Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A New Year

A year ago today I found out I was pregnant. I was in total shock but couldn't wait to share the news with Hubs.

As I sit here and type, our little Miss Mary Tilman is napping in her crib. I now understand how time flies. I can't believe I have an almost four month old. I can't believe I am a mom. I can't believe it has already been an year.

While 2014 has brought more joy than I imagined it has also brought a few life lessons:
  •  Be present - The emails, phone calls and social media can wait. They can wait until after bedtime or they can wait until another day. Each day is a new one with new experiences. I don't want to look back and miss a big, or even a small, moment.
  • Quality not Quantity - As I have gotten older I have learned to truly embrace and love good friends. You know those deep meaningful relationships that only grow stronger as times change. I am blessed to have continuing childhood and college friendships that mean so much to me. 
  • Accept Help - My biggest flaw is not accepting help. I don't know how to gracefully say I need help, in both my work and personal life. I will forgo sleep, meals or me time just to get things done. It actually happened last night but I finally realized that asking for help doesn't make me a lesser person, it just makes me human. A cooked meal or a clean house provided by someone else is okay every once in a while and gives me some time to just relax and breathe a little.
  • Do You - As I have gotten older, I have come to know myself and my limitations. I have also learned to be true to myself. No person or situation is worth regretting a change you don't want to make. I believe you have to be at peace with decisions and you can only do that if you are truly you.

Cheers to 2015 and all the exciting things ahead!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Card

When deciding this year's card, it was a no brainer that Mary Tilman would be the focal point. I am so pleased with this year's card, even if it did involve lots of gold handwriting :)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Mary Tilman: Three Month Update

-And we are late to the game again... MT is now 3.5 months old-

Weight:  No clue. We now go to the doctor every other month and this momma is not able to weigh herself to find out.

Height: Ditto... no clue but long.
Sleep: Sleeping all night! I credit this to Moms on Call and you just being amazing. There are still some nights that we have to go soothe you but you sleep from around 8:15 to sometime in the 6:00 hour. You have been coming out of your swaddle sleep sack which wakes you but I don't think you are ready to wean yet.
Clothes/Diapers: Size 1 diapers still; Moving up in clothes to 3-6 months but still rocking a few 3 month clothes. Length is our problem these days.
Diet: Milk
Favorite Gear: play gym, rattles (aka car keys)
Milestones/Firsts: You celebrated your first holiday (Thanksgiving) and did great! I can definitely say that holidays are much more exciting with you now MT. You are also starting to laugh which is super fun to hear. And to make it even more exciting, you roll from belly to back occasionally. I say this because you perform sometimes and just grunt the rest.
Likes: looking at the dogs, the lights on the Christmas tree, Mommy or Daddy waking you up in the morning, baths, your hands

Dislikes: red lights (wish I could prevent this), the nasal bulb

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


I have been a little MIA.... this can be attributed to the craziness of work and life and trying to learn how to manage it all. Here are a few things on my mind.

We took MT to visit Santa and she did great. She even showed us a smile. I did a major mom fail and didn't know you had to get on a waiting list to see Santa at Phipps. I really wasn't thinking about fat, white haired men in October when the reservations open. I was just trying to get a few hours of sleep at that time but I have already put a reminder on next year's calendar. The Santa at another mall sufficed even if he did want to talk forever while he held my child. I kept doing the subtle baby reach in order to get her back.

I finished all my holiday shopping and it was all thanks to coupon codes and free shipping. I purchased everything online and have a big fat check of $71 waiting on me from Ebates. Getting paid to shop really does make up for the whole credit-card-number-getting-stolen-and-now-you-have-to-reset-all-your-accounts.

I am already planning Mary Tilman's baptism brunch and I could be going a bit overboard. It will just be family and a few close friends but it gives this event planner any excuse to go all out.

People ask me all the time how the dogs are managing with a new baby. Winston could truly care less about MT except for when the scary UPS guy comes close to the house. His bodyguard mode comes out in full force and he does not mess around. Winnie on the other hand drives me crazy. She is always there (which is nice sometimes) but will not leave MT's side. I literally have to drag her 59 lb body out of the nursery at night. MT thinks she is funny but the face kisses I do not. They will be built-in playmates for sure.

With all these major sales I have bought me a few things online. These Loft sweaters are so amazing I bought one in every color (Hubs: I used a coupon code). I also love this new sweater (may see this on Christmas day) and this scarf (which is now sold out :( ).

Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday Musings

Today is my first day back at work and Mary Tilman's first full day at school. Say a quick prayer that I spare my co-workers the ugly cry face!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Christmas Gift List: Home Decor

One thing I love about home decor presents are they are universal. While you need to cater to the recipient's taste, you don't have to worry about a size :)

I am not one to love a lot of clutter around my home but I do love unique pieces. You give me an hour and a Home Goods and I am one happy girl.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Christmas Gift List: Shoes

Shoes... a girl can never have enough. Shoes are the best thing ever because it doesn't matter what your hip size is to be able to rock the trendiest pair. I also love them because you can go as cheap or as expensive as you want (i.e. Old Navy to Louboutins).

Sam Edelman Petty - These are super comfortable
Nine West booties
BP. Wedges
Steve Madden flats
C. Wonder slippers

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Christmas Gift List: Dresses

Keeping up with the gift giving theme is a roundup of dresses from around the web (and I am noticing a trend of black and grey). I am all about a dress, tights and heels for both work and play... especially tummy tucking tights.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Christmas Gift List: Jewels

I love jewelry... both giving and receiving it! Luckily there are tons of great places to find the perfect gift. While jewelry can be subjective to the recipient, it is one size fits all and usually comes in great prices.

Here is a round-up of a few for ladies on your list:
Bauble Bar bangle
J. Crew Factory necklace 
Banana Republic earrings
C. Wonder bracelet
Anthropologie earrings

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Atlanta: Shops

In keeping with the holiday theme and shopping season, here are a few of my favorite Atlanta stores. My motto is if you can't find it here, you can't find it anywhere.

Boxwoods - This precious store is located in Buckhead and has some great gift choices.

Gramercy - I would die for their linens in every room of our house. Gramercy has some gorgeous monograms and great gift options as well. These shams in our guest room were done at Gramercy.

Gretchen's - I stumbled upon this little store online and paid a visit a few weeks ago. They have some great gifts for kids of all ages and carry my favorite, Beaufort bonnets.

Swoozie's - While not an Atlanta exclusive store, their headquarters location is just down the street from us. If you can't find a gift here, then you aren't going to find it anywhere. Plus I love their cute holiday items for an improtu get-together.

Forsyth Fabrics - Forsyth is my go-to place for fabrics. While not as swanky as its neighbor, Lewis and Sheron, Forsyth has some great prices and a pretty good selection.

Fab'rik - They have opened new stores all over the place but you can always find something at Fab'rik. I personally think their prices are pretty reasonable too!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday Musings

- I have lost all my baby weight but things are mushy and jiggly in all the wrong places. I am understanding the meaning of mom pooch and thanks goodness for winter sweaters. My goal is to start running again and doing P90x. Let's hope these tight clothes prove to be enough motivation.

- I am one of those people obsessed with pumpkin everything... PSL (pumpkin spice latte), pumpkin bread, pumpkin candles. Luckily Coffeemate sells a great coffee creamer and Trader Joe's has the best bread mix. Should I be that weirdo stocking up before December hits?

- My brother was so kind to lend me his Netflix account while I am on leave to watch the seasons of Scandal... I am hooked! I went through all four seasons way to fast and now I am at the mercy of live television. While I love it, I am a little over the whole Fitz/Olivia back and forth... just get together already.

- Mary Tilman has started to go to daycare for a few days to get us both ready for the adjustment. Well she is just happy as a clam and I am lost. The first day I refused to sit around the house only to find reminders of her everywhere (advice: if you miss your baby don't go to the mall during midday to find tons of SAHMs with their babies). There were definitely tears shed but I think it is best to spare my coworkers from the ugly cry in a week.

- I ordered Mary Tilman some clothes from the ever popular Facebook auctions and I am super pleased. The finds were a great deal and it was super easy! Sadly, she won't be rocking these til this time next year.

- I will be that person with Christmas decor up before Thanksgiving. With a week left in my leave and us traveling back home for the holiday, I couldn't pass up the chance to get it all done. I am still deciding whether I want to do the same as I have done the past three years or change it up for once. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Give Thanks

One thing I love about Thanksgiving and fall is that you get to enjoy the decor for up to three months (unlike other holidays). I also love that you can use lots of items from nature. Truly, throw a few pumpkins, gourds and leaves together and call it a Thanksgiving tablescape.

