10.31.2016

a few funky flamingos | halloween 2016

I'm SO excited about this year's halloween costumes!  I decided to skip the tutus this year- after three solid years of tutus we needed a change.. didnt stop me from dressing the sweetest Hamburgalar Baker in a cheeky tutu from trevi ave co for our trunk or treat party on Sunday, tho.  GAH she was so CAHyoot!
back up a couple months to when I was first introduced to p and the lion.. Britt came across a photo of a couple cuties wearing these AMAZING leg warmers and well made leotards and I was determined to figure out how in the world to use all of this and come up with one amazing and super fun costume. 
alas. the "whimsical flamingo" idea came to life.. which I still had no idea what I was doing but I was going with it, ha!
hot pink leg warmers
black and white striped leggings
..and these AWESOME handmade felt wings.  there was a flamingo cape I had seen on IG and was searching everywhere for for them to wear that or something similar.. but you guys I'm SO glad I went with these wings instead.  I did end up finding those capes on the clearance rack at Target for like $5 bucks, but they would have covered up with detail of the ombre fringe of the leotard, so these wings were perfect!
high waisted boomers
..and the perfect topper: a mini crown made with orange glitter for the flamingo beak. 
because this is halloween.. they are f u n k y and whimsical flamingos, after all:)  anything goes when it comes to costume building.  so even if it was a total mess in my head, it turned out so cute anyway.





taking my girls around the neighborhood this year is going to be SO FUN- Baker is really into carrying the bucket and holding it up to anyone in her little space to fill it with goodies.  Jolie has been asking me to wear her leotard every single day since we tried them on, and Parker is very excited to have her makeup done!
holidays are just so amazing with these babes.
Happy Halloween! 
--
photography: b faith photography
ombre leotard c/o p and the lion
high waisted bloomers c/o topknots + twirls
leggings // june & january
fur leg warmers c/o p and the lion

10.28.2016

18 weeks | anatomy scan + faux leather leggings

this belly is growing at hyper speed!!  
Jordan has been gone all week long for swift water rescue training in South Texas, so it has been extra hectic and full of stuff that only happens when Jordan is away. we had a small incident with a fire ant pile, high fevers and a couple sleepless nights, a trip to the pumpkin patch with four kids by myself, halloween parties at preschool.. and I've only cried once.
 ..in the fetal position on the kitchen floor.
but today is FRIDAY and that means Jordan is finally h o m e!
I got to take a peek at our precious growing boy early this week!  I was sad to go to this "big" appointment by myself, but they've changed and changed and rescheduled this training Jordan had to go to about a million times, so we left everything as is.

mama update
I'm well into my second trimester, I have definitely appreciated feeling better and not requiring a nap EVERY single day.  I have been known to still request Jordan to be on daddy duty for a couple hours while I close myself up in our room for a nap, but those have thankfully become few and far in between.  headaches have been unbearable.. I am not a "pill taker", but changes in the weather + pregnancy itself has taken a toll on my sinuses and I wake up with a headache and go to bed with a headache. I try so hard to make it through the day without taking tylenol, but often times thats the only time I can find relief.  with the approval of my OB, I've been drinking a full caffeinated cup of coffee in the morning, which has helped tremendously.  I've been craving giant salads and lots of fresh fruit.. although bananas, which were a huge part of my cravings in other pregnancies, have completely grossed me out this time around.. but apples and berries have replaced what I once consumed in bananas.  on the other side of healthy cravings.. coffee continues to run the show. its a normal day for me to find myself in the starbucks line ordering my usual venti half-caf iced skinny caramel machiatto.  even if its the only time I leave my house the entire day.  I also get a non-fat salted caramel mocha, but cut the mocha to about half because what once was my favorite part of that drink has become really overpowering.  sweet tarts candy randomly have made their way into my house.  it doesnt help that I browse the halloween candy aisle every time I'm at the store looking for something sweet and sour to get my hands on.  but the funny thing is that I can literally count on one hand how many times I've chosen to eat this candy in my life. 

