10 Things You May Not Know About Me

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

1. I have a tattoo on my hip that says "believe". I got it on my 18th birthday and I always forget it's there.

2. I am a terrible cook and don't enjoy cooking at all. My husband loves it and cooks 90% of our meals.

3. My dad is an orthodontist and I had to have braces three times because I never wore my retainers. Worst patient ever!

4. I am super paranoid that I am going to run out of toiletries and household products so at any given time you will find about 4 extra tubes of toothpaste, 2 bottles of contact solution, 3 sticks of deodorant, and 5 bottles of hand soap and dish soap in my house.

5. I can't stand talking on the phone. My husband is the exact opposite. He calls me about 5x a day just to say hey and I'm all like "why can't you just text me?"

6. I have two sisters and I am the middle child. I want three children one day and I'd be totally happy if they were all girls because I know how special sisters are.

7. I love checking the mail. I don't know why, I just do. Even though it's usually just bills (and an occasional package for Vivi), it just excites me. It's the little things you guys!

8. My love language is an amazing charcuterie board. Give me alllll the cheese!

9. I love being outside. Going on walks, bike rides, sitting on the porch, you name it. I am a total country girl and would live on a farm in a heartbeat if it didn't take 30 minutes to get to the closest grocery store.

10. I am 100% a morning person. When my alarm goes off I hop right out of bed full of energy and ready to tackle the day. But I can barely keep my eyes open past 9pm.

What do we have in common?!

Pineapple martini

Monday, August 14, 2017

Today I'm back at work after a great weekend at the beach! Unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate but we were able to sneak in an hour or two of sun during the afternoon on Saturday. A rainy weekend spent inside with the entire family and three kids under the age of 4 isn't exactly relaxing but hey, a rainy day at the beach beats a pretty day anywhere else if you ask me.

We cooked dinner at the house both nights and many cocktails were had. I thought I'd share my very favorite cocktail with you guys today. Super easy and delicious!

Pineapple martini

-Malibu rum
-Pineapple juice
-Lime juice

Mix equal parts malibu rum and vodka, 2 parts pineapple juice, and a squeeze of fresh or bottled lime juice. Shake with ice in shaker. Add a pretty garnish and enjoy!


Friday, August 11, 2017

Happy Friday friends! I am en route to the beach for the weekend. I can't believe there are only a few beach weekends left, time is flying by. Here are five random things from the week!

[O N E]
I am still loving this look from a recent date night at the beach. Sadly, these heels are sold out at Target and my dress is a few seasons old but I've linked a few similar dresses herehere and here.

[T W O]
I am all about easy summer meals and this salad with grilled shrimp was a winner. We threw the shrimp and corn on the cob on the grill then added whatever toppings we had in the fridge and it turned out to be delicious! Super easy and healthy.

[T H R E E]
I've had questions about what sunscreen we use on Vivi at the beach. I've been using this sunscreen and so far I've been really happy with it. Hasn't cause any breakouts, rashes, dry skin, etc.

[F O U R]
Earlier this week Viv and I went to Petsmart and somehow in the midst of loading her and the dog food in the car I managed to leave my wallet in the shopping cart. I didn't remember until 5 hours later when I was on the way to a doctor's appointment and realized I didn't have my insurance card or ID. I freaked out, just knowing 100% that it was gone. I called Petsmart and thanks to a kind stranger, my wallet was turned in and safe! There are still good people in this world!

[F I V E]
My sister introduced me to these alcoholic spritzers and oh my gosh, so good! So refreshing and the perfect summer drink. Good straight from the can or over ice with some fresh lime.

Linking up with Amanda and April

Stroller review

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

I've had lots of questions about our stroller and my thoughts on it so I thought I'd do a quick review for all the new moms, soon-to-be moms, and future moms out there! Choosing a stroller was one of the hardest decisions in the entire baby prep phase. There are so many options that it was very overwhelming. We ended up going with the Uppababy Vista stroller and Mesa infant carseat and here's why:

The first thing I did when deciding on a stroller was ask my new mom friends which stroller they had and if they were happy with it. A positive review from people you know is more reliable than any online review if you ask me! I got an overwhelming response about the Uppababy Vista stroller. The next step was going to Buy Buy Baby and getting my hands on the strollers. There is no other way to determine what you will love... you absolutely must try them out!

One thing that was a non-negotiable for me was having the same brand stroller and infant carseat so that you don't have to deal with adapters and all that extra "stuff". My sister had a different brand carseat and stroller with her babies and watching her have to put the adapters on and struggle with that hassle every time she left the house stressed me out! Uppababy has sleek, light-weight infant carseats that clip directly into the stroller, making it SO easy.