Are you hosting your family's get-together? Here are a few items to make your celebration festive:

Gather leaves from outside your home to place as a table runner / Add a touch of autumn with these pheasant plates / Using gold drinkware carries the autumn colors from cocktails to dinner / Monogrammed napkins can make even the most casual of settings a touch more formal / I have these silver gourds and love them for my dining room decor / What is more rustic than wood serving trays? / These fun cups are perfect for the weekend's tailgating or casual events outdoors

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Christmas Gift List: Tops

Next up in our gift features are tops. I know this post-partum bod is loving blouses these days. These best part is they are good all year round (and even when you are rocking a baby bump).

Trying to kick my wardrobe into high gear, here are a few favorites:
Piperlime embellished top - perfect for NYE
Blue Door Boutique striped pullover - looks super comfy
Fab'rik printed poncho 
Gap plaid tunic
Loft bow neck blouse

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mary Tilman: Two Month Update

Sorry.. a little late on this

Weight: 11.6 lbs

Height: 23 1/2 inches

Sleep: You are sleeping like a champ. You go down around 8-8:15 after your bedtime feeding and don't wake again until around 5:00 then for your breakfast feeding at 7:00. This has only been happening for two nights though so I am trying not to have false hope. 

Clothes/Diapers: You are still in 0-3 months clothes but pants are getting mighty tight due to your long legs. Gowns are our go-to these days. You are now in size 1 diapers as well.

Diet: Milk, milk, milk

Favorite Gear: Play-gym, Wubbanubs, Boppy lounger, car seat mirror to look at yourself (you are seriously low maintenance) 

Milestones/Firsts: You made your first "trip" to the mountains of Tennessee. It was quite trying on your little self but you did amazing for a little one! You are also smiling all the time and trying to start up conversations. You also started school this week which made mommy super sad but will hopefully alleviate the waterworks on my first day back at work. Your teachers say you are doing amazing and being able to watch you on camera doesn't hurt either.

Likes: Morning time, laying in Mommy & Daddy's bed, music, your fist

Dislikes: Dirty diapers, stopping at red lights in the car

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Christmas Gift List: Handbags

With maternity leave and all, I had totally planned to get ahead of this holiday season's shopping. How many gifts have I bought? ZERO!

In honor of my slacking with Christmas being insanely close, I wanted to highlight some of my favs this holiday season. Maybe this will put me in the mood to actually buy some stuff over the next few weeks.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Life Lately (in iPhone pics)

Mary Tilman has been smiling from ear to ear these last few weeks and you can see Winnie in the background. We lovingly refer to her as Nanny (from Peter Pan) because she is MT's constant companion and bodyguard / Mother & daughter picture from our recent trip to the mountains

Sleeping shot of little bit (we love the 4Moms pack and play even more after our trip) / Sleeping beauty

Halloween pumpkin getting ready to go to meet all the neighbors. The outfit is from PBkids and kinda resembles a French beret / Another smiley shot of little miss

Daddy & daughter pic / MT relaxing in our bed this morning. She thinks big people beds are hysterical

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Atlanta: Restaurants

Living in the ATL, we are lucky to have hundreds of great restaurants to enjoy. Having a new little one, leaves me pining for a nice meal out again. While my restaurant bucket list still has several places left to try, here are a few of our favorite joints:

South City Kitchen - This place is by far our favorite restaurant in Atlanta. There are two locations but we prefer the less crowded Vinings location (bonus: no valet to pay). The fried green tomatoes are an appetizer must with a main course choice of the fried chicken, catfish or veggie plate. Their NYE menu is one of the best around, in my opinion.

Buckhead Diner - When my mom and I used to come to Atlanta to shop several years ago, we also fit Buckhead Diner into the agenda. The blue cheese chips are famous but the calamari is also amazing as well. I have always ordered their crab cakes because whatever they put in the mustard sauce makes them the best around. Bonus - you can take home your bottle of wine if you don't finish it (most Atlanta restaurants allow this)

Tin Lizzy's - There are tons of locations now but we love this trendy Mexican spot for the cheap, good food and atmosphere. Their margaritas will knock you on your feet so only allow for 1-2 :) Favorites are any taco, make-your-own quesadilla and the queso.

Yeah Burger - Could be the H&F bread or fresh meat patties, but Yeah Burger is our favorite burger joint (the Hubs also likes their PBR pitchers). Order their truffle fries in addition to a pimento cheese burger and you will be super pleased with yourself.

Horseradish Grill - This quaint spot is perfect for brunch or dinner and located in my favorite spot in the city, Chastain Park. The fried chicken, omelettes and fried green tomatoes are all great as is anything on the menu. Beware of crowded amphitheater concert nights but you can park for free if you are doing dinner and a show.

