Friday, June 22, 2018

First Trimester Workout Routine

When I found out I was pregnant this time, I was of course super excited but also really nervous about the changes that were going to happen in my body. Having had a baby before, I do know how incredible a woman’s body is and I’m so proud of all my body did to carry Madeline, bring her into the world, and nourish her.

BUT, I really struggled after she was born with my body. I wrote about this before here. The weight did not just “fall off” while nursing. In fact, I actually gained weight while nursing and trying so hard to improve my supply. The newborn phase was also a really stressful time for me as I adjusted to parenting a new baby (who was super fussy, had reflux, went through a colic phase, and was just not much of a fan of sleeping) alone while Corey traveled for work, our bright idea to buy a new home and sell our previous one, returning to a work environment that was just not a good fit for me as a mom. I believe your priorities are what you make them and these are all “excuses” but taking care of my health was just not my first priority at that time in our lives. It didn’t even rank in the top five while trying to keep everything else together. 

It took a long time to feel like I had my body back. I didn’t fit comfortably into my pre-baby jeans until Madeline was eleven months old and I didn’t see any semblance of ab definition until she was close to fourteen months old. I know these are all normal things after having a baby and many the mama can relate but it just didn’t make me feel good about myself and it was a source of unnecessary anxiety. Parenting a newborn can make you feel like you have very little control - sure enough they will spit up all over you right as you’ve finished getting dressed, have a blow out as soon as you put them in the car seat when you’re already running late, or let out that fierce, hungry cry when your cart is loaded high at the supermarket even if you just finished nursing 30 minutes ago. Not being in control of my health just made me feel like my life was more and more out of control.

So this time, I’ve been very intentional about exercise and nutrition. For the most part, I haven’t had to modify any exercises yet but I do find myself feeling like I need a few extra seconds of rest time in between rounds. And of course I feel like I need to eat more than I was before I was pregnant - I’m just trying to make sure I’m eating more of the right foods this time. 

For my first trimester I worked out 5-6 days a week. Before I was pregnant, it was usually six days with some other form of activity on the seventh day. 

Monday: 30 minute total body workout. I love Dirty 30 Extreme, PiYo (Sweat and Sculpt are two of my favs), and T25. These are all from Beachbody on Demand and I do them at home, which is so convenient. 

Tuesday: 30 minutes of cardio (usually intervals on threadmill at the gym) and 10 minutes of abs (I like the ab workouts from 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme and the Hilliard Studio Method at-home program). I will play them from the app on my phone at the gym after I get off the threadmill. 

Wednesday: 30 minute leg and booty workout. I love the Barre legs workout from 21 Day Fix and both the regular and extreme lower Fix workouts.

Thursday: 30 minutes of cardio and ten minutes of abs just like Tuesday’s workout. 

Friday: I attend a barre class at a local studio or do Pilates Fix if I am at home. 

Saturday/Sunday: I try to do a yoga or Pilates workout from Beachbody on Demand or the Hilliard at Home total body workout. Sometimes I opt for a long walk with the family instead.

I don’t schedule a rest day in - I just choose my days off based on our schedule for the week and if we have plans that don’t let me work out at my regular time then that’s the day I skip. Since my workouts are mostly 30-40 minutes aside from the hour long barre class, I try to make sure I get in at least five days. I’m a big believer that it’s always ok to take a cheat or rest day when you need it - just don’t cheat on your nutrition and skip a workout on the same day. 

So far, I’m not needing to modify any of the moves but I’ll keep listening to my body to give me clues when it is time and will sub in some of the prenatal workouts from Beachbody on Demand later in my pregnancy. And there are also workouts I can do with the baby (while wearing him or her in a carrier) after he or she arrives, which will be amazing when I’m trying to get back in to the swing of things after getting the all clear to workout post-delivery. 

While I know that I’ll probably experience some of the same struggles and insecurities after Baby makes his or her debut (your body really is amazing and goes through a lot of change to being a baby into this world!), it’s my goal to have a stronger and healthier pregnancy and postpartum recovery this time around. 