We are on the go a lot and spend a lot of time outside so another non-negotiable was that the stroller must be lightweight and super easy to push. When I pushed this stroller around in the store I fell in love! It turns corners so smoothly and the wheels don't get twisted up and stuck. So next I weighed my pros and cons.

-Can convert to hold two children. If you think you want more than one, might as well get a stroller that can hold two so you aren't buying another stroller in a few years!
-Comes with bassinet and toddler seat
-No adapters needed with the carseat
-Super easy to fold and unfold
-Pushes and turns corners so smoothly

Cons of Uppababy Vista stroller:
-It's pretty expensive but I am a firm believer that you get what you pay for
-The back wheels are kind of wide so it can be a tight squeeze through doorways

I have been SO happy with my stroller decision and would 100% buy this stroller again. This post is not sponsored, just wanted to share a product I truly love. We used the heck out of the bassinet when Vivi was a newborn and switched her to the toddler seat, which can face forward or backward, about a month ago. Any other Uppababy moms out there?!

Ugly dip

Monday, August 7, 2017

Today I'm sharing one of my very favorite, super easy appetizer dips. I have made it multiple times this summer for get togethers and it is always a huge hit.

Ugly Dip

-1 can white corn, drained
-1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
-3-5 green onions, thinly sliced
-4 oz feta cheese crumbles
-1/4 cup sugar (I use a little less)
-1/4 cup cider vinegar
-1/4 cup olive oil (I use a little less)

Whisk together sugar, vinegar and olive oil until sugar dissolves. Combine corn, black beans, feta and onions. Pour marinade over mixture and stir well. Refrigerate and serve with tortilla chips. Enjoy!

My #Nsale purchases and review

Friday, August 4, 2017

Happy Friday friends! Today I am showing you guys what I got during the Nordstrom anniversary sale and my thoughts on all the pieces I ordered. There are only 2 days left so if you have your eye on something, don't wait! Free shipping and free returns, you can't beat that!

{O N E}
First up, my favorite piece that I ordered. The off the shoulder plaid blouse in desert pink. I am loving the off-the-shoulder trend and I love that it can be transitioned into fall. The material is SO soft and it would look super cute both with white jeans while it's still semi-warm and with dark jeans and booties into winter. Originally $89, this top is on sale for $59. Verdict: definitely keeping!

{T W O}
Next up, the tie back poplin tunic in blue white stripe. I was so disappointed in this. I definitely thought I would love it but the fit was really weird. It was made to be a shirt but it was super long on me and I'm 5'8". It was boxy and frumpy looking. I am wearing a medium and I could have possibly sized down and liked it more but I was not crazy about it. It could have been cute with riding boots as a dress, but I just didn't need it. Originally $75, this tunic is on sale for $50. Verdict: returning.

{T H R E E}
Next up, the bell sleeve cozy fleece pullover in orchid. I absolutely love this top to throw on for errands, lunch dates, etc in the fall. It is so soft and the bell sleeve gives it a fun twist. I would describe it as a mix between a top and a sweater. I will probably wear mine with my beloved "Melissa button" Frye boots and a fun necklace. I want it in more colors! Originally $59, this top is on sale for $39. Verdict: keeping!

{F O U R}
Last but not least, the ruffle cold shoulder top in black. You can never have too many black tops. I am loving cold shoulder and think this trend will last for a while. Also, cold shoulder is so much more realistic for taking care of/holding a baby than off the shoulder is. I will wear it with my turquoise or pink Kendra Scott drop earrings.  Originally $79, this top is on sale for $53. Verdict: keeping!

That's all! I am still dying to try the Zella leggings that everyone raves about and I may pull the trigger on those this weekend. Any other must haves before the sale ends??

Thoughts on the postpartum body

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

left- 9 months pregnant, right- 5 months post-partum

My entire life I have been very active and into sports. I was a gymnast, I won a volleyball state championship in high school and continued to play for fun in college. Then I hit grad school and I didn't have time to exercise or go to the gym. I gained a little bit of weight and started to lack self-confidence. I am not the type that weighs myself daily, heck I don't even own a scale. I can just tell by looking in the mirror and the way my clothes fit.

