Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bump Update: 19 Weeks

How far along? 19 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: Around 5-6 pounds...I think I've finally hit "gaining" mode! Baby boy was around 10 ounces at our appointment last week, which was perfect.
Maternity clothes? Ok, so a few tighter things I had not tried on yet this season didn't fit so well when I tried them on the last few days. Kind of a bittersweet moment. It took until almost 20 weeks but I think it's time to do some shopping!
Stretch marks? No. Does anyone have any suggestions for me in this area? I want something that works!
Sleep: Most of the week was good! I was crazy busy this week so I think that had something to do with it. Two naps on Sunday afternoon were nice.
Best moment this week: Seeing our baby at the doctor appointment and finding out he's a boy! More importantly, everything looked healthy and I am so relieved.
Have you told family and friends: Yes, and everyone knows it's a boy!
Miss Anything? I was in a wedding this past weekend and it sure is hard to be around people drinking/relaxing all weekend. Wine or champagne would've been fun!
Movement: Yes, love it.
Food cravings: Been wanting Starbucks coffee so bad! And not having to worry about how much caffeine is in it! 
Anything making you queasy or sick: This sounds crazy but I cannot handle the smell of trash. I try not to breathe in when I am near a trashcan. Yuck.
Have you started to show yet: Yes, people are finally noticing instead of asking where the bump is! I'm starting to notice all the ways people can comment on baby bumps. It can be quite interesting!
Gender: BOY!
Labor Signs: No
Belly Button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: So happy about this little boy and spending time with our family and friends this past week.
Looking forward to: Doing some shopping for our little man! I'm not going to go overboard but I have to go out and buy some boy things!

Other moments from this week....

{With my beautiful friend Jenna on her wedding day!}

{Baby boy already has some sweet clothes and blankets from his Mimi and his Aunt Steph! They were really banking on him being a boy, they brought these to the party on Thursday!}

Thank you for all of your sweet, caring comments over the last several days. They mean so, so much!

I almost forgot, Happy Halloween! We will be doing something ultra lowkey tonight- passing out candy to all the trick-or-treaters :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Banana Bread Bars with Brown Butter Frosting

I figured I would switch it up and give you a recipe today, bump update tomorrow after several consecutive posts on baby things! 

You may have heard about this storm named Sandy. Sandy took over the weekend with gale force winds and driving rain, totally changing the outdoor wedding for my friend that got married Saturday night. Sandy also caused me to stay inside all day Sunday, take several naps and do some baking. Thanks Sandy! Whenever a hurricane comes, it only feels right to do a little baking or cooking.

I am a big lover of Banana Bread and usually follow my Grandma's recipe, complete with chocolate chips. However, I wanted to try this one out because you bake it in a bar form instead of a loaf of bread. Y' seriously need to make these. The best part is they slice wonderfully and are pretty enough to bring to a get together/work/school party. Perfect for fall!

Banana Bread Bars:
1-1/2 c. sugar
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. butter, softened
2 eggs
1-3/4 (3 or 4) ripe bananas, mashed
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. chopped walnuts (optional)

Brown Butter Frosting:
1/2 c. butter
4 c. powdered sugar
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tbsp. milk

1. Heat oven to 375F. Grease and flour 15x10-inch jelly roll pan. For the bars, in a large bowl, beat together sugar, sour cream, butter, and eggs until creamy. Blend in bananas and vanilla extract. Add flour, baking soda, salt, and blend for 1 minute. Stir in walnuts.

2. Spread batter evenly into pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.

3. Meanwhile, for frosting, heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until boiling. Let the butter turn a delicate brown and remove from heat immediately.

4. Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract and milk. Whisk together until smooth (it should be thicker than a glaze but thinner than frosting). Using a spatula, spread the brown butter frosting over the warm bars (the frosting will be easier to spread while the bars are still warm). 

Yield: 2 dozen large bars


I promptly sent off a plate to Stephen's office and they went to work with me as well. They make a ton! 
What is your favorite "fall bread" to make?

*Linking up to Tasty Tuesdays*

I hope everyone stays safe and dry while Sandy makes her way outta' town. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Our Gender Reveal Party

I'm so excited to share our Gender Reveal Party with you today! It was so much fun to put together and I enjoyed putting a few pinterest ideas to work. Hope you enjoy!