I really can’t say enough great things about Beachbody on Demand for keeping me fit as a busy mama. The workouts are amazing and it is the least expensive way to have access to quality exercise that I have found. ($99 for the whole year!) I used them exclusively for Madeline’s first year and a half and really attribute being able to get a challenging workout at home with getting me in great shape (actually better shape than I was before I was pregnant with Madeline!) leading up to this pregnancy. If you are interested in learning more about workouts or having access to a monthly boot camp for support, I highly recommend reaching out to Lynn here. She is an amazing leader and runs monthly support groups which are so motivating! 

I definitely plan to keep these as a big source of my routine in the months to come - and there are lots of great postpartum routines, too, for later on. Now that I’m in my second trimester, I know that some aspects of fitness are about to get more challenging (especially having to modify to standing core work instead of laying down soon) but I’m really hoping to continue with an active pregnancy in the months to come! 

I’ll update in a couple months with how my pregnancy fitness is going - especially as we navigate it all with preschool being out for the summer and me having a toddler in tow seven days a week! 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Strawberry Greek Yogurt Muffins

Madeline is currently obsessed with muffins so I am always looking for variations that are somewhat healthy. I love sneaking in fresh fruits and veggies into muffin recipes and this one calls for Greek yogurt. It tastes almost like a cupcake but is high in protein, which is so great for toddlers. The greek yogurt also keeps these muffins moist and delicious. We are enjoying them as a breakfast treat this week.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Baby #2 Q+A

Good morning! Today I thought I would round up all the questions I’ve been asked by friends, family, on IG, and right here about baby W number two. Here’s to hoping I do a better job documenting this pregnancy than I did with my first!

When/how did you find out?
This couldn’t possibly be any different than how I found out with Madeline. With Madeline I got pregnant so fast that it was a little surprising. I may share a little more about this later but it wasn’t nearly as easy this time around so I was testing about every day. It was equally surprising, though, after seeing so many negative tests over so many months. Just in a totally different way. One day it was negative and then the next morning there was the faintest line. It was so faint that I had to text a picture to my girl friend to verify that the line really was truly there. I was only three and a half weeks when I found out this time and that was at the very end of March. 

How are you feeling?
SO different than when I was pregnant with Madeline! I have been nauseous almost every day (never had any sickness with Madeline at all), having lots of food aversions, and the first trimester fatigue. With Madeline my first trimester was in the summer while I was off from teaching so I napped a lot. Now, I work while she is napping so I don’t have a chance to nap myself. I’m in bed so early most nights. I was also super crampy and had lots of low back pain for several weeks which was very scary but the cramping is pretty much gone. My physical therapist said I will likely have back pain on and off this time due to the nature of my injuries from my accident last year and that actually makes me feel a lot better to put a label on it and know it’s not really any thing to be concerned about.

Are you going to find out the gender? 
Absolutely! I am a planner and I need to be able to work on the nursery and buy or wash baby clothes. Corey is not so secretly hoping for a boy and I honestly am, too. Of course, I wouldn’t be disappointed in the slightest to have two healthy girls and feel like sisters always have a special bond. Whatever God has planned for our family is perfect for me! With Madeline we found out at a private ultrasound at fifteen weeks and have an appointment scheduled to do the same this time. It was a great experience.

What are you missing? 
Giving up wine this time around has been a lot harder in all honesty! Haha! Otherwise, I am really fine with the other dietary restrictions. 

Are you craving anything?
I am craving tons of fresh fruit (especially watermelon) and sweets a little more than usual. Early on, I was craving bacon, egg, and cheese bagels but that has passed now. Instead of cravings I’m having lots of aversions. Meats, especially are grossing me out. I thought I was craving a specific salad a couple weeks ago, paid $12 for it, and then when I saw the chicken on top, I was immediately nauseated by the chicken on top. It only sounded good when it was hypothetical chicken - not when it was actual chicken on top of the meal I was about to eat. 

Do you have names picked out?
We still like the boy name we had picked out if Madeline had been a boy and have a few others we both also like. For girl names we aren’t sure yet! With Madeline, we had a girl name picked out and when we saw her on the ultrasound, I just had a feeling that wasn’t her name after all so we started over and I feel like she is SUCH a Madeline. So we probably won't have a real idea until we see the baby on the ultrasound. 