JCT Kitchen - Fried chicken is a reoccurring theme and theirs is great as well. I got hooked on truffle fries here as well as their great shrimp and grits. The location is on the hip Westside and led by my favorite restauranturer, Ford Fry.

The Optimist - Also a Ford Fry spot, this seafood place is superb. The warehouse feel and open kitchen are really cool as well as the mini putt-putt course outside. Each time we visited, my dinner has been great but I highly recommend the fish & chips. The hushpuppies and the accompanying sweet sauce are also a must order. 

Canoe - Canoe has great food but their scenery is the best part. Located on the river, several events are hosted here each weekend because it is so dang pretty. I recommend brunch so you can take it all in as we did this past birthday weekend. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The meaning behind the cross

Throughout the past few years, a very important cross has been incorporated in several milestones in our lives.

The first Christmas Aaron and I celebrated together while dating, he gave me a cross necklace. It is a gorgeous estate piece that I still love to this day. I am a sucker for meaningful details so we have included it in several ways throughout the years.

Our wedding program designed by my dad / The ring bearer pillow made by my mother-in-law / Mary Tilman's stationery designed by me / Painting in MT's room done by my dad

I have a feeling this cross will continue to pop up in several ways for years to come.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Online Shopping - Literally

All these fall temps mean my wardrobe needs to kick it into high gear. Luckily for this stellar mom pouch I am now rocking, the trends seem to be slouchy sweaters and legging jeans.

Much to the husband's dismay, I am introducing little girl to all the best shopping areas our great town has to offer. But... I am loving all these online boutiques and their great prices. Here are a few web favorites:

Friday, October 10, 2014

Scary Soiree

I am not a huge fan of Halloween but I know that will change in the future with the addition of our little one. While skeletons, witches and goblins are authentic Halloween decor staples, I think you can put a spin on your traditional fall decorations for any upcoming spooky event. Consider hosting a pre-trick or treat get together or a pumpkin carving party and both can be adult/kid friendly.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Mary Tilman: One Month Update

Sweet Mary Tilman is one month old (or was this past weekend). Since I spared you weekly pregnancy updates I decided to document monthly baby updates. This is really just for me and my memories if we are being honest here.

Weight: 9 lbs, 6 oz (Little one has put on over 2 lbs since our last pediatrician visit).

Height: 22 inches long

Sleep: We are still working on this but I can proudly say you have gone a few nights with just one nighttime feeding. I think I am at fault on this because I have not been following the MOC recommendations as much as I should, but your doctor gave me some good suggestions on making sleep a priority for both of us.

Clothes/Diapers: You are still in newborn diapers but will need to move up here in the near future. You are also still in 0-3 months clothes, but luckily your grandmothers saved plenty of gowns from our childhoods so your closet is stocked.

Diet: Milk... enough said

Favorite Gear: Stroller, swaddle blankets, Wubbanub

Milestones/Firsts: You have had several outings around town and a trip to the pumpkin farm. You also have started smiling and found your voice. You have also been nicknamed "Stinker" because you have mastered the perfect cry enough to send your dad or I running... only to be fooled and find no tears and a perfectly happy baby.

Likes: Eating, your Daddy, snuggling

Dislikes: Bathtime, dirty diapers, "the witching hour" before bed

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Pumpkin Patch

This past weekend, we made our usual trek up to the pumpkin patch. The weather was perfect and little Miss Mary Tilman did amazing. So good, in fact, that we could squeeze in a quick stop at the outlets.

If you are in the Atlanta area, you must visit Burt's Farm in Dawsonville. It is crazy packed but the selection is amazing!

Side note: I am wearing the J. Crew swing sweater that was part of their sale last week. I may buy like 12 more because they truly do live up to the hype.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Newborn Must-Haves

I swear this will not become a baby blog but my life is currently all things baby. Leading up to baby and still to this day, I love reading what other moms have shared about their new motherhood experiences. Having posted my pregnancy essentials, I wanted to share our lifesavers over the last month.

Moms on Call - Mary Tilman has been on the Moms on Call schedule for the last two weeks and we have seen some definite improvements in the sleep situation. While still not too terribly consistent, it is nice to have some structure in our days for both baby and Mom. The book also has some great tips on everything from feeding to common illnesses.

Boppy - This thing makes feeding times so easy. The cute covers make it a lot more enjoyable as well. A must have!

Aden and Anais Swaddles - We use these for everything... swaddling, neighborhood walks, car seat blankets and covering for public outings. I love the breathable muslin material and the prints are precious.

