Monday, January 27, 2014

8 months old!

Yes, I know I am week late in posting this. On the positive side, C is EXACTLY 36 weeks old today. And I went into labor when I was EXACTLY 36 weeks pregnant. So she has been out today as long as she was in! CRAZY! 
Anyway... so 8 months old...
C... we love you so much. And you are getting so big it just isn't fair at all!
You're favorite food is graham crackers 
You're favorite book is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
You officially have "big girl jammies" and we hate putting you in them because you look so big
According to the "baby center" website you are crawling...
But mostly you just push yourself backwards and then you get mad because you are away from your toys...
You have also been doing some amazing plank poses. I am super impressed by those.
You laugh and get very excited a lot and it's just the cutest thing.
You are even riding in your stroller like a big girl now. 
And you have more hair! Woohoo!
Keep growing baby girl, it's so fun to watch. 





Saturday, January 25, 2014

Thoughts on Dating

I have had my fair share of boyfriends in the past. Oh boy. Giddy school girl "romances" of infatuation and heartbreak. I am so glad that that is over. Ugh. When I look back on those years, I cringe sometimes. All of my boy problems seemed so significant then. Girls hating me because boys liked me and not them (oh girl drama I loath you), having a rule to go on AT LEAST one date with every guy who asked. Don't get me wrong, I had a blast dating. And if there is any advice I would give to young women it's TO DATE... A LOT (and please try the "at least one date" rule. I think it's only fair).  I'm not talking the Taylor Swift kind of dating where he's your "boyfriend" for a week abad then you break up and write a song about it (I will admit it, my roommates and I wrote a break up song once. AND IT WAS AWESOME). I'm talking, go on DATES with different boys. If you find one you like, go on another date with him. Side story: Summer of 2007 I had the LONGEST and WORST date ever. It was seriously the most awkward date ever. I may just write about it one day. The date started at 8 am (I think? I remember getting up stupidly early on a Saturday for it) and I didn't get home until past 11pm. By the end of the date  was so sick of this kid. We had a class together and I was sure he would never speak to me again. AND THE GUY ASKED ME OUT AGAIN. I was shocked. And I politely declined. 
However, I am so thankful that part of my life is done.
I remember moving all of my things into Devin's place a few days before we got married and thinking how weird it would be to live with a man (hahaha).
Like any marriage, ours has had it's highs and it's lows
But one thing I have always known is that Devin supports me not matter what.
He is my best friend and companion.
He is the best helper.
Yesterday as I was heading to C's room to changer her diaper he said,
"Nope, when daddy is home, I change the diapers."
He spent New Years day deep cleaning the house with me.
He got up early this morning to take my car in and get the oil changed.
Last night he said, "I will watch Charlotte, you go get the diaper bag and your school bag ready so you don't have to worry about it tomorrow."
I sobbed the entire time I packed up our things to be separated.
Devin at work, me at school, and Charlotte at "daycare" (she is being watched by a friend).
Am I sure we made the right decision?
Am I SURE I'm sure?
I came down the stairs and asked Devin for a BLESSING
"I really feel like I need one"
I sat on the floor with Charlotte in my lap...
And I felt comfort and peace.
Exactly what I needed.
I am so thankful that Devin chose me
That is one decision I will be eternally grateful for.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Retail Therapy: Nail Polish

Need a little beauty therapy AND retail therapy and are on a budget? 
Grab a new fun shade of nail polish!
Seriously.
A few KEY times (that I remember) have been when I passed STATS- I got an amazing OPI purple shade
Before my parents came for 4th of July- COBALT BLUE
And a few weeks ago before Christmas- Hello gorgeous WINE hue! 
Confession: I have a rubbermaid container with all things nail care
Another confession: It's rare that I paint my finger nails because I get ticked when they chip. 
Right now I am DYING to go look at the polishes they have at the store because there is a specific blue I am looking for. It's the perfect winter blue (although I guess I could wear it in the spring too...)
Here are a few ESSIE shades I am lusting after...

#1. Bikini so teeny

Ok, with the ring finger in SILVER glitter? HELLO WINTER (or Cinderella... whatever you prefer). This would also be the perfect spring color. LOVE IT. This is the color I am hoping to get. Fingers crossed!

