Friday, November 30, 2012

friday double dose

We leave for Los Angeles tomorrow morning, and I am petrified beyond words... for someone as OCD as me about travel, this packing has been amusing to say the least. I have already told myself we will inevitably forget something so I'll just go get it once we are in CA. Not to mention Caroline refuses to be helf by anyone other than me currently so this should make for a relaxing getaway ;)
I can't lie, though, I am ecstatic for her to meet her great-grandmother Esther...Jeff and her have always been extremely close and we've been excited for their meet-and-greet ever since she was born.

Tonight, we are going to the Red Tie Gala for the Nashville Bloodwater Mission. I'm excited because it's a night with ONLY adults and we get to dress up in festive cocktail attire. (not to mention little miss is having a sleepover at Mimi and Pappy's so we can have a full night sleep, too!) I picked up this fun dress at Dillard's and hope I don't blind anyone with the major bling going on.
One of my favorite mommy bloggers, Sara from Running From the Law, featured a few of us in her series "New Mommy Confessions"...get ready to read all about our interesting adventures. I was totally honest and wrote all about my not-so-proudest mama moment. You can read my post here.
Has anyone slipped off the workout bandwagon as of late? I have had ZERO energy to get my butt in gear...and as if this isn't the worst time to be slacking...especially when I have been dipping into the festive Winter Oreos. I'm hoping I will find my mojo soon!
Tomorrow marks the debut of the exciting Neiman Marcus/Target collaboration for the holidays! I am so anxious to see all these fun and festive goodies the designers have come up with...Target usually does a great job with their partnerships and I have a feeling some of these specialities might end up at our house!
Happy weekend friends! I'll see ya soon...


hello! caroline...8 months old

(this is SO late, yet i had to do it now before i totally forgot...only 2 weeks behind-oops!)

dear caroline,
this month has been an exciting one at our house...we decorated pumpkins, we took you to your very first pumpkin patch, and you went trick-or-treating on halloween to rack up on some candy for mommy and daddy-what a fun time celebrating your first halloween, one of our favorite holidays!
fall has been a lot of fun for us, being able to take you to the park to go swing on warm afternoons, carting you around to festivals and such, and just basking in this wonderful time of year.
on to the specifics...
eating time is fun! there is never a dull moment when it comes to feeding you silly girl. you're eating all kinds of finger foods these days and it's so much fun to watch you taste something for the first time...you love pasta noodles, any kind of bread (specifically bites of pancakes and waffles), cheese, vanilla yogurt, sweet potatoes, green beans, and the list goes on and on. we may have given you a taste of ice cream, and you better believe you were in heaven and were twirling your tongue around because you wanted more. i love to keep a pack of puffs on hand when we are out and you get fussy...these are lifesavers and you love them! in regards to formula, you take about 28-32 ounces a day now in 5 bottles-working our way down! i've resorted to feeding you with just a diaper on as we have to wipe you down and hose you off afterwards...i've realized i won't have a clean house for years ;). recently, you have been putting up a fight when we try to feed you because you want to do it yourself, but darling, you're not quite ready to feed yourself the liquidy stuff so we're managing as best we can.
a growing girl. it was a rough few weeks around these parts as you were one sick puppy. first, it started with a fever and you were fussy, then it turned into a full blown ear infection, with all sorts of coughing and congestion. we had a total of five trips to the doctor, finally got some meds, and then discovered you have an allergy to ammoxicillin, just like me. we were lucky to get you weighed though, and you are a whopping 18 pounds, 7 ounces...my arms agree! you're in size 3 diapers now and are still sporting the 6-9/12 month attire. you are starting to look like a little girl instead of a baby and it makes momma sad to see you changing so quickly. your hair is really starting to grow and it's coming in a lot blonder than i imagined since you had such dark hair when you were born. mommy puts a bow in your hair ANY time we leave the house and you love all the attention you get little one...wonder where you get that from? your two top teeth have arrived, so now we're up to a total of four teeth-mighty impressive my darling.
sleep and everything in between. we have been going through a rough patch in the sleep department these days. you wake up almost everynight between 2-4AM and we have to feed you to get you back down again...luckily, daddy and i rotate nights so it's not too bad. i'm hoping we pass through this "phase" soon enough-i miss those restlful nights my dear! we have done some research and asked your doctor, and it seems as though you're having a bit of separation anxiety (poor little thing). you are still napping 2 times a day, though i HAVE to get you napping in your crib soon...you're getting so big and barely fit in your swing, though that is your favorite place to take a little siesta.
favorite things to do. most days, you love to crawl around and get into EVERYTHING. you love to destroy the dvd stacks from the tv console, sit in your pack n play and play with your toys, and hang out in the living room playing with your musical table. you are pulling up on anything you can get your hands on, including all furniture and you are wanting to walk so badly that i know it's only a matter of time (we are now in the "cruising" stage as they call it). we have been babyproofing with gates and latches, but more to come since you're becoming more mobile each day. you love when we read you books, and you love to be in the kitchen watching me cook so it's almost like we're doing it together.
milestones/big days. this has been a HUGE month in your life caroline. you said your first word on halloween ("mama" which practically made my year), and decided you'd like to start pulling up on anything (which means steps are in our near future and scares the bejeezus out of me). you love to crawl and i cannot keep you in one place for long-you're curious, inquisitive, and love to be in the know. you have one FEISTY personality, that's for certain. you like things done your way and you have no tolerance..it's immediate meltdown if you don't get what you want.
i can't believe you are already 8 months old...this first year is flying by at warped speed and i need things to slow down! this next month we have all sorts of fun things in store-your first plane ride (Lord help me now), your first trip to meet your great-grandmother Esther in California, and all the fun activities leading up to Christmas (visiting Santa Claus, seeing the holiday trees at Cheekwood, Dicken's Christmas festival, baking cookies with Mimi, etc)
mommy and daddy love you tuttie! thanks for making each and every single day too much fun!

