Thursday, March 30, 2017

Guys Behind The Blog - March

Hi friends! Happy spring! It's Guys Behind the Blog day today!

Sadly this will be my last month hosting the link-up. While I have loved it to bits, things in life are getting busier and busier. I am now officially in my third trimester (!) and once Baby comes, that will be my #1 priority. So I am leaving the hosting duties to my very capable and gorgeous co-hosts. I definitely plan on linking up from time to time because this is one of my favourite posts!

But now I'm turning the mic over to Mike. Here are his answers to some fun "would you rather" questions!

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Q: Would you rather have your dream job and make less money or have a job you hate and make tons of money? 
A: Unfortunately, money talks. My dream job would probably consist of watching basketball and baseball all day. I could stay at home and do that for less money, but I'd also be unemployed. I remember when I discovered that unfortunately you probably won't enjoy your job, but you just find the positives and do what you have to do to pay the bills and live the kind of lifestyle you want outside of work. Work is nothing more than a means to an end.

Q: Would you rather play a hero or a villain in a movie?
A: I don't really enjoy being disliked unless I dislike the people who dislike me, so I'd go with being the hero. It's always more fun to be adored than it is to be hated.

Q: Would you rather always have to say what's on your mind or never be able to speak again?
A: While always having to say what's on your mind could land you in some hot water, I'd rather be transparent about who I am than to be silent and having people wonder. If I was silent all the time, I'd probably have no friends. If I said everything that was on my mind, at least the people who liked me would like me for who I truly am.

Q: Would you rather go back in time and meet your ancestors or go into the future to meet your great grandchildren?
A: I'm definitely more fascinated with the future than the past, so I'd like to go into the future to meet my great grandchildren. My ancestors didn't speak English, so that would probably be a bit of a challenge as I understand neither Greek nor Italian. I'd love to see my descendants and how they'll live their lives.

Q: Would you rather swim in the Arctic Ocean with nothing but a swim suit (no wet suit) or walk through the desert in the middle of summer having to wear sweat pants and a sweat shirt?
A: Given that I'd probably end up dying in either circumstance, I'd choose the desert. I prefer the heat to cold, and at least I have some sweet hoodies and sweats. I'd die wearing my favourite Carolina hoodie. Nobody wants any part of seeing me in a wetsuit.


BONUS:
Q: Would you rather live like a king but have no friends and family or be homeless with your friends and family?
A: What good is being a King and living like one if you have nobody to share it with? Being lonely sucks. I'd take being homeless with a ton of friends. At least I'd have somebody to share moments with and a group of people to maybe help me get out of being homeless. 

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Like I said before, this was my last episode of Guys Behind The Blog that I will be hosting. For details on next month, visit Crystal from Hall Around TexasJamie from Cocktails and Carseats, or Jessica from Secrets of a Stay at Home Mom!



Friday, March 24, 2017

2nd Blogiversary!


Guess what! Today is the 2 year anniversary of Fortunate House!

Two years ago I started blogging and haven't looked back since. I have so many more ideas for posts that I want to write. And I promise that I will get them written! This is such an exciting time in my life and I definitely want to document it.

I'm so thankful for every single person that visits this little site of mine. Please pretend that I am sending you a pretty bouquet of pink tulips to show my gratitude! I love the relationships blogging forms. It's seriously the best.

I think I will celebrate today with a cupcake or maybe a ice cream cone with sprinkles. Because it's all about the little victories!

Hooray!


Friday, March 10, 2017

C u r r e n t l y

Admittedly, most of my day to day is broadcast on Snapchat (follow me! @evelinafortuna) but that is just so brief. I thought it would be fun to go back to the olden days (lol!) of when I wrote Currently posts on the reg.
BUYING
Maternity clothes. Officially 0% of my normal pants fit and fewer and fewer tops work these days. I also can't stand sleeping in pants or shorts lately so I got this nightgown from Target. It's so soft and perfect for my big baby belly. I've been sleeping in it non-stop since the day I got it!