this sugar craving may have attributed to a 5 pound weight gain in this last month.  my belly is measuring almost 21 weeks (my OB makes me feel better by telling me "I'm measuring over your clothes!"), and I am officially pre-registered at the hospital.  I also made my appointment with the perinatologist for his brain and lung scan at 22 weeks AND have found my new favorite pair of maternity pants.  I was texting back and forth with my sweet friend Jacqueline last week and we agreed that finding a pair of faux leather maternity leggings would be so awesome and perfect for fall. well, thank you very much Motherhood Maternity.  these are lined but don't feel heavy or sticky or like they wont stay up.  they are full panel and SO comfortable. 
you'll find me wearing these ALL the time.
find my cardigan HERE, my tee HERE and my boots HERE
oh.. and this super darling glitter clip that I stole from Baker's stash on a whim.. get that HERE!

baby boy
seeing our baby dance around during the 18-week ultrasound and hearing the sound of his heart beating strong at 154bpm was just the best.  it has been nearly a month since the last time I saw that little flicker on the screen, and since I am not feeling him as frequently as I wished I did, it cannot help but occasionally feel anxious about everything.  baby boy was sleeping soundly when the sonogram began, he was so comfortable with his little hands around his face- same as our last sonogram at 14 weeks.  he was almost sucking his thumb and gave us a little wave. 
he is so perfect.
in no time he was up moving around and doing somersaults in his personal space.  the sonographer took her time looking over our tiny one, pointing out important organs and checking out his spine. even after doing these sonograms several times before, it still blows my mind that you can see a baby's kidneys and the four chambers of his heart and the strength of blood flow between the placenta and the cord.  its all so tiny right now, but none the less, incredibly detailed!
 our sweet little babe is measuring right on track and weighs in at right at 7 ounces. he's laying sideways.. his head on my left and little feet on my right side.  my OB explained that since he's laying horizontally and not vertically that could be the reason I am not feeling him as strongly as I have the other babies.  I have been feeling more movement on my right side but didn't expect it to be HIM moving before I knew how he was laying, but this week I have been really feeling him move all the time, which never gets old.
the last time I was pregnant during the fall season, well pregnant with an actual reason to wear maternity clothing, I was put on bedrest and never got to dress my bump in my most favorite season of the year! so this year I have really embraced the season and dressing my bump fashionably with tons of layers without looking frumpy or bulky.  finding trendy maternity clothing has been much easier this time around.. even when I was pregnant with the twins just 4 years ago I wasn't able to dress comfortably in style the way I like to dress when I am not pregnant.  I'm looking for classic and comfortable staple items for the fall season.. think layered looks with long cardigans and comfy fitted tees to show off my bump as well as rotating a few glamorous and chic wraps and edgy faux leather and corduroy in here and there.  my style ranges from business (less often) to boho (my favorite)! one thing I will admit is that wearing more form fitting clothing during my pregnancies and showing off the bump that have made me a mother make me feel more beautiful and more confident than wearing a blouse or a dress that offers no shape. who cares if my thighs and my midsection are getting a little thick, I'm balancing that out with my growing bump and looking great doing it.. not hiding behind a giant blouse.
but thats just me:)
bottom line.. dress how you feel best. 



photography: b faith photography
multi way wrap c/o tart collections
side ruched maternity tee c/o tart collections
booties // rag + bone
andi coat c/o tart collections
leggings c/o motherhood maternity 

