Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tag...You're It!

Rarely do I ever give in and participate in a tagged post {why, I don't really know} but Ashley over at Places to Go, Things to Buy tagged me and I thought why not! The rules are as follows:
**You must post the rules
**Post 11 Fun Facts about yourself 
**Answer the 11 questions that the tagger posted for you & then create 11 questions to ask the people you've tagged
**Tag 11 people and link them in your post
**Let them know you have tagged them
Eleven Fun Facts About Moi
1. I'm an only child who does not like to share...things are about to change, right?
2. I have visited 38 of the states and hope to visit all someday...still to tackle: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin
3. I love to make lists, just so I can cross things off when I complete them
4. I love to cook, but baking is my favorite thing to do...gotta satisfy that sweet tooth
5. I am horrible about returning phone calls-I'd much rather email or text. Sad but true
6. I color code the appointments/meetings/dates/etc I have in my planner-OCD at its best
7. I used to be an adventureous one...skydiving for my 23rd birthday was my fav thing ever
8. I hate my legs-it's the one area I always focus on because I know I'll never have Carrie Underwood gams-oh well.
9. Pet peeves: chipped nails, rude drivers, people that don't say please/thank you, and those who cannot process the difference between they're/their/there
10. My biggest fear is failure
11. Only regret in life: tattoo on my senior trip in HS...now that is a story for another day ;)

Here are the questions Ashley posted:
1. What is your profession? I'm a marketing coordinator for a consulting/engineering firm. Mostly, I lead proposals for business development. Other responsibilities include planning national conferences and hosting client events, and developing advertising/arketing collateral for industry trade magazines. Does that even make sense to anyone other than me?
2. How would you describe your style? Classic, with a bit of trendy. The older I get, the more I learn it's all about buying staple pieces I can use over and over again, yet incorporating fun trendy pieces for that particular season. I am extremely budget savvy when it comes to shopping, and I am obsessed with dresses. It's more like an addiction. I think it's time to do another blog sale soon.
3. What one make-up product can you not live without? Just one? That is hard. But if I could only pick one, I'd say mascara. I have blonde eyelashes so applying a bit makes my eyes look brighter and bigger. My favorite hands down is Clinique's Lash Doubling Mascara.
4. If you could be besties with one celebrity, who would it be? Reese Witherspoon..us southern gals need to stick together, and just because she seems to have a very balanced life.
5. What is your dream vacation? I've never been to Italy and it is something we talk about all the time. Jeff studied abroad there and fell in love with everything about it. It's my parent's favorite vacation spot, too, so I know it would be incredible to see. Funny enough, we were planning a trip there until we found out we were pregnant. Italy can wait for a bit ;).
6. What magazines do you subscribe to? Southern Living, and thanks to the BFF, Bon Appetite. Others I want to add to my monthly reads are House Beautiful, Self, and Shape.
7. If you could have a special talent {that you don't currently have}, what would it be? To play the piano. My Mom tried to get me to take lessons, yet I had zero interest, but now it's something I wish I could do because I think it would help me to relax when I have a rough day.
8. What is your favorite breakfast food? I'm a cereal addict, but when I have time, there is nothing better than a belgium waffle with strawberries and whipped cream!
9. If you could do anything, what is your dream job? Opening my own business. I've divulged a little of that and plans are in the works, but this is something I am putting a lot of thought into because it's overwhelming with so many moving bits and pieces, and it is an undertaking that is going to occupy much of my time. I promise to give more details when I can!
10. What is your guilty pleasure? Any type of dessert I can get my hands on and reality TV.
11. What is the best piece of advice you've ever received, and who gave it to you? I don't think I can think of one single piece of advice that stands above any others. My family and friends teach me things all the time-to always try my best, to be kind to others, and to live my life for me and no one else. I think that is all any of us can ask for.

