Baby Girl Nursery Tour

Decorating the nursery is one of the best parts about being pregnant!

Nursery-4

As soon as we found out that we were having a girl, the nursery decorating began. John and I aren’t the type of people that wait for anything and let me just say that I love decorating and planning and organizing so this was right up my alley. One weekend when I was about 14 weeks, my mom came over and we got to work! She was such a huge help and did everything from painting the gold shelf brackets to hanging art and helping to organize the closet. As the weeks went by, John and I collected little things here and there to make the room even more special and we even picked up some favorite nursery items while we were in Paris a few months ago.

From the beginning, I wanted the colors to be coral, navy and gold so I put together a moodboard, ordered some of the big items in advance and the smaller decor online from independent designers on Etsy and baby boutiques. The theme for baby’s nursery is “Be Daring My Darling”. We want our little girl to be adventurous, to grow, learn, be brave, and daring. The rocketship art print was one of the pieces that we wanted to highlight in her nursery along with the incredible hot air balloon mobile. Here’s the moodboard I made to use as inspiration.

nursery-moodboard

 

Now let’s take a tour!

When you walk into the nursery, you are greeted with a large navy area rug and coral curtains. The big gray chair is for rocking baby, nursing and reading. Luckily, we found another small chair that matched perfectly so that we can both spend time in the nursery with baby.

Nursery-9

The white tree decal was the perfect addition to the latte colored walls. Mom and I had a heck of a time trying to get the tree on the wall but after we got it completed, it sure was perfect hanging over the crib like that.

Nursery-6

This hot air balloon mobile is by far, the coolest mobile I’ve ever seen. It was beautifully crafted with tiny buttons, pearls and ribbon. The artist even used a 3D printer to make the baskets! This is one piece that will be moving along with our little girl to her next couple bedrooms.Nursery-38Nursery-5Nursery-36Nursery-40Nursery-2

Nursery-34

This little Princess music box was a gift from my dad when I was a little girl.Nursery-31

I stocked up on bows and headbands because you really can’t have too many little baby bows.Nursery-32

Even more headbands and bows. The little bear on the right was a gift for baby that John and I picked up while we were shopping around the streets of Paris.

Nursery-30Nursery-54Nursery-51Nursery-53

My dad picked up this old wooden horse for baby’s nursery. I think it’s beautiful and can’t wait to watch her play with it when she gets a little older.Nursery-50

A few books I’ve been reading to prepare for baby.Nursery-56

Along with her nursery, I also cleaned out and organized her closet. This girl already has a TON of clothes and we haven’t even gone to the baby showers.

Nursery-27Nursery-26Nursery-28NurseryNursery-47

If you’re interested in any of the pieces in my nursery, here’s where you can find them:

…And Baby Makes Three

train-bump

For those of you who don’t know, I’m pregnant!

My husband and I are so excited and will be welcoming our new little addition on December 1st. And yes, we know the gender; it’s a girl!

Keeping something like this a secret is hard work! I found myself telling complete strangers because I just couldn’t stand it any longer. We found out in March and just made it “Facebook Official” in July (when I was 18 weeks). Since I didn’t know anything about pregnancy before I actually got pregnant, I’ll fill you in. The doctor will set your due date around 40 weeks from the first day of your last period. Every stage seems like it’s the longest and weirdest part and then another stage comes along and I find that it’s even weirder. For starters: the Two Week Wait (TWW) ugh, how agonizing! And then you find out and you’re so excited and poof! You feel like you’ve literally gained 20lbs overnight from being bloated. Then the smells, oh the awful smells!  Next up… nausea and if you’re lucky, full on morning sickness followed by a lovely 6 week stretch of pure exhaustion. I’m talking, falling asleep while doing… anything at all and no explanation for 6 hour naps, as often as you’re allowed. Of course, you can’t forget the extreme hormonal spells which leave you laughing and crying in the same five minutes. At least that’s how it was for me. Oh, First Trimester… I don’t miss you one bit.

