Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Third Trimester Essentials

Third Trimester Essentials

I wanted to share what was essential to me for my last trimester of my pregnancy. I enjoy reading these lists and always find them useful, so I hope this can help someone who is expecting or plans to be in the future.

My favorite leggings that I wore way, way too much were these Be Maternity leggings from Target. I think I might have worn them every other day at one point? I ordered a size up because I can't stand leggings that are the tiniest bit too tight. I actually threw them away last week because they were so picked and worn I couldn't bear to look at them anymore! Ha!

I was active my entire pregnancy, but I didn't start the Pure Barre DVD until the very last trimester. I swear this kept me in great shape. I can go into more detail on fitness if anyone is interested, but this is key!

It gets really old ordering a plain water every time you dine out, so I started drinking sparkling water to make me feel a little more special. I bought it to enjoy at home too, and had it almost every night towards the end. Calorie free and ups your water intake for the day!

I used Mustela Double Action Stretch Mark Cream every night starting in the second trimester- it smells so good and seemed to do the trick! It is pricey and I'm still using the last of my bottle. I also rotated with Johnsons Baby Creamy Oil and Coconut Oil.

Snacking was big for me and I love these Ritz Cracker Snacks- with a little bit of peanut butter for a tiny protein addition, and of course chocolate doesn't hurt for a sweet fix. They are so good and easy to throw in your bag.

I wore a ton of scarves to mix up my outfits that seemed to be on repeat every week. Lilly Murfee scarves are my all time favorite and I have accumulated quite a collection. They instantly polish and brighten an otherwise plain outfit. 

Those are my essentials for the last trimester of pregnancy, to make things just a little better as you await your little one! To see my list of essentials for the second trimester, see here. What were your pregnancy essentials?


Monday, March 25, 2013

Easter Entertaining

Believe it or not- I did have a few posts written ahead of time to be scheduled for the few weeks leading up to Weeks' due date. I will be posting some of those over the next few weeks and popping in with baby updates :)


It's safe to say I won't be doing any major entertaining for Easter this year {other than entertaining the little man!} but that didn't stop me from spying lots of eye candy for tablescapes and nooks. I think Easter holds the potential for the prettiest tablescape of the year. I absolutely love Spring, a table full of flowers and eggs and beautiful dishes. What can compete?

How grand is this arrangement of tulips? Pretty please...

This looks like the perfect brunch. The blue and white against the bright mimosas...perfect.

The blue and white painted eggs: oh my, I love.


A graphic way to decorate your eggs- I love all these new ideas for decorating eggs, don't you?


Not restricted to just Easter, but these bow ties wrapped on mint julep cups are the ultimate southern touch for your table.


These moss covered egg cups are presh.


And last but not least, if you are in pinch to bring something to the Easter table, I think this Bunny Bait is a sweet treat that could do the trick. Another idea would be my favorite new fruit salad mentioned here, it is so good y'all.


What are your plans to entertain for Easter?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Guest Post: Kate from Daffodil's

Happy Friday everyone! I have another awesome Momma guest posting today about her life with her ridiculously cute family of four- soon to be five! I was particularly interested in Kate posting since she is a Momma to boys, and they always, always seem to have the most fun. I was so refreshed after reading this post after a long day. Yes, there are long days with a newborn even though they are the cutest things in the entire world :) Kate blogs at Daffodils and you must stop by and tell her and that sweet family of hers hello!


Hi Everyone! My name is Kate and you can find me blogging over at Daffodil's about life with my handsome husband and two and a half sons (#3 is coming in August!).

I am so happy to be here because it means that Katie is home relaxing and soaking up every precious new moment with sweet Baby Weeks.
 Congrats Katie and Steven!

When Katie and I emailed about doing a guest post, she threw out the topics of exercise, date nights and life with boys for me to write about, and I am happy to say that I am an expert on 2/3. I wish I could give you some good advice on exercise but mainly it goes like this: play with baby, eat whatever people bring you, drink wine after baby goes to bed. And I don't think that is entirely helpful (although way more fun than the gym), so I will move on to what I know.
How to Keep Up Date Nights
Admittedly, things get different with baby around, especially if family isn't close. After the birth of our first son, Cullen, Kev and I tried to go out to dinner once every few months, using a high school aged sitter who came over after C was in bed, so she really didn't do anything. We also took advantage of my mom being 5 hours away and went out on our own anytime she came down to visit. 