With that, the 11 ladies I am tagging are...and yes, I am using the same 11 questions ;)
Kate at Every Mile a Memory
April at A. Liz Adventures
Shari at The Daily Dish
Melissa at For the Love
CMae at Happiness Is...
Jayme at Kentucky Blonde
Candace at Mrs. Southern Belle
Natasha at Schue Love
Tess at Tea Time with Tess
Darci at The Good Life
Tracy at Then I Got to Thinking

Monday, January 30, 2012

Holiday Lovelies...Valentine's Edition

The ever-so-sweet Christina over at Carolina Charm requested this post, so I have to thank her for giving me the idea! I posted some fun gift ideas during the holidays, and she asked if I would devote a post to finding perfect presents for that sweetie-whether it be a friend, a beau, or your life partner {that's how I'm lovingly referring to Jeff these days}.
Seeing as though I think Valentine's Day is a mushy gushy all out Hallmark holiday, I wanted to show some exciting ideas that don't require a lot of cash to execute-I think the majority of us out there are trying to cut out unecessary spending so I am attempting to make this budget-friendly for everyone!
Breakfast in Bed
I did this for my sweetie last year and he raved for weeks about it. I picked up some heart shaped muffin tins from the dollar aisle at Target and then made his favorite poppyseed muffins for breakfast-easy peesy and I got to eat, too!
Coffee Talk
If your Valentine is a lover of caffeine, buy a coffee mug that lets you profess your love everyday! Write a sweet message on the cup in celebration of V-Day and then you can always add a little something fun inside like a Starbucks gift card or a chocolate dipped pretzel covered in pink and red candy.
Movie Date Night
Instead of the traditional movie night out, buy some of the fun popcorn holders (I've seen them at World Market and Target recently), and stuff them with bags of popcorn
and movie size candy and then tie a little note saying it's time to cuddle on
the couch and you're letting him pick the movie! 
 
Other non-traditional dates/gifts could include a trip to a comedy club, venturing to see his favorite sports team play, a couple's massage, an afternoon adventure  to a winery, or a fun cooking class...Jeff knows I am  all about "doing" rather than "receiving" on Valentine's Day, so I'm interested to see what he comes up with this year!
On the other hand however, if he decides he just has to get me something, any of the following will make me a very happy wife ;)
via Gap
via Pottery Barn
{yes, I'm a nerd and need a new set of hand weights}
via Amazon

Friday, January 27, 2012

Thank the Lord

It is Friday...that is the only thing getting me through this crazy monstrosity of a workday-sometimes I want to close my office door and scream because it's legitimately true...I work with absolute lunatics. In a world of fast-paced deadlines, short turnaround proposals and such, I am normally capable to accomodate a hefty amount of stress. Yet these days, I know I need to be more kind to my body and I had to politely tell someone "no" today. My that felt good.
In wrapping up this week, I don't have much to contribute just due to lack of time, so my apologies. I am so excited for a fun weekend in the works though!
  • Mom is coming over tonight to help me decide on nursery curtains so I can order them. It's funny that I am that ecstatic over fabric these days, but I assure you, the end result is going to be pretty!
  • Tomorrow, I am going to spend the afternoon with my favorite photographer for maternity pictures...outfits are planned and props are ready, so bring on the fun!
  • Saturday night, we're all celebrating the BFF's hubby's birthday...yippee for baked goods and loads of quality time with friends
  • On Sunday, it's back to our normal routine at church and then Jeff and I are planning to have a day date he is planning...fun no doubt!
Hope you all have a fantabulous weekend, too!! OXOX

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Hodge Podge

1. It's official, after this week's episode, I simply can't tolerate The Bachelor anymore...these poor darlings don't know how stupid they look on national TV, and Ben's personality is just boring. However, I'm ready for the summer to roll around when we can watch Emily Maynard as The Bachelorette...that girl is just too cute for words. And her fashion savvy...even better!
2. When is it suitable to buy stationery for a baby/child? I was browsing through my favorite paper store the other day talking with my go-to gal that works there and she is already sending me ideas for custom paper goods for Miss Caroline...proper etiquette from an early age my friends is essential ;)