10.25.2016

pregnancy protein bowl | 3-ways

now that I'm in my second trimester Ive started to really get my appetite back.  food isn't such a struggle, which I am thankful for, and I am enjoying food again. while I wasn't terribly nauseous or feeling like I was going to throw up all the time, food just really wasn't interesting to me AT ALL.
I've been focusing on smaller meals that are high in nutrients, fiber, and protein.  back a couple, err four years ago when I was pregnant with the twins I started eating this fruit/yogurt bowl that was insanely high in protein and I've found myself back into that swing because fruit is my favorite when I'm pregnant. now, I've designated these as breakfast + lunch + dinner options, but there has been many times that I've eaten the fruit bowl for dinner and the quinoa/hummus bowl for lunch.. or even breakfast!  SO, mix and match however your heart + tummy desires:)

these bowls are about 400-500 calories each and range from 25-45 grams of protein per bowl!
--
breakfast // 1/4-1/2 cooked whole oats + 1-2 tablespoons almond butter + 2 tablespoons slivered almonds + 2-3 strawberries, sliced, 1 teaspoon chia seeds.
lunch // 5-6oz plain greek yogurt (I use FAGE 0%) + 1/2 or 1 full scoop protein powder (about 25 g protein) + 1 apple + 3-4 strawberries + 1/2 cup grapes + 1/2 banana, sliced
dinner // 1/2 cup cooked plain quinoa + 1/4 cup hummus (I love white bean hummus) + baby kale + 4-8 chicken sausage meatballs
--
a couple tips for making these bowls.. 
lunch // I typically use one of the single serving cups of greek yogurt, which ends up being a little less than 6 whole ounces.  as far as protein powder goes- I love the isopure zero carb.  since I'm adding so much fruit (carbs) to my bowl I don't need the extra I get from some protein powder- so look for one thats lower in carbohydrates. the isopure vanilla is delicious and so is the strawberry! either would work in this bowl. I picked up some optimum gold standard whey from Costco because it was on super sale and have been using that and love it, too. none of these people know who I am, but after lots of tasting of protein powder these are the ones I love the most!
  
dinner // if you can find the single serve pouches of quinoa in the frozen food section of your grocery- thats your best bet for making this a quick and easy meal.  you can also make a large serving of quinoa on the stove top ahead of time and keep it in the fridge when you need it!  you can use any hummus you love- I really love white bean hummus (they have no idea who I am either..) because it has less tahini flavor than most hummus I have had.  I found this chicken sausage at Costco last weekend, and I'm so thankful!  before now I've been making this bowl with Baker's chicken meatballs, so finally I can stop dipping into her (rather expensive) meatball stash.  lastly, stir in the baby kale when you are cooking the quinoa OR right after its come out of the microwave while its still hot.  the kale will wilt down an make it softer and easier to eat and blend in with this bowl.

what are your go-to fixes for getting in protein and energy while pregnant? I would love to hear!!
for more info like this.. check out my pregnancy food journal HERE.

10.24.2016

October love list | checking off the weekend

better late than never to throw this list out there. we are in the last week of October, so I figured I can give myself a little leeway of overflow into November, because November is just as amazing as October.

1. visit the Dallas arboretum // oh this place is magical.  the pumpkins, the flowers, the crisp air.. everything about this place just makes you fall in love with this time of year even more.  we visited the arboretum over the weekend with my niece and nephew and the grandparents and had just the best time.  the best time of year to visit this place is in the fall.  



2. visit the Texas State Fair // its been YEARS since I've been to the state fair, and after taking the girls this year I think we are safe to say that we will go back every year!  they loved every minute of it and for that reason alone we will be going back. I can hardly imagine having a 7 month old baby BOY tagging along next year!!
3. enjoy 800 of my favorite lattes before they are gone for the season // because why the heck not.
4. pumpkin patching // as much as we can in 31 days.
5. pick the perfect pumpkin // we made our way to the pumpkin patch again this weekend.  I love watching the girls just run up and down the hay mazes and rolling the pumpkins and finally we picked the perfect one to take home and carve. 