We moved to California after our second son, Bennett, was born, and date night became a little more complicated. We didn't know anyone or have connections to a trusty sitter, and the rate for watching two kids was often more than dinner cost, so it really didn't seem worth it. But we also didn't want to be caught in a rut where it was all work and kids and no time for us as a couple, so we started Friday night indoor dates. After we put the boys to bed, we have a no-tv, no-phones, no-computer rule and we sit in our living room, put on some music, make appetizers and cocktails and sit and talk for a few hours. Especially in the beginning of our move, we both found this time to be refreshing and re-energizing for our relationship.

Another big tip: don't be afraid to spend the night away. Whenever we do travel home (to DC), we always leave the boys with my mom for a night, even to go to dinner and stay at a hotel down the street.
Totally worth it. 

Remember that your children learn how to love from their parents, so having a healthy and strong relationship  is vital!
Life with Boys
Boys are crazy, and wild, and rough, and o-so-sweet.
My boys jump off furniture, play in the mud and crash their cars on purpose. I'll never forget saying as a new parent that my boys 'will never....' but it turns out 'my boys definitely...' and that is okay.

Embrace the crazy: let him make mud puddles (or water their his brother),

don't make him wear shirts (or pants) all the time, make sure he makes a landing pad before he starts launching themselves into the air.

But 'boy' is not an excuse for bad behavior. Teach him to sit at a restaurant, go to church, hang out at a winery without breaking things (yes, we take our boys all the time) and set the table. Bake with him, color, do puzzles, play house with stuffed animals.

Shower him with love and affection. 

Boys love their Mommas. Cullen tells me all the time that I am the prettiest lady he knows. Bennett climbs on my lap and holds my hand for no reason. They are both nurturing and concerned about the baby in my belly.

Life with boys is an adventure and I love every second of it. 
Congrats again to Katie on Weeks- we can't wait to watch him grow!

Thanks so much for having me and be sure to pop over to Daffodils and say hello.


Thank you so much again Kate! Make sure to show her some love and have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Baby Weeks: Two Weeks {On His Due Date}

Looking back at our baby's first week of life: my goodness. I was one tired Momma. I guess I didn't realize it as much at the time, but looking back I see I was literally a walking zombie. They say you should get plenty of rest before your baby is due- listen up to that advice y'all! Our little boy was born as a surprise two weeks early and I really felt like the rug was pulled out from under me. It was a very short birth process, and I am still trying to grasp how it all happened. More on that later, here are some sweet pics of our boy this week!

We love to snuggle in bed with Weeks. Blankets are allowed if he is right there in Mommy and Daddy's arms. He is loving his soothie pacifiers, isn't too fond of any other kinds just yet. Our pediatrician sees no harm in a paci and I am right there with him!

 After a long afternoon of watching basketball with Daddy! 

We had several firsts this week- our first family walk on Monday, the pups included.

We managed to make it out of the house for our first lunch date with Daddy- not sure if that would've been possible with out my Mom's help. I seriously wonder how Moms of more than one baby do this!

He steals my heart with these sweet looks. We have a much more alert and awake baby this week, he was a little sleepy for the first one. It's amazing how much he can change so quickly.

Our little Easter bunny!

The sweetest little Easter bunny bottom around.
{Outfit by Carters}

One thing is for sure, this little man is at the center of his Mommy and Daddy's world. Today would've been his due date, but we are beyond blessed that he has graced our lives for the past two weeks with us. Two weeks that we thought would be used for last minute nursery finishing touches, a few more dinner dates and cooking and cleaning. I can't imagine it any other way now. It's amazing how much your life can change in a few weeks time! 


Monday, March 18, 2013

Guest Post: Natasha from Schue Love

While I slowly adjust to my new lifestyle with a babe at home, I have some lovely ladies to bring you posts on a little bit of everything. First up, one of my favorite blogs that I referred to many a times throughout my pregnancy for tips, and now I find myself searching for baby advice too. Her recipes are so awesome and I love her fashion finds too. If you haven't seen her adorable baby Ethan, you are missing out too! He is such a cutie, I can't even handle it!
Without further adieu, please welcome Natasha from Schue Love!


