Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Carter is One!





How can it be that it's already been a year since my sister was driving me to Lexington after my water had broken in the middle of the night? My labor with Carter was pretty intense for the first couple of hours since I was progressing so quickly, but once I got my epidural, it was smooth sailing. I remember just feeling so calm and relaxed at that point. I had the best nurses and sweetest midwife help me bring this baby boy into the world. I remember right after we found out we were having a boy this go-around thinking to myself, "I'm not sure how to be a boy mom. I've only ever done the pink and hairbows." I had no idea what I was in for. Carter was an answer to a prayer I never realized I'd prayed. He's the sweetest, most laid back little baby and he has been from the very beginning. He's (mostly) patient with Caroline when she wrestles and wrangles him around to get him to do what she wants, he travels great and has covered the Southeast already in twelve short months. He was the perfect addition to our little family and I couldn't have custom ordered a more perfect baby boy for me. We're all pretty crazy about him and just so darn thankful that God chose us to be his family. Happy birthday sweet Carter man!


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Easter Weekend Recap

Easter weekend flew by! Caroline just said to me earlier today that she wanted it to be Easter again because it was the best day ever. We crammed a lot in to one short weekend though. 

Friday afternoon, a friend of mine invited Caroline to an Easter egg hunt at her grandmother's house and she was so excited to go. There were quite a few kids, but their yard was huge and they had over 1,000 eggs, so it was perfect. Carter slept through the entire thing.

 

 On Saturday, we headed to Lexington to pick up a few last minute basket goodies, we squeezed in a quick visit with one of our Goddaughters, (like we literally met up in a parking lot for 10 minutes, but a few minutes is better than none), then I had some friends in town from Texas that I hadn't seen in years, so we'd made plans to all meet up in Versailles at Wallace Station Deli. They have a huge outside eating area shaded by a bunch of huge oak trees. There was tons of space for the kids to run and that's exactly what they did for a few hours while we all caught up nad we had som egreat food to boot.
 Caroline and Niamh, my friends oldest daughter are only a month apart. They hit it off big time. And Carter was really loving Rowan's crocs! 


We headed back home with just enough time to do the swingset for a bit. Also, another huge difference between my children; Caroline HATED grass until she was probably two. If any part of her bare skin touched it, she'd have a fit. Well, Carter took to it like a pig to mud. He loves walking around barefoot in it. 
 


We managed to get ready for church with enough time to spare for pictures. 



This was the best picture I could manage of both kids in their outfits. Carter HATES shoes! Both of the kids outfits are from Bailey Boys. 

After church, Caroline had another Easter egg hunt she'd been invited to at my brother-in-laws aunt's house (got that ha). So we headed to that. Carter slept through it as well.

Here's my Easter ensemble. Dress is from J Crew. I ordered a petite since my size was sold out in a regular  length. Shoes are Rowan (best heels ever). Bracelets are Bourbon and Boweties, earrings are Moon and Lola and my hat was a flea market find. 


We finally managed to color some eggs on Sunday evening after we'd hosted my family for Easter dinner. I hope everyone enjoyed their weekends as much as we did!


Friday, April 14, 2017

Easter Bunny Cinnamon Rolls

 I came across a cute Easter breakfast idea on Pinterest awhile ago, so I thought I'd give it a whirl and it couldn't be any easier. Your little ones will love it and it doesn't take any time at all!

All you need is a couple of packages of pre-made cinnamon rolls. I used the Cinnabon brand for these and they were really good. I started to make the dough from scratch because it's SO good, but I knew Caroline would love them either way, so I saved myself the time and went the east route. 




You use one whole roll for the head of the bunny, then you unroll another, cut it in half and shape it into the bunny ears. I was afraid that these would puff up so much they wouldn't look like bunny heads anymore, but they turned out okay. Maybe looking more like a Mickey Mouse head, but still cute and Caroline was pleased. I also fried up some bacon to go with this to have something to cut the sweetness of the rolls. I made these for Caroline, my parents and my sister's family this morning since most everyone was out of school or off work for Good Friday. 



Hope everyone has a wonderful Easter weekend filled with loved ones, egg hunts, lots of great food and thoughts of what this season is all about. 





Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Whatever Wednesday

It may only be Wednesday, but this week has kinda been a doozie already! I got up yesterday morning to find that someone had broken into my car at some point through the night and stolen my iPhone charger and who knows what else. If they hadn't left my glove box and console open, I honestly probably wouldn't have even noticed until I went to charge my phone. That just really burns my biscuit. Whoever stole it, I hope it electrocutes you when you plug it in :) The day never really improved from there, but I'm happy to say that this morning started off with both of my kids sleeping in until 7:40, so it's all good again. Enough with the unhappy stuff, it's time for another edition of Whatever Wednesday! 

