
Little man fell asleep holding his teddy bear's ear. It was so adorable, how could I not take a photo?
12:15pm
William woke up right after I finished my super healthy lunch of peanut butter banana toast. Yes, he is a thumb sucker. It's so darn cute though.
12:40pm
My little brother called to say he was coming to visit between classes and William seriously got excited when I told him that his Uncle Nate was coming to see him. So me and little man went downstairs and he played on his favorite toy, the colorful activity mat.
1:00pm
I promise William was much more excited than he looks in this photo. He actually fussed when I took him from my brother for just a second and smiled when I gave him back.
2:30pm
I'm a lazy butt so we decided to go back upstairs after my brother left and William played with his teddy bear while I worked. Eventually I worked up the energy to do laundry because William was down to practically his last onesie and his laundry basket was kind of overflowing...
2:45pm
I put William down for tummy time and he tried to crawl. He squirmed so much that he practically crawled! What?! I think he forgot that he's barely 3 months old.
4:00pm
We moved upstairs to my office to work and William played in his swing. He seriously loves those rings, we have them hanging off of all of his toys, his activity mat, his swing, even his car seat! I worked on blog stuff but didn't feel like I really got anything done other than writing one, short blog post.
5:30pm
We went back downstairs (yes, we do move around a lot) when I got a text from my friend Abbey saying that should was heading our way to drop off the handmade sign that she made for last week's giveaway.
6:00pm
Abbey dropped off this beautiful sign so that I could mail it out to the winner this week.
7:00pm
I made a simple dinner of rice and veggies since I was the only one eating dinner and then William and I watched Storage Wars while I worked on my new About Page that will go along with my new design. We do love watching A&E shows like Storage Wars, Duck Dynasty, etc.
8:20pm
While playing on his activity mat, William found himself in the little mirror (attached to the orange square on the right side of the photo) and I played with him until he started laughing. Aren't baby giggles just the best!?! And how about that nice drool mark on his onesie...
9:35pm
I folded laundry while William laid in his crib for bedtime attempt #1. Putting him to bed after his next to last bedtime feeding, even if I know that he's not going to sleep, seems to help him get into bedtime mindset and helps him stay calm. Plus, I needed to fold laundry.
10:00pm
Daddy finally came home from work and I'm pretty certain that William stayed awake just to see him.  Seth and I had bedtime snacks, William ate one more time, and then finally, around 11:15 William went to sleep in his crib. My goal for next month is to get William to fall asleep earlier because going to bed no earlier than 11 is getting a bit ridiculous, I'm a night owl and early bird too but I also like to go to bed early some nights. Well, someday he'll sleep normally...right?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Taking Stock Vol X

an Instagram photo that I took at a friend's wedding last weekend
making: a drop down navigation bar for my new blog design. Thank goodness for Google and friends who are fantastic with coding.

cooking: some eggplant this week. There was a gorgeous one at market last Friday that I just couldn't pass up.

drinking: spiced cider. Well I'm not drinking it now but I had one at Aussie & the Fox last week for my birthday dinner and I can't stop thinking about it. 

reading: blog posts on coding and blog design.

wanting: more hours in the day (who doesn't?!).

crafting: ideas for fun diy projects coming to the blog next month.

wishing: I had more time before my personal deadline of October 1st for my new blog design launch.

enjoying: our new stroller that I got as a birthday gift.

waiting: for Seth to get home but he has a late night working at church.

liking: pizza. I got a slice of pizza from Costco yesterday and it was greasy and delicious and I can't stop thinking about it.

wondering: what I should make for dinner for myself tonight. Is that pork chop in the fridge still good?

loving: this awesome film about Lancaster Central Market.

hoping: that I get my blog design done on time.

marveling: at how well I can function on the little amount of sleep I get.

smelling: the outside. It's like the perfect temperature outside so we have the A/C off and windows open.

needing: a shower. William vomited all over me this morning.

wearing: a rather unflattering, oversized sweatshirt since I didn't need to leave the house today and it's so much easier to nurse in oversized tops.

following: my to do list and getting things done.

noticing: that Fall is here!

knowing: that I probably should have gotten more housework done today...

thinking: about different ways to decorate and organize my office.

bookmarking: blog design/coding tutorials.

opening: up way too many gallons of water. I mean it's good that I'm drinking tons of water, but I go through too many plastic jugs. I tried a Brita filter but our water still tasted nasty. Do you know of any filters that also make the water taste better?

giggling: at William. He never fails to make me smile.

feeling: tired and slightly hungry.

