Life

Surprise, We’re Pregnant!

07/25/2017

…And baby makes three! We are expecting Baby Mack to make their arrival January 2018 and we could not be more excited! We are so blessed and grateful that I’m pregnant and so very excited to finally share the news.  I may not document everything baby related, but I want to share a few things that people have asked me over the last two weeks since we shared the news!

How We Found Out

I actually took a pregnancy test sooner than I probably should have. We had been trying for a couple of months and I was getting anxious to see a positive test, but this time I just had a feeling. I took the test on a Monday evening and it appeared to be negative, so I threw it away. The following morning, I thought, “Maybe..just maybe,” and took the test out the trash and checked it again. It showed the faintest, and I meant faintest of lines. Still didn’t believe it. A day or so later I ended up back at Target and bought two more tests, another line test and then a digital (word of advice – always go with the digital). The line test showed another very, very faint line. When I took the digital test, I expected it to immediately show “Not Pregnant.” Two minutes later, I looked at the test and it stated, “Pregnant.”

Insert shock and excitement here. It was so late and Cody had been working late that I ended up being asleep when he got home. I wanted to tell him in a special way, so the next day I ended up grabbing a few things and put together a little package for him to open. He had recently given me a hard time about purchasing items that he ends up having to help me put together. Using a recent Amazon box, I ended up telling him I needed help with something and left it on the counter. He grabbed the box and removed the kraft paper and saw this:

He was just as excited and shocked as I was.

I ended up spilling the beans to my mom on Mother’s Day and we told my dad, brother and his family,  and all of Cody’s family on Father’s Day. I ended up getting a t-shirt for our nephew on my side that said “Big Cousin” and we framed photos of the ultrasound for my dad and Cody’s family. Everyone was thrilled, and I know some of my nieces were like “It’s about time!”

We announced on social media/the rest of our world a few weeks later after our 12 week appointment with the photo above using the letter board.

The First Trimester

I found out about the three week mark and didn’t experience too many symptoms right off the bat. The biggest symptom that carried throughout my first trimester would be exhaustion. I’ve had limited morning sickness and the only thing that makes me remotely nauseous is Lola’s dog food, so I’ve tasked Cody with filling up her food.

My typical breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon has gone to the back burner for now. My love of eggs has dwindled as well as grilled chicken (which is all I used to eat!). Though, my college diet has returned in full force, cereal, pasta, and PB&J sandwiches make me very happy. ALL THE CARBS. Hopefully now that I’m feeling more energetic, I’m hoping some of my favorite foods start sounding more appealing. I’ve been craving fresh fruit, especially apples, peaches, and watermelon. I haven’t had any weird food pairing cravings yet, but only time will tell.

I only just barely started showing around 13 weeks, any other bloating or ‘food baby’ bumps were easily hidden at work with flowy dresses and peplum tops. Thank goodness that is what is in style!

The hardest part and maybe my biggest frustration was hiding my big news in general. I had multiple work events the first few weeks after I found out and I wish I could have had water or pop without the stares, whispers, or questions. Instead I found creative ways to hide it. It was funny to talk to co-workers after they found out to put two & two together. No one seemed to have any idea. Another random pet peeve is that I feel like you can never just buy a pregnancy test on its own, you have to buy a few random house goods to go along with your pregnancy test. Thank goodness for self-check out at Target!

Boy or Girl?

Right now we are up in the air on finding out the gender. I was hoping our 20 week appointment would align with Cody’s 30th birthday so we could do a mini gender reveal with our close friends and family, but it will be a week or two after we have Cody’s party. Initially we were going to find out, but now we are leaning towards surprise. However, we have a few more weeks to decide!

Do We Have Any Names Picked Out?

I have a long list of names that I’ve added to over the past few years but we haven’t settled on a name. We probably won’t share the name publicly until the baby is here.

Are you Going to Blog About Baby Mack?