important dates/things to remember.
first family fall fest: october 27, 2012
first word "mama":  october 31, 2012
first time to pull up/stand:  november 2, 2012
first cold: november 8, 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

my holiday favorites

All My Favorites
There are just certain things I cannot seem to live without during the holidays...whether it be a favorite event, movie, family tradition, or whatnot, I wanted to make a small list of a few of my favorite things about this season! Never know, maybe I can help someone stumble upon new to add to their list.
Holiday Movies: Love Actually, The Holiday, Meet Me in St. Louis, Elf, Home Alone,
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Christmas Carols: Carol of the Bells, O Holy Night, Hark the Herald Angels Sing
Holiday Books and Stories: The Night Before Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Polar Express, and The Twelve Days of Christmas
Holiday Songs/Tunes: Jingle Bells by Barbra Streisand, All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey, Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee, Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Symphony, March of the Toy Soldiers by Harry Connick, Jr, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Judy Garland, and The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole
Seasonal Treats: My Grandmother's divinty and champagne salad, homemade peppermint cookie bark, my Dad's caramels and fudge, Harry and David's Moose Munch
Special Traditions: Christmas Eve church service and communion with my family and then off to dinner at Ruth's Chris, opening one gift on Christmas Eve, baking cookies with Mom, and filling out our Christmas memories book with everything we did that year (gifts received, inserting our Christmas card, listing all the things we did, etc)
Local Events: Dicken's Christmas Festival in Franklin, Festival of Trees at Cheekwood, going to Opryland Hotel to look at the lights, The Nutcracker Ballet at TPAC
Sentimental Decorations: The special ornaments we collect signifying what happened that year (i.e. 2011 was a wedding cake, 2012 is a pink and white "baby's first Christmas" ornament), and my collection of nutcrackers

Can you tell I am totally in the spirit already...it's contagious I tell you!!
What are some of your favorite things this time of year??