Fast forward a few years to infertility and starting the IVF process. I was on tons of medications, both oral and injectable, for months. I was stressed so I was eating awful. This was the perfect storm for weight gain. I didn't put on a ton of weight but things were just different. I lost muscle, gained cellulite, and just didn't feel good in my own skin. Then I got pregnant and for those 9 months I fell in love with my body again.

I loved everything about pregnancy. The nausea, stretching skin, baby bump, shortness of breath, you name it. I had dreamed of being pregnant my entire life and I didn't want to take one day of my pregnancy for granted. I felt beautiful with my big belly and I was no longer worried about the way I looked in the mirror. I no longer felt the need to suck in my belly and I didn't cringe at the size of my legs. I was in love with this growing baby inside of me and how she was changing my physical appearance.

My total weight gain was around 32 pounds. After I gave birth most of the weight fell off pretty quickly. At my 2 week postpartum visit I was back to pre-pregnancy weight but things were not the same. My belly was loose and saggy, my stomach was numb with a huge scar from my C-section, and I felt so weak. I could hardly even sit up from a laying position due to my abdominal muscles being cut and split apart during surgery. And can we just talk about what happens to your boobs after you quit breastfeeding? Bless. I slowly started to dislike my body again.

Recently I've had a change in perspective. I have truly realized how amazing a woman's body is and the fact that we can grow a human being is freaking amazing. I have slowly started to get back into the gym, not for weight loss but for my mental health. I feel so much better after working out, both mentally and physically. I want to gain my strength back because strong is the new skinny! As women we are so hard on ourselves and I am constantly reminding myself that "comparison if the thief of joy".

I am listing the things that I would like to continue to work on and the things I am proud of myself for and I challenge you to do the same. Give yourself grace today and believe that whether you are a mommy or not, your body is beautiful!

Things I want to continue to work on:
-Continue to exercise at least 3x a week
-Eat more vegetables
-Drink more water
-Eat less chips (my weakness)
-Cut out negative self talk
-Believe someone when they give me a compliment

Reasons to be proud of myself:
-I grew and gave birth to a perfect baby girl
-I had a major surgery
-I am a good mom
-I do a good job of juggling work and home life
-I love my job and truly care about my patients
-I kicked infertility's butt

Moral of the story, I am still a work in progress. I will continue to struggle with being hard on myself but I am truly striving to give myself grace. My body has been through so much over the past 2 years and I am proud of how far I have come. I still have some belly hanging on and the cellulite loves me, but today I am choosing to embrace the postpartum body and be thankful for the blessing that made it this way!

5 beauty products

Friday, July 28, 2017

Today for my Friday Five I am sharing the beauty products I would take if I was stranded on a deserted island and was only allowed to bring 5 things. Am I the only one who thinks about crazy scenarios like this?? Also, if I only have a few minutes to get ready in the morning these are usually the products I put on!

5 beauty products

ONE | Aquaphor is my all-time favorite "beauty" product. I carry it around everywhere I go because it has so many uses. This stuff works magic on chapped lips. My dermatologist recommended it for chapped lips and since then I have been hooked. It is also great for make-up removal, dry skin, diaper rashes, you name it.

TWO | Bobbi Brown blush and if I could only choose one color I'd go with Peony. I use this color year round. It's a gorgeous bright pink so a little bit goes a long way.

THREE | It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer. Because I have a baby and the dark circles under my eyes are impressive. I've had the same tube for almost 2 years. All you need is a tiny bit and you can fool people into thinking your baby slept through the night.

FOUR | Bobbi Brown Sheer-Finish Loose Powder. I swear by this stuff. This is all I put on my face, no foundation or anything! It is light but provides good coverage and doesn't feel cakey and thick like liquid foundations feel to me. I wear the color Soft Sand.

FIVE | Maybelline Volum' Express The Colossal Mascara. I've tried so many different mascaras and this one is hands down my favorite. For $7, it is better than any expensive mascara out there. And I'm totally team non-waterproof.

So tell me, if you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 beauty products would you bring? Are you team waterproof mascara or non-waterproof?

Vivian Kate | 5 months

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Sweet Vivi,
5 months have absolutely flown by. Each day that passes I love you more and more. Your personality is starting to show and you are so interested in everything. You love being comforted by your momma and you smile so big at your daddy. You were absolutely worth the wait.

We didn't go to the doctor this month so I have no idea! If I had to guess I'd say at least 17 lbs. She's a chunk and has some serious rolls!

She started sleeping through the night a while ago but she doesn't let us get used to it. She will sleep through the night maybe 3 nights in a row then wake up a few times the next night for no reason. Last week she was waking up 3-4 times a night which was just torture after we had gotten used to 8 hours of semi-uninterrupted sleep. I'm not sure if she is going through a growth spurt or what.