this time of year is SO stinkin fun.
6. carving the perfect pumpkin // Jordan takes this.  last year with the twins was so much fun and after a little bit of a clean freak out over the slime, they finally enjoyed it!  
7. roast pumpkin seeds // me and Jo love love LOVE roasted pumpkin seeds.  after we carve our perfect pumpkin we will totally be making some of these to snack on.
8. have a picnic dinner // now that the weather has cooled off a bit, its so much easier to enjoy being outside without being swarmed by mosquitos or sweating into your meal.  we checked this one off the bucket list this weekend- I packed dinner for the girls from home and me and Jordan enjoyed a Friday special (BOGO burgers) at Market Street while they played.  $2 glasses of wine and $4 beers.. my pregnant (burgers) and non-pregnant (WINE) self really appreciates this kind of dinner. 
8. watch a movie on the patio // again.. because the weather is getting to be absolutely perfect.  maybe something like Its the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown for the kiddos and NOTHING scary for me and the hubby.  we have become the biggest wimps.
9. SOUP // one of THE best parts about this time of year is the toasty comfort of delicious food. soup is my foodie love language.  I could write a book with the amount of soup recipes I have made and created.  this taco soup is a crock pot favorite. actually anything in my crock pot is a favorite:)  this spinach + mushroom tortellini soup is on my list to be one of the first I make and my favorite potato soup will find its way back into the regular dinner rotation.  also.  two words: bread.bowl. 
10. trick or treat // I'm so excited about this year's costume!! we have so many fun dress up opportunities coming up in the next week (can you believe halloween is in ONE week??!). we have a halloween birthday party on Saturday with costumes and all.. going to a neighborhood halloween trunk or treat celebration on Sunday and then Monday we are getting the supper club + kiddos together for one big trick or treat celebration!

its been the best month so far.. and we still have so much to do!


10.21.2016

five on friday

one. photo maniac
this week we took our annual fall family photos. I always do them in October because I like use these pictures for our Christmas cards and I love to send out our cards the week of Thanksgiving.  Or how about.. I love the idea of sending them out that soon.  I often dont have my crap together to actually get them in the mail by then and they sit on the counter for a week before I'm motivated to address them.  But thats what I shoot for, anyway.
this year we mixed it up a bit and headed out to the Texas State Fair.  such a fun change of scene from our typical fall photo and I'm excited to share them! this was the twins' first time to the fair and they were completely overwhelmed with everything going on around them- the most exciting thing to watch is your own children taking in an experience like this. they rode the rides and although Parker was always SO excited to get on them, she ended up tucked in the fetal position by the end of the ride.  homegirl cant even go on the swing at the park without freaking out, so her excitement to ride over and over surprised me.  But eventually she started to love it all and got the hang of it with each new ride she rode.  Jolie was just as happy as can be- smiling from ear to ear, hands in the air and loving every minute.  it was hilarious to watch how different they were in their response. BB + Papa tagged along to manage the chaos of picture taking in such a public place with three toddlers and were such a giant help.

AND.. the twins' four year pictures took place this week.  anyone want to take a guess at their party theme is for this year?? :)  
I cant believe I'm going to have four year olds!
two. girls night
I feel like girls night needs to be once a week.  I always come home feeling refreshed from a night out full of girl talk and laughter and just a good time.  this week Jordan volunteered for daddy-duty and I grabbed a bite to eat with Britt and then went to painting with a twist to meet her sister and friend.  it was just four of us in the class, we brought dinner and wine (diet coke for the non-preggo splurge) and painted for 2 hours. I've always wanted to do the painting class and it was SO fun!
also. chipotle literally has been on my brain since I ate it earlier this week.  I need it again!
barbacoa (double meat! the only meat I think I like right now..) + brown rice + pinto beans + fajita veggies + ALL the salsas + guac + a little sour cream!  I am obsessed with their vinaigrette dressing but want more stuff than lettuce, so I get the bowl instead of the salad and ask for the dressing on the side.
(side note: floral wallet from better life bags!)

