5.29.2015

Friday Clicks

1 // Summer Suits
I have said if before, but really.  Baby bathing suits.  I just can't.  
suits // zara
this one, and this one, and this one have also struck my fancy at the moment.  Oh..and this one, too.  I feel like they could potentially have a suit for everyday of the week- and these stores keep coming out with the most precious options.
Perhaps its just because I don't have the energy to buy myself a new one this summer.
Not to forget about the poolside accessories..
Shelby Chic // Ruby Blue // Razzle Wraps -- just to name a few of my favorites. 
2 // All Things Teeny Baby
Our littlest sister will be here before we know it.. and in the heat of the summer.  While Parker and Jolie are easily able to wear tank tops, spaghetti strap dresses, and (my fav..) swim suits without issues - newborn babes don't have so much of that to offer.  I recently was introduced to a growing (and amazing) brand Golden Hill Designs.  It is much to my heart's desire to me the amount of sweetness that a onesie can entail.. a halter top (onesie)?!  Um yes.  It's almost as amazing as Sugarplum Lane and her slouchy sweaters and highwaisted ruffle bloomers.. size 0-3 months.
Really.  
I just cant help myself. 

A Nemo free car ride for the first time since getting the new wheels.. and honestly, I think the girls loved them more than their parents appreciated them.  We don't always flip down the DVD player, but when the doctor is at least an hour away, and its 7:45am sitting in traffic- the 'fish mooobie' is a great solution.
I know I am not alone when it comes to other mamas of little girls - they love the makeup.  Parker and Jolie understand and know and desire to 'do makeup' just like me.  Before stumbling upon this fun mess-free makeup kit, I was loading old makeup bags with empty makeup containers and cheap brushes so they have something to play with- that was technically free of mess and NOT my actual makeup:)  They always knew I was attempting to fool them with this 'makeup'.  Not anymore!  Just Like Mommy Cosmetics gives them the feel of 'real' makeup without the mess.  At least once a day, I'm in the 'makeover chair' while they work so hard to make me 'sowww pretty, mama'.

5 // White Plum Giveaway
Back in February, one of my favorites, White Plum hosted one of the most amazing giveaways - a FREE wardrobe!  When I saw what the winner chose, I was uber envious- that was A LOT of clothes!. Fast forward to now, and hello!  Another amazing giveaway!  I do love their clothing and wear it often (even with this 32 week belly).  Their clothing is very versatile, and I can make it work with the bump.  Summer is here and why not celebrate with a $1200 (!!) shopping spree?! 

So how do you enter?  That's even better.  No loops, no following, no long term commitment to anything.. just join their mailing list.  Giveaway started May 27th runs through next week!  You have until June 8th to enter.

What are you waiting for?  Go.  Now. Enter HERE. You're welcome:)


Happy clicking, loves!


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5.28.2015

32 Weeks + Baby Update

banner / little dovie 
(non-maternity) maxi dress c/o white plum
How far along? 32 weeks + 3 days
Total weight gain: 18 pounds
Maternity clothes? For sure, and often:)  what I have realized is that I am able to wear some non-maternity maxi dresses comfortably, and that is always a plus in expanding what seems like such a limited wardrobe of maternity in the first place.  This maxi dress has quickly become my favorite, as its length and material  makes it easy to wear whether I have a baby bump or not (I ordered my regular pre-pregnancy size for reference). At 32 weeks I'm fully embracing the fact that I'll were whatever fits.  Did you happen to catch the discount code I mentioned (here)?  White Plum has so graciously offered to my readers a special code!  Use OHBABY through the end of TODAY for 20% your entire purchase!  They are also having another amazing wardrobe giveaway! More on that tomorrow. 
Sleep: Yes. Yes. Yes.  I am having sleep trouble just 1-2 nights a week, but again.. the naps in the late afternoon don't always do me good for falling asleep at night.  I am a notorious stomach sleeper, and if I arrange the pillows just right, I can sleep soundly and nearly 'on my stomach' for most of the night.
Best moment this week: It may be strange to some, but it is my most favorite time ever to spend running errands with my little family.  Grabbing lunch with the the hubby and toddlers in tow, running errands.. grocery shopping.  All seems so silly, but really I enjoy it more than anything.  We got to do that several times this last week - errands for the nursery, lunches, appointments.. we even made it out to the mall to play and walk around one day this last week.  
Miss Anything? Its been a pretty great week!  I cant say that I am missing anything.
Cravings: The usual hasn't changed much from last week: Carbonation. Summer fruit. Greek yogurt. Peanut Butter.  Sub sandwiches (They are always 'toasted' or warmed),  Mexican food - and after the holiday weekend and when a steak met the grill.. steak.  I want steak every night.  Steak and sushi.  Sushi.. I totally miss it.
Symptoms:  Heartburn is officially the most annoying pregnancy symptom, ever.  I bought TUMS for the first time in my entire life, and holy moly those things basically work instantly.  Popping a couple about one a day has become regular. 
Looking forward to: Soaking in these last (7) weeks have become really important to me.  I had a wave of anxiety when I realized how quickly this pregnancy has flown, making my top priority be spending time with my two first babes before the littlest sister gets here.  I feel like our summer is getting cut short with her arrival and this rain we've been having, but the excitement of having here has been on my mind constantly!  We are making plans for the pool, splash parks, and even taking the girls for their first movie in the theater:)
my suit is non-maternity from Target last year // Jolie's suit is from Zara 