3. In celeb-worthy news, I am just devastated by the demise of Heidi Klum and Seal's marriage...breaks my heart because they always seemed SO in love. And then there is the fact that Kristin Cavallari and Jay Cutler have got a bun in the oven--this ensures if they can tackle this parenthood thing, Jeff and I could potentially win parents of the year!
4. Hubby was featured in a local newspaper the other day talking about a big business acquisition he worked on, and I couldn't have been happier to see him all giddy...he loves his career and I was so proud. I might be displaying the article on the fridge. ;)

5. The holidays are over, but I may or may not still be burning all my Mistletoe/Balsam Fir/Christmas Tree candles...I just can't get enough of that favorite smell!
6. Valentine's Day treats and sweets are taking over at the stores, and I have to admit, those chocolate covered marshmallows are calling my name-maybe Jeff will take that as a hint? Who needs flowers when you can have chocolate?
7. Speaking of V-day, the movie I have been DYING to see is finally approaching...The Vow, with Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams-I almost cry everytime the trailer comes on, so I'm assuming this is going to be a real tearjerker...perfect date night!

Could I have jumped all over anymore with this post? I warned you though-hodge podge at its finest. Wish us luck...we have our breastfeeding class tonight so I am sure I am going to have some entertaining stories once that is complete. Can't lie-the thought of talking about this type of stuff with complete strangers in a classroom makes me giggle, and Jeff is just SUPER excited, too ;).

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Little Miss...32 Week Bumpdate!

How Far Along? 32 weeks, 4 days...52 days to go--check out this fav pregnancy website that shows you days and such and how baby progresses each week!
Size of Baby Caroline? A large jicama-can someone explain to me what in the world a jicama is? She is 16.7 inches long and weighs about 3.75 pounds
Maternity Clothes? I'm tired of maternity clothes...there is nothing else to say. I've been lucky in that the majority of items I've purchased aren't maternity (just one size up), but I am ready to be sporting cute outfits again. I bought my first post-baby top last week in the hopes that shopping incentives will make me lose that weight FAST!
Weight Gain? 25 pounds...I look like I totally have a basketball in my belly these days.
Stretch Marks? No, and I am thanking the Good Lord.
Gender? If you could see the nursery, you'd know there is no denying a little princess is coming to our house VERY soon!
Sleep? Oi vey. It's getting worse, yet I know I'm only going to get more uncomfortable as the final few weeks come my way. The pillow helps, yet I toss and turn because I can't get my mind to stop thinking about the whats/ifs/buts, get up to potty, and then the vicious cycle starts all over again.
Food Cravings? Fruit, cereal, and powdered doughnuts...thank gosh Krispy Kreme isn't too close to my house or we'd be in trouble.
What I Miss? Blatant honesty here-I want a gin and tonic more than you can imagine.
Symptoms? Restless leg syndrome, tiredness/lack of energy, bloating of the hands/feet
Belly Button? It's now half in, half out 
Best Moment of the Week? The nursery progress...I am in love with it. I came home last night to find the painters had finished and the soft, pale pink color is just perfect. Our contractor is finishing the new lighting and bookcase this week, the rocker/glider was delivered, and pretty soon I can finish everything else-assembling the crib bedding, hanging art on the walls, and then Caroline's room will be all ready!

The Wonderland of Etsy

For as much as I buy from the world of Etsy, I wanted to blog about some of my absolute favorite vendors and shops I have stumbled across {and bought from} the past few years...here they are, in no particular order:
Fresh & Modern Artwork for Children and Home
Customized Wedding and Event Stationery

Blankets, Bibs, and Burp Cloths

Design + Letterpress

Gifts and Stationery
Chic and Whimsical Handmade Jewelry 
Not going to lie, Etsy is a site I routinely get sucked into...browsing through stores for anything and everything. Plus, I just love supporting small businesses! 
What are some of your favorite Etsy shops?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Our Baby Registry...Part I: The Gear

Finally, right? I have received all sorts of questions asking about our baby registry so I hope this helps! I decided to break these registry posts down into smaller, more manageable details because too much of this stuff is completely overwhelming. First up, the necessary baby gear.

