Tuesday, July 22, 2014

SwimZip Giveaway!

If you haven't yet heard of SwimZip, head over to my feature + review post to learn a little more, and then come on back to enter this awesome giveaway!

Betsy at SwimZip is generously offering 1 reader of Breaking New Ground a $20 SwimZip gift card! 

This will be one of the quickest and easiest giveaways you've ever entered, so no excuses! Get clicking on the entry form below and I'll announce a winner next week!

This contest begins Tuesday July 22nd and is open until midnight Monday July 28th. A winner will be chosen at random by Rafflecopter. The winner will be announced here and notified by email at the address associated with their Rafflecopter entries. The winner will have 48 hours to reply to the email to claim their prize or an alternate will be chose.

Interested in seeing your product featured here, see the PR + Disclosures tab and contact Breaking New Ground by email to be considered. Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with, Facebook.  Click for additional disclosures and PR policies.

Questions, concerns, comments unrelated to the nature of this giveaway can be left on other generic posts or emailed to Breaking New Ground. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Swim Zip Feature + Review

If you caught the episode of Shark Tank that I mentioned a few months back when I reviewed Freshly Picked, you'll likely remember another company that was featured that night, SwimZip. They make amazing UV protectant swimwear for the whole family and the tops all feature a zipper.

In creator, Betsy Johnson's words-

SwimZip is the UPF 50+ clothing brand people trust to keep themselves and their children sun safe. We feature our signature full zipper down the front of our rash guard shirts- they are so easy to put on and take off! Our swimsuits, swimwear, bathing suits and accessories are made with the best materials to our unmatched standards. SwimZip styles are one-of-a-kind, and we include a number of innovative design features. 

Head over to their about page for more about Betsy and how she started up SwimZip. 

SwimZip's clothing has been featured in a number of places, including the Today show. Everyone has rave reviews and I'm right there with them! Not only are their designs adorable, but the swimwear is functional.

We took his adorable set that SwimZip sent for a test run out in our backyard recently. Malakai is the ULTIMATE test of any type of clothing when it comes to comfort. He is very picky about what he will wear. Normally I can't get him in any shirts with buttons, zippers or collars. I had myself psyched up to talk him into putting on a shirt with a zipper, but he put his SwimZip top on with no hesitations and played without once complaining. I was totally shocked!

Goodness sakes, doesn't he look cute (and way too grown up) in the Surfer Dude set that SwimZip sent over?

{he has been so camera shy lately!}

I've struggled in the past with getting rash guards on my kiddos. My boys have been blessed with rather large noggins, so pulling something tight fitting over their head was always a chore. It's even worse trying to get them off when wet! When Malakai was still a baby we even had to cut the back of one of his swim shirts so we could get his head through! Zippered rash guards are genius! Malakai was able to get the shirt on and off by himself the first try!

This is a 5T set and is generously sized, but fits well. Unless he has a massive growth spurt I could see him wearing this next summer as well. Kai was able to move freely and comfortably even after the suit was wet. It didn't stick to him or become heavy after getting saturated like other suits do.

As I mentioned, after getting thoroughly drenched he was able to get the entire outfit off himself, no trouble. I wish I could say the same for Desmond. He tried to get his top off alone at first (he's in the "I'll do it myself" stage) but he could barely peel it off his belly. Once I got his arms out, we got pretty tuck at the head. It was difficult because of the tight fit, but also because it was sticking to his wet skin. It took us longer to get Desmond's rash guard off than it did for Malakai to get completely undressed and into the tub! I even tried taking photos to document my struggle with Desmond, but it was impossible to do both.

I adore SwimZip for their ease of use and the peace of mind with the UV protection they provide. I also can't get over all the adorable choices they offer. I think the Hang Ten set is perfect for Desmond and I would love to get the Ruffle Me Pretty suit for little sister next summer!

And now for the exciting news that I'm sure some of you are hoping for... Breaking New Ground will be hosting a SwimZip giveaway! Be sure to check back here next week!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Baby P #3: 32 weeks

How far along:  32 weeks

How big is baby: comparable  to a squash, 15.2-16.7 inches, 2.5-3.8lbs

What have you been up to: nesting. we completed our registry at Target save a few online items, and the nursery is s-l-o-w-l-y coming together. 
Maternity clothes: yes, and despite borrowing a ton, I don't seem to have enough of the right types of clothing for how hot it has been.  
Sleep: never enough.
Milestones: baby girl has already "dropped" she is very low and I've still got 2 months to carry her around this way, oy! 

Best Moments:  my nephew Luke was born last Thursday! Kristi + I had prenatal appointments on the same day, July 3rd, so we ended up running into each other briefly. Her husband Nick was sick so she joked that of course Luke would be born that night, and he was! I already love being Auntie Shan so much! 

Then on the 7th Ben took the day off and we celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary all day!
Worst Moment: not having the energy and the stamina to keep up with my boys has taken its toll on me. 

Food cravings:  chocolate and frozen yogurt. 
Food aversions: same as usual, nothing spicy or greasy. Even mild spice these days is inducing heartburn. 
Symptoms: growing pains, tons of braxton hicks and near constant heartburn.  

Movement: quite a lot these days. It seems like she has really started getting more wiggly during the day. 
Gender: little sister!
What I’m looking forward to: getting our glider and completing the nursery.
What I’m nervous about/praying for: being able to juggle 3 children once sister is born. Just thinking about it is a little overwhelming. I'm praying for peace over that on a regular basis.

What I miss: breathing in deeply. little one is crowding my lungs and I'm still struggling with a sinus infection. 