DOING
Work has been crazy busy lately so on the weeknights I try to relax as much as possible. I used to leave all my work thoughts at the door when 4:30 hit but now it takes me much longer to unwind. Other than that, Mike and I have started prepping the nursery for our sweet little babe. So far we have painted, cleaned the carpets, and set up the closet. I love going in there and imagine what it will look like in a couple months!



DREAMING ABOUT
In the literal sense, nothing. I haven't been dreaming while asleep very much at all which is so the opposite of before! Otherwise, I am dreaming about spring and warmer temperatures. Despite having a mild winter, I am definitely over it and ready for no-coat-weather. So much of my Instagram feed seems to hail from the southern United States and I am jealous!

DRINKING
Benefibre because, pregnancy. Attractive, I know. My apologies.

EATING
Prunes. I wish I was joking. Otherwise, I have made it a tradition to stop off at the Polish store every Friday on my way home from work. I grew up eating Polish food basically all the time and I love having it around the house. Especially the kielbasa and sweets! (Not together.)


LISTENING TO
My current favourite song is that Rhythm song by Katy Perry. I stink at remembering song names but it's her newest single. It's so good! And if I am ever driving by myself, I put on the Young House Love Has a Podcast podcast.

LOOKING FORWARD TO
Other than the obvious, I am looking forward to picking up our new car tomorrow! We pulled the trigger and bought my mama-mobile, a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Can't. Wait. I'm thinking about plunking all of my excitement into a blog post. Too much?

READING
Ha! Nothing. I was all about the pregnancy books early on but they started getting so repetitive that I stopped. I haven't even really had time to stay up to date on blog reading which makes me really sad. I guess you can say that my most frequent type of reading these days are reviews of baby products.

WATCHING
Mike is very excited that March Madness is around the corner. Basketball and the World Baseball Classic are what's on our TV most of the time lately but we also squeeze in Jeopardy, Teen Mom, and Last Man On Earth. I am also very excited that Big Brother Canada and Southern Charm are almost back!

WEARING
Anything that fits. And a coat and scarf on top. I also got this sweet floral delivery robe from Pink Blush. I love love love it!


That's all! It feels good to catch up on here. There's even more that I could chat about but I feel so repetitive talking about preggo life non-stop. So I'm going to save the rest for another day. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

How We Found Out About Baby

Well, this little baby has been growing inside of me for almost 6 months and I have yet to spill the details. It's about time that I do!

We knew we wanted to start trying for a baby in the fall. We were aiming for an early summer baby so that my teacher husband could be home with me during the first couple of months. Knowing that the time is near, I bought a bunch of pregnancy tests at the dollar store. I remember it like it was yesterday. I felt so nervous and excited to be buying these for myself. My heart was racing. At the checkout, the lady smiled and said "good luck!" In the car I cried all the happy tears from all the emotions. I couldn't believe this was about to happen!

Twenty something days later, I took the first test. I was so excited and again my heart was racing. I put the test by the window sill because I thought it would be so nice to find out in the natural light by a window while being about to see outside. I made Mike sit on the bed with me while we waited. I wanted to remember every single moment. We were about to become parents! There was a lot of hype.

Negative.

A few days later, I took another one. Negative again. And then another negative. It was now day 40 and there was no sign of my period or of a second line on the test. I thought either these tests stink or something weird is going on with my body. I'm pretty regular so something was definitely up. The tests were definitely not as exciting as the first time.

I had decided that if I don't get my period by day 42, I'm going to go to the doctor to see what was happening. I knew he would ask me the last time I took a pregnancy test so I figured it made sense to take one that morning so that I could say "Today! Look! Still nothing!" Mike was still asleep. I sleepily took the test and went on getting ready for work.

A few minutes later I picked it up and expected to see the same old lonely single pink line. Except there was something ever so faint beside it. Was it a shadow? Was it my imagination? I blinked hard to reset my eyes and stared and stared. It seemed like there was something there but was it only there because I was hoping it would be? I was scared to get excited in case I was wrong.

I woke Mike up and shoved the test in his face. He instantly said there was a second line there. I thought, how could he be so quick to see it? He was half asleep and all groggy. I asked him about a thousand times if he was sure. Each time my smile grew bigger and bigger. I wasn't imagining it! We both saw that the test was positive!! We hugged and kissed and laughed and I cried with joy.


