Friday, October 2, 2015

Five On Friday: It's Fall Ya'll

It's officially fall y'all and I'm excited for all that this season has to offer - pumpkin flavored everything, fall decor, football, crockpot cooking, sweaters, apple picking, pumpkin patches, pumpkin carving/painting, mountain "just because" drives, hiking and so much more! Ohhhhh, I can't wait to indulge in ALL things fall!

1. Apple Picking

This year, we headed up to Hendersonville, NC over Labor Day weekend for the Apple Festival (full post later - WAY too many photos) with my family. This is something that I grew up doing with my Papa and Mema and a tradition that I want our girls to enjoy with their Nonnie and Pop, formerly known as nana and papa.

While we were up there, we headed over to Sky Top Orchard for some apple picking. Here are a few pictures that we snapped:

2. Cool Weather Cooking

With the cool air (and nonstop rain), my crockpot has been getting a major workout. And soup is quickly becoming my favorite thing to make in it.

Last week, I made a Sweet Potato, Chicken and Quinoa Soup, using this recipe here. I followed the recipe exactly (which is rare)! It was so good and the family loved it. Soooo....I'll mark this one as a win.

The overall flavoring reminded me of a Chicken Tortilla Soup.

It's pretty, right?!?! Now go try it.....I promise that you won't regret it!!!

3. Hiking

Our newest hobby is hiking. It's a perfect family activity and is either free or a very small park entrance fee. It gets the girls out of the house for some fresh air and to burn off some energy and John and I get some exercise in. We typically hike about 1.5 miles at a time and it is amazing what EK's little legs can do! Hiking is right up her alley with her love of sticks, leaves, rocks and dirt!

Sweetwater Creek State Park

Hiking can also really wear a girl out! Sweet baby, OB!

4. Front Porch Decorating

Ya'll how cute is my friend's (and fellow blogger at Pinterest Dreams) front porch. Just's too good! She has definitely inspired me to get into high gear and decorate ours this weekend. If we lived closer, I would insist that she come over for a fall decorating session. I just love everything she did (and may steal, I mean borrow, some of her ideas).

Be sure to stop by her blog and check out all of the pictures!

5. Giveaway

And lastly, don't forget to enter my $100 RugsUSA gift card giveaway. Just go here to enter! The winner will be announced next Friday!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Nursery Reveal: Grey + White + Gold and Coral Accents

The nursery...the nursery for our baby girl.
This is one of my favorite spaces in our house.

My goal for the room was to create a gender neutral space that with a few accents could be turned into the perfect little girl's or boy's room. The first thing I choose was the color scheme of gray + white/cream and went from there.

I really love how everything came together once I added in all of the girly accents to the room. My sister was a huge help in getting the DIY pieces done. And by a huge help, I mean she did them as I watched. I did provide some emotional support in the form of wine. A win win? Anyways, let's jump right in and take a peek!

Wall Color: Benjamin Moore Gray Owl
Rug: RugsUSA (c/o)
Glider: Little Castle
Gray Dot & Stripe Chamois Stroller Blanket: Pottery Barn Kids
You Make Me Happy Pillow: HomeGoods
Baby Long Legs Mouse: North American Bear Co.
Harriet the Bunny: Zubels
White Garden Stool: Wisteria, similar here
Lampshade: Pottery Barn Kids
Books on Stool: On the Night You Were Born (Greenville, SC shower gift, signed by friends and family) & God Thinks You're Wonderful (Charlotte, NC shower gift, signed by friends and family)
Crib: Young America 
Crib Sheet: Pottery Barn Kids
Ruffle Crib Skirt Pottery Barn Kids
Gray Honeycomb Stroller Blanket: Pottery Barn Kids
I Love You Canvas: DIY, similar here and here
Mobile: DIY, similar here
Changing Table: Hand me down from Emery's room (previously refinished by the hubby)
Changing Pad: Buy Buy Baby
Changing Pad Cover: aden + anais 
Gray Wicker Basket (filled with diapers, homemade burp cloths by talented friends and other diapering essentials): Gift, similar here
Owl Stool, Gift, similar here
Flamingo Print: The Animal Print Shop
Atlanta Print: Evelyn Henson
Picture Ledges: Ikea
Framed Monogram: DIY
Books: Gifts
Gray Polka Dot Chair: Pottery Barn
Gray Canvas Basket (filled with stuffed animals and blankets) - Gift, similar here

On our ride home from the beach yesterday, I purchased a Chicken Man painting to add to the nursery. You can purchase one through Christopher Park Gallery or directly from Ernest Lee at 2022 Gervais St in Columbia, SC. 