As for naps, she is usually a great napper. That girl LOVES her crib and basically begs for you to put her down when she's sleepy. She usually wakes up at 6:30, goes down for a nap around 8 and sleeps for an hour. Then a nap around lunch time, usually 11-12:30ish. Then an early afternoon nap, usually 2:30-4:30 then she will doze off in her swing from 6:30-7:30 and goes to bed around 8.

She is drinking 5oz every 3ish hours which is usually closer to every 2.5 hours. She drinks around 30-35oz a day. I can't wait to start feeding her solids next month!

In 6 month clothes and some 6-12 month. She is growing out of most of her summer clothes so I got a few more things to get us through the next few months but mostly I have just been buying fall/winter clothes, which she has NONE of!

Eating, her play mat, jumparoo, going on walks, any toys that play music or light up, the pool, bath time, her cousin Ella James

Being hungry, being bored (drama queen), changing clothes

No huge milestones this month. She did celebrate her first 4th of July but she slept through all the fireworks! She is sooo close to rolling over on her own. She rolls to the side but can't figure out how to get over her arm. She is becoming so interactive and is reaching for everything. She holds her toys and puts them straight in her mouth.

More Vivi posts:

Weekending: girls beach weekend

Monday, July 24, 2017

Happy Monday friends! Always sad to see the weekend go. We spent the weekend at the beach. Garrett had work training all weekend so instead of sitting home alone with Vivi, we decided to make  it a girls beach weekend. I enjoyed spending the weekend with my mom and little sister.

Thursday I headed straight to the beach from work and my mom and sister brought Vivian and we met at one of our favorite restaurants at the beach, Amos Mosquitoes. I beat them by about 30 minutes so I enjoyed a cosmo at the bar allllll by myself which was #bliss.

Bella is still not adjusting well to her new human sister so I've been trying to do special things for her. Both Friday and Saturday mornings while Vivi was napping I took Bella out on the beach which is her absolute favorite thing to do. She would swim and chase birds until she dropped dead if we let her. Friday night we stayed in and cooked and I was in bed with my book at 8:30pm. It was heaven!

We had the best weather! This was the first weekend where the pool was warm enough for Vivian to really enjoy the water. She absolutely loved it!! She splashed and smiled. So so cute!

Saturday night we went to one of our other favorite beach restaurants, Front Street at Stillwater. I was so nervous about bringing Vivi because she usually goes to bed around 7:30pm and when girlfriend gets tired, she is not pleasant to be around. Much to my surprise she was an angel. I got to enjoy my drinks and dinner and she stole the hearts of everyone in the restaurant. We had a table on the dock right on the water and it was the perfect night... until the babe had a major blowout all over her brand new outfit and #momfail I didn't bring her a change of clothes.

Sunday we got up and headed home early. Garrett was waiting for us and we were SO happy to see him! Single parenting is tough and I was exhausted from a weekend without him!

FoF: baby food and eye masks

Friday, July 21, 2017

Happy Friday! I am waking up at the beach today and I couldn't be happier! Unfortunately Garrett is traveling for work so we are having a girls weekend. Here are 5 super random things from this week!

[O N E]
I recently got this cold shoulder top from Loft during their 40% off sale. I loved it so much that I got it in two colors. Such a simple top that's perfect to throw on for a day of running errands and the cold shoulder detail gives it a fun touch.

[T W O]
I have been talking to my aunt a lot lately about baby food making. She keeps her grandson and makes all his baby food. A few days later a package was delivered to my home full of goodies for when I start making Vivi's food! How sweet is that?! Three baby food cookbooks, a bowl with a masher for food prep while traveling, some trays for freezing, and little containers for storage. I can't wait to start using it!

[T H R E E]
I got a lot of questions about the gold eye masks that I was wearing in a previous post. They are so great for under eye bags and puffiness aka life with a baby. I put them on for about 20 minutes in the morning while Vivi naps and they make your skin feel awake and hydrated.

[F O U R]
Barnes and Noble is one of my favorite places to stop in when I have some time to kill. I just realized how awesome their baby toys section is. They have the cutest, most unique toys... who would have thought?! I got Vivi a few toys and a new book.

[F I V E]
My cousin has a baby that is 3.5 months older than Vivi. It is so fun walking through this stage of life with her and I know these girls will be the best of friends. We saw them last weekend and attempted to get a decent picture of the girls together. These are the best we could get... hilarious!