Mike said that he knew I was pregnant even before the test. It was the very first time that we had tried to get pregnant and it was also the very first time that my period was that late. He said it was so obvious to him and he wasn't surprised to see a positive test.

It was October 4th, 2016. We went to the doctor straight after work to confirm. Yup, pregnancy confirmed! I cried in the doctor's office too.

I feel so so lucky that we were able to get pregnant so easily. I definitely expected it to take months. When people asked, I would say "We want to try for a June baby but I'm sure that won't happen so I'll be fine with whenever." I remember always being worried in the back of my mind that I won't be able to conceive or carry a child. Because you don't know until you try. And I had never tried before so I had no idea if it was possible for me. To this day, I am so very thankful that our little one came to us so quickly. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Guys Behind The Blog - February

It's Guys Behind The Blog time again! 

Valentine's Day just passed and we had a lovely day celebrating. Mike surprised me with the most gorgeous orchid and I proudly displayed on our mantle, right next to a Valentine's Day orchid from a few years ago! I make an effort to never throw out plants after they bloom because it's almost guaranteed that they will flower again! 





Anyway, this episode of GBTB is appropriately all about love and Valentine's Day. Here's what Mike had to say: 

Q: Name two things your wife has taught you
A: Evelina has taught me how to see a world outside of my small, North American bubble. Because of Evelina being from Poland, I've been introduced to a new culture and have travelled to Europe and have seen what life is like outside of Canada and the United States. She's also taught me how to live and share things with another person. While I wasn't an only child, my brother and I had fairly similar interests. We were pretty accustomed to getting whatever we wanted when we wanted it. Even if it's something like making dinner together, sharing the remote, or finding things to do on a trip that don't involve sports or shopping, living with Evelina has taught me to become more compromising. 

Q: What was your favourite part of your wedding day?
A: My favourite part of our wedding day was seeing Evelina walk down the aisle looking lovely in her dress. Aside from that though, my favourite part was when the reception finally ended and we had a chance to unwind. We got married on the hottest day of the year and wearing 4 layers (undershirt, dress shirt, vest, jacket) was incredibly uncomfortable. I remember it hitting me after we sat in the hotel room afterwards that in only a day we were going on our honeymoon to Mexico. Among all the craziness of getting married, I had completely forgotten about our honeymoon.

Q: Valentine's Day is usually more about the girl. But what is something YOU would like to receive onValentine's Day?
A: I'm pretty simple. I really don't need anything on Valentine's Day. I don't even ask for anything for Christmas or my birthday. If I want something, I'm likely to just go out and get it myself. Something small like surprising me with a pizza for dinner would pretty much make my Valentine's Day.

Q: What was the best date you and your wife had?
A: One of my favourite nights out with Evelina was a couple years ago on our trip to New York. It was our last night in the city and we went out for dinner and then found a trivia night in town. Early on, we realized that the trivia questions were the exact same as the ones we had at our trivia night the previous day. We thought we were going to win for sure so we ordered a bunch of food and drinks as the grand prize was something like $50 off of your tab. After about the third round the questions changed completely. And because it was Christmas themed, we had no idea who sang some of the Christmas songs they played or the names of some of the Christmas specials they wanted us to know. We tanked. Badly. But we were in good spirits after all of our drinks, so after trivia we walked around Manhattan trying to find as many pizza places as we could before calling it a night.

Q: If money was no option and you could go anywhere in the world with just your spouse, where would you go and what would you do?
A: My favourite place in the world is Chapel Hill, but we go there all the time so I'm not going to choose that here. I really enjoyed our honeymoon. We went to Los Cabos and the food was incredible and it was a smallish, quiet resort. The weather was incredible and it was so relaxing. Given how stressful work life and maintaining a home can be, I'd love to have another opportunity to take a trip like that.

BONUS:
Q: Valentine's Day - Hallmark holiday or real holiday?
A: Valentine's Day is definitely a Hallmark holiday. Any holiday that doesn't give you the day off of work is not a real holiday.