Of course I must insert a caveat before you read any further: these are only MY recommendations/opinions, based on hours of research online, tips and tricks from other mommies, Lucie’s List, Consumer’s Reports, and countless other blog posts I have read from pregnant gals.  Also, I am already betting some of these essentials will be replaced once Caroline comes…this is going to be an ongoing "experiment" in surviving the daily life of a newborn, and I’m lucky that there is a Target a mere 2.5 miles from my house.
The Britax B-Ready Stroller. I was up in the air between the B-Ready and the UppaBaby Vista, and this was the chosen winner. I wanted a stroller that was easy to disassemble, had a "click-and-go" system with carseat, offered adequate storage {hello shopping adventures!}, and could accomodate another child {if and when friends, if and when}.  Let's be honest, I also wanted a stroller that was pleasing to the eye-I'm going to use this everyday and I didn't want something I couldn't stand to look at. We ended up getting the silver color and I love it!
The Britax B-Safe Carseat. Not only was it a top safety pick, but it easily pops into the B-Ready stroller. It's also gender neutral, and smaller than other carseats we looked at. We also registered for the additional car seat base so Jeff can pimp one in his ride, too. ;)
Britax B-Ready Bassinet. This was one of those items that isn't a necessity, but I really, really wanted it. This bassinet is going to be perfect for afternoon strolls in the park, little naps when we are out and about, and a perfect companion for our beach trip in May.
ERGObaby Carrier. I’ve been told this is the Cadillac of baby carriers out there, due to it’s ease of use, comfort level when wearing for long periods of time, it adapts to both mom and dad’s sizes, and how practical it is—you can do normal activities while having the little one attached to you. Friends assured me this one was the winner in their book. A little pricier than others, but something we're bound to get a lot of use out of. Check!  
Moby Wrap Carrier. For something a little less bulky, we opted for the moby wrap. It keeps the baby warm while my hands remain free, has wide straps for comfort, protects baby skin with SPF 50 material, is easily adjustable with no buckles/snaps, and looks to be fairly simple to use when running errands. This is going to be fun entertaining to learn the proper way to wrap our little bambino up.
Summer Infant BabyTouch Color Video Monitor. We splurged on this item and registered for one of the nicer monitors. It's has color display, touch screen monitor, a pan/scan/zoom feature so when little miss moves around the crib we can still see her, a 2-way talk back feature {for when she gets older}, as well as a handy dandy docking station. Let's just hope I don't get crazy and have to stare at the thing constantly "just in case".
The Nap Nanny. A friend and fellow mommy recommeded the Nap Nanny to me, and said she couldn't live without it--the perfect reclining infant sleeper. It "cradles" the baby, weighs only 3 pounds so you can take it anywhere in the house, is ideal for babies who don't like to lay flat, and is perfect for playtime and lounging. I've also been told this helps with reflux and helps preventscongestion, too!
Boppy Pillow and Slipcovers. I'm not sure this needs any explanation as practically everyone knows about this lifesaver. Helpful for feeding, can be used for tummy time, and a way to "prop" up the little one. I also registered for a few extra slipcovers since I'm assuming these get dirty frequently. Some other cute slipcovers I found: here, here, and here.
Fisher Price My Little Snug-A-Bunny Bouncer. Another tried and true absolute from everyone I have talked to. A bouncer, something to keep them in motion when they get fussy or refuse to sleep, and acts as entertainment, too. This one is lightweight with 8 different songs and sounds, portable and sturdy and has a mobile attachment for stimulation. To be honest, I also loved the fact this doesn't take up a huge amount of space.
Chicco Playard/Pack-n-Play-Romantic. This is one item I am up in the air about and may rethink and go with something else. I love the design of this, yet it's bulky and I've read it's not the easiest to travel with. I do love the built-in bassinet and changing table as we plan to keep this in our family room for sleep/play time, and it will make it easy to change little miss' diapers without having to walk up and down the stairs. It also has storage compartments, a mobile, sounds, and a night light. If we decide this one is just too much to deal with, I've got my eyes on the Quicksmart or the Aprica Haven OpenAir.  