What I'm Watching:


Who else is watching the smut that is Southern Charm? I've watched this show since it started and I'm not ashamed to say I love it, and I secretly hope to run into a cast member every time we're in Charleston. We did eat dinner next to Danni a couple of years ago at Hall's! I have a total fashion crush on Cameran though. I literally want everything she wears! I don't care much for the new guy yet, but I'm going to give him a few episodes before I write him off. 

What I'm Wearing:

OPI Tiramisu for Two

Disclaimer, those are not my nails; they never look that perfect. But I did purchase this polish and try it out this week and it's such a pretty nude after you get a few coats on. I'm the worst about remembering to use a topcoat, so mine always chip after a day or two. 


What' I'm Reading:
 

Since I still haven't managed to move to Charleston, I like to live vicariously through the pages of CHS Style and Design magazine. There are some really pretty pictures, great features and useful info in these pages if you're a fellow Charleston lover.

What I'm looking forward to:



Juston has a conference in New Orleans coming up at the end of the month and I'm trying to decide whether the kids and I should tag along. I've only been one other time when Caroline was a little over a year old. She still wasn't a great traveler at that point, so we didn't really do a whole lot. Juston will be working most days, but have evenings free, so I'm trying to decide if it's worth it for the kids and myself to drive down there, or if it'll be more stress than it's worth. Can anyone weigh in and help a sister out? Is there much to do in town with kids and if so, what do you recommend? I'm so torn because I really want to go, but I'm not sure if it will be more stress than it's worth. 

That's all I've got for today! Have a great rest of your week!

 

 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Easter Outfit Ideas


If you're like me and have procrastinated Easter dress purchasing, ( I did finally order mine yesterday) I thought I'd share a few options that you should still be able to order today and receive in time for you Easter weekend celebrations.



I love that this dress is so simple because you can pair just about any colorful hat or fascinator with it to give it some pizazz. The material is so detailed and fun that a few simple accessories are all that's necessary.


Since I'm not very tall, I don't know that I could pull this dress off, but I know people that are a bit taller and slender this dress would be stunning on. I'd do nude heels personally as opposed to the black ones as pictured, but this dress is beautiful. 


All of the dresses above are from J. Crew and are 30% off today with code "LOTSTOSHOP"




The three dresses above are all Lilly Pulitzer and the three below are various designers, but I really loved the prints and floral details. 






I hope everyone else has done a better job preparing for Easter than I have. I have yet to get the kids outfits and shoes, the dinner menu finalized, our Easter egg coloring kit plus a million other things I still haven't remembered yet ha. Oh and I am also planning Carter's Peter Rabbit themed first birthday, but it's going to be pretty simple, so I should be able to knock the birthday prep list out in a day or two. Hope everyone has a great week!


Friday, April 7, 2017

Easter Centerpiece Ideas

I thought I'd pop in today and share some inspiration I've come across via Pinterest for an Easter table centerpiece. We will be hosting an Easter dinner at our house, which I'm so excited about because initially, I didn't think we'd still have the house here come Easter, so I'm glad to be able to celebrate another holiday at home. I don't ever really do anything too elaborate or over the top as far as decorating goes, but most of these ideas are fairly simple and not too time consuming, so I wanted to share in case anyone is looking for some ideas. Sources are linked below each photo. 



I actually have something very similar to this on our table right now. I bought an old metal basket from an antique store years ago in Sanford, NC. I just filled it up with some eggs I use every Easter season to decorate and close to Easter, I'm just going to snag some simple flowers from the grocery to put in the center. 


Okay, this is a bit more elaborate, but really pretty if you are hosting guests. I like that the centerpiece is so tall so as not to interfere with guests chatting across the table. 


Can't go wrong with sime simple bunnies added to the table if you have the space to do so. Waiting until the week of Easter to purchase decor like this almost always ensures you'll get it discounted, too. It pays to procrastinate sometimes. 


So who all is hosting Easter? What's on your menus? We got the traditional route around here, but I'm always open to new recipe ideas! 




Thursday, April 6, 2017

Charleston Recap

Consider yourself warned that much like all of my Charleston posts, there will be a TON of pictures in this one! This last weekend, we headed back to the Lowcountry for the Cooper River Bridge run, for which Juston and I both were completely unprepared. I hadn't run more than three miles since I was about four months pregnant with Carter and boy could I tell! I honestly had a moment last week where I was so frustrated with myself and lack of training that I called Juston and told him I didn't even want to go. He's the one who signed us up back in November, then he decides to take a job across the state and move in January, leaving me with basically no way to train and prepare myself. He had no excuse to be so ill-prepared; he has every evening to himself all week long, he just didn't train. 

Anyway, I decided I'd just walk the darn thing, I wasn't passing up a trip to my favorite place on Earth. We rolled into town on Friday afternoon after leaving early that morning. Can I just tell you what a DREAM it is to travel without kids in the car?! I feel bad saying that, but the stress level is cut in half traveling with just the two of us. My parents and my sister and her family kept Caroline and Carter for us so that we could go. 

