6.20.2018

15 WEEK BUMPDATE

We are officially in the second trimester and I couldn't be happier! So far, this month has brought a bit of relief as far as morning sickness goes but I still haven't found much more energy. Nesting has been starting though and I cleared out and donated 6 big bags of "stuff" and we've already gotten almost all of the baby things already (I kind of like to be prepared haha). We took a trip up to Lake Erie and found lots of beach glass and had the most fun. I'm dreaming of so many fun family adventures in the this warm weather (give me all the pool and lake days). I've been eyeing alllllll the tiny baby things and deciding what little things we need to complete our baby essentials. A bunch of baby things arrived this week (a 4moms mamaroo, an organic crib mattress, a dock-a-tot, etc.), it's just so much fun shopping for a tiny little one.


Due Date: December 7

How far along: 15 weeks.

Size of baby: The size of an orange.

Total weight gain: 3 lbs.

Maternity clothes: Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I've been wearing mostly flowy non-maternity dresses, or my Madewell jeans (with two ponytail holders tied togther to hold the button in place since they can't button or zip) with maternity tees.

Stretch marks: So far I've only noticed one.

Sleep: It's all I want to do. By 6pm every night I'm ready for bed, and usually go to bed around 8-ish. The only problem with going to bed so early is that I've been waking up at around 6am almost every day haha.

Best moment of the week: Starting to gather little baby things AND scheduling our anatomy sonogram for next month to find out baby's gender!

Miss anything: Being able to eat anything I want without having to think about if I'll regret it coming backup later lol.

Movement: Yes! I've been feeling flutters since about 9 weeks, and the baby kicks get stronger by the day!

Food cravings: Chic-fil-a sandwiches with buffalo sauce, buttered popcorn, blue raspberry icees, beef stew.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Coffee is the worst and causes the most throwing up. Garlic is next. Onions are pretty awful too. I also currently loathe our pantry, fridge and freezer, I can small alllll the smells of every single item mixing together when I open them and the smell is nauseating.

Have you started to show yet: Yes! Since around 7 weeks.

Gender: We don't know yet. We'll find out next month at 20 weeks and the wait is killing me (obviously patience is not my strongsuit ha).

Labor signs: No.

Belly button in or out: In.

Wedding rings on or off: On.

Happy or moody most of the time: I feel like I'm a good mix of both if I'm completely honest. I mean, I did cry on the phone with Amazon customer service a few weeks ago though over a purchase that wasn't the right product, so there's that haha.

Looking forward to: The pretty Jenny Lind crib we ordered arriving soon and finding out the gender next month!

5.31.2018

THE BEST CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

A good chocolate cake might just be one of my most favorite things, and a few months back, when we were watching the Dick Van Dyke Show, in one episode, sitting there on Laura's countertop, was the most scrumptious looking chocolate cake ever (which obviously sparked a craving for chocolate cake). Of course we all know more things were homemade from scratch back in those days,so I set out on a quest to find the best truly homemade chocolate frosting recipe (because let's face it, canned frosting just isn't as good as we thought it was when we were kids). I searched high and low, and after finally asking in one of my mom groups on facebook, several people suggested this recipe (which I've tweaked slightly to make even better), well, long story short, we tried it, and folks, I'll never go back to eating regular chocolate cake again, it just doesn't compare. This frosting is so rich, decadent and delicious you could eat it by the spoonful *ahem, I mean, not saying I did that or anything, but I won't deny it either*

Anyway, if you ever find yourself on desert duty and have a little extra time on your hands, this frosting is the way to go, especially paired with my recipe for dark chocolate fudge cake (here), it'll knock your socks off. Amazing stuff. Truly amazing. It even freezes well if you want to eat the entire cake piece by piece by yourself *ahem, again, I won't confirm or deny I did this* (picture laugh till you cry emoji face here lol).


1½ cups butter (3 sticks), softened

1 cup unsweetened cocoa

5 cups confectioner’s sugar

½ cup milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Add cocoa to a large bowl or kitchenaid mixer. Whisk to remove any lumps and mix in butter and cocoa powder until well-combined. Add sugar and milk to cocoa mixture by adding 1 cup of sugar followed by about a tablespoon of milk. After each addition has been combined, turn mixer onto a high speed for about a minute. Repeat until all sugar and milk have been added. Add vanilla extract combine well. If frosting appears too dry, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency. If it appears to wet and does not hold its form, add more confectioner’s sugar, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency. Ice your cake and enjoy!

5.08.2018

BABY #2

We've been keeping a big secret the past couple of months and we're over the moon to finally announce that Baby #2 will be joining our little family in December (our original due date was November but recently changed to early December at our last midwife appointment)! We're so excited to add this little one to our family, so thrilled that Bella will be a big sister (she's beyond happy), and so blessed that God decided we were the right ones to raise this tiny one who is already giving me little flutters. This baby has been prayed for for so long and we already can't wait to meet him or her!