Baby Nursing App - This app is my everything right now. I use it to track feedings and diapers but it is so much more. You can customize it to use as much or as little as you want but I just love the ease of it, especially in the wee hours of the morning.

Gerber diaper shirts - These side snap shirts are perfect for nighttime wear. I don't like to bundle her up too much with the added warmth of the swaddle but these shirts make the middle of the night diaper changes great! We have picked up more over the past few weeks because we use them so much.

Brica ComforTemp Bath - I researched several bath tubs and liked this one the best. We bathe Mary Tilman in the big tub (as opposed to the sink) and this bath holds water so she stays warm throughout the entire bath. I definitely recommend to anyone looking around for bath suggestions.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Mary Tilman: Birth Story

I wanted to document Mary Tilman's birth story for both my memory and hers.

This tale really starts on Tuesday, Sept. 2nd. Aaron was home and noticed there was a substantial amount of water in our basement. He initially assumed it was from a dog accident (sorry Winnie) but when I got home, I noticed it was way too much to be them. After dinner at our local Mexican restaurant (hello spicy food), we came back to more water. Aaron attempted to vacuum some of it up and noticed the sound of water running. Much to my dismay, he broke into the drywall to discover a leaking pipe. Fast forward a few frantic minutes and we have no water and have to wait until morning for a plumber. Now picture this preggo chick in a house with no running water... yea we were roughing it.

The next day, I worked from home due to no shower and having some minor cramping overnight. I truly thought nothing of the cramping but turned to Google to see if it could be labor. Ladies, don't turn to Google... it gives no answers. Several plumbers came and went while offering us not much help in the process. My cramps were growing more uncomfortable but again I was thinking these were not the real thing, just Braxton Hicks. After sitting on a conference call around 4:00 pm and continuously having to jump up every time a cramp hit, I decided to call my doctor. She said she didn't think they were real labor contractions but with them being 5 minutes apart, let's come in to be sure. I called Aaron, who was outside with a plumber, that we needed to get packed up and go. Luckily we have awesome neighbors that could watch our house as the work was being finished.

These two were quite concerned as I jumped up every time a cramp/contraction hit.

Baby bump before we left for the hospital - 39 weeks, 4 days

Mom & Dad selfie before leaving the house

Of course, we hit some Atlanta traffic on the way to the hospital but I truly thought we would not be admitted. After getting checked in around 6:45 pm, they hooked me up for monitoring. My contractions were still coming and I had made some progress from my doctor's appt. the day prior. I also decided to walk around my hospital room to see if that would do anything. After about 3 hours, the doctor came in and did some progress checks. Her next question was to encourage me to ask for my epidural if I wanted it. I got really wide-eyed and asked if that meant I was being admitted. She responded and said we were having a baby! A few tears were shed and phone calls were made and waiting began. 

I decided to ask for my epidural and it was heavenly. Unfortunately, I experienced some blood pressure drops which were a little scary but everything leveled out. I truly don't know how much more time went by but my epidural sped my progress up significantly. Our families arrived and we got to spend a few minutes with them before we started pushing around 1:45 am.

Labor was EXHAUSTING and I truly thought she would never come but at 3:56 am, Mary Tilman made her arrival. I was completely drained but it was so surreal to finally hold her after almost 10 months. She truly is a gift.

Mary Tilman Adelle
7.7 lbs - 19 3/4 inches

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Welcome Little Miss

I have been slightly absent for a good reason... Miss Mary Tilman Adelle has joined us and we are completely consumed by her. While still trying to adjust to slightly less sleep, but she is a complete blessing and joy. I will try to be more present now that we are getting better on the whole night/day differentiation.

Her name is a combination of my grandfather and Aaron's grandmother's names. Poor thing will have a lot of name to fill in throughout her school years.

Quick pic from her newborn session this week; she has changed so much over the last two weeks.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Nursery Gallery Wall

With little girl's name coming from family members, I wanted to incorporate pictures in her room. A gallery wall was the perfect solution.
We laid out the gallery wall before printing any pictures or placing anything on the wall. Luckily, Aaron is very meticulous when it comes to measuring.

Top Row
Easter circa 1990-ish (Aaron and I are both pictured here from church we grew up and married in) / Painting from an artist and blogger in Birmingham / Bible verse that was in our wedding ceremony / Picture of Aaron's grandmother

Bottom Row
Lyrics from our first dance / Picture of my grandfather and I / Little one's initials (these are painted cardboard letters from Hobby Lobby; much cheaper and less dangerous than the Anthropologie metal lettters)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Nurse Gifts

Like any pregnant woman, I want the best treatment possible while in the hospital. So I figured bribery always helps. The hubs is in healthcare and explained the nurses are not supposed to take gifts but I went against that advice and mocked up some baskets for both the night and day nurses.