I sent out this invite via email from Paperless Post. They have the cutest designs and this one was free! It only went to close friends and family so an address was not necessary. Even though this was an informal event, I was glad I sent them because I had a firm guest list to go by for planning.

One of the first things I did was order cute straws for the party. I ordered mine from Shop Sweet Lulu because they had the bright pink and blue I was looking for- plus a quick shipping turn around. Packaging is everything and I loved that they packed them in the cute pink paper and even included a little mint!

With my colors in mind, I ordered some balloons to line our walkway, which I will tell you more about in a minute.  I left the balloons sitting in the hallway and the dogs got so spooked by the noise they made when they hit the ceiling. Dixie quickly got over her fear when I held them and even let me get a picture of her with them. She's ready to let everyone know the big secret!

 Amazingly, we have a few roses blooming and a few straggling hydrangeas. Pink and blue! Perfect, I used these on the windowsill and another larger arrangement on the bar. 

We used the dining room table to serve the food buffet style, and I used this ribbon idea found on pinterest to line the center of the table. It turned out so cute! 

Usually, I don't like to serve on paper/plastic plates but lets face it they are SO much easier and I am pregnant. Easier clean up is a must these days. We found them in bright blue and pink to match of course. I used some of my white Fenton to hold the silverware as well.

Right before the guests arrived, we got a shot of us outside. I loved a balloon backdrop idea {found here} so we lined our walkway with them. I left my Dad and Stephen in charge of this project. The pinterest link says to stake the balloons with golf tees but they quickly decided that was not sturdy enough- so they used long screws we use for outdoor Christmas decorations to stake them down. 

Of course, I included the chalkboard! Here is a tally at one point...


And you know we had to have a cake! With my sister's help, we came up with a bow and bow tie theme it. {Have you noticed the bows and bow ties on my weekly chalkboard updates?} The cake maker did a chevron pattern and added the cute buttons. It was perfect! 

We also got to use our Vera Wang cake cutting set that was used almost three years ago for our wedding! Make sure you hang onto yours for future celebrations ;)

After the big reveal- two happy parents...and big brother and sister! Stephen hung the paper pinwheels along the window but I never got a good picture of them. You can see them in the photo from Friday here.

I hope you enjoyed our Gender Reveal Party. I had so much fun planning it and owe lots of thanks to the hubby for his patience and family for their help with the food preparations! 


Friday, October 26, 2012

It's A....


We are so excited to have our own sweet baby boy coming in March!!!

We had such a great time celebrating last night with our family and friends. I will share a few more photos next week! Until then, just know I am SO happy about this little boy! 

And I have to say I'm pretty excited my "motherly intuition" is 1/1 so far! Yay!!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. I enjoyed reading all of your comments yesterday, thank you for your guesses and being excited about this new addition to our family! It means so much!


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Nursery Love: For Boy or Girl

Before we share what we are having, I wanted to give a peek to a few nurseries I have spied that I just love. It's been fun to explore the possibility of either a pretty little girl or a handsome little man in nurseries that are just as sweet as they are. Here are my faves for any design lovers or mommas-to-be out there! You might be seeing some of these again ;)



We found out what Baby C is going to be yesterday! We had a wonderful doctor appointment and are just over the moon. Really, I just feel incredibly blessed and have thanked God about a million times more since yesterday for this blessing on its way. Tonight we have a cake cutting with family and friends and I can't wait to share with you all tomorrow!

AND, just for fun: leave me a comment on your guess as to whether baby is a girl or boy! I can't wait to see your prediction!


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bump Update: 18 Weeks

Tucker wanted to join me for this one!