We've already got some names chosen and absolutely cannot wait to find out if the baby is a boy or girl so we can start using one of the names we love and calling the baby by name. As the weeks progress I'll be sharing more bump and baby updates as well as sharing all our favorite products for pregnancy and baby. Gathering sweet little baby things is just one of my favorite things and I can't wait to share all of our choices for this little one!

3.30.2018

SPRING FAVORITES

Whew, it's been a hot minute. Hi again friends! I took a short break from blogging these past couple months to focus on family and home life and I thought it was about time I left a little update here, and of course share some new favorite items that we've been loving lately. There are hints of springtime in the air, sunshine some days, all the rain the next and birds singing. It's got us dreaming of all of the picnics, garden planting, fresh flowers and bike riding, while Bella is dreaming of puddle jumping. We all just got new bikes (mine is the prettiest light mint color) and we're really looking forward to riding them around the neighborhoods as the weather warms up. Easter is almost here, my birthday is next week and we're also going to be heading down to Missouri for a visit with my family at the end April, it's feeling like it's going to be a great spring!


Last week my brother and sister in law came for a visit and of course I put my brother to work (isn't that what are big brothers for? haha) helping me put up wallpaper in our master bedroom! It always seemed kind of plain and I wanted to update the room a little bit and hit the refresh button. Since we rent and live in an apartment, putting up real shiplap is kind of out of the question, but there's no doubt I LOVE white shiplap, and this white shiplap peel and stick removable wallpaper from Devine Color was the perfect choice for us! It is super easy to install (he and I put it up in under 3 hours) and looks amazing, you can hardly tell it isn't "real" shiplap without looking at it closely and it even has texture on it to make it feel and appear more like wood planks. This is the perfect solution for those of you like us who rent, but want your house or apartment to feel customized and more like a home instead of just a place you live, it gives such a personal touch that can be removed when you move or if you change your mind and decide you want to go for a different look. Your landlord may even be like ours and love it (I have a feeling he'll be keeping all of the wallpaper we've put up after we eventually move out). Honestly, this wallpaper is even great for homeowners, not just renters, such an easy to way refresh and change up any space in your home!


Last month, this adorable mint doll stroller from TrioKid arrived for Bella and she has not stopped playing with it since it showed up. She pushes all her dolls around all day long, and it's the perfect size for her, I just love how realistic it is, plus it's really high quality! We chose the Viviline in mint which features a removable doll carry bed, an adjustable doll stroller seat, and is equipped with a big storage basket, a weather resistant canopy and a sturdy metal frame. It's designed for 16 inch to 18 inch dolls, but really works great for dolls of all sizes, Bella usually has about 5 dolls/stuffed animals in it at all times and she loves putting all of their accessories in the storage basket below the stroller. We just love the whole collection that TrioKid offers, perfect for years of play for your family, and your little ones will love them!


My love of honeybees and honey runs deep. My family raised honeybees when I was growing up on the farm and I helped with them for years, so I've always loved all the things that have to do with them. Frank and I have even decided that whenever we buy a house in the future, raising honeybees is one of the things we definitely want to do! Unfortunately with the overuse of pesticides and other dangerous chemicals, bees have been dying! Which as we all know, if the bees go, so do we, because bees help pollinate all the things and keep the life cycle of plants going. So it's our job to make sure that doesn't happen, to eat organic as much as possible, grow plants that bees love/need and not use any chemicals on our garden, there are so many other things we can do to help save the bees but those are just a few big ones! That's why when I spied this adorable "save the bees" tee over at Magnolia Roots Co. I knew I had to have it. Cute AND sends a great message and reminder. Their "Go Outside" tee is also another favorite tee design that we love.


I just shared a little about Bravery Magazine on my instagram recently and we are just loving it SO MUCH. This quarterly subscription for the little ones featuring strong female role models, inspiring stories and even fun crafts! The first issue (that's available to order right now) features Jane Goodall, the famous primatologist and anthropologist! Bella just loved having her Dad and I read the stories to her and learn all about Jane, her life as a child, how she taught the chimpanzees to trust her so she could learn about them up close and her accomplishments as an adult! Issue number 2, featuring Mae Jemison, just came out last week and we can't wait to receive it! Mae Jemison was the first African American woman in space, she was an engineer, a physician AND a NASA astronaut, hows that for some inspiration? I have a feeling that this magazine is going to be a favorite for years to come!