Linking up with Amanda and April

My favorite shops for baby girls

Thursday, July 20, 2017

I get so many questions about where I get Vivian's clothes so I thought I'd compile a list for all you girl mommas and soon-to-be girl mommas out there! Shopping for her has been so much more fun than I ever imagined. I have to hold myself back from buying new clothes for her every single day. There are just sooo many cute things everywhere!


Wunderkin Co. is my favorite bow shop. The only thing that I don't like is how hard it is to get your hands on the bows. They usually release new bows every Monday morning but they sell out in like 5 minutes flat. Such a pain! I was able to snag a few because I was sitting on my computer and ready to go the second they released. Watch their Instagram [@wunderkin_co] for new release dates.

Gap surprised me with how cute their baby things are. Vivian has this adorable bubble and I just recently got her two of these knit bear hats in both cream and pink for winter which are currently on sale for $9.99!

Cecil & Lou is my go-to for all the southern smocked things. The prices are SO good for smocked outfits. I recently got her these Christmas pjs which I am just absolutely dying over. I also just got her this bubble for Thanksgiving. Follow their Instagram [@cecilandlou] for new releases and you can buy straight from there.

River & Jax is probably the store I get the most questions on when I dress Vivi in their rompers. So darn cute and look perfect with Willow Crowns lace headbands. The only thing I don't like about this shop is that products sell out quickly and take a while to be shipped to you because they are handmade. Follow their Instagram [@riverandjax] for new releases. I literally set my alarm one night so that I could buy a few rompers before they sold out. And prepare for it to take 6ish weeks to get to you... so size up!

Willow Crowns is my favorite for lace headbands. It's no secret that I'm a frequent shopper here! Some of our favorites are this blush bowthe sloan lace headbandthe blake lace headband, and the laurel gold leaf headband which was perfect for newborn pictures.

Shrimp & Grits is southern perfection. A little pricier than Cecil & Lou but such good quality. I just got Vivian this Christmas tree dress and this smocked Santa dress and I.seriously.die. There is nothing sweeter than a baby girl in classic southern pieces. They are currently having a sale on all their summer clothing so stock up for next summer!

Old Navy has also surprised me with how cute some of their baby clothes are. I won't put her in super trendy things like jeans, leggings, etc. but their bubbles are perfect and so cheap! We have gotten our money's worth out of these things: this cream bubble with ruffled trimthis bubble in multiple colors, and this onesie in multiple colors that she sleeps in. I also just got this swimsuit for our trip to the Cayman Islands which is currently on sale for $13! Stock up for next summer!

Beaufort Bonnet Company is expensive but the absolute most adorable southern clothes ever. We were gifted this bonnet and this bubble which are both such classic pieces. I am beyond obsessed with their pjs. Their summer clothes are on sale so now would be the time so purchase a few!

Hanna Andersson is my go-to for pajamas. There is nothing cuter than their zip up sleeper pajamas. Vivian has so many of these! How cute are these unicorn pajamas? She needs them! I am patiently awaiting their Christmas pajamas to be released so I can grab a few for the holidays.

Matilda Jane has super cute clothes for babies all the way up to teens, and I even love their clothes for myself! Vivi has a few adorable bubbles that she has worn the heck out of. I got her this lemon romper and this colorful romper for next year. They release new clothes on the 1st of every month. Let me know if you'd like more info... my sister is a trunk keeper!

Kissy Kissy convertible gowns were what Vivian wore 24/7 when she was a newborn. The gowns make diaper changing SO much easier and they can convert to legs for when you put them in their carseat. She had this ballet slipper gown and this rose print gown and so many others like them. This is basically all she wore for the first 2ish months of life. Nothing sweeter than a tiny newborn in a soft gown.

Magnolia Baby has the softest clothes for newborns, hands down. We had so many of their gowns and footies. One of my very favorite outfits Vivi has worn is this striped footie. I am about to order it for her in a bigger size for this winter.

Candy Kirby Designs has the cutest knotted gowns. Vivian had a few that I just loved on her. They are so soft. The only problem is they can only wear them when you're planning on staying home because obviously you can't put them in their carseat with the knotted bottom. Kind of a pain but super cute!

KicKee Pants has the softest pajamas that are thin and stretchy and look so dang precious on babies. Vivi had this striped outfit and she wore it until it was bursting at the seams. I am going to get this turtle outfit and a few others for her for the fall/winter.

Girl mommas, what shops am I missing?

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