Next, I moved on to bigger and better things… Second Trimester. My bump started to show around 18 weeks and it was in full swing at 23. You see, before the bump, I had to wear “flowy” clothes, hiding all of my new ‘I-ate-one-too-many-burrito’ pounds and feeling generally lazy, tired and bummed out all the time. I was expecting something a little different. I thought my bump would be on display from the get-go and I’d be parading around feeling beautiful like all of the other bumps bouncing around town. Not even close. It only lasted a few weeks though and now, I’m happy to sport my bump! The rest of my body, on the other hand, was not used to all of the added weight at first. By the end of the day, my feet were puffy, my back absolutely had it and it was impossible to get comfortable through the night. A look on the bright side: I AM GROWING A HUMAN IN MY BODY. This post seems to be all about the physical changes to my body so far, but let me tell you, the emotional changes are beautiful and all of the crazy symptoms are completely worth it. I wake up every morning smiling about the little joy that will be joining our family soon. I think about her all day, while I’m working and I wish so many great things for her life. I dream about my little girl all night long. I have dreams about breastfeeding and changing her and one night, I had a dream about my belly button popping out in slow motion, which led me to Googling “Does it hurt when your belly button pops out during pregnancy?” I also dream about the actual birthing experience a lot and I have a feeling these dreams will only get stronger as we get closer to the due date.

After I hit my Second Trimester, I was so happy to be enjoying healthy food again. During the first trimester, everything made me queasy. Specifically: chicken, coffee, eggs, and cooking oils. While I usually LOVE the smell of coffee in the morning, for about 12 weeks I couldn’t stand it. Even the thought of raw chicken or eggs made my stomach flip flop and don’t even get me started on heating up coconut oil and olive oil for cooking. I was more interested in anything with bread, cheese and red sauce. I found myself craving spaghetti, lasagna, pizza and garlic bread with marinara every night. And strangely, pork bbq and mustard were on my list of cravings in the beginning too.

And then just like a switch, Second Trimester hit and I was back to my old diet with lots of veggies, lean meats and fresh juice. I also got my energy back and I could workout again! Barre classes and running were not quite the same as they used to be, but I still workout every single day and feel great! I’ve gotten really into prenatal yoga and tried a few different studios around Columbus. My favorite class so far is at Balanced Yoga. I love the metaphors used in class, the strength, flexibility, balance, relaxation. But my favorite part about prenatal yoga is the time spent with baby.

The most exciting stage so far has been movement! At 20 weeks, I started feeling flutters every day and now she has a routine of swimming around at the same times every day: 7am, 10am, 2pm, 7pm, 10pm. Right when I lay down for bed, she gets really active and gives me some good kicks that we can actually see. Feeling her in there moving around makes everything so real and I absolutely love it! I’m really starting to bond with her. I have been reading aloud to her at night and writing in a journal that I hope to give her when she gets older. John and I have always wanted a big family and we are so thrilled to become parents. EEEE!! I can’t wait to meet our daughter.

Here are some fun pictures of the experience so far! 🙂

My how she’s grown already!

2-24weeks-final

The day before we found out, we were cuddling on the couch with the quilt that Nan made for us for the wedding. We went to the doctor for our 9 week ultrasound and got to hear her heartbeat and take home a picture of our little lima bean! At that point, we didn’t know the gender yet and although she was only the size of a pecan, her kidney, liver and brain were already starting to function on their own. Through this whole process, Jaxson has been saying, “Don’t forget about me guys!”.

found-out

One of the first things we wanted to do was get a bigger vehicle so that Jaxson wasn’t slobbering all over the baby in the backseat of our Jeep Compass. We spent several weekends test driving SUVs to see what would be the perfect fit and after a lot of searching, we thought a 4Runner would be the best option. It’s the only vehicle that has a window in the cargo that rolls completely down so Jaxson is now a happy hundred pound pup and we don’t have hair and slobber all over our back seat: Win-Win!

newtruck

Around 10 weeks, we flew to New York City for our dear friend’s wedding. Let’s just say flying in the first trimester is not pretty. I was searching all over the airport for salty crackers so that I wouldn’t get nauseous. We got in a day early and did a little shopping in Flatiron District and even took a long bike ride through Central Park. The wedding was beautiful! I was a little bummed I couldn’t indulge in the amazing-looking cocktails but John asked the bartender to make me a mocktail that looked like the fancy drinks everyone else had, since we weren’t telling anyone our secret yet.