In celebration of the arrival of our baby girl, RugsUSA has graciously offered a $100 gift card to giveaway to one lucky reader! Yay for a new rug!
Simply enter below. 
The winner will be announced on Friday, October 9.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 11, 2015

Five On Friday: Let's catch up!!!

A FIVE month hiatus from blogging...has it been long enough? I think so. I'm so excited to be back on here and ready to fill you all in on the happenings at our there have been many!

1. Our newest addition

First, let's talk about our newest addition, a baby girl, Miss Olivia Brooke! Life is so good with her in our family and I can't believe how lucky I am to be her mother. I mean, seriously, what a blessing!

There will be WAY more on this precious girl next week!

2. Nursery

Since we didn't find out the gender of baby #2 (Olivia), we went with a very gender neutral palette of gray, white and cream. I happen to love gender neutral nurseries and probably would have gone that route even if we had found out. I just love how neutral colors can make a room look so sweet....does that even make sense? Since Olivia's birth, I have added in a few girly touches. Here's a sneak peek:

Next week, I will have a full nursery reveal plus a $100 giveaway from RugsUSA! Be sure to come back to enter.

3. School Days

Emery started school on Tuesday and she couldn't have been more excited. During school visits, orientation, the welcome tea and her first day, she ran right into the classroom and was happy as could be. She only cried when I picked her up to leave for the day. I had to reassure her that she would be back.

Yesterday, there were a few tears shed on her end when I left. She cried mommy, mommy, mommy and tried to run out of the classroom twice. It broke my mommy heart. I know that she was fine by the time that I got to my car, but I couldn't help but feel a little sad.

Next week, I am going to make sure she has enough time in the morning for some mommy snuggles and a little playtime with Olivia.

4. South Carolina Football

I am a summer girl. I love everything about it. I even love those 95 to 100 degree days (if you can believe that - though a pool or beach is nice for those) and will miss the lazy days of summer. However, I do love some South Carolina Gamecock football. And, we started off with a win against the University of North Carolina. Let's hope the w's keep coming as we play Kentucky tomorrow.

5. Never Forget 

And lastly, this day couldn't go by without remembering those who lost their lives on 9/11 and the bravery of the first responders. On 9/11, I was a freshman in college (and an early bird by nature) but on this particular day, I overslept (which I have always thought was strange). I turned on the tv right as the events of the day were starting to unfold. It is a day that i will never forget.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Pregnancy Notes

{ ONE }

You were VERY planned, wanted and prayed for. At my annual doctor's appointment in March 2014, I spoke with my OB about possibly trying for another child soon. She told me that I needed to wait until after Emery turned one (June) to give my body ample time to heal. This timing was totally fine with me as I have always wanted children approximately 22 months/2 years apart. My little sister and I are 22 months apart and we grew up playing together and becoming best friends. This is definitely my hope for my children, whether two girls or a girl and a boy.

We found out that we were (4 weeks) pregnant in late July. John and I were both in a little shock. Once that wore off, it was nothing but excitement about adding another child to our family. Emery and K2 will be 21 months apart, a couple of days shy of 22 months. For me and my little family, this is PERFECT!

{ TWO } 

I am definitely more emotional this pregnancy than with Emery. However, the emotions and tears aren't from hormones per se and happen in my downtime when I have time to think about our growing family. I get emotional thinking about adding to our family because I know the intense love that comes with becoming a mother/parent to a child, whether it is the first or second time. It is a love that is so overwhelming that it is impossible to explain unless you have a child. It definitely makes you understand that great love that your parents have for you.

I also get very emotional thinking about the relationship that Emery and K2 will grow up having. There is nothing better than having a sibling/siblings to grow up with who understands parts of you that no other person can. This is a bond that I'm excited to watch grow as they grow up together.