Will you do weekly updates?
I did monthly updates with Madeline and I will probably do that again. Weekly updates always seemed monotonous to me and are too much to keep up with. 

Are you still working out and sticking to your meal plan?
Yes for the most part. I will share my first trimester workout routine soon but I have still been able to workout with very few modifications so far 5-6 days a week. I am still eating healthy according to my plan most of the time. Corey started traveling every week instead of every other week for work right before I got pregnant and that has made it really tempting to just order something easy on DoorDash so I haven’t been quite as on top of it as normal. I’d say 70% instead of my usual 80% and I have upped my protein and fruits a little to help me account for the extra calories I need. I’m not concerned about weight gain - I just want to feel healthier and stay more active throughout my pregnancy this time. 

Are you planning to nurse again?
I have gotten this question SO many times especially from people who remember that breastfeeding wasn’t the best experience for me the first time around. Madeline was so tiny and struggled to gain weight. Getting a good latch was so challenging - even though I saw three lactation consultants in the hospital I still went home with my nipples bleeding and Madeline lost almost ten ounces of weight before she started gaining again. I lost my supply when I had a postpartum hemmhorage at home, had to nurse and pump 18 hours a day to get it back, and then got mastitis when I went back to work and had a lot of push back from my boss about needing to pump during the school day. Madeline and I stuck it out for six months but honestly the most anxiety-inducing part of my pregnancy so far was wondering if I want to try it again. I will definitely try nursing again. I found an awesome lactation consultant through Madeline’s pediatrician who was a total godsend so I know she is there if I need her. BUT, if it doesn’t work out I am going to give myself a lot more grace this time and I’m definitely not going to feel any guilt in switching if that ends up being best for everyone’s sanity. I’m a firm fed is best believer.

What about Corey’s travel schedule?
I got this question a lot the first go around, too, and even more so this time since he just accepted a new job with even more travel. Travel is the nature of Corey’s job and has been for years. He took the two weeks leading up to Madeline’s (early) arrival off of long distance travel and limited it to day trips and will probably do the same this time if possible. Luckily the holidays are a slower time in his industry so he will be getting a little extra time off at just the right time. With Madeline, he was back to work when she was 5 days old and has shared the desire that he’d like to be home longer this time if possible. That’s just the nature of his job. We are super fortunate because my mom and mother in law are both retired and live close by so they will be able to help when I really need it. Now, in the spirit of keeping it real, while we are used to lots of travel and have a plan in place, that certainly doesn’t mean that I haven’t had a hormonal meltdown or two when he is gone. It can be exhausting doing all the things at home when he is away, sometimes I do feel overwhelmed, and there are moments of anxiety when I think about adding another little one into our crazy schedule while Corey is traveling. But at the same time I am so grateful for his job and that it provides me the opportunity to be home with Madeline and this baby. 

Does Madeline have a clue what’s going on?
Yes and no. Maybe? When I ask her if she wants a brother or a sister she just says “Nope, I don’t want one.” If I ask her where the baby is she thinks it is in her tummy so we have to clear a few things up there. She is used to getting all my attention. She even gets jealous when Corey hugs and kisses me so we have some work to do for sure! But she is two and that is a really egocentric time so hopefully by the time the fall comes and my due date is getting closer she will be a little more open to the idea. 

Are you delivering in the same hospital?
No. I loved my old OB and had just the best prenatal and delivery experience however their practice only delivers in a small hospital that specializes in women’s care. However, because I had a very rare (only 2% of pregnancies) type of postpartum hemmhorage last time I switched to a practice that specializes in high risk pregnancies and will deliver at a larger hospital with a trauma center. My pregnancy is not high-risk - I needed to switch somewhere that delivered at a larger hospital and I just chose this practice because I knew I could trust them during the delivery to make sure things go well and to handle any complications. 