My first trimester left me asleep in bed every night by 8pm, and now that I’m in my second trimester I feel like I’ve finally turned a corner. My goal is to try and blog about the big things but probably won’t do a weekly update (even without being pregnant updating the blog has been few and far between – I blame my day job!!). I’ve been keeping updates in a Note on my iPhone and it’s been fun to see what’s changed week to week. I really want to keep more of a personal journey of my pregnancy so I can look back and not forget what a special time this is and maybe one day share it with our little one!

Tell us about the Nursery!

This may be the biggest question I’ve gotten so far, talk about pressure. My little cousin was event said, “That baby is going to have the best room!” I better get to work, especially on a room they won’t use for their first few months! Ha!

I’ll definitely keep you posted about decorating the nursery, more to come on this.  I already have a few designs drafted (of course) but I am not satisfied with anything I’ve put together. Normally I can latch on to some inspiration and run with it, but that hasn’t happened yet and I’m trying not to get frustrated! There is still plenty of time for things to fall into place. The only thing we’ve ordered so far is the dresser (I had a few it would sell out).

Baby Mack at 14 weeks, 5 days (Dress – Kohl’s | Sandals – Joie via Shopbop)

I’m excited to share more pregnancy related content here — and if there’s anything in particular you want to see please send me a note! Thanks for following along!

Life

Love is a Four Legged Word

07/03/2017

I’m sharing #NUTRO in my life as part of a NUTRO sponsored series for Socialstars™.

The first full day we had Lola, I worked from home so I could bond with my new rescue pup (I took this photo that day, and it’s still my favorite photograph of her of all time). She was abandoned, taken to a rescue, and then moved hundreds of miles away from Nashville when we adopted her. We had to work together and slowly learned to trust one another. Trust that we won’t abandon her and that, we will be there to take care of her every step of the way. Let’s say she didn’t take long to take to us and I often refer to her as my shadow. She sleeps by our feet at night and will be the first to cuddle with you the moment you sit down on the couch. It’s true what they say, a dog is a woman’s best friend!

Lola is my first pet I’ve ever had and I can honestly say I can’t imagine life without her. She’s a constant in my life that even after a rough day at the office she’s there to greet me at the door with a wiggly butt and all the puppy kisses. She has her moments, and I’m sure she feels the same way about me especially when I don’t share my human food with her. I wouldn’t trade her snorts and snoring for anything. If you ever have the chance to foster, volunteer, or rescue a dog, it’s a lot of work, you’re caring for a living creature, but it’s one of the most rewarding things you can do!

That’s why I trust NUTRO™. Every step of the way NUTRO™ works hard to product the integrity of their food. They only source from trusted farmers and suppliers, prepare their food in trusted facilities, and test for quality and safety.

They also work hard to keep their pet food clean and simple by sourcing non-GMO* ingredients as close to their native form as possible. As well as making purposeful, nutrient-rich food, ensuring every ingredient serves a purpose and making a high-quality protein the foundation of each recipe.

Since switching Lola to NUTRO™ Limited Ingredient Diet Small Bites Adult Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe Dog Food, her coat is shinier, she has more energy, and I’ve even noticed she’s stopped licking her paws as much as she used to. Lola relies and trusts me to feed her the best, to keep her healthy, and with NUTRO™ I am able to provide her a clean and healthy meal that I know is working to keep her strong and active.

Not having to worry about what I’m feeding her, gives us more time to snuggle and catch up on our latest Netflix binge. If you haven’t watched Riverdale, it’s my latest guilty pleasure show, now that Pretty Little Liars is over!

*Trace amounts of genetically modified material may be present due to potential cross contact during manufacturing.

Photos by Lauren Konrad Photography

Decor

From House to Home with Casper

06/26/2017

Moving can be a daunting task. Whether you are renting or buying, there is an endless check list and you often can’t feel settled until weeks or even months into living in your new space. I’ve teamed up with Casper to give you a few of my tips and tricks for turning your house into a home.