How far along? 18 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: Guessing about + 4-5 pounds.
Maternity clothes? Same story here, mostly my normal stuff. I have avoided a few pairs of jeans that don't have a good amount of stretch in them. My Henry + Belle jeans have been amazing so far.
Stretch marks? Nope.
Sleep: The first part of the week was not fun. Then the next few nights were great. I have started stretching before bed and that seems to help sleep comfortably. However, last night I woke up with the most awful heartburn. We splurged on Papa Johns pizza and it came back to haunt me. Never again, Papa Johns. Never again.
Best moment this week: More baby kicks. It's the best feeling in the world. I love that it is strong enough for Stephen to feel- we've had several mornings to lay in bed and feel it! 
Have you told family and friends: Yes, everyone knows.
Miss Anything? Not really! I have too much on my mind to worry about missing anything.
Movement: Yes and I love it! Baby loves to move.
Food cravings: Cereal and more donuts! Of course, only the good stuff.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nothing I can think of this week other than that Papa Johns!
Have you started to show yet: Yes. Baby bump is making its way :)
Gender prediction: This. Week. !!
Labor Signs: No
Belly Button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy and nervous about our appointment. I try to be very positive but I am a worrier at heart. I just want a healthy baby! 
Looking forward to: Hopefully having a great doctor appointment and getting to see that baby on our ultrasound. We haven't had one since 7 weeks and I can't wait to see that sweet thing! I will be happy with a girl or boy, I am open to either :)


Monday, October 22, 2012

Fun Breakfast + Weekend Photos

Happy Monday y'all! Hope everyone had a good weekend. We had our first Friday night at home in two months- it was much needed and appreciated. We made a homemade pizza and were off to bed nice and early. Saturday morning I had a special treat in store for us- Funfetti pancakes! The obsession continues...

They were de-lish. Stephen isn't a huge pancake lover and he even enjoyed these. Try 'em next Saturday.

Saturday we spent the day in Raleigh and took our sweet girl to Moes with us on the way to town. Someone had left food all over the ground so she got to sit next to her Daddy during lunch!
She loved it.

 After another football game filled afternoon, we had dinner at a local landmark- The Angus Barn. Such a treat! This is the most festive place to go during the holidays, they decorate it beautifully. Of course it wasn't decorated yet, but still was so fun. Don't mind the gun case, but it is pretty cool right? 

Sunday I had a baby shower for a college roommate to attend. Me at 18.5 weeks!

Senior year roomies reunited. Olivia is due in December and Ashley has two sweet girls of her own! 

I cannot believe we find out what we are having this week. The last month has flown by. It's going to be a long couple of days anticipating my appointment! Send positive nerves my way!! xoxo.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Positively Pink for Fall

Just popping in with a bit of beauty for your Friday afternoon. When you think fall, you tend to gravitate towards those rich yellows, oranges, and reds that you see in nature. When I stumbled upon a pink fall photo, I had to see more. Just another reason to love my favorite color. Especially being that this is the month of all months to support your pink! 

How cool would it be to actually see one of these landscapes?
Think outside the box and have a wonderful weekend! 

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Loving our new paint color. Yes, we finally got our interior painted! Our floor plan is very open: the kitchen flows into the living room, and two hallways connect the rest of the house. Finding the time to want to tear up the entire house and finding the right color made this process scary and time consuming. I have wanted a new paint color since the day we moved in our house. That's what happens when you pick a paint color while you are planning a wedding and you live three hours away from your future home. 

Go ahead, call me crazy. Yes, we are having a baby and we are doing lots of work to our home. However, I would much rather do this now than when I have a sweet newborn to love on in about four months! 

Here's a sneak peak! 

Ignore me.

Might not be seeing you all until next week. We are up to our elbows in clutter and are currently being swallowed by our own home.

Enjoy your Thursday friends!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bump Update: 17 Weeks

How far along? 17 weeks! Baby is starting to develop it's sense of hearing!
Total weight gain/loss: I think I'm about + 4 pounds now.
Maternity clothes? Still mostly normal clothes. I did order a few things this week- we will see how they work!
Stretch marks? Nope.
Sleep: A few restless nights here and there where I cannot get comfortable once I wake up. The main complaint is being comfortable lying on my side. My hip starts to hurt after a while. However, that doesn't mean I'm not tired: I took 2 naps on Saturday! Holy moly! 
Best moment this week: Feeling a definite baby kick. It was the sweetest moment ever! See below for more on that.
Have you told family and friends: Yep!
Miss Anything? Nope.
Movement: I finally felt what was very distinctly a little baby kick! Twice in a row. I had gone out for Chinese on Friday night, and once I got back to our hotel and was lying down I felt it. After telling my FIL, he said it was a karate kick since I had eaten Chinese! Ha! Since then, I have felt the baby kick when I wake up in the middle of the night for a minute or so. Stephen got to feel it last night too! I think we may have a night owl on our hands!
Food cravings: I feel like I have had a sweet tooth this week. Let's just say my Saturday morning Krispy Kreme donut was the best tasting thing I've had in months.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Certain smells and food commercials {Burger King} really turn me off. Other than that no.
Have you started to show yet: I think its slowly getting bigger! 
Gender prediction: We find out next week!! We are so, so excited.
Labor Signs: No
Belly Button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy and looking forward to a lot.
Looking forward to: Everything. I'm a little nervous about our appointment next week- I hope and pray everything is going to be just fine with our little baby. Excited about finding out the gender and sharing that moment between the two of us, then our family and friends.