Hello!  I'm Natasha from Schue Love...a lifestyle blog that touches on all things fashion, decor, food and more...the more being my 8 month old son Ethan!  

Before I start this post, I have to give Katie a HUGE congratulations on her beautiful new baby boy Weeks.  Isn't he adorable?!  

Seeing how little and sweet he is reminds me of those early stages and how wonderful and yet overwhelming everything is all of a sudden.  I remember the weeks leading up to Ethan's birth and how ready and anxious I was to meet him!  I was nesting like crazy and had prepared for him as much as possible...I was ready to leave our life behind as a family of two and start our family of three!

Now that we've lived as a family of three for almost nine months...I have a little perspective.  Life is so much fuller now...but let's be honest, it's a whole lot more complicated!

Before baby, I could get a pedicure, catch a movie, or sleep in until noon.
Now, it's all about coordinating a babysitter if I want to escape and sleep...what's that?!  ;)

Before baby, we would take a short weekend trip to visit friends.
Now, we have friends come to visit's so much easier with baby!

Before baby, I wouldn't think twice about what I wore...neckline, material, you name it.
Now, my only concern is how easy it is to nurse in!

Before baby, I would lunch with friends.
Now, we get together for walks...I call it the stroller brigade!

Before baby, traveling was a breeze.
Now, we have to coordinate the pack 'n play, stroller, carseat, diapers, bottles, get the picture!

Before baby, bodily functions grossed me out.
Now, pee, poop, spitup, vomit, you name all seems so normal.

Before baby, I used to buy fun clothes for myself.
Now, all I want to do is shop for baby!

Before baby, the holidays we about following family tradition.
Now, they are SO much more fun as we develop new traditions with Ethan.

Before baby, life was so "easy".
Now, life is so worth it.

And last, before baby, I thought I knew what love was all about.
And now, I have a deeper love for this little being than I could ever imagine.  He is truly the light of our lives and I can't imagine life without him.

{photography via artyard}

Thanks to Katie for having me today!!

xo natasha


Thank you so much Natasha! You have highlighted a whole new list of things for me to look forward to. Hope y'all had a fabulous weekend.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Baby Weeks: One Week Old

It's hard to believe that I became a Mommy one week ago- it seems like it's been about two days! Since the world seems to be spinning, I figured I would let the pictures do the explaining on this journey so far. Don't worry, there will be lots more to come.

We had a few visitors yesterday, Jenna and Maggie! 

Our little Wolfpack fan. Stephen has been joking a long time that Weeks would be born sometime around either the ACC tournament or the NCAA tournament. My baby looks ridiculously cute with a hat on his head! 

Daddy and Weeks watching the game this afternoon. Daddy has had lots of bonding time- he is a better Daddy than I ever dreamed he could be, and I knew he would be a great one! Mommy and Weeks will definitely cry when he goes back to work next week. We plan on making visits every day.

Helicopter Mom alert: I take photos of everything. Literally. His feet look cute like that, hold on let me get a pic. His paci looks cute laying next to his cheek, let me get a pic. Look at the face he is making, let me get a pic. You get the idea :)

Sorry, this one is sideways. His eyes are a little more open, for longer each day. I love when he looks around at the world!

He hasn't spent a ton of time in his swing because he is constantly in someones arms, but I see this swing being a huge hit with him in the future. And, he looks adorable in it too.

My favorite time is first thing in the morning- he is a really sweet baby all of the time, but especially first thing in the morning when he first starts to yawn. He is such a good baby {hoping it stays this way} with mainly just crying when he wants a diaper change or when he gets hungry. He was quite a sleepy little guy at first with being born 2 weeks early, which made eating a challenge. Working on that one still! 

My first advice as a Mom: have plenty of help from your own Mom, or whoever you would like to be there at the wee hours in the morning and seeing you at your most tired moment of your life. My Mom and Dad have been with us all week and I'm not sure Stephen and I would still be functioning if we didn't have their help.

 Thank you for all of your amazing congratulation messages- we are so appreciative for all of your thoughts. 