Little Sister
We got to check up on this growing baby girl yesterday.  I LOVE getting to see her on the monitor.  Per the usual, she was moving and shaking in the womb, but Dixie was able to get some amazing images of her.  She has a full head of hair, or peach fuzz, and a healthy heartbeat of 154bpm.  
Over the last month this little thing has changed positions three times.  This week she's head down, but curled in a 'c' shape around my left side.  Her little feet and legs are to my right and her little bootie is on my left.  I could have totally guessed that seeing as she sticks out her back/bottom multiple times every day - giving me that lop-sided belly look.  
After measuring all her baby parts, she is measuring just about on track for 32 weeks - just a couple days ahead (which I am fine with over the 2 weeks ahead she's been measuring!)  At 4 and a half pounds it seems as those her growth has finally leveled out - just as Walsh suspected it would.  My fluid levels are still on the high side of normal at 21 (previous at a 29), but after experiencing all this, that number seems to be my 'normal'.  We go back in just a couple weeks to the perinatologist for one last follow up with her, and then its the home stretch!  
I've said it before, but I am just so thankful for my doctors and their care for me and this pregnancy.  I know they do it for all of their pregnant patients, but there is something in the comfort of knowing they have your care plan in your best interest that eases any all anxiety. 
So excited for this healthy baby girl!
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5.27.2015

Camp Dunaway | Camping Theme Baby Shower

Over Mother's Day weekend, I was pleased to be apart of a celebration in honor of baby Grayson and his mama.  What better way to introduce my best friend into motherhood than by showering her with baby boy things galore.  I've said this before, but that girl and that baby boy of hers is so very loved.
I am WAY excited for my best friend to become a mother.
We celebrated her 'new adventure' with a camping theme baby shower - and I just love how the details turned out!


 These newborn onesies - swoon.  I cant believe she and I will have two babies that small just one week apart (her scheduled section is July 7th and mine on July 14th).

We kept it casual on the food front to sort of blend with the shower theme.  
No one wants fancy pants appetizers while we camp, am I right? 
On the Menu
Baked potato (recipe HERE) + Chili bar (easy chili recipe HERE)
Fixings: bacon bits || cilantro || cheese || green onions || sour cream || fresh jalapeƱos 

 ..and for those that prefer fritos over the potatoes for their chili
 'sleeping bags' (via inspiration HERE) || pigs in a blanket (croissant rolls + lil' smokies) || 'caprese canoes' (fresh tomato + mozzarella + basil)
 grilled chicken + turkey paninis (market street catering) || THE most yummy fruit salad (recipe HERE)
I included the hubby in the prep for this shower, too! I had seen these wooden disks on pinterest incorporated in tablescapes and party themes and decided to put him to work.  Cut, sand, stain, and seal.  My man did good, good, good.
 mason jars wrapped in burlap ribbon and twine
 we sipped on BUG JUICE (7up + grape juice + berry blend juice)
..and personalized water bottles
trail mix (original + smore's)
wooden hand stamped utensils: happy camper || I want s'more || & baby makes three
 The guest of honor to start the food line!  This preggo was right behind her.  Guests ate out of kraft paper food boxes lined with newspaper print sandwich paper.



 Time for presents!  Um, yea- the motherload.
 Guest played 'baby bingo' while Ashley opened her gifts.  We had each guest fill out a card, filling in the blanks with items them thought she would receive.  We handed out 3-wick vanilla bean marshmallow scented candles to the winners.