NYC

Some of my favorite days are the ones when we go shopping at Book Loft for kids books to build her library. We’ve already started reading her some of our favorites so she’ll be familiar with them when she is born. The ultrasound below is from our 20 week anatomy scan appointment. It was so amazing to see all of her little body parts and organs inside her body. The technician showed us around the womb explaining in detail what we were looking at and she said everything looked perfect. I continued going to my Barre3 classes until I was about 22 weeks. By that point, it was getting a little harder to keep my balance on my toes and I couldn’t keep up with core work so I’ve since switched to cardio at the gym and so much prenatal yoga. I must say that I will be excited to get back in the studio for Barre3 classes after the baby because I miss seeing all of my girlfriends. There are a few other things I have continued to do that have helped me feel beautiful during this time of change… Weekly blowouts at The Blowout Bar, bi-weekly prenatal massages at Open Sky Day Spa and almost daily smoothies and juice at Zest.

collage

John has spent countless hours researching baby must-haves like cribs, car seats and strollers (pictured below) and I’ve been putting in plenty of hours reading about parenting techniques and listening to mommy podcasts. We are a little crazy when it comes to organizing and planning ahead so of course, her nursery is already put together and ready to go. I’ll be sharing a nursery tour post soon.

stroller-book

Around 18 weeks, we took baby on quite an adventure! My brother, dad, John and I all traveled to Europe for 10 days. We spent half the time in Paris, France and took a train to Zurich, Switzerland for the other half. Second trimester is supposed to be the best time to travel so I thought I was in the clear. Little did I know that this little bump would cause me such motion sickness. From plane to train to bus to cable car, I was nauseated for most of the trip and the 100 degree weather with no air conditioning (in Zurich) was not helping but I tried to keep it together because, HOW AMAZING that I got to travel through Europe with the top 3 men in my life?!?

I’ll be posting a lot more photos from the trip but here is one of us being so hot in Lucerne, Switzerland and trying to play it off cool.

zurich-heat

While we were in Paris we wanted to share our news with everyone so we found the perfect little pink onesie with macrons in the shape of the Eiffel Tower (so fitting) and had my brother take a picture of us on our favorite street in Paris called Rue Cler. When we took our engagement trip two years before, we stayed in a flat just a few short blocks away from this street and every day, we would walk down to get our groceries at the market, our fresh baguette from the bakery and marvelous desserts from Aux Merveilleux de Fred. We lived like Parisians and said that we would someday be back when I was pregnant. We really didn’t imagine it would be just two years later but there we were, sharing our love of culture, romanticism and travel with our little girl.

paris-baby

Whole30 Meal Planning and Prep

whole30-planning

In my previous post, I gave my Whole30 story and the positive effects from reading the book and following the program strictly for 30 days. The next 30 days, I hope to continue as closely as I can with the program. I’ve gotten a few emails asking for Whole30 meal planning tips and some of my favorite recipes. There are a million blogs out there devoted to Whole30 and Paleo and I get everything from these amazing bloggers. Everyone has their own plans and favorite foods but I’ll give you my routine as an example.

My top 5 must-haves in the kitchen:

whole30-kitchen-tools

1. Cuisinart Food Processor – We have a 14-Cup but any size will do. You’ll need this for everything from making homemade mayonnaise to plantain tostadas.

2. Vegetable Spiralizer – This is an amazing little tool for only $20-35. You can make zucchini noodles (zoodles, as the bloggers say) or sweet potato noodles or even apple chips.