three. we have a nursery!
anyone thats ever been to my house, has NEVER been in the front room- ha! its basically the catch all room for anything and everything.  party items + holiday decor + clothes + toys.. toys.. more toys.  when the girls were about 18 mo old we moved the once office space out and rearranged that front room into a play room for the twins.  that didn't last very long. SO- our dining room is now the play room and that front office/room has remained behind closed doors ever since.. until now.
this week while the big girls were at preschool and Baker was spending the day with her BB, Jordan and I cleaned and cleaned and threw away and donated until we could finally see the floor!  10 bags of trash and twice as many donations later we have an empty room.
its so embarrassing.
 BUT, I am so excited to be able to actually get in there and start planning a baby boy nursery!  ALSO.. those bags. bags and bags and bags are full of baby clothing- so follow along @shopmasseya for a baby/toddler clothing sale next week!
four. weather shift + patch success
the weather made a shift toward the end of this week and OMG we are so thankful. we were pushing 90 degrees in October and didn't even want to be outside.  its going to be the most GORGEOUS weekend and we plan to be outside the entire time.. starting with a picnic dinner this evening:)
we've been really consistent with patching Baker's left eye this week and she's such a rockstar.  she doesn't even fuss when we put the ortopad on.  she wears it for about 2 hours everyday in hopes to strengthen  her right eye's muscles.  thankful her vision is not impaired, but we don't want it to get worse. we go back in a couple months for a follow up.  until then sweet Baker will be the sweetest and tiniest pirate. gosh, I love her.
five. bootie love list (under $100!) 
I'm not the biggest "shoe person".. I usually stick with one or two great pairs and rotate them in and out with different outfits.. but over the last couple of years I've really taken heart to LOVING/obsessing freaaaaaking out over a great pair of booties.
I have a lot of booties.
plus, they dont have to be super expensive, either!  I did a quick search for styles I'm totally loving this season.. I cant get enough of olive or wine colored suede.  dont be afraid of stepping outside of the usual black/brown color options.  the deeper reds and greens and variety in shades of brown are all basically a neutral this time of year:) 

10.19.2016

weekend | a second visit

..was quite possibly better than the first.  on a whim i asked my mom to help me pull together this shower hosted at my house over the weekend.  I needed help with all the last minute details and just didnt feel like I could do it alone.  I was SO thankful when she immediately replied yes without even thinking about what I had just asked her to do. so they arrived early on Friday morning and while my mom and I ran our errands, Jordan and my dad had baby duty:)  after the last minute errands on Friday we called it quits to grab a bite to eat.  it was perfect weather so a patio somewhere was in order.  Baker sat in my dad's lap and pigged out on enchiladas and guacamole and tortilla and cheese..  didn't move a muscle or fight to the death to get down and run like a banshee.
my dad has found a little friend.
watching him with her and the twins was so bizarre. so gentle and sweet and SO HAPPY.  which in turn made my stomach do flip flops in joy. he kept thanking me for allowing them to visit again and sharing our family with them.  it was easy to allow the entire 32 years of life behind me fizzle to a blur when my dad, the man I wanted nothing more than to please my entire life, says things like that.  it took me a long time to teach myself and learn not to seek my identity in him. 

my mom did her best to love as sweet as she could with them.  when Baker finally gave up her favorite seat in my dad's lap, she swooped in to get her hands on the baby. 
after we satisfied my pregnancy craving with eight tons of chips and the equivalent in fresh salsa I also requested a stop at bahama bucks for a cotton candy sno cone before we headed home for more party prep.  my mama did the food, I handed the decor.. while my dad read every single book we own to the big girls. we knocked it out in just a couple hours. and when they finally headed back to their hotel it was almost 11pm.  I would have been up ALL NIGHT if it wasn't for her help. 
but thats my mother.  always with the servant's heart.
and finally.  finally she was there.  ALL THERE for me- there when I needed a mom.
a normal mom.
saturday morning came SO SOON.  Jolie came down with a stomach bug early saturday morning, so from about 1am to 5:30am she threw up every 15 minutes.  I finally crawled into bed with her after she had kept water down for longer than a half hour, but was up by 7am to get myself ready for the day.  my mama treated me to my most favorite form of pampering- drybar.  someone to wash and dry AND FIX my hair is literally priceless to me:) she had never had anything like that done before, so we sat together drinking coffee while someone played with our hair for an hour.  
after last minute details were completed for the baby shower- the time had finally arrived for the guests to start showing up.  Jordan and my dad took Baker and Parker to hang out for a couple hours- while sweet Jolie was still under the weather and posted up in my bed watching PJ Masks and eating saltines- but NOT PUKING thank goodness.  my mom was dressed and ready for the party (I invited her myself- since she did so much of the prep work!) and mingled here and there but ultimately landed herself in my bed with Jolie to be with her/keep her company while she got some much needed sleep and her mama finished hosting all the guests.