We're also planning to get a jogging stoller (here or here), a highchair (this or this), an exersaucer/jumper, but we're waiting on those items for a bit to figure out what Caroline likes/dislikes and what we actually need.
I hope you enjoyed the first installment of the fascinating world of a baby registry...next up, the feeding/diapering/bathing/cleaning essentials...and yes, I guess this is where I have to talk about breastpumping and dirty diaper disposal...the not so glamorous part of motherhood ;).

Monday, January 23, 2012

Relax...Just Do It!

Rest and relaxation was the major theme of this weekend's fun...I've been told by a good number of people that I need to soak in every ounce of free time I have these next few weeks, so I stuck to it and I am so glad we laid low with just the two of us!
Friday night, we finally took advantage of Nashville Original's Restaurant Week by dining out at Holland House. I had been really wanting to try this new local hotspot out, and it was the perfect opportunity! Hands down, best meal I've had in awhile in this wonderful city. A+ for atmosphere, very hip and ecclectic, A+ for service as our server made sure she staged our courses perfectly, and the food was incredible. My stand-out favorites were the baked cheesy crab dip + wontons as an appetizer and the carmelized cranberry and raisin bread pudding for dessert...Jeff said the fun drink concoctions were amazing, as well!
Saturday, we got up early so each of us could check off items of our "honey-do list"...gym, grocery store, laundry, and Target, followed by stroller + carseat assembly=successful day in my book! To reward ourselves, we napped on the couches the rest of the afternoon and rented Moneyball with Brad Pitt--great sports movie, and I can see what all the fuss is about...he was fantastic! That afternoon, my friend Brittany stopped by with her sweet darling Will to give Caroline some much needed necessities and to catch-up before her family moves to Idaho very soon-though we'll miss them, we're hoping they'll be back in the south again soon!
Daddy's assembly line...let's just say he's not the "engineer type"
Yay!! Ready to have our little bambino here for stroller/walk time
Saturday night, Jeff and I made it out to dinner with our friends to celebrate Jules' and Leigh J's birthdays!! We all went to Cantina Laredo and most certainly took over the restaurant...us and the table next to us proved to be too much for everyone to handle, as they had to close the doors to pur private room and tell us to quiet down--haha! After the girls' downed their b-day shots and we all serenaded them with LMFAO's "Shots", they all headed downtown while the Mr. and I went home--it was after midnight at this point and momma needed her rest.
I do have to mention though, I received one funny voicemail late that night...something along the lines of my best friends singing along to "Sweet Caroline" ;).
Me and Bev-best friend time is the greatest!
 Us with the birthday girl...love you Jules!!
 Tequila shots for the birthday ladies
 Love these two SO much
Sunday, we got up early to greet the Pottery Barn Kids delivery men who brought out chair! {and yes, it's all REALLY starting to come together!}. Then we spent the majority of our day resting sleeping and watching Midnight in Paris, which I was a little let down by...mediocre at best. The rest of our night was spent cooking dinner, catching up on weekly shows, and then sleeping on the couches since our crazy weather here in TN just won't end--tornado warnings in January have got to stop.
To say this was a relaxing weekend would be an understatement, but I was so glad to get some items knocked off our list and spend loads of quality time, just the two of us and with some of our dearest friends. Cheers to a great week!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fashionable Friday...Block It Out!

Color blocking seems to be all the rage as of late, and what's not to love? It is flattering on so many body types and a look that everyone can pull off... plus, it's a way to mix in bright, bold colors with traditional wardorbe staples. Even better, I managed to find some fun looks at great price points--check these lovelies out:
The Bottom Line Dress via Lulus
Coney Island Bag via Francescas
Time to Split Sweater via Modcloth
Blue Cloudburst Dress via Lulus
Teal and Mustard Top via La Posh Style
Lakeside View Dress via Shop Ruche
Caslon Tee via Nordstrom
Banana Ballet Flat via Francescas
 Colorblock Tote via Gap
TGIF friends! I am so happy the weekend is here...dinner at the popular Holland House tonight, major home organization and baby gear assembly tomorrow, celebrating Julie's birthday Saturday night with our fantastic group of friends, and then spending Sunday with the hubby running errands around town. Hope you all have a fantastic few days off ;)
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