This pregnancy has flown by...I feel like I blinked and now I'm one week out from having K2. I contribute this to many factors, but mostly because I knew what to expect during every trimester (sickness, lack of energy, bursts of energy and the struggles with what to wear) of this pregnancy and having a toddler to keep me busy.

{ FOUR }

At any given point during this pregnancy, I had no idea how far along I was. This was always most evident when I would check in at the doctors office and they would ask how far along I was. Most times, I would give a range (somewhere around 23-25 weeks) and then they would have to look it up for confirmation. With E, I could tell you exactly how far along I was (weeks + days), what size fruit/vegetable she was (yes, those silly equivalents), how much she weighted and what was developing that week. K2 is loved equally, but I didn't feel the need to obsess over every little detail this time and honestly, I think it was a better way to go!

{ FIVE }

My pregnancies have been extremely similar. 
  • First trimester: Extremely sick immediately. I didn't even need a pregnancy test to tell me that I was pregnant, I just knew by how I was feeling. 
  • Second trimester: So much energy. This is my favorite part of pregnancy (besides going to the hospital to have the baby). You have energy, you still fit into the majority of your clothes and you are busy getting prepared for baby. 
  • Third trimester: Still lots of energy, but slowing down a little. The one difference between this pregnancy is that I feel my energy has lasted much longer this time. With less than one week left, I am amazed at how good I feel and the amount of energy that I have to get stuff done. This is probably because I don't have choice with a toddler and she gives me the energy I need!

{ SIX }

With this pregnancy, I don't feel as confident about my instincts regarding the gender as I did with Emery. With Emery, I knew from very early on during my first trimester than she was a girl, even though I always thought I was destined to be a boy mom. I had a gut instinct that was so strong, plus two dreams where the doctor announced that it was a girl and it ended right there. I  never once felt like she was a boy. I remember telling John on many occasions that she was a girl and that he needed to prepare himself for that. His reply was always okay, but I may need a few minutes to process that if so. Luckily, he needed no time at all and that daddy's girl connection was instant.

During my first trimester with K2, I felt very strongly about this baby being a specific gender due to a dream. I woke up one night and told John, "We are having a ______ and we named the baby ______ " (which was not a name that we had ever considered and it still isn't on our list of names. And then, in the second, I started to think that maybe I was wrong and that it was the other gender. I'm pretty sure I am going to go with my initial gut on this baby's gender (and only my hubby knows what that guess is).

Old Wives Tales
String Test: Side to Side - BOY
Cravings: Sweet - GIRL
Carrying the extra weight: Out front - BOY
Chinese Birth Chart - BOY
Morning Sickness: Yes - GIRL
Baby's Heart Rate: Above 140 - GIRL
Carrying High or Low: High - GIRL


When I became pregnant with K2, I had a feeling of peace that our family was now complete. Being that this is probably my last pregnancy (though a third isn't 100% ruled out), I will miss seeing ultrasounds of that perfect child growing inside, the anticipation and excitement of hearing the heartbeat for the first time (and all of the subsequent times), the nerves you feel in preparation for doctors appointments, the first hard karate kick, feeling a hand/foot/etc move along your tummy as they complete a somersault, feeling the absolute wonder and awe of what the human body is capable of and seeing your baby for the first time and for once, twice, you know what love at first sight means.  

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Pregnancy Journal: Week 37

How Far Along? 37 weeks! The countdown is on....

Gender: Don't know! We will find out the gender on his/her Birth Day. 

Weight Gain: Yesterday at my weekly (yes, weekly already) doctor's appointment, I was up 27 pounds. Remember when I was convinced that I was already up 26 pounds at week 33. Thankfully, I was wrong. The doctor does think that this baby will be larger than Emery and in the 8 pound range. 

Maternity Clothes: I wear a mix of maternity and non-maternity tops and all maternity pants with the exception of sleepwear. 

Nursery: The nursery is officially done. We have the walls painted, the bookshelves hung, the crib put together and the glider and changing table from Emery's room have been moved into K2's room. There will be some final touches that will be added to the room after that baby is born (a rug that has been on backorder forever, repaint the changing table to either white, a light pink or navy and some additional wall hangings). 