What am I doing differently this time?
I’m working out more and eating healthier this time. I’m saying no to donuts and splurges to try to have an easier recovery. I do follow intuitive eating so I’m certainly not denying myself or the baby - I’m just not letting pregnancy be an excuse to eat whatever I wanted this time because I did quite a bit of that last time and felt so unhealthy afterwards. I’m pushing myself less this time and saying no more. I really felt like I was running a marathon while I was pregnant with Madeline. It was an endurance test for sure as I often worked ten or more hours a day, commuted fifty minutes each way, and still felt like I couldn’t get everything I was responsible for done. So, I’m giving myself a lot more grace this time! I’m also trying to focus more on the now not the future which is so hard when you are pregnant and can’t stop thinking about the baby that is coming in the future. But I do want to take the time to really enjoy our little family of three. 

Are you planning to have more children after this baby?
Nope! I know sometimes God has other plans but I have always wanted to be a two and done family. It actually took a lot of thinking and praying for me to open my heart to having a second baby because Madeline was such a tough and overwhelming newborn and then it took quite a bit of work to get pregnant. As of right now, our plan is for the W family to be complete after this baby makes his or her debut in December. 

I think that about covers it, friends! If you have any other questions, you can drop them below and I will answer them in my next update post. 

Monday, June 11, 2018

A Quick Trip to New England

Over the weekend we traveled to New England for a wedding. The wedding was Friday afternoon and Corey had to work Thursday so we woke up early on Friday morning and flew out to Boston. We picked up a rental car when we arrived and made it to Portsmouth, New Hampshire in plenty of time to freshen up and get ready for the wedding.

I wore this dress and y'all - it is $12!  It also comes in four colors. What a steal!

Friday, June 8, 2018

My Top 5 Beautycounter Products

Ever since I shared the news that I upgraded my Band of Beauty membership to become a consultant and educator for Beautycounter, I have gotten so many questions about the products. At this point I feel like most people have heard of Beautycounter and are getting a little curious about what all the recent hype is about.

If you’re familiar with our company, we have banned over 1,500 ingredients in our products that have shown a link to endocrine disruption and chronic disease or that are known or suspected carcinogens. If you thought that the government kept these things out of our personal care products, you would unfortunately be mistaken as a major regulatory law for cosmetics and personal care has not been passed in eighty years! So it is entirely up to you to research and be informed about the ingredients you are putting on your skin. After all, they are absorbed into your blood stream within 26 seconds! 

When I first found Beautycounter as a customer, I was a little skeptical. I loved the mission (it would be amazing if when Madeline is a teenager she doesn't have to worry about toxic products even being available on the shelves of Target) and I really wanted to be safer but when we purchase beauty products we are wanting to feel beautiful - we are wanting results. And that is something that Beautycounter is passionate about, too, which I why I love it all the more.

When people ask me what products I love, I’m often tempted to respond with “everything” because I do love almost every product I’ve tried - so much so that I chose to become a consultant more for the discount than the paycheck. But, if you were to make me narrow it down to the top 5, these would be them.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

First Trimester Bumpdate

When I learned I was pregnant this time around I was only three weeks along. Finding out that early sure made the first trimester seem like an eternity, especially when trying to keep this news a secret. Of course some friends had their suspicions as I’m certainly not one to turn down a glass of wine on girls' night - especially multiple girls' nights in a row! Haha! Now, we are entering into the second trimester and are well on our way to meeting baby W number two! 

I am working on a more detailed post of all the random questions I’ve been asked since sharing the news with our friends and announcing our pregnancy public last week so more details to come, too, but today I wanted to share my first Bumpdate. Like with my pregnancy with Madeline I won’t be doing these weekly so no fear that this little space will soon become only a pregnancy diary. Most likely I will share updates monthly until the end when things actually start changing so fast! 

Monday, June 4, 2018

Coffee + Conversation

Happy Monday, friends. Its a beautiful, sunny day in Charlotte at last after weeks of rain. The weather was even nice most of the weekend so we enjoyed spending lots of time outside.

On Friday, Madeline and I headed to barre first thing in the morning and then promptly enjoyed a homemade strawberry-iced donut with sprinkles in honor of National Donut Day. Life is about balance, after all.