Other moments from this week:

 {Headed out on a dinner date with my parents}

{Krispy Kreme. Enough said.}

 {I pulled out a few Halloween decorations and found Dixie's costume from last year. If she only knew how cute she looked in it!}

{My fortune hours before I felt a baby kick!
 Even though I think it's spelled wrong, it was still a fun coincidence}

This has been the most exciting week yet after feeling the baby move!

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Healthy Start

Breakfast since I found out I was pregnant involves greek yogurt - at least Monday through Friday. I can no longer squeak by with a granola bar, but this yogurt is delicious and gives me protein to start the day. {My doctor emphasized protein for a preggo diet and I try to get it in at every meal}. We usually buy the Lowes or Harris Teeter non-fat brands because they taste good and have somewhere between 13-16 grams of protein per serving, but we also have a made a few of our own parfaits which are really yummy. 

Snapped before leaving for work...

Vanilla Greek Yogurt, drizzled with honey and topped with a blueberry granola. This was amazing. I also eat a Nature Valley protein bar shortly after I finish my yogurt. I am just way too hungry in the morning to skimp on breakfast, but this is healthy and keeps me full until lunch.

And for my favorite dinner as of late, Crockpot Chicken Taco Chili. Loving that crockpot. Like many of Gina's recipes from Skinny Taste, this one is amazing. I pinned it a while ago and since the temps have finally dropped off a bit, I was ready for chili.


1 onion, chopped
1 16-oz can black beans
1 16-oz can kidney beans
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
10 oz package frozen corn kernels
2 14.5-oz cans diced tomatoes w/chilies
1 packet taco seasoning
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder

24 oz (3-4) boneless skinless chicken breasts
chili peppers, chopped (optional)

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Combine beans, onion, chili peppers (optional), corn, tomato sauce, cumin, chili powder and taco seasoning in a slow cooker. Place chicken on top and cover. Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours. Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in. Top with fresh cilantro (optional). Top it with low fat cheese and sour cream.

I omitted the cilantro and chili peppers, and added a few fritos. I know it sounds crazy but I hate to have to buy a fresh package of cilantro when I will only use it once. This is by far one of my favorite meals I have made lately, and I had enough to freeze a few containers for leftovers. That means a healthy dinner is on its way this week with no work at all. Yay!

What is your favorite recipe you have tried lately?
Happy Monday lovelies!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Polka Dot Pumpkins + Fall Decor

Fall is finally present in our home! I stuck to a clean look with neutrals and a little bit of shimmer for our coffee table. The first thing I did was buy lots of little orange pumpkin and gourds at the Dollar Store. Stephen so kindly spray painted them white for me {he loves his new painting/spray painting responsibility} and then I got to work with a little gold craft paint.

I just used the end of a paintbrush to achieve round dots, each pumpkin has a different polka dot design.

Not a bad look for Dollar Store pumpkins, right?

I think these would be precious as place card holders for a Thanksgiving table as well.

I kept the mantel nice and simple with some cotton and a pair of antlers I am so excited to own now. With the thought of Christmas in mind, I like a clean look for fall.


The most colorful addition for fall is on our breakfast table. I used a scarf from last fall as a runner and placed corn husks on top of it. Velvet pumpkins were the finishing touch.

Happy Fall Y'all! 

I am linking up to Ten June's link party today- go check out the fabulous fall decor!

Thank you so much for all of your Ikea tips for my adventure- I am using every single one of them indeed!