Next appointment: I have 2 more PT appointments. I see Dr. M, my OB again in 2 weeks. 

Weekly Wisdom: pray more. I find myself worrying, or stressing and my first inclination is to vent to my husband instead of taking it to God in prayer. 

{PS check back here soon for a post featuring SwimZip!}

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

a shower for our baby girl...

Weekend before last a dear friend of mine threw a baby shower in honor of little sister's approaching arrival. I've been looking forward to Liz coordinating a shower for me since she offered back when Desmond was still a baby! She is incredibly talented in myriad ways, and throwing a party is surely one of them!

She also happens to be an artist {you may remember her from the Big Dandy Designs feature} and designed these gorgeous invites- the photo does not do them justice!

{I'm obsessed with this watercolored peony she did!}

Another wonderful friend, Amy (who has also been featured here!), offered to take care of the food for the day. Amy is also one talented lady, and she happens to be a chef so I knew I would be in good hands. She was so sweet to ask what I would want and asked again closer to the shower to cater to my current cravings. She even drove me to the shower, since she happens to be my neighbor. When we pulled up to Bramblefield and saw all the girly coral decorations in the garden she said "you're having a girl, I'm going to cry!" and I found myself feeling the same way. 

Everything was gorgeous and perfect. The weather was a bit hot but the wind helped with that and we made sure there was shade for those who really needed it. There was a ton of great food (thanks again Amy!), a gorgeous and delicious cake thanks to my mom, yummy drinks and pretty decor by Liz. Liz also put together games and a craft. Thanks also to Elly, Liz's daughter, for helping with preparations!

{Liz made the the wooden arrow art for our nursery!}

I can't get over how perfect this ruffled cake is, my mom is amazing! To the right are some family pictures. My sister Amanda + mom Tami at the top, my mother in law and my mom in the middle, and my sister in law Kristi, mother in law Debbie , and soon to be sister in law Vanessa at the bottom. Thanks to my mom and my sister in law, Kristi for taking photos!

I helped a bit with food before guests arrived and then went out to greet once they started to trickle in. After visiting some we started in on the wonderful food and I was able to catch up with friends and family who came from near and far. I was just so blessed to have so many women I love in the same place to celebrate baby girl with me!

The guests crafted hair accessories for little sister that I later voted on for a prize, they played bingo while I opened their numerous, adorable, and generous gifts, and a few other games after that. Liz had put together fantastic potted plants as decor + prizes. I even got to take one home!

Here I am with my amazing hostess friends, Liz + Amy...

{also, opening a darling dress my mom made and other gifts, and my great aunt Gladys measuring my belly as part of a game...you know, every pregnant gal's favorite part!}

{Ben's mom made this beautiful bear quilt to match the nursery colors}

I'm glad that I had two people taking pictures and they helped me remember to take the time out to get photos with as many guests as possible. I wish I got a picture with everyone! There were 5 pregnant ladies in attendance including myself, so I had to get a picture with all the mama's and their baby bumps...as well as with other gals of course.

{Left: friends from church, Asha and Monica; my sister in law, Kristi; my high school bestie, Lindsey + I. Right: My college roommate, Carina; my cousin Angela + her girls, and Lindsey + I again}

{Ben's grandma Helen + his mom Debbie, his aunt Lori, cousin Heather + her baby boy Otis}

{my mom + I with the cake, my aunt Deedee, and with my Grandma Rhea + mom}

I wished I could have visited more with everyone, things like this always go by in a blur like that. I'm extremely thankful to everyone who came and the wonderful gifts for our new addition. As things were wrapping up Ben + the boys came to say hello and pick me up of course. Once everything was cleared Liz + her husband Mark (who I also should thank for his hard work because their property is ALWAYS gorgeous!) turned on the sprinklers for the boys to run through. They had a blast and Liz + my mom even joined them. It was a delightful end to a fantastic day! 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Baby P #3: 29-ish weeks

{just before my shower on Sunday, more on that to come!}

How far along:  29 weeks, 4 days

How big is baby: this week's food is an acorn squash, 15.2 -16.7 inches, 2.5-3.8lbs

What have you been up to: sorting through and finding places for all our amazing gifts from the shower that was thrown for us this past weekend. 
Maternity clothes: yes, I've already grown out of some!

Sleep: decent.
Milestones: nothing too notable related to baby's growth. 

Best Moment:  I have to say the baby shower, it was wonderful! I will post all the details as soon as I can. 
Worst Moment: back pains were not so great last week, but they've been better this week. I'll soon be rocking a very fashionable support belt due to my PT's recommendation. 

Food cravings:  quiche. I've been wanting it for so long and finally got some this weekend!
Food aversions: same as usual, nothing spicy or greasy. 
Symptoms: near constant heartburn again, back aches, and some leg cramps. 

Movement: little feet in my ribs every time I sit. She also has started wedging herself into my hip area on occasion and it's VERY uncomfortable. Today Malakai saw my belly ripple with movements from across the room, he was surprised and thrilled.
Gender: girl!
What I’m looking forward to: setting up the nursery.

What I’m nervous about/praying for: for my back pain to resolve or at least be more manageable over the next 4 weeks that I have left of PT. 

What I miss: being able to bend down or sit on the floor without struggling, being able to talk without losing my breath. 

Next appointment: beginning of next month.

Weekly Wisdom: Let yourself be pampered at your shower. I'm such a "doer" that the gals hosting had to keep telling me no when I tried to help set up or clean up. I couldn't help but want to be useful!
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