A little sneak peek

Movement: Yes, there is still a lot of movement. It is mostly big rolls at this point. The baby is head down now and running out of room to move.  

Symptoms: Feeling nauseous at night (feels similar to the morning sickness that I have during my first trimester). I mentioned this to my doctor and she said that I need to try to eat dinner earlier and that it should help. I have also had heartburn a couple of times which is a totally new experience. 

Sleep: Sleep is pretty limited and luckily I function pretty well on small amounts! 

Cravings: Lots of fruit, specifically watermelon, plums, nectarines and kiwi. 

What I Miss: Nothing! At this point in my pregnancy, I am so focused on the fact that the items that I have missed in the past are more than worth it for this precious baby. 

Best Moment This Week: My doctor's appointment and the confirmation that everything is looking good and moving right along. The baby's heartbeat was strong, I measured exactly on track and the baby is in the proper position. 

Looking Forward To: I am most looking forward to: 1. Finally finding out if we are adding another sweet little girl to our family or a handsome little boy 2. Watching Emery become a big sister and interact with a sibling (this one gets me teary-eyed just thinking about it) and 3. Only having two more doctor's appointments before K2 is here! What?!?!?! This pregnancy in many ways has totally flown by. It definitely has helped to have a toddler to chase around. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Emery Kate: 20 Months

Dear Emery Kate,

You are now 20 months and such a big girl. You are looking less and less like a baby and more and more like a little girl by the day.

Your vocabulary continues to grow and your use of sentences is really quite mind blowing. You are an excellent communicator and tell us exactly what you want, ask us questions and have even started asking why once I reply with an answer to your question. You will repeat EVERYTHING and ANYTHING that is said so spelling has become a necessity. You love to add the word "too" at the end of your sentences.
- Daddy is hungry too.
- Mommy is tired too.
- Baby needs a nap too.
Your newest thing is to answer "Yes, ma'am" when you are asked a question. This is your response whether the question comes from a man or woman. I guess I better teach you yes, sir.

You are definitely a fan of doing things your own way and have little meltdowns if you aren't allowed or its the wrong thing for you to be doing. Chapstick causes the biggest meltdowns in our house. You want to be able to hold it and apply it nonstop.

You are friendly. Whenever we go to a restaurant, you make friends with all the adults and children and could be hired as the greeter who welcomes everyone and then tells them bye. You must stop by all the tables to say bye when leaving.

You have also recently become very interested in your letter puzzle and wanting to learn each letter. You hold up the letter and want me to tell you what it is and then you repeat it. So far, I is your favorite letter. If you don't know what it is, then you will say I. You are also starting to learn colors and shapes.

You have basically potty-trained yourself and for that I am thankful. So far, there hasn't been any stress to go along with this process. You will always go on the potty when you tell us you have to go or are prompted. We still need to do the official 3-day potty training bootcamp so that we can make the switch over to panties permanent.

You love to give out hugs and it is so sweet. You will squeeze our legs as tight as you possible can if we are standing up. You also think that a kiss always follows a hug. You will say, "a hug" and then immediately follow it up with "and a kiss".

You have quite the sweet tooth and it was seriously enhanced with Christmas. You now know the difference between cake, pie, chocolate, ice cream and candy. You are like your daddy in more ways than one.

You love to play outside and get dirty. Rocks, sticks, leaves, anything you can "hunt" outside makes you happy. If its a nice day (and even when its not), you want to be outside. You are not a fan of bows at this point and I have pretty much given up on putting them in your hair. However, you like my headbands and will wear those. It may be time to get you some of your own. You are still a huge fan of babies (babydolls) and will rock them, put them to sleep, snuggle them, push them in the stroller and carry them in their carseat. I know you will be an amazing big sister.

The favorites list:
Favorite Foods - Broccoli (I count this as a huge win), fish, seaweed salad, all breakfast foods

Favorite Toys - All babies, books, ABC puzzle and tinkerbell motorized car
Favorite Books - Poky Little Puppy's First Christmas, Edwina, The Dinosaur That Didn't Know She Was Extinct and Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?
Favorite Things: Chapstick and Balloons
Favorite Person - While I would say that daddy may be her favorite, she has been quite attached to me recently.