Q: What is your favourite romantic comedy movie?
A: I'm going to take a page out of my high school playbook where every time I had to do a presentation I showed a relevant clip from my favourite movie Office Space. Trust me, I made it work for everything. My favourite romantic comedy is Office Space! Even though it's not the central point of the movie, the main character (Peter) ends up falling for the waitress (Joanna, played by Jennifer Aniston) at his favourite restaurant and the movie touches on their relationship and thus I'm calling it a romantic comedy for the sake of this question. 

___________________________

Next month's link up will go live on March 30th. So join us then with the following questions for your guy:
  1. Would you rather have your dream job and make less money or have a job you hate and make tons of money? 
  2. Would you rather play a hero or a villain in a movie?
  3. Would you rather always have to say what's on your mind or never be able to speak again?
  4. Would you rather go back in time and meet your ancestors or go into the future to meet your great grandchildren?
  5. Would you rather swim in the Arctic Ocean with nothing but a swim suit (no wet suit) or walk through the desert in the middle of summer having to wear sweat pants and a sweat shirt?
BONUS:
     6.   Would you rather live like a king but have no friends and family or be homeless with your friends and family?

___________________________

The link up was originally hosted by Betsy at Heavens to Betsy and Laura at According to Laura JeanThey decided to discontinue to series so  Crystal from Hall Around TexasElizabeth from Chasin MasonJamie from Cocktails and CarseatsJessica from Secrets of a Stay at Home Mom and I thought it would be fun to take it over. 

  
    

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Guys Behind The Blog - January

PS - Tomorrow is the last day of the JORD Wood Watches giveaway! Click here to enter

It's Guys Behind The Blog time again! I just wanted to thank all you ladies that bug your guys to participate in our little series every month. I always love hearing what Mike and all the others have to say. This month we are chatting about all things winter. And you will quickly learn that Mike isn't a huge fan. It has been freezing here for the past few months and we are both very much #overit.

Q: Are you a New Year's resolution person? Why or why not?
A: I think I'm a borderline New Year's resolution person. It sounds kind of wishy washy, but I sometimes see the start of a new year to reflect on who I am and what I want to be and how I can improve, but I tend to not set measurable goals or promise to do things that I know I won't follow through on.


Q: Do you like the colder months or do you prefer the warmer months? Why?

A: You show me one person who says they prefer the colder months and I'll show you a liar. I can do without the miserable, life draining, soul sucking cold forever. It is very unfortunate to say, but I could do without the weather from November to April. That's about 6 months per year of my life that I essentially wish away.

Q: Have you ever been skiing or snowboarding? If so, did you enjoy it?
A: Haven't been skiing or snowboarding. See above. Besides, I'm not risking breaking my leg or tearing my ACL on the slopes. There are no ACL tears sitting in front of a fireplace watching TV from the couch.

Q: Where is your favorite winter vacation you've ever taken?
A: February 2009 - Miami. It was my first time on an airplane and my first vacation with Evelina. We were in the middle of a miserable winter and we spent a week in the sun and warmth around palm trees and spent time watching baseball and eating outside. It was the best.

Q: If you were paid $100,000 to stay in a cabin in the mountains (in the winter) with no Internet or TV for a month, could you do it? How would you spend your time?
A: $100K for a month in the mountains? No internet or TV? Yeah. Sign me up. I'd pick February since it's the shortest month. The Super Bowl is meh and I'd be out for the best part of the college basketball season. I'd spend my time there thinking about how I was going to spend my $100,000.

___________________________

Next month's link up will go live on February 23rd. So join us then with the following questions for your guy:
  1. Name two things your wife has taught you.
  2. What was your favourite part of your wedding day?
  3. Valentine's Day is usually more about the girl. But what is something YOU would like to receive on Valentine's Day?
  4. What was the best date you and your wife had?
  5. If money was no option and you could go anywhere in the world with just your spouse, where would you go and what would you do?
BONUS:
     6.   Valentine's Day - Hallmark holiday or real holiday?
     7.   What is your favourite romantic comedy movie?