3. Avocado Slicer – Who else hates ruining the only ripe avocado you can find? This bad boy gives you a perfectly cut avo every time. It’s only $10 and worth it.

4. Potato French Fry Cutter – So, let’s be honest, this thing is kind of annoying because when I try to use it with sweet potatoes it gets all jammed up. However, I think it’s very useful for regular potatoes and if you can get some smaller sweets, it should work fine too.

5. Egg Poacher – Eggs eggs eggs. You will be eating so many eggs that you’ll need to get creative. This is when the poacher comes in handy. Try something new! It’s only $20.


Weekly Meal Planning

I picked up this awesome Meal Planning Notepad and the best part is, that it has a magnet! So I can stick it to the fridge to keep the “What are we having for…?” questions to a minimum.

On Saturday, I spend about 1-hour looking through recipes online and writing all of the meals that we have planned for the week. I use the first line on the sheet for breakfast and the second line for dinner. Lunches are usually just leftovers, salads or lettuce wraps so I don’t usually write what we’ll have for all of those. Then I look through the recipes, write a list of ingredients needed for each recipe and nothing else and then I hit the grocery store. Since there is no snacking or off-course meals, it is usually a quick grocery trip and a little pricey. (But remember, you’re not going out boozing so you’re actually saving money!)

My weekly meal plan usually looks something like this:


Meal Prep

Now that all of the groceries are put away and my weekly list is made, I enjoy my Saturday. On Sunday, I spend about two hours doing meal prep for the week. That will usually include the following:

  1. Make Homemade Mayo – I love this mayonnaise and will continue to make it instead of store-bought mayo, any day!
  2. Make Sunshine Sauce – This will be used for the Paleo Pad Thai but it’s also nice to have on hand as a meat/seafood dip.
  3. Roast 4-6 sweet potatoes – Pop them in the over at 400F for an hour and then stick in fridge for quick and easy breakfasts.
  4. Boil Chicken – Stick in pot of boiling water for 10 min or so and then dice and put in a container for easy chicken salad or top on a salad for lunch through the week
  5. Pork Roast in a Crockpot – This is awesome to have on hand through the week for a quick dinner with sides or to throw on top of the sweet potato in the morning
  6. Chocolate Chili – Another delicious recipe to make on Sunday and then have as an easy lunch or dinner through the week

After a few hours in the kitchen on the weekend, your weekday meals will take much less time.

If you decide to hop on the Whole30 train, let me know! I’m always up for swapping recipes.

Happy Prepping!
Janine Renee

Let’s Catch Up

Hey there! You look familiar.

Wow! I can’t believe it’s been 16 months since my last blog post. The post where I sang about getting engaged in Paris and all of the magic of the City of Light. Since then, so much has changed.

Let’s catch up in photos…

John and I moved to a little house in Upper Arlington just two blocks from Whole Foods. We built a fence and a patio so we spent all spring & summer outside. Breakfast on the grill is now my new favorite thing.

IMG_5133Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 presetIMG_6836


I was off the grid for a while pitching NextChapter from New York to San Francisco. Six months of layovers, flight cancellations, early morning meetings, bad airport food, big scary pitches in large VC firms, dodging into the closest Starbucks for a quick phone charge/email check between meetings and interview after interview for accelerators. More on all of that in future posts.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetnyProcessed with VSCOcam with 10 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 preset


I became Director of Production for a few large scale website projects for John’s company, Postali. I formed a group of talented models and actors, and combined them with a killer production team to create amazing photos and videos for law firm websites, which have since won awards in the legal category for Best Website and Outstanding Website.

IMG_6047


My little nephew, Weston, turned one and I was there to celebrate at his birthday party!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset


My company, NextChapter exhibited for the first time at a startup conference in Las Vegas called Collision Conference. Out of thousands that applied across the entire world, we were one of 150 startups selected. It was a great experience and I even have fancy NextChapter branded Moleskines now!

IMG_6453Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 preset


 

John and I got new cameras and took a photo trip to Portland, Maine. The views were spectacular, weather was perfect and the lobster rolls… unreal. We even spent one evening in sailboat wine school!