#2. 5th avenue

I have a few reds in my arsenal but I do not have a fine engine red. Because what screams, "I'm a hot mama" like fire engine red nails? I can't think of much else. 

#3. Ballet slippers

In reference to my dancing years (and Charlotte's future dancing years) how could I NOT have this shade already? The perfect ballet pink should be a neutral. 

#4. Bottle service

I am sure I have a shade like this... but I love it for the name. And who can resist bright pink nails? Not me. 

#5. Good as gold

In honor of my gold obsession, this polish looks perfect. My mom called me the other day and said, "You know Whitney gold is just SO IN right now." Don't worry mom... I know. 

So if anyone wants a nail painting party... come on over to my house. I probably have a shade you would like ;-) 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Cherry Chocolate Granola

I am feeling a bit sad this week as it's my parents last week living in California. My dad is retiring and they are moving out of state. I spent half of my life there and it will always be home. I remember when we first moved there my mom said people in California dressed very "granola". 
The only conclusion I can make about dressing granola is the hippies with twigs and berries
And I see a lot more of that here in CO than I ever did in California
I still don't know exactly what that means but granola is delicious so... 
ANYWAY, there is one thing I eat for breakfast that I ate all through my pregnancy and I missed it A LOT when we were going through all that allergy stuff with Charlotte...
It's 1/4 cup cooked oatmeal, 1/2-1 cup yogurt, chopped strawberries and GRANOLA.
It's seriously delicious. 
When I saw THIS recipe a few weeks ago I knew I had to try and make my own version.
AND I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED.
As soon as it was all mixed up I was hooked.
I could probably take a spoon and eat the entire thing
But I haven't... yet. 
But seriously guys this granola is amazing. I have made my own granola bars in the past and they have been super delicious but this recipe it awesome for topping yogurt or even as a cereal OR just eating it on its own (I have been eating it on its own quite a bit).
I have a feeling this will have a permanent spot on my counter. 


Cherry Chocolate Granola

You'll need:
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp vanilla
4 cups rolled oats 
1 cup Rice Krispies cereal
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup dried cherries

To make:
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt coconut oil in a microwave safe dish (mine took about a minute to do). Whisk in the cinnamon, ginger, honey, water and vanilla. In a separate large bowl, combine the oats, cereal and ground flax seed. Pour honey mixture over the oatmeal mixture and stir until well combined. Evenly distribute mixture on the parchment lined baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes (stir every 15 minutes). Remove after baking and allow it to cool completely. In another large bowl add the almond, chocolate chips and cherries. Add the cool oat mixture and combine until well mixed. Store in an air tight container and enjoy at your leisure! 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Baby Food


Something you may not know about me is... I LOVE infomercials.
I know, it's completely weird but it's true. 
It's how I ended up buying ProActiv, The Brazilian Butt Lift, The Firm, Insanity...
If any of you have seen "The Bullet" informercials, you know how terrible they are
It's probably the worst acting I have ever seen!
However it didn't stop me from thinking how genius the baby bullet was.
Which is probably one of the reasons I wanted to try and make my own baby food. 
That and it's cheaper. Those little squeeze pouches are about $1.50 a piece and C could eat 2 or more of those a day (for now!) that's $90 on average for baby food for a month! Yeah, no. 
So I found THIS BLOG on Pinterest on making your own baby food and I decided to try it.
Essentially you make a month's worth of baby food for $20 and you do it in an hour.
I spend about $15, it took me 3 hours to make (YIKES!) and it lasted us 2 months (frozen). 
I was a little discouraged the first time around because it took soooo long to do. An hour! YEAH RIGHT! It took me an hour just to cut everything up and prep it. I vowed to try again and learn from my mistakes. My second time around it took me an hour and an half (it would have only taken me an hour if I can prepped and chopped everything the day before) and it still cost me around $15. You might spend more or less depending on where you live and where you grocery shop. 
MUCH better this time around. I finished it all during a nap. 
A few things I learned...
#1. Use Organic frozen fruits and veggies. It cuts down on A LOT of prep time. It makes it SO MUCH easier. I don't use frozen for everything but it's amazingly easier than cutting everything up yourself. If you want to use fresh and not frozen fruits and veggies then... 
#2. Peel and cut up your fruit the day before. 
#3. Microwave steaming is my new best friend. If you have opinions on microwaves then steam everything on the stove top (I still boil my sweet potatoes on the stove top). But microwave steaming (glass blow with about an inch of water!) saves a lot of time. 
#4. Have a system. Mine is having everything prepped first then work on one recipe at a time. While I am filling the containers with one recipe I start on the next one. 