___________________________

The link up was originally hosted by Betsy at Heavens to Betsy and Laura at According to Laura JeanThey decided to discontinue to series so  Crystal from Hall Around TexasElizabeth from Chasin MasonJamie from Cocktails and CarseatsJessica from Secrets of a Stay at Home Mom and I thought it would be fun to take it over. 



Monday, January 23, 2017

JORD Wood Watches (Giveaway!!)

I have been seeing these unique wood watches all over the internet and loving how cool and different they are. When JORD Wood Watches reached out to me to see if I wanted to review a men's watch, I was all over it.

(PS - check out the bottom of this post for a sweet giveaway!)





Mike has one watch that he complains is too heavy. One of the very first things he said when he put the JORD Wood Watch on was how perfectly light it was! The Fieldcrest Dark Sandalwood is a gorgeous dark chestnut shade with a black face and sophisticated chrome accents. It's so versatile that Mike has been wearing it non-stop. He's a teacher and can't really pull out his phone to check the time while teaching or at staff meetings. And since he wears dress clothes to work every day, this is the perfect accessory for him. Huge plus that this one goes with everything.



The watch is made out of natural dark sandalwood and the splash-proof face features scratch-resistant mineral glass. There are so many gorgeous styles that JORD has to offer that it was seriously hard to choose just one. Check out the men's shop for all their great options. I am eyeing the pretty Frankie Dark Sandalwood & Mint or the Cora Zebrawood & Rose ones for myself from their women's shop. I am always on the hunt for a new cool watch to add to my arm candy collection!



And I have amazing news! I am teaming up with JORD for a giveaway to one very lucky Fortunate House reader! CLICK HERE TO ENTER a $100 gift code to use on the JORD site. You'll be able to get your very own wood watch! AND every single person will get a $25 gift code just for entering! How awesome is that! All you have to do is provide your name and email. That's it! Couldn't be any easier. The contest will close this Sunday, January 29th at 11:59pm. Good luck!

This post was sponsored by JORD Wood Watches, but all opinions and content are my own. 



Watch Gift Ideas

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

29

It's been a little while since my birthday but I don't want to forget how I spent the day so it's going up on the ol' blog!

We happened to be visiting Chapel Hill, North Carolina on the big day. The trip (full recap here!) was actually for Mike's 30th birthday which was a few weeks prior but the way the dates worked out, my birthday happened to be during the actual trip. I love the idea of going somewhere special to celebrate instead of just staying home.

We started off the day by -- of course -- going to Starbucks so that I could get my free birthday drink! Is it really a birthday if you don't get a freebee from coffee heaven? Well, no coffee for me this year but the pink drink was a very great substitute!


To keep the pink theme going, I took a little me time to get my nails done. I was actually so sick of wearing red for the holidays, I just wanted something lighter and softer.


Next on my list was to find a couple geocaches I had scoured in the area. I love to go geocaching any opportunity I get and I managed to find two this time! Mike isn't a huge fan but totally let me have my fun on my birthday!

As for a cake, I specifically did not want one this year. Not only would the two of us struggle to finish a cake while on vacation (where there are so many local goodies to try!), but I'm just not that crazy about cake in general. Instead, I asked that we get a few french macaroons. They are such a special treat that I don't indulge in as often as I would like. We drove over to Miel Bon Bons in Durham to pick out some delicious flavours.



Probably my favourite part of my birthday celebrations was a little excursion to a nearby subdivision. I really love exploring residential areas whenever we travel and seeing the different architecture and how people live. I could literally drive around looking at houses all day long. We drove just south of Chapel hill to a community called Briar Chapel. The houses looked fairly recently built but had so much gorgeous southern charm to them. Most of them had gorgeous huge porches with rocking chairs and so much pretty character. This one in the photo below is my absolute favourite! I love colonial-style homes and I would move into this one in a heartbeat!


For dinner we wanted a nice casual place that we hadn't tried before. Mike made a list of restaurants to try during this trip and one of them was Sup Dogs right near the UNC campus. It's your typical, inexpensive, delicious college hangout. I'm so happy that we went there!