My sweet co-workers also found my Pinterest page and saw I wanted to do nurse gifts so during my work shower everyone put together little baggies. It was such a thoughtful idea.

Here's to hoping I get a few sympathy points while drugged up and in pain.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Baby Girl's Nursery

The nursery is complete and I could not be more excited with the outcome. I wanted something non-babyish with items she can grow up with. I am also not a lover of baby pink so we steered clear of that as well.

I wanted most of the large items to be rather neutral in the hopes we could use it for the next baby (way down the road on that one). 

I am in love with the crib bedding, made by my mom.

After a lot of thought and two dressers, we decided on the wood finish (as opposed to all white). I changed out the pulls to dress it up a bit. I also wanted a comfy glider as I have a feeling I will be spending a lot of time in that chair. 

The room already had shelves so we worked with what we had. I added the stencil in a metallic silver finish.

Of course I couldn't take pictures without my sidekick. She has followed me around the house for the last nine months so this day was no different. She also seems to think this is her room but will be highly upset when it comes with a screaming baby in less than 2 weeks.

Crib - Target
Dresser - Ikea
Pouf - One Kings Lane
Glider - Home Decorators Collection
Side tables - CB2
Lamp - Target
Crib Sheet - Serena and Lily
Changing Pad cover - Serena and Lily

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Hospital Bag: What I Am Packing

Considering I have not actually had baby girl yet, my hospital bag packing is a shot in the dark. But after my overnight stay, I have learned to pack lightly.

Here is what I am packing, thanks to Pinterest, friends and google searches.

For Me
Going Home Outfit - I am thinking black maxi... slimming and post-baby body forgiving
Toiletries - I picked up travel size items as I am hoping for only a brief hospital stay
Pillow - make sure to add a colored pillowcase so it doesn't get taken away
Belly corset - I have heard good things about these for the post-baby figure so I thought to give it a try

For Baby
Going Home Outfit 
Swaddle - This is for her precious baby scent and getting the dogs used to it before we come home

For Hubs
Contact List
Hospital Documents - While you already pre-register, it is nice to have the printed documents

Monday, August 25, 2014


Wow it has been a long time since I have blogged. Nothing like waiting til the last of the month :)

A lot has gone on these past few weeks... we have traveled, prepped for baby girl and tried to soak up these last few days of just us.

Our last weekend of travel consisted of Aaron's best childhood friend's wedding, who also happens to be baby girl's godfather. It was great to see friends and family for our last weekend back in Bama for a while.

We actually had two weddings that weekend so I got the chance to meet up with my college besties (but missed the stunning bride :( ) It was so good to catch up with everyone as I don't see them enough.

The hubs may kill me for posting this picture but he was my rock for a scary 24 hours. Two Saturdays ago, I fell in our garage. The doctor on call wanted me to come in for monitoring which turned into an overnight stay at the hospital. Luckily, everything turned out fine but they wanted to monitor me just to be safe. Looking on the positive side, we got a good test run of the hospital stay and Aaron learned he needs to be prepared for some frigid temps.

Like I said, we have done some serious baby prep through nesting mode and getting things put together.  The mamaroo was not a huge hit with the big brother and sister but they better get used to it. Baby has taken over the Williams household.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Nordstrom Sale

Did you know it was the big Nordstrom Sale? Of course you did because it is literally everywhere!

As much as these amazing prices get to me I have no clue what this lovely bod will look like come fall. I am setting high expectations for my walks with bambino and letting the belly bandit do its magic but know miracles don't happen overnight.

Although here are some of my sale favs:
1. Dogeared Necklace - I love this brand and have a very similar style necklace (that I love). This would be a great present idea!
2. BCBG Dress - Loving this wrap dress and it could work come fall. I am not usually a pattern person but this one doesn't bother me too much.
3. Tory Burch bracelet - Love these wrap bracelets and the price is great. Maybe my wrists will decide to come back post-pregnancy as well.
4. Tory Burch purse - I don't need another purse one bit but love this style.
5. Sam Edelman Booties - I got the Sam Edelman Petty booties before our trip to Ireland last year and they are amazing. These whiskey colored ones may have to be my fall purchase.
6. Voluspa Candle Set - My name is Julie and I have a candle hoarding problem. I literally have like 15 stashed away in a cabinet. These Voluspa candles are A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! Another goodie that may need to make its way home.
7. Girl's Burberry Jacket - Now I have to start thinking about clothing another human being and who doesn't need their own Burberry? Ha Aaron would kill me but she would look so darn cute in this!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