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

caroline's christmas list...2012 edition

I've had quite a few of you out there emailing me asking what items are at the top of Caroline's Christmas List for this year, and let me tell you, I have been working hard on making sure our little princess is going to have some fun and fabulous goodies to open Christmas Day morning. Some of these items are hopefully coming from Santa (if she is good-hehe), some are from us, and our sweet family will be gifting peanut with some of these, too! (I know, can you tell she is loved)

Toys and Fun
Anywhere Chair
Maxim Everearth Activity Walker
One Step Ahead Ball Pit
Hape Pound & Tap Bench
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Apptivity CasePlayskool Pink Elephant Ball Popper
Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Learning Home
Nursery Horse Rocker
Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Musical Mirror

Learning Goodies
Books: I'll Love You Forever, Any of the Llama Llama Series, On the Night You Were Born, Pat the Bunny, Olivia, Madeline, Dr. Seuss series,
DVDs: Anything from Disney (Cinderella, Little Mermaid, Snow White, Bambi, Lion King, Etc)

Bathtime Toys and Such
Animal Print Nursery Bath Wrap Skip Hop Bath Whale Spout Cover 3 Sprouts Owl Toy Storage

Clothes are Necessities, Too
Mud Pie Monkey Pant Set
Baby Gap Dot Sweater Dress
Janie and Jack Knit Bubble Dress
Baby Gap Smocked Floral Dress

I have a feeling I'll stumble across some sweet little additions here and there as I am out doing our holiday shopping...we may go a bit overboard this year, but it's her first Christmas and it's just too much fun-I can't help myself!!
If yall have any must-have items I need to make sure to pick up or add to my list, please let me know...especially those of you mommies who know way more than I do :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

a whole lotta catch up

hello, my name is natasha and i used to blog...hehe. i know, i've been away for a bit haven't i? i am so sorry for the absence, especially during my FAVORITE time of the year! we are now 100% healthy here at the stoneking residence and are happy to feel like ourselves again...through caroline's first ear infection, more teething, and a sinus and upper respiratory infection for me, it was a rough few weeks indeed.
this past week we had all sorts of fun with the family over thanksgiving! we all gathered at my aunt michele's house for lunch and dove right in...and yes, luckily this girl got her appetite back JUST in time for turkey, dressing (my favorite), and loads of pumpkin pie. we celebrated all we have to be grateful for-specifically this little one seen below-and spent the day relaxing...what could be better!
friday morning, i woke up and jeff was instantly persuading me to hit the ground running with mom and take on the black friday shopping extravaganza, as he knew i'd be devastated if i didn't do some major shopping for presents. i was so ready to get out of the house and it was so thoughtful of him to hang out with caroline for the day so i could have some 1 on 1 time with mimi... lucky for us, we racked up on some GREAT sales (a few christmas gifts purchased and some must haves for us, too) and i finally bought our very own cuisinart/keurig coffee maker...OHHH LALA! fyi: i'm in love with it already. i have been converted and doubt i will ever go back my friends. and yes, it makes the most heavenly hot cocoa, too.  
saturday, jeff did some shopping while cc and i went out and about for some girl time to hit up target's holiday decor, old navy's super sale, and shopped for a new dvd player for the house so we could break out all the holiday movie favorites we love so much!
that evening, we got out the hoards of holiday rubbermaid bins, put on some christmas tunes, and let the decorating commence...being at home with my little family made my heart so very happy. this holiday season is going to be my favorite i do believe!
sunday afternoon, we were FINALLY able to meet up with our wonderful photog/friend for our family holiday session. this was the 3rd time trying to get these taken and i was beginning to think it just wasn't going to happen...but luckily candice didn't give up on us and i think we got some AMAZING shots for our cards this year.
ok, another start to the week...wanting this to be a productive one because we have a gala friday night and saturday we fly out for california! hope you had a FANTABULOUS thanksgiving!
and p.s. before i TOTALLY forget again, the winner of the East Coast Bride prize package is Jamie...she said she'd be using the giveaway for her upcoming March 2013 wedding...how perfect! I'll be sending your info to Keri and she'll be contacting you soon!