A few months back, I found the cutest jewelry on Etsy, I just fell in love with all of the simple minimalist designs from Simply Serasi Jewelry and this home necklace is my favorite (it comes in gold, silver or gold/silver. I've been wearing it practically everywhere since it arrived, and since I'm a homebody and home is my favorite place to be, I just love that wherever I am, it's always a reminder that there's no place like home but it also reminds me that home is wherever I am with the ones I love. I'm fairly simple when it comes to my jewelry, I'm usually a wedding ring and one necklace kind of gal and I love the minimal statement this makes, the right amount of sparkle but simple as well. It pairs well with any outfit and if you're looking for a new go-to piece of jewelry, I highly suggest Simply Serasi Jewelry! If you're into minimalist, geometric (with a Great Gatsby feel) or cursive wire necklaces and earrings, check out all her jewelry, so much prettiness.


Handmade candles are one of my favorite things, and the ones from over at Sweet Dish & Darling Candles with their pretty amber jars and AMAZING smell are some of my new favorites. These pure soy wax candles come with wooden wicks, are made using essential oils and the highest quality fragrance oils, and they also contain NO nasty ingredients such as phthalates, dyes, zinc, lead or other additives. You can burn these pretty and amazing smelling candles to your heart's content and not worry about a single thing. We have Penumbra Moon, White Plum & Yuzu and Summer Solstice, simply some of the best smelling candles ever, not to mention that they look beautiful as decor in any room! Each purchase comes with wax melt samples of other scents they offer so you even get to try out more of their offerings and to help make that decision on what scents you want to snag in your next order! If you need me, I'll be burning these amazing candles all spring.


When Frank got me this beauty of a ring for Christmas, I knew it needed an extra pretty box to be stored in! So when I came across The Mrs. Box, it was all the heart eyes at first sight. Their ring boxes which are made from custom dyed velvet, are heirloom worthy and are perfect for passing down for generations to come. There are nearly endless colors to choose from, perfect for no matter what color you best love, one is sure to catch your eye. The Norah Mae color caught my attention and immediately drew me in (the Olivette is my second favorite color), I knew it was the perfect match for my pretty rose gold, pink morganite and diamond halo ring! Oh! It also looks beautiful sitting out, I keep it up on a shelf near one of our succulents and it just doubles perfectly as decor. They offer several sizes and I chose the double since it fits two rings (an engagement ring plus a wedding band). Another must have item that The Mrs. Box offers is the Gem Pen! It's a lifesaver when my ring gets dirty and with the click of a pen I can clean it in seconds, perfect for on the go or anytime I'm in a hurry!


Late last year, I snagged some of the prettiest farmhouse signs from Smallwood Home, I've shared several photos of them over on my Instagram (here and here), but wanted to share about them here on the blog too. This one (here) is my absolute favorite and the one I chose (in the large size) for over our sofa in our living room, we'd been needing a statement piece for over the sofa for so long and when I seen this one I knew it was the perfect one since it's one of my all time most favorite worship songs. This "i love being yours" one is lovely over our master bed and I also chose a couple for the holidays that were perfect for Christmastime! Head on over and check out all the pretty pieces they offer that are sure to compliment any home (they even do custom signs now)!


What are you loving this spring? Leave a comment sharing some of your favorites below!

1.09.2018

A BRIGHT NEW YEAR

This time of year is one of my favorites for so many reasons, all the decor from the holidays has been put away and I always gain a fresh new excitement for the new year with the removal of the clutter and the arrival of clean, bright, fresh spaces. We've been going through our home this past week, organizing, purging, and heading back to our favorite minimal lifestyle (that we had started to get away from a little bit these past few months). To be honest, I was starting to feel suffocated from all of the things, and it's so energizing to clear the clutter. Clothes that don't fit, toys that aren't played with, dishes that aren't used, broken and stained items, all bagged up and ready to be donated, given away or tossed.


Looking around, I'm getting so excited for the new year and all that it has in store. 2017 was the hardest year of my life, so difficult and with so much loss. I'm praying that this year will bring healing to us all, bring answers to long awaited expectations and long lifted up prayers, bring miracles. I know it will.

I'm not really one for resolutions, because let's face it, does anyone ever really keep new year "resolutions"? I've started new years out with unrealistic expectations most of my life (I mean, what 12 year old can learn 10 different languages haha, and no I didn't even learn one new language that year, or any year), but I do want to strive to have excellence in all things in life this year, and give myself grace when I have a day that's less than perfect. To be more present in my everyday life, rather than checking my phone every time a notification pops up. To gain more insight on the things that really matter in life. To love more. Laugh more. Smile more. To be alive, rather than just live. To keep growing my relationships with God, my husband, my daughter, and stepdaughters, my mama and siblings, and maybe even grow a new little one. To spend more time outdoors (and in our garden), more time in the kitchen (more nutritious and primal meals), more time holding my husband's hand and more time dancing with my little girl. More music to sing along to and less time behind a computer screen. More time with the things that do matter and less with the things that don't.

Cheers to 2018. May this trip around the sun be a good one.