I am trying to do better about this blogging thing (excuses, excuses :) ). Here is a little view into our life lately:

1.  Memorial Day at the lake, which is both the dogs and our happy place to unwind
2.  First glimpse at baby girl's room. I am still working on stuff for the walls and then will unveil my new favorite room in the house.
 3. The hubs and I went to the US Open golf tournament in Pinehurst, NC (this was planned pre-baby). The resort town is gorgeous with tons of precious houses and hospitality. If your man loves golf this would be a great place to send him for a trip away.
4. Winnie has had some severe seperation aniexty lately and insists on sitting in your lap like she doesn't weigh roughly 55 lbs.
5. Winston joining in on Aaron's birthday celebration
6. The bestie came in town and we rocked out to Katy Perry. It was great to catch up with Mere and Miss Perry put on a fantastic show, complete with thousands of screaming preteen fans.
7. This swan made an appearance on July 4th. Go and buy one now!
8. A rare bump sighting at 31 weeks. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Pregnancy Favorites

Y'all... I can't believe we are 8 weeks away from meeting little one! So exciting yet slightly frightening at the same time. I am thinking about all the things I need to accomplish during this time.

I truly can't complain about this pregnancy thus far. Yes the aches and pains are starting to hit and hit hard but it has been pretty uneventful... crossing my fingers it stays this way.

Here are a few lifesavers from the past 8 months:

Prenatal Vitamins - This brand pictured are not the ones I take; I am a store brand kind of gal. These are not really a lifesaver but a necessity for any preggo.

Snoogle Mini - This bad boy has been named Theodore (why I have no clue but he has now become part of our co-sleeping arrangement). The mini is great because it is not as monstrous as the original but provides amazing support for the hips. When we travel, it is a must because you can definitely regret those nights without it.

The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy - I chose to be very selective in what I read because some books are out there to scare you into seclusion. You will second guess everything you eat, breathe or even look at. This book was hilarious but also gave some great advice. My favorite was setting the expectations that everything on my body would gain weight... not just the belly. It has prevented some near-breakdown moments.

Palmer's Cocoa Butter -  I have not been persistent in applying lotion nightly but this is my go-to. You smell like a massive chocolate bar but it eases the mind about stretch marks. Truthfully, everything I read said you either get them or you don't ... no amount of lotion will do anything.

Lemons - Everyone harps on staying hydrated throughout your pregnancy. They say it prevents swelling (which is a lie) and helps with fatigue. To be honest, I never want to drink water again. When you cut out alcohol and caffeine, there is not much left in the beverage department. But... lemons have been water's saving grace by preventing my gag reflex from reacting after drowning myself with each 12 ounce glass at a time.

EOS Lip Balm - This lip balm was always my favorite but now I find myself applying it every hour. It is a must-have!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Preggo Truths

- Disclaimer: This is supposed to be a humorous post on my take of pregnancy thus far. In no way is this applicable to everyone or is meant to be condescending to the miracle of pregnancy -

I put the disclaimer above because people are so touchy on the internet these days. I wanted to post on my pregnancy thus far and thoughts along the way. While some portions may be instilled with humor I am forever grateful for my sweet baby girl.

To get the truth out there, I have had some hard times in the woman department. You never know how long things will take or how things will play out for you in the long run. I had some dark times last year thinking I could have complications with pregnancy down the road. While I am extremely blessed I know it is not easy for some people. There are women who struggle with infertility or lose a baby every day. Knowing that, my heart breaks for each and every one of them.

This post is meant to call out the things I have heard about pregnancy before and my thoughts... Enjoy!

Unsolicited advice and comments
You will get advice from everyone.... Co-workers, family, friends, strangers. I have gotten advice in elevators, shopping malls, you name it. I have learned you simply nod your head and say thanks :) I know people mean well but sometimes it is slightly overwhelming to hear 12 different versions of a birthing story.

Lately the comments have been on the impending hot months with comments like "Oh girl you will be dying in August" really does not get me pumped for more sweltering heat and swollen feet. Yes I know it will be hot in August... do you not think that hit me back in January when I started counting the days. As for comebacks, I have none. I just nod.