after everyone left and my mom helped me get my house back into some form of order, we all sat around and watched college football.  skipped dinner and ate leftover cake instead:)
such an easy going time.  much different than anything we've ever done before.
I always felt so stressed out when I was around my parents- in their space or mine.  didnt matter.  I never felt comfortable.  but feeling comfortable is SO much more important right now especially when I'm trying to make my kids comfortable, you know?
my parents left early on Sunday to make the drive back to Austin and we skipped church to sleep in and then set out to run some errands before we started the week- but definitely stayed close to home because Jolie was still running fever and feeling blah.  I hated to see her like that! 
(my favorite tank tops from gap come in long sleeve, too! Also.. how about day two of my drybar do'??
sams + costco for cereal and fruit in bulk.. that lasts less than 3 days around these parts, anyway.
home in time for the cowboy's game
..and more leftover cake.
such a good weekend and a great visit with my parents. we have a visit planned for the first week in November and I've been pumping up the girls for the trip to see Nana + Duke and I think we are all excited.  I actually have no idea where my parent's live or what their house looks like.  they moved from downtown Austin (literally 7th street) to a little suburb outside of Austin when my dad retired shortly after I removed myself, so it will be new to all of us.

until then I'll enjoy daily check-in's from my dad with random articles about baby products and name suggestions for baby boy.. cat pictures from my mother and answering random questions and curiosities she has, like what time do the girls go to bed or what their favorite foods are.. I forget this is all new territory for them as well.
one day at a time- but its going great so far.

10.17.2016

wild + free | celebrating baby Cohen

you know me.  and you know I love a good party.
myself and Andrea's two college roomies have been planning this special day for months and I cant believe its actually come and gone! tons of Andrea's closest friends and family gathered at my home to celebrate her baby boy Cohen- and it was such a beautiful day! 
wild + free!



side note: my (rather amazing) dress I bought off the sale rack at loft last week after seeing one of my girlfriends look amazing while wearing it at brunch.  its actually a petite size maxi dress.. but when you're just under 5'7 its like the perfect midi length for the fall weather.  did I mention that it is NOT maternity.  I probably wont be able to wear it here in another month, but its perfect for my 17 week bump!

 the food!  
I catered in the pinwheels +  sausage balls and I also had one of my favorite restaurants make their butternut squash hummus for me to serve to the guests.






 cream cheese + dill + lemon juice + cucumbers sliced thin
 shredded chicken breast + mayo + slivered almonds + grapes + celery
 my amazing hubby DIY'd these wooden disks for another baby shower and it proved to be a good project because I've used them several times since!

 this IS Texas, so there is always sweet tea.
 and the easiest sangria you will ever make.
pomegranate juice + fresh strawberries + pomegranate arils + your favorite red wine (I used Cab) + club soda





 the hostesses + the guest of honor
it was just the perfect day!
CREDITS
photography by b faith photography
invitations + food cards: CK Fireboots
pennant banner c/o pearl + jane
paper cut out banners c/o pearl + jane 
"cohen elliott" name banner c/o pearl + jane
woolie ball banners c/o pearl + jane 
mini cake topper banner c/o hooray everyday
wooden cake forks: sucre shop
paper straws: pretty party sprinkles
cake: jenny layne bakery (local)
"C": hobby lobby
picture frame: hobby lobby
mint striped cake scalloped napkins:  happy wish co
kraft gold scallop paper cups: happy wish co
kraft gold scallop paper plates: the tom kat studio
grey striped paper plates: the tom kat studio
"Cohen Elliott" custom wooden sign c/o tucker up & co.
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