Also, I do not have a baby bullet or any special puree device. I use my food processor and I'm sure a blender would be just fine. I rinse it out after every recipe. I also just bought these SQUEEZEMS which are reusable squeeze pouches and they are amazing! I love them and I will probably be getting more. I got mine at Babies R Us and they gave me the sale online price (SCORE!) 
Making your own baby food CAN be easy and cost effective and efficient. You just have to find your groove. Also, Charlotte LOVES these food combos I made for her. She wasn't so sure about spinach and broccoli at first but now she loves it. She hasn't turned down anything we have given her (so far!). 
Here are some of my favorite recipes.
Please note I only made *6 of these recipes this time around. If you would like to eliminate some of these recipes just eliminate the ingredients from the "grocery list".
*Blueberry Peach Oatmeal
*Strawberry Banana Oatmeal
*Mango apple Carrot
*Carrot pea pear
*Sweet potato (you can also make cinnamon apple sweet potato! 1/2 tbsp cinnamon and an extra apple) 
*Zucchini banana blueberry
Spinach apple pear
Broccoli apple 
Pea pear 
Butternut squash

To make all these (the way I did) you will need: 
-2 bags frozen blueberries
-1 bag frozen peaches
-1 bag frozen strawberries
-2 bananas
-1 bag frozen mango
-3 apples
-2 bags frozen carrots
-2 bags frozen peas
-3 pears 
-2 large sweet potatoes
-2 large zucchini's
-1 bag frozen spinach
-1 bag frozen broccoli
-1 bag pealed and cubed butternut squash (this is usually over by the lettuce at my grocery store) 

To make: (It's really easy to do but here are some tips)

Peel and dice up your apples, pears, zucchini and sweet potatoes first 

Boil your sweet potatoes until tender. Usually about 10 minutes after the water is boiling. Drain, and pulse in food processor until smooth. 

Make the oatmeal according to package directions (I usually do about 2 cups and split it in half to do 2 recipes). Then steam your fruits after. 

All fruits and veggies need to be steamed except bananas. You will need 1 package or 1 of each fruit (except you will need 2 zucchinis and 2 sweet potatoes) for each recipe. What I do is start by boiling my potatoes, then I steam ALL The apples and ALL the pears. Then I divide them up into how many recipes I have that contain each. After, I just start my way at the top (of my reipce list) and steam all that I need  in a glass bowl, add it to my food processor until smooth and divide them into containers. A few of my friends freeze their portions in ice cube trays and then put them in ziplocs afterwards so they can take out a serving at a time. Devin got me some more snapware so that is what I use (along with the squeezems) and it is working out well! Charlotte is starting to eat more so we will see how long this new batch lasts. Good luck! Hope this made sense! Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have. (If any of my local friends wants to come and do this with me let me know! I probably won't need to do it again until next month). 

Monday, January 6, 2014

First Day of School GIVEAWAY!

Since it's my first day of school in a looong time I decided to do a giveaway! Yipee! 
Wish me luck, I am super nervous. 
Anyway about this giveaway...
It's for one of my sequin hangers!
If you wanted one but didn't snag one here is your chance to get one for free!
You can chose the color from:
-Green
-Silver
-Purple
-Iridescent Pink
-White 
-Black 



These are the colors I have that are ready to ship! If you would like to order another color (turquoise, gold, red or hot pink) they are $15 shipped. Please email me at thezufeltsblog@gmail.com and I will send you an invoice! 
Please note if you would like to order multiple hangers in the same color I can definitely do that as well... just email me and we can discuss the details. 
I am using mine today to hang my "back to school" clothes on ;-) 
What do you have to do to enter? 
EASY!
Are you already following "My Life as Whitney"? Boom. You have one entry!
For extra entries follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Share this post on Facebook and Instagram too! 
Easy peasy.
Giveaway will run for 1 week!
Winner will be contacted individually by email. 
Thanks for reading guys- you really are the best! 
(Here is my own personal gold hanger with one of my favorite Shabby Apple dresses ready for me to wear to church ;-) I have to admit... the gold is my favorite right now) 