Copy and paste and play along! Leave your link below!

Friday, September 19, 2014

20 Before 21 Final Update

Yesterday I turned 21 years old which means that is was the last day I had to complete my 20 Before 21 birthday bucket list and I have to say that I did a pretty good job. I did a better job at capturing moments in photos, I made a photo book of our wedding photos, read one book per month, and more!
1. Take More Photos
I am doing so much better when it comes to snapping photos, having a kid helps things like that. For never ending photos form my life be sure to follow me on Instagram.
2. Get Serious About Blogging
This is in progress but mostly done. I've nailed down planning out and following my editorial calendar and posting consistently. Stay tuned for a huge change around here on October 1st that I am so excited for! 
3. Plant an Herb Garden
I planted a cute herb garden and within a month every single herb died. All this goal said to do was plant a garden, it says nothing about keeping it alive. I have come to terms with the fact that I do not have a green thumb and that's okay.
4. Print Wedding Photo Book
A found a coupon for a free 8x8" photo book from Shutterfly and I am quite happy with the results.
5. Learn How to Knit
I've decided that I don't want to learn how to knit, blogging takes up enough of my time.
6. Be more Social
I have done so much better at being more social over the last year, even when I was exhausted during pregnancy. I am proud of myself.
7. Buy Another Camera Lens
We had this little thing called a baby who ate up a lot of our money (he didn't literally eat it but you get my point) so unfortunately a camera lens is not in the budget at the moment.
8. Get Blog Business Cards
I am calling this one done because it is in progress and planned. It ties in with the big change happening on October 1st.
9. Lose the Baby Weight
I gained approximately 30lbs throughout my pregnancy and when I was weighed a week after giving birth I had already lost 20lbs. In the middle of August I was finally cleared to exercise but still had to take it easy because my c-section incision was still seriously sore (and still is if I exercise too hard). So I am calling this goal a win because although I still have ten pounds to lose, I haven't gained any weight despite my ravenous appetite due to breastfeeding.
10. Try riding bike again
Again, I had a c-section. So this didn't so much happen.
11. Create a Date Night Jar
I didn't make a date night jar but I did create a big list of date night ideas on Evernote that we can check off as we complete them.
12. Break out the Sewing Machine
I did pull out the sewing machine to make William's mobile but pulling out a sewing machine while taking care of a newborn is pretty much impossible, plus it's super noisy.
13. Create a Weekly Meal Plan
I have come up with a meal/grocery planning dealio that works for us and still allows me to be creative in the kitchen.
14. Learn More About HTML
I will continue working on this one as my blog grows and develops but I feel like I've got a good understanding of the basics to help me along in blogland.
15. Read One Book Per Month
January - Murder in Mesopotamia by Agatha Christie, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
February - No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Cromble
March - I watched too much TV this month but made up for it in later months
April - Pines by Blake Crouch
May - 3 a.m. by Nick Pirog, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
June - Death Checks Inn by Sara Robbins, Unnatural Death by Dorothy L. Sayers, Innvitation to Murder by Sara Robbins, Now You May Weep by Deborah Cromble
July - Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
August - Born to Blog by Mark W. Schaefer and Stanford A. Smith
16. Get a Tattoo
This is in progress and being planned.
17. Learn How to Use Chopsticks
I'm not going to lie, I didn't even attempt this one...
18. Practice Hand Lettering
Almost everyday for a week I practiced hand lettering and I have decided that it is just not one of my talents and that's okay. There's a reason everyone isn't good at everything and I know lots of people that are great at hand lettering so I can just utilize their talents when needed. Hey, at least I tried!
19. Go to a Spa
I didn't end up getting a massage but I did spend three hours at Plum Salon & Spa turning my hair back to blonde after not having colored it for nine months.
20. Try a New Food
I bought new foods to try but then they went bad before I could try them. Yeah, I failed.

Total Completed: 15/20 goals completed

Overall I am pretty proud of myself for completing as many of these as I did while pregnant/caring for a newborn. I think I finally have the whole being social thing down, plus having a baby really helps in social situations. The one thing that I haven't done well over the last few months is doing things other than watching tv to entertain myself. Sure, I was stuck in bed for a few weeks but there was no reason I couldn't listen to podcasts or read a book instead of watching tv. One of my goals on my next birthday bucket list is to watch less tv. I've also realize that I need to give myself more time to complete my birthday bucket list. My next list, 21 Before 22, will start next month.
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