Happy Weekend Friends! We came over to the beach house for a change of scenery and it already feels good. Planning to get a little sunshine tomorrow and love on this sweet babe, of course.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Welcome Baby Weeks

Stephen and I welcome with overwhelming joy, love and adoration
 our baby boy, Stephen Weeks Chalk III.

Stephen Weeks Chalk III
born Thursday, March 7, 2013
5:47 pm
6 pounds 10.5 ounces
19 inches


He has quite the miraculous birth story and we are ever so thankful for a healthy baby and safe delivery for both of us. I will update you all soon on the story, until then you might want to check that little feed on the right side of my page for constant Weeks pictures through my instagram feed {missdixie30}.

This has truly been an incredible few days and I am loving motherhood more than I ever thought I would. I love this little guy more than I ever thought I could love, he is more precious than my best dream could imagine.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Maternity Photos

We ended up taking a few photos to remember this special time in our lives, anticipating the arrival of our sweet baby boy. These are the few that we picked out to keep- what do you all think?

{our photographer was nice enough to edit them in black and white for us too, so I included a few of those versions as well. which versions/photos do you like best?}


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Three New Favorites

A few random food items we have loved lately:

An exquisite fruit salad.

Yes, I just used the word exquisite- it just seemed like the right way to describe it! Just made this one last night and it was every bit as delicious as I hoped it would be. The secret ingredient here is a packet of vanilla pudding mix. I haven't made fruit salad before, so this was brand new to me. So good, it would be perfect to bring to an Easter brunch! This is the recipe, I skipped blueberries {they didn't look fresh} and pineapples this time.

The perfect asparagus.

I love some asparagus- such a welcome alternative to a salad, which I tend to get tired of eating and fixing, quite frankly. This was the best way I have ever prepared it, hands down. It will likely be the only way we have it from now on! I skipped the lemon zest because I didn't have any. I also served this with Natasha's Poppyseed Chicken I mentioned I was going to make: it was di-vine, you must try it.

A Healthy Dip.

This past weekend we whipped up a delicious dip, Carolina Caviar, to snack on. When we spend long days out on the boat, it's inevitable that someone has brought along a dip similar to this. We adapted our own recipe with ingredients we thought had been in the caviar dips we've enjoyed the most. We loved the way this combination turned out and will be making it again for sure.


1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 can white corn, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup feta cheese
1 cup chopped onion
salt and pepper to taste
parsley to taste

Mix ingredients and serve cold. Serve with tortilla chips.

*Next time we are going to try adding tomatoes, but honestly it was so good I don't know if we should even mess with a good thing! 

It makes a lot and the leftovers are wonderful- and healthy to boot! 

Enjoy and let me know if you try any of these :)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Bump Update: 37 Weeks!

How far along? 37 Weeks
Total weight gain/loss: +20 about? The doctor was happy I had gained since 2 weeks ago.
Maternity clothes? Yes.
Stretch marks? No...fingers crossed!
Sleep: Knock on wood, but it was actually pretty decent most of the week. The acid reflux that had been horrible has eased off a bit, which was the main pain in the butt while I was trying to sleep. I have been more and more tired the last couple of weeks, so sleep is welcome.
Best moment this week: With the exception of filling in some frames in the nursery: I would call it done! Also got my bag and the baby's bag packed, which feels good.
Miss Anything? Miss my clothes, especially since winter is dragging on and I am oh-so-tired of wearing the same pants all the time. Keeping it real, I'm getting excited about being able to have a glass of vino soon ;) It's been a long 9 months!
Movement: Yes, I love his kicks and shifts.
Food cravings: Had several PB&J's for lunch this week, and polished off my Cadbury Eggs. No more for me, I'm not allowing it!
Symptoms: Sciatic nerve pain continues to show up randomly, getting tired easily, I feel like I can rest a drink on my belly, hmm...what else?
Have you started to show yet: Yes.
Gender: Sweet little boy- WEEKS!
Labor Signs: I tried to pay a little more attention this week to see if I was having any braxton hicks. Pretty sure I had those several times and I think a few real contractions that woke me up while I was sleeping. Nothing regular or repetitive. But I'm hoping it's not just wishful thinking at this point!
Belly Button in or out? In/flat, might as well be out?
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!!
Looking forward to: Cannot wait for Weeks to make his debut!