a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Mommy Guilt


On Christmas Eve's Eve it totally hit me... I have so little time left with my sweet baby girl where I just have to worry about taking care of her during the day. 3 days from today, I start school. I told Devin this is my "last full week" where it's just me and her. It might sound silly but it feels like the end of an "era" to me. The end of the "new mommy and new baby" era. I definitely feel mommy guilt. A LOT of mommy guilt. Mostly because I am partly EXCITED to be going back to school (and also terrified). But I am also SO SAD to be leaving my girl for a few hours a day. She is my little buddy! It's been just her and me for so long and now I am putting my trust in someone else to watch over her.  All too often I feel like I am being judged for going back to school. 
Don't you WANT to stay home with Charlotte all the time? 
Can't you guys AFFORD for you to stay home with Charlotte? 
WHY would you want to go back to school if you already have a degree?
Being a stay at home mom is THE BEST thing in the world! WHY would you want to do anything else?
Don't you feel like your relationship with your daughter will suffer with you being gone so much?
Let me address these questions in the most frank way I can (and I'm sorry if it offends you but it's how I feel). 
#1.YES I DO want to stay at home with Charlotte MOST of the time (99% of the time). There are days when I RELISH in the fact that I GET to stay at home and be with my babe. There are days when I totally rock the "mom and wife" thing. My house gets clean, my baby has been an angel, I got in a good workout, Lucy has been on a walk and dinner is made when hubby walks through the door. BUT there are also the days where I am dying for a break. Especially now that she is teething she has become a little chomping cute monster. But I still feel like I need to do something ELSE... something that breaks up the monotony of diapers and feedings and house cleaning. Yes, motherhood and being a wife IS meaningful and they both bring me so much joy however the things I wanted before I became a mother and wife are still a part of me and who I am. My dream of becoming a doctor downshifted into a dream of becoming a nurse. This is hard for me to explain to people who don't understand why on earth I would want to do anything besides be a wife and a mother and if you don't understand this part of me IT'S OK! A lot of prayer and thought and discussion and more prayer have gone into this decision.
#2. Yes, we can afford for me to stay at home. But money is very tight these days without me working and it is going to be even more tight these next few years while I go to nursing school. We have been very blessed that I have been able to stay at home with C these past 7 1/2 months. 
#3. When we moved here we realized how difficult it was for me to find a job with my current degree and with Devin in the military I NEED something that A) will follow me wherever we move and B) would allow me to support me and Charlotte if something were to ever happen to Devin. I could not do that with the jobs I had before. 
#4. Being a mother is extremely rewarding in ways that I could never have imagined and Charlotte is the most wonderful gift we have ever received. BUT I am a firm believer in education AND more importantly education for women. I believe I am setting a great example for my daughter (just like my mom did for me!) And I believe that the knowledge I will gain from going to nursing school will help me be a BETTER mother and caretaker for my family. 
#5. No. My relationship with my daughter NOR my husband for that matter will suffer on the whole. Yes, it may suffer during finals week or when I start clinicals, but I get 2 weeks off after every quarter where I can recharge and just spend time with my little family. For that, I am grateful. My mother ALWAYS worked 2 jobs when I was growing up and my mom and I are super close and she is my best friend. I was in daycare a lot growing up and I never felt like anyone besides my mom was raising me.

To each their own. Staying at home or working is a very personal decision for every family. Growing up, I didn't have the stay at home mom like a lot of my friends did. I had the mom who worked her bootay off all the time. That's the example that I had so I always assumed I would work too. When C came it did not feel like the right thing to do. Now that she is older, it's time to do this.
It's hard to explain but when she was 4 weeks old I sort of applied on a whim. When I got called in for an interview I thought, "SERIOUSLY!?" When I went in for my entrance exam I didn't feel like I had studied enough. I remember praying and thinking, "Ok Heavenly Father, if I am supposed to do this please let me feel like this is right." And I passed with flying colors, and things have just worked out. Yes, I KNOW this is going to be hard but I definitely feel like it's going to be worth it.
I know that I will always have mommy guilt for the things I feel I am doing wrong, but I don't think going to school is one of them.