Monday, November 19, 2012

my thankgiving contributions

I know there are some fabulous foodies out there that take traditional Thanksgiving dishes and transform them into something incredibly unique and creative for turkey day, but our family is all about keeping some traditions close to our heart, and Thanksgiving is certainly one of those occasions!
We keep it pretty simple when it comes to recreating our menu each year, too... I usually branch out and try something fun for at least one dish, but some things are classics and cannot be taken off the menu, am I right?? Here are the three dishes I am making for this year's festivities!
(click on the name if you'd like to check out the recipe!)

 
 
I think by now you're all well aware of my sweet tooth, right? Can you tell by what I volunteered to bring? I love putting on one of my fun aprons, bringing all my ingredients out from the pantry, and spending my afternoon making yummy treats for my family...maybe it's a Southern thing, I'm not sure, but Thanksgiving is fast approaching and I can't wait.
Lots to be grateful for this year!

Friday, November 16, 2012

woe is me...the weekly mish mash

We have been under the weather for more than a week now...I thought it was over since Caroline has been on the mend, yet I am getting worse now with major sinus problems and congestion. I forgot how much I hated being sick. And yes, we've called in backup-Gran and Papa came over and so did Mimi and Aunt Shell to help their sick patients. I don't think I could've survivied without their help, that's for sure.
I've rented way too many movies and caught up on all omy DVR shows, and I am getting ancy over here because let's be honest, i am NOT a homebody. This "funk" that has taken over our household needs to get a move on because Thanksgiving is next week, and I have lots of prep work to do for our family celebration.
Tomorrow, we're celebrating the birthday of one of my most special friends, Candice! She is the first to turn 30 and we're going to their house for football, food, and fun...going to be a wonderful day and I am so excited we get to join in the fun for her spscial day!!! Cannot believe we are getting this old...I swear it was yesterday we were all in college and now we're like real adults. CRAZY
On Sunday, we have our photoshoot scheduled for our Christmas pictures. I am SO hoping we get to do them this week since we had to cancel last week due to our sickly status. We are headed to one of our favorite local parks and I cannot wait to see how they turn out. Outfits are planned, and I have a feeling Miss Caroline is going to put on quite a show ;)

Other than that, I am hoping to do a bit more Christmas shopping, and start getting out the holiday decor so I can do a little each day so I don't overwhelm myself, and start on my Thanksgiving menu items. Hope yall have a FANTASTIC weekend!
By the way, I am TOTALLY a lover of everything turkey related and celebrating next week, yet I did give in this morning and started listening to holiday tunes via Pandora and it put the biggest smile on my face...yes, I am such a kid when it comes to the holidays ;).

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

my favorite etsy stores...the perfect place for gifts!

I know we're all starting to plot the perfect gifts for our loved ones this holiday season and I for one love finding unique boutiques and such for fun gifts for our favorites on our Christmas List! Here is just a sampling of some of my beloved Etsy shops that I have ordered from in the past...these are all winner in my book!
 
 
Humble Pie Originals
the perfect shop for the BEST burp cloths...
featuring Amy Butler fabrics, which are my absolute favorite!
 
i ordered a custom name burlap pillow for a couple's shower gift and i love how it turned out...even better, they had just bought a house so it was a perfect way to shower the nest!
awesome bib and burp cloth sets! fast, easy to work with (custom orders, too), and i am always buying shower gifts from her for a little something special!
on the hunt for something personalized? look no further! this store has so much to
choose from and the quality is fantastic
everyone loves jewelry, correct? this is my go-to shop for fun, personalized necklaces and gorgeous jewels for the ears...great prices, cute packaging, and a wonderful gift for any gal
need something for the home, or for a special holiday? they make the cutest tubs and buckets around (remember Caroline's easter basket?) and everything is better when it's got a name on it ;)
 
Got any Etsy shops on your list of must-haves this holiday season?? Share away PLEASE!!
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