 ..and in this corner, they were serious about winning!
 of course this little boy will be completely decked in support of the silver, blue, and white.
 SO many tiny things!  I thought baby girl stuff was just the cutest- but honestly, I awwww'd over every single thing Ash unwrapped.
We had several talented and creative gals in our hostess group.  Jordan stained and painted the 'Camp Dunaway' sign, Jacqueline made the cake and with the help of pinterest designed our mini s'more's station.. not to mention Chara's sewing abilities with the pennant banner and table runner.
It helps when your friends hold those talents:)
 My favorite of all was including a mini banner of his name on top of this sweet little cake.
When we started planning the shower, baby G didn't have a name just yet, so when Ashley and Jarrett finally announced, I had to figure out a way to incorporate it.
The was perfect.
 Smore's Station
chaffing fuel burners + stones + ceramic dishes + wood skewers 
assorted chocolate (cookies & cream + milk)
assorted graham crackers 
jumbo marshmallows  


 Take home decorated sugar cookies 

 The Hostesses + The Mama
Jordan || Jacqueline || Diana || Mama-to-Be || Amber || Chara || Katie (not pictured)
Four of us in this picture are pregnant.. (Jordan, Jacqueline, myself + Ash)..that means there will be four new babes by Thanksgiving!
Baby G has no idea how long we have prayed, hoped, and dreamed about him.  I cannot wait to hold that little bug!  
It was just the perfect day.
CREDITS
photography by Jennifer Jennings
invitations/food tents/water labels/bingo cards/goodie tags: CK Fireboots
'camp dunaway' paper straws: dixie + twine
hand stamped wooden utensils: in the clear
pennant banner/table runner: DIY by Chara (hostess)
vanilla bean + marshmallow candles: bath + body works
metal lanterns + containers: Michael's Craft Store
mini wooden scoops: sucre shop
wooden disk serving trays c/o the hubby:) 
kraft paper boxes: amazon
sandwich paper: pom pom delight
woodland animal burlap bags: boo bah blue
happy camper/arrow onesies: little tree tops
personalized cake topper: little dovie
painted 'camp dunaway' wooden sign: DIY by Jordan (hostess)
cake by Jacqueline (hostess)
mini pine trees: christmas decor from pottery barn
woodland favor cookies: Mrs. V's Cookies (local)
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5.26.2015

WE EAT | Crock Pot Pork Tacos + Shopping the Sales

We are at the very end of May (how this Spring season has flown by so quickly is still a question to me), and with that comes the heat of the summer.  I am guilty of seeking my slow cooker out for just those cool-weather comfort meals, but really, the crock can be used year-round.
I have made quiet a few versions of the taco in my day, and still the most effective way to stuff a tortilla would have to be by utilization of the crock pot.  That being said- this recipe is by far the best pork taco we've tried - and we've tried plenty.
I mentioned in the 'grocery games' post I shared last week about shopping the sales, and this week was definitely one of those weeks that it was easy to come up and cook from the sale ads.  With the holiday the weekend, all my regular grocery stops were having great deals - particularly on meat and produce.  I'll get into a few more recipes I'm making this week, but first..
tacos.
Crock Pot Pork Tacos
adapted from Gimme Some Oven 
3-5 pound boneless pork tenderlion
1 (12-ounce) bottle of dark Mexican beer
2 chipotles in adobo sauce
3 cups cubed fresh pineapple
1 small red onion
3 tablespoons chili powder (I used chipotle chili powder)
The juice of one fresh lime
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Corn tortillas
Mango Salsa (recipe follows)
  • Additional Toppings: crumbled goat, feta, quest fresco or cojita cheese (we used pasteurized goat cheese), diced avocado, additional diced pineapple
  • --
  • Cut the pork into cubes, trimming off additional fat as needed.  Add the pork to the bottom of the slow cooker.  
  • In a blender or food processor, add the chipotles, pineapple, onion, chili powder, lime juice, vinegar, salt, cumin, and black pepper.  Puree until the mixture is smooth and free of pineapple chunks.  Stir in the beer until it is combined.  Pour the mixture over the pork, tossing to coat the pork evenly.
  • Cook on LOW for 8 hours (or HIGH for 4-5 hours), until the pork is tender and shreds easily with a fork.  Serve with warmed corn tortillas and Mango Salsa.
Mango Salsa
adapted from Cooking Light 
3 medium mangos, peeled and chopped
1/2 small red onion, diced
1/2 cup red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 small jalapeƱo, diced, seeds and ribs removed
The juice of 1/2 of a lime
--
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Chill until ready to serve
 When you're looking for a pasteurized cheese, check the ingredients label.. and if the ingredients mention 'pasteurized..milk' then you're safe to consume.  Most of the major label food companies  make their product with pasteurized milk.. because it actually prolongs shelf-life.  It will be the specialty brands and cheeses that you'll have to be careful with.
I served these tacos with homemade Fiesta Rice (recipe HERE).  Jordan told me over and over again that he wanted me to make this again- soon.  He usually likes everything that comes out of my kitchen, but it always feels good to hear your hubby sing praises about a meal.  I think what really made the meal was the mango salsa.  Sure, the pork is the star of the show, but the spice from the chipotle paired with the sweetness of the salsa.  Well, thats just got summer written all over it.  
So - how did I shop the sale ads this week?  After they come in the mail on Wednesday, I make a point sometime during the rest of the week to sit down with my marker and prep my grocery list and skim pinterest and a few of my favorite foodie mags and blogs to figure out what I can afford to make that week.  Meat and produce are hands down the most expensive items on my list, so anytime there is a decent sale on those items, I hop on the chance to incorporate them into my meal plan for the week. 
The pork tenderloin was on sale for REALLY cheap - I even ended up getting an extra one an threw it in the freezer for a later date with the crock pot again.  I had saved this pork taco recipe a couple weeks back, and thought that now would be the perfect time to make it!
On the Dinner Menu This Week:
grilled steak, mashed potatoes, tossed garden salad
crock pot pork tacos w fiesta rice
stuffed zucchini boats (I had chicken sausage already on hand)
leftovers
--
Meats on sale: pork tenderloin ($2.97/lb) + steak ($.4.99/lb), chicken breast ($1.99/lb)
Produce on sale: hass avocado ($0.99/ea), mango ($0.50/ea), colored bell peppers ($0.99/ea), red onions ($0.99/lb),  fresh corn on the cob ($0.25/ea), golden potatoes, ($0.99/lb), limes ($0.20/ea), green onions ($0.69/ea), zucchini ($1.49/lb)
Dairy on sale: shredded KRAFT cheese ($1.99/ea), sour cream ($1.83/ea)