IMG_1500_MG_1656IMG_7498IMG_7487IMG_1560


Dress shopping, wedding planning and trips to the venue were consuming a lot of our weekends but all totally worth it! John and I wanted our wedding to be very personal so every detail mattered. More on that in coming posts.

babies christmas & janines dress 084babies christmas & janines dress 047IMG_4923

My mom, John’s mom and our aunts put together a spectacular bridal brunch for me, right in my own back yard!

IMG_1325IMG_1323IMG_1358IMG_1379


And then the day came – October 17th, 2014. Our magical wedding.


Followed by an incredible honeymoon in Maldives.

Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 presetIMG_9151IMG_9011


We celebrated the holidays with all of our family as husband and wife for the first time! My brother and his family came to town for the whole week from Las Vegas and we surprised my mom and dad with their arrival. John and I got to see the joy on all of our nieces and nephews faces when they opened their presents.

_MG_2897_MG_3025themus


Of course, I’ve been practicing mindfulness, yoga, Barre3, journaling, making fresh juice and reading a lot to keep my emotions in check!

IMG_9068IMG_7718IMG_7093IMG_7096


The new year started with a new challenge – Whole30! After all of the celebrations last year with the wedding, honeymoon and holidays, it was time to take a break from indulging and kickstart my healthy eating habits once more. We started on January 5th and since then, I feel like I’ve gained an extra day per week in energy and productivity. We’ve been making things like zucchini pad thai and plantain tostados and even making our own homemade mayo.

whole30-2Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset


Now that we’ve covered all of that….

What’s to come in the new year? A lot of boss. 2014 was full of planning: wedding planning, honeymoon planning, NextChapter planning, vacation planning, new home planning. It was a year of changes and discovering faults and weaknesses. It was a year of love and family. It was an amazing year and it’s going to be pretty hard to top.

2015 is the year of boss.
It’s the year of growth.
It’s the year to take action!

IMG_9490


What can you expect with this blog?

I’ve been writing almost every day for the past couple years but haven’t published anything online. It’s time to share. I typically blog about everything from wedding planning tips to coding basics. A few other post ideas I have scheduled:

  • Actionable business tips for first time founders
  • Stories of pitching my startup as a solo female founder in a male dominated industry
  • Personal wellness techniques & practicing mindfulness
  • Startup marketing tips and tools
  • Reading lists
  • Travel hacking tips
  • Legal tech startup news [because I love legal tech]
  • Inspiring women you should follow
  • Updates from my first year of marriage

What do you want to see me blog about this year?
Leave a comment and let me know!
It’s good to be back.

Xo,
Janine Renee (Sickmeyer) <– Whoa! Check out that new last name.

Yoga + Meditation Videos

Everyone faces stress and anxiety in their own way. I have always been one to take a holistic approach and in doing so, I’ve learned a lot about my personality, my mind and my emotions. Yoga and meditation have been a huge help in this discovery. Here are a few videos that I have included in my weekly routine of becoming free.

Morning Yoga: 15 minutes to wake up for a beautiful day

This is a great to start your morning. It only takes 15 minutes and it will warm up your muscles and your mind in preparation for a wonderful day.

Yoga Flow: 50 Minutes

Since this video is a bit longer, I enjoy using it for evening yoga sessions at home or if I need a break in the middle of a long work day.

Yoga Cardio Burn Workout with Denise Austin

Sometimes you need to work your yoga in with a little cardio. In this case, Denise Austin offers a great way to include both yoga and full cardio burn.
Jillian Michaels finds a way to push you to the edge in her videos. In this yoga meltdown video, she incorporates very difficult moves with cardio to keep you sweating to the end.


Guided Meditation: Blissful Deep Relaxation 

When I have trouble getting to sleep, I like to use a guided meditation video such as this to help calm my mind and thoughts.

Relief from Anxiety: A Guided Visualization 

In this guided visualization, they find a way to melt your worries and take you on a journey to peaceful relaxation.