Our first stop in town after picking up our race packets was to hit Leon's Oyster Shop on King St. We have a way of always going to our favorite places when we're in Charleston and not trying many new spots, so this trip, we decided to branch out a bit as we'd never been to Leon's before. How cute is this place? It used to be Leon's Garage, then the new owners kept the Leon's part and just converted it into a great restaurant. 



The interior is really industrial and rustic and just neat. Juston got chargrilled oysters and I tried the wedge salad pictured below which was even better than it looks!  We'll definitely go back here. Oh, and the hush puppies were pretty killer as well. 



After eating, we did a bit of walking around, my very favorite thing to do in town and Charleston was just showing off ;) Everything was in bloom all around town from Rhododendrons and azaleas to wisteria and confederate jasmine (which was just beginning to bloom). 



We were staying with some friends of ours out on Daniel Island, so for dinner that evening, we headed to another new place, The Granery in Mt. Pleasant. This is the first place in Charleston that I have to say, I don't have any desire to go back. We tried a few different appetizers and none were really great in my opinion. We ordered Bone Marrow (which I couldn't even look at, let alone try), truffle fries and pork belly. You could tell the ingredients were quality, I just didn't care for any of it. 

Saturday morning, we rolled out bright and early and for some dumb reason, I decided we'd try to run the race, even though I knew I was SO undertrained. I still manage to weight train a few times a week, so I thought, "maybe"? So wrong. We ran the first two miles, including that incline onramp up onto the bridge, then walked the next two-ish miles before running the last two. We had to stop a couple times for Juston. First he had a rock in his shoe, so he thought, it was really a giant hole in his sock, which he stopped to take off later. It was very humbling. The last time I did the bridge run, I killed it. I ran the whole thing and after crossing the finish line, even considered signing up for a half marathon. It's just frustrating to feel like I regressed so much, but that reality. 


I mentioned our tendency to visit the same restaurants every time we're in town? Well, I couldn't pass us Magnolias fried green tomatoes after that race. We changed in the car and hobbled to Bay street fro the most fabulous brunch. We also split a crab cake sandwich after the fried green tomatoes. 



After brunch, Juston actually walked back to the car to nap...so I struck out to walk some of my favorite streets and snap some pictures. My first stop was the Battery but I saw some pretty things along the way. 







The pink house is The Palmer Home, which up until recently was a B&B. We stayed here when we came for my 30th birthday. It's currently undergoing some renovations after selling a few months ago. I'm so glad we stayed there when we could. It was the most glorious day; 78 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. Perfect walking around weather. 

Juston finally made his way out of the car after almost two hours and we managed to snag a slice of coconut cake from Peninsula Grill. This has been on my Charleston food bucket list for a few years, but this was my first time trying it!


It's not the best cake I've ever had, not even top five probably, but it's very well done for what it is. I didn't find it to be too rich, which I've heard some people say. It was really good, but I don't think it was $15 a slice good. I'd eat it again, but probably won't go out of my way to get it like I do other things in town. 

After walking around for a bit longer, we headed across the bridge (by car this time) and found a lunch spot on Shem Creek. I was determined to sit outside by the water on such a perfect day. We set out to hit Red's Icehouse, but that place was PACKED with post-race drinkers, so we just went next door to RB's. We got to sit right on the water and watch the boaters, kayakers and paddleboarders while listening to the live music from Red's without all the annoying drunkards underfoot, so it was the best of all worlds. 

I got She Crab soup, one of my Lowcountry favorites and Juston got mussels and more oysters. Dinner meant heading back to Shem Creek with our friends, but this time we chose Vickery's. It was a bit too cool to sit outside once the sun had set. We all ordered a fried green tomato tower and split it, then I had crab cakes again. Can you tell I love crab? I'd definitely go back to Vickery's. It wasn't the best food ever, but the food was really good as was the atmosphere and view. 

Sunday morning was probably what I'd looked forward to the most about the entire trip. We'd remembered to call earlier in the week and get reservations for the Sunday Gospel Brunch at my favorite spot in town for food, Hall's Chophouse. This gospel brunch was another Charleston food bucket list item for me. I'd heard so many great things in the past about this brunch and built it up in my head that I was afraid it might disappoint me. I'm happy to say that it most certainly did not disappoint. The music was divine, the food was out of this world and it was even better than I could have hoped. It'll be tough to choose between Hall's for dinner or brunch next time we go. I didn't snap a picture, but I got the crab cake eggs benedict and it was Heavenly. 



Our last stop after brunch and before heading out of town was picking up those cupcakes up there from Cupcake Down South on King. Caroline requested those before we left and I didn't want to disappoint. 

It was another great trip, but I just can't escape the fact that I want to be raising my babies and living in the Lowcountry every time we're there. I can't really explain it, but after the first time we visited almost ten years ago, I just get so sad every time we leave. Unfortunately, Juston's new job is moving us further away from the Lowcountry, not closer to it. But maybe one day.