Some of my regularly purchased items were on sale, too: like English muffins, strawberries, wheat thin crackers, and watermelon- which is always a win!  When I do have the opportunity to buy more (meats in particular), I purchase extra and freeze for a later use.  Someone mentioned about shopping chicken breast and some other meats in bulk and freezing- and YES, definitely!  I usually buy chicken breast in bulk at Costco about once every two months.. if I cant get to Costco, or don't have what I need on hand, I'll buy it at my regular grocery when its on sale (like it was this week!)

Hoping this is helpful and not completely confusing.  There is a lot that goes into meal planning for my family, and most of which has to do with shopping the sale ads and what I already have on hand in my kitchen.
Happy shopping! 
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5.25.2015

Swim Favorites | Little Ladies

I have decided that toddler swimwear is at the top of my 'favorites' list since becoming a mom.  I mean- the sweetness that goes along with their cutie little booties in a bathing suit just kills it in overtime.  With the celebration of Memorial Day, you better believe we will be in the pool most of today.. that is if we don't get rained out for a bazillionth time this weekend alone.  
THIS rain.  
It is safe to say that us here in the South are searching the Memorial Day sale ads for anything remotely close to a great deal on an Ark.  
Let me know if you see anything.. 
poolside sparkle bows / shelby chic boutique // aviator sunglasses / target // tankini suit / gap (sold out online)
flip top sippy cups / Nuby // sparkle bow poolside bag / shelby chic boutique 
Most of my favorite retail shops for littles are having the best sales on this holiday weekend, which means all the more reason to stock up on toddler swimwear.  The suits Parker and Jolie have on in the poolside pictures are sold out online, and I actually haven't seen them in stores. I bought them 40% off a couple months ago in the excitement of summer's approach, and before the torrential rain began (we are literally going on 5 weeks straight..five.) 
BabyGap and Old Navy do it right in the suit department.  I have found that this year's selection isn't as robust as last summer, but there are still some cute options, and the suits seem to run true to size.
We cant forget Nordy's half yearly sale.. and another fav- ZARA, while they hardly have a sale, they always have decently priced, high quality clothing.  
Some of this year's swim favorites, and its no secret we love the pattern, and florals have been a hit this summer in more than just swim wear!
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8
Parker's face says it all.  We took it upon ourselves to head to the pool the only day last week that it wasn't raining, pouring, tornado'ing, or wind shucking our patio furniture across the yards of the neighbors.  I have also decided that they forgot every single bit of fun we had in the pool last year because the whaling squeals coming from their little bodies were absolutely hilarious.
Sweet Jo Grace and her joy about EVERYthing is actually, well, everything.
 Oh, and.. lets do a little dance in the fact that there will be no diapers involved in this year's swim outings.  
 ..and we're dancing.
Happy Memorial Day holiday, friends!
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