"Are you nervous about the big day?"
I have also started to get this one lately. It is fun as I pause and go a pale green color... just kidding but I respond with a polite "heck yes." Do you think I haven't thought about the whole birthing story, gotten daily email digests about it and read the 14 pamphlets on what not to do?

"You will only gain weight in your belly"
This is a total lie. Everywhere gains weight.... I mean everywhere.

There is a lot of judging
I am not talking about vocal judging. Just looks as you eat that piece of candy or buy an orange juice in the morning... yes people it is pasturized juice... lay off! I have gotten looks as I carried a few too many grocery bags out to my car or worn the same pants in the same week. You do what you have to do for these few months.

You have a new-found urgency and sense not to care
Everything seems to have a timeline and a due date on when said task should be completed. These tasks also have deadlines in weeks not dates as in "When I am 37 weeks, the nursery should be done."

Being a true Southern women we tend to keep thoughts to ourselves but think the truth in our heads. Well pregnancy has removed all sorts of filters I had before and I usually just blurt out what is on my mind. My co-workers think this is hilarious as I am slightly mortified, slightly relieved to just say what I want (cheers to two more months of having an excuse to do this).

"You should exercise the entire nine ten months"
So my doctor terrified me about eating for two (although I love her dearly). I have tried to be cognizant of this while also indulging cravings when necessary.  On top of analyzing every nutrition label there are people that badger you for not exercising. Y'all.... I can't even keep my eyes open after a nine hour workday much less want to go walk my swollen cankles around the block. I did buy a prenatal work-out video after seeing fat pockets in places that I didn't know existed but the couch is so tempting when you can't even breathe to walk upstairs.

A kick in the stomach makes you feel better
With the lovely World Wide Web comes the crazies. These are the people that love to instill fear in every pregnant soul in the world. If you accidentally eat a black-listed item they recommend racing to the ER or if you haven't felt a kick in 4 hours you should stalk your OB all night. This fear is not cool for a first time mom but I will say the long-awaited kicks make it all worth it. Each baby has their own schedule but they remind you that a little precious baby is prepping to come into the world and change your life completely.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

HBD 'Merica

Are you planning an Independence Day celebration? If not, you should since the day and all its amazingness is coming to you on a Friday this year. Hello three day weekend!

Independence Day is the perfect day to relax... in the scorching July heat of course, a day to eat good food and to enjoy an adult beverage (or mocktail in my case). Luckily, you can go the traditional red, white and blue theme without an explosion of Flags and Uncle Sams.

Here is a round-up of decor to get you started:

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Maternity Fashion

I use the word fashion lightly. So many maternity clothes out there are hideous with a capital H. I mean lets make expectant moms-to-be feel even worse about their impending weight gain. But.... there are some places out there with some great pieces.

Luckily, I have been able to get away with not buying much at all. Other than some work pants, maternity tanks and a few dresses, I have been squeezing into my pre-maternity stuff. I have also tried to buy solids so they would last for any following pregnancies. A great statement necklace has made the world of difference.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Monogram It

With baby girl on the way of course I want to monogram everything. Luckily, it seems that these days you can get anything monogrammed. And I mean anything.

While I love the big chain stores (and their coupons), I also love the independent Etsy stores (as long as they are reliable and don't take months to ship things... yes that has happened). Here are a few stores that make some beauties:

- I have a cover-up from Blue Suede Stitches that I love! Comfort Colors are the best for a beach/pool day -

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Outdoor Entertaining

Summer temps are here and they seem like they are here to stay. All this summer talk makes me think of cookouts and outdoor get-togethers. While still manageable, outdoor festivities are the way to go.

Tons of companies are now featuring inexpensive outdoor decor to make any space adorable... check out a few here:

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


I live by the motto that when you find something you love, you share it.... well I love Rifle Paper Co. This precious company, based in Florida, has some really unique items that are great to gift and keep. I adore my current phone cover and a notepad that I love so much I hate to write in it.

This husband and wife team have some great style and major talent. You can find their items online, at Anthropologie, Swoozie's, etc.

Friday, May 23, 2014

My Lulie

The hubs pulled out a complete surprise this past Christmas with a gift I will treasure forever.

I have always admired Lulie Wallace's work and mentioned it several times the past few years. Well, he gifted me a commission for my very own piece of artwork.

I sent her inspiration photos of my wedding and bridesmaids' bouquets. I also knew I wanted to place the piece in our kitchen for all to see. After several months, it is here and I am still giddy. I am even contemplating one of her mini works for the nursery gallery wall.