After dinner, Mike and I were hoping to find some local bar trivia but since we were in a college town during the Christmas break, a bunch of businesses were closed. Fun fact: our trivia team name (and celeb couple nickname, you know, just in case we get famous one day) is Michelina :)

Overall it was a great day celebrating my champagne birthday! Next year will not only be a decade milestone but it'll be my first as a mommy which makes me more excited than words can describe!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

FH Travels: Chapel Hill, NC (December 2016)

Don't mind me, just STILL recapping the holidays.

Right after Christmas, we planned a road trip to North Carolina. We left on Boxing Day and were gone for 6 days. We have made the trip down a bunch of times but have always taken the same route. This time, we went a different way and I was so excited about it! We passed through Washington DC and Richmond on the way to Chapel Hill. Despite not having an opportunity to stop and walk around, I was pumped to see the Capital and all its fanciness.






We made this trip in honour of Mike's 30th birthday which was just a few weeks prior. It was his wish to celebrate it by going to his favourite place and seeing a basketball game. UNC played Monmouth and we managed to score really good seats right behind the player bench. It was fun to watch a replay of the game when we got home and see ourselves on TV!





Because of our timing, everything was still decorated for Christmas and it was lovely. We stayed at my favourite hotel ever, the Carolina Inn on campus. I've gushed about it before but it's just the prettiest quintessential Southern hotel and it's even more gorgeous during the holidays.




This time around, Mike and I tried a bunch of new food places around Chapel Hill. Among them was Sup Dogs, The Pig, Rise, and my favourite - Elmo's, where we spotted one of the Carolina players on a date!

Of course, we strolled around campus and enjoyed the awesome warm weather. One day was even warm enough for short sleeves! It was heaven. And we even saw flowers blooming in December! Not a reality in Canada.





The Sun Bowl was on the 30th so we watched at a bar near campus with a ton of other Tar Heel fans. Unfortunately, Mike and I were both sad to see UNC end their football season in a loss but they played a great game.


And finally, we couldn't leave without picking up a couple Tar Heel things for Baby. Mike was excited to pick out the perfect stuffed animal of Ramses which he insists will be the baby's favourite. It was hard to not buy a lot more but we did a good job restraining ourselves. It's crazy to think that likely the next time we visit, we will go as a family of three!


Friday, January 6, 2017

Christmas Card 2016

In my last post, I mentioned that we did something different for our Christmas cards this year. I really wanted this to be the occasion where people hear our big news. We obviously told our close friends and family that we are expecting in person, but it was so fun to get the calls and texts when everyone else found out from our card!

In the past, I would just buy boxed cards and write a personal message in each one. But I have always loved the tradition of taking a family photo and seeing how things change every year. It felt silly to send a photo of just me and Mike before and that has now officially changed! I can't wait until next year where we are holding our son or daughter, instead of a grainy ultrasound photo!
I wanted the image to focus on the ultrasound with us blurry in the background. We got my mom to take our photo behind a plaza where the wall was pretty neutral and there wasn't a lot of people. Poor Mike was so cold in just his dress shirt but he handled it like a champ. We may have to incorporate some coats next year because... Canada. I think next year things will be much more difficult with a 6 month old to wrangle in the photo!

We ordered them from Vista Print because they had the best prices and quickest delivery. I was originally dead-set on Minted (especially the gold-foil!) but once I compared them to Vista Print, I was convinced that these would be perfect. (This isn't sponsored! Just my own experience!) They had a ton of great options and various effects you could add to the card itself. I chose to get the thicker card stock and ended up paying just over $30 for 40 cards.

My favourite part was being able to completely personalize the back of the card. Because I knew some of these would get sent out to Poland, I wanted them to be bilingual. Ordering 30 English and 10 Polish would make things so much more expensive so everyone got both languages.


I got the vibe from my Polish people that photo Christmas cards aren't a very popular thing there. Or maybe photo pregnancy announcements? I got a lot of comments about what a great and original idea our card was! I couldn't lie and told them that it's pretty common here and this definitely wasn't my genius idea. Either way, everyone loved it! And I'm so happy with how our cards turned out!