  • Take your time. When you first move into a new space, you are essentially working with a blank canvas. You will want to figure out how you truly use the space, how you want the room to feel, and then decided how to decorate the room.
  • Create a mood board or Pinterest board to determine what pieces you want to use in the space and then start off by purchasing maybe one or two items from the list. Decorating a house can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Scour the internet for sales, discount codes, or affordable versions of things that have hefty price tags.
  • My biggest piece of advice is to evaluate and reevaluate, style is always evolving and so don’t be afraid to reassess as you begin to decorate.

Here are a few of my essentials to turn your humble abode into a warm and inviting space!

Chantilly in Ivory/Black Loloi Rug | Wayfair Chairs

A rug can instantly warm up a space and bring all the elements together. Whether its a runner in a kitchen or a plush rug in a living room, you can bring in different color elements and patterns to bring character and warmth to your space.

Walls Need Love Removable Wallpaper – Clara Mural

Nothing shows off your personality more than the artwork you choose to showcase in your home. Gallery walls, statement framed items, vases, etc. The skies the limit with artwork. Determining the type of vibe you want in your house often influences the type of artwork, do you lean more minimalistic or eclectic? I used removable wallpaper in my office as my statement artwork in the space!

Target Bedding

There is simply no better feeling then crawling into a freshly made bed with new sheets, pillows, and a new mattress. We invested in a new mattress for our guest bedroom and about a year into living in our home upgrade from a queen to a king in our master bedroom. Maybe the best decision of our lives. Check out all the options Casper has to offer!

I’m all about accessorizing and an easy way to do that is with pillows. My husband thinks I’m nuts, but pillows are like the cherry on top of a sundae. It brings the space together and helps add color and personality. Throw pillows are something that you can splurge on or even DIY to save money. You don’t to spend a fortune to turn your space into something you can really call your own. If throw pillows aren’t your thing – make sure you invest in some good pillow to rest your head on at night. It’s an area I’m still struggling with – I want a firm, yet soft pillow at the same time! I’d love to try Casper’s Pillow – it looks like a dream!

BM Revere Pewter Walls | BM White Dove Cabinets

Paint is an inexpensive solution to change the entire look and feel of your home. When we purchased our house, I was surrounded by taupe walls and yellow trim (see the progression of our hallway here). I’ve slowly updated each room in the house (a few more to go) by painting the walls and the trim. The second coat always gets me in each room, but the end result reminds me that it is ALWAYS worth it.

Last December, I tackled the big task of painting our kitchen cabinets. We went from a dark and dingy vibe in our kitchen/dining area to a bright and inviting space! I painted our bedroom black to create a moody and glam atmosphere. My office went to bright white to allow for an airy space. Paint can make even the smallest of miracles happen.

Target Frames

I mentioned artwork above is key in decorating your home, but don’t forget to make your home personal. Whether it’s framing your kid’s artwork, or finally printing off those photos from that one weekend that reside on Facebook – print your photos and hang them around your house. I finally got around to framing some of my favorite wedding photos and moved some things around in our entry way. It feels much more ‘us’ than it has in the past when I had a couple of mirrors and a framed photograph I got from Minted (which now resides in our hall bathroom – why I’d never thought to move it there in the first place…).

Lamps Plus Lighting and Nightstands | Tufted Headboard

Lighting can make or break a space. I lived in our house with yellow hued lights for year before having the very ‘duh’ moment of simply swapping out the bulbs for daylight ones. It made all the difference. I was more concerned about paint and trim color but realized changing the lighting was what truly turned the space into somewhere I wanted to spend time (especially in our kitchen and dining room). Not only do the types of light bulbs you help set the mood of a space, I would suggest adding lamps in addition to overhead lighting. There are so many options to pick from, sconces, floor lamps, and table lamps all have their purpose. I’ve used sconces in both our guest bedroom and my office, floor and table lamps in our living room (we rarely use the overhead lighting), and lamps flanking our bed in our master bedroom. Each lamp has it’s purpose!

What are your essentials in turning a house into a home? Let me know in the comments below!