Friday, June 1, 2018

And then there were four!

We are so excited to share that Madeline will soon be a big sister! Our family will soon be growing from three to four. Baby W #2 is set to debut the first week of December and Corey and I are over the moon.

If you’ve noticed my radio silence on Instagram (and even here) lately it’s because I’ve been keeping this big secret for over nine weeks now and also because I’ve been just exhausted - I’d almost forgotten about that first trimester fatigue! Whew! 

Thursday, May 31, 2018

3 Lessons I’ve Learned about Grace this Year

It has been nearly a year since my accident and I can finally say that it’s pretty much just an unpleasant memory now. But, boy did it teach me a thing or two this year.

1. Don’t be too confident because you aren’t in control. The month leading up to it was my biggest month ever in my business and was a huge Teachers pay Teachers month, too. I earned well over what I would have netted after childcare if I had stayed at my previous job and I had my sights set on matching my previous salary within the next couple months. I’m not the kind of person who is always waiting on the other shoe to drop so when things are going well, I don’t really anticipate when they won’t be anymore. This really put me in my place and reminded me to be more grateful for what I have and not take it for granted.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Thoughts for Tuesday

Tuesday, friends. I hope you all had such a great Memorial Day weekend. We thoroughly enjoyed ours even though the weather wasn't ideal. It has felt very rainforest-like in Charlotte over the last couple weeks, with constant rain combined with ninety-degree temps.

On Thursday Madeline had her last day of preschool for the year. She had such a great year and I know she will miss her teachers so much. Most of her friends live close by so I know she'll have lots of play dates over the summer. Right before I went to drop her off on her last day, she colored all over the wall, our new carpet, and the curtain in our guest room with purple permanent marker - all in the very short time it takes me to brush my teeth! So, that is how I spent my last day of preschool.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

A Day in the Life

It has been quite a while since I’ve shared one of these type posts but with the end of preschool coming near, I know our schedule will be changing soon, which is always so bittersweet. We’ve gotten into a nice little routine throughout the last several months and I’ve really enjoyed the rhythm of our days. 

6:15 My alarm goes off and I snooze for fifteen minutes. When I worked away from home I always got up at five but I have struggled so hard with this since I left my previous job!

6:30 I’m up and making the bed and getting dressed before Madeline gets up. These are the two things that just have to get done before she’s awake for us to have a productive day.

7:00 Madeline is awake. We head downstairs for milk (for her), coffee (for me), and a little Peppa Pig. I take care of Riley, answer emails, check social media, and spend a few quiet minutes with my girl.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Coffee + Conversation

Happy Monday! I am coming off a fun little bachelorette weekend in Asheville for one of my best friends from college.

I headed out at naptime on Friday and left Madeline for a fun  little Daddy-daughter weekend with Corey. When we arrived, we spent some time catching up and then headed to dinner at Asheville pizza and brew. Since everyone is so spread out now geographically we were all asked to bring a craft beer from our home town for a beer tasting back at our house afterwards. The bride now lives in Colorado and is a huge fan of craft beer so this was a fun low key way to spend our first night.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

I'm eating my words.

I will never be one of those parents. You know the one that bribes her child with a cake pop so she can sip that coffee at Target. Or whose kid is playing with the iPad at a restaurant.

Yes, I really did make those statements to myself once upon a time. But I’m here to tell you that I am eating my words. 

Probably one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned about parenthood over the last two years is to set high standards for yourself (and your child) but for the love of Jesus, have flexibility, too.

Sometimes we all just have to do what is best for the sanity of all. It is for the greater good. One instance of this was at Target a couple months ago. I don’t like Madeline to have regular sweets but the terrible twos seemed to be overtaking every cell of her sweet little twenty-six pound body all at once. And it picked my weekly Target run to spew its ugly head.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Coffee + Conversation

Happy Monday, friends. We had a nice Mother’s Day weekend but it sure did go fast as they always seem to do recently!

On Friday, Corey and I went to the Kenny Chesney concert. He is such a great performer and it was nice to do something out of our regular routine because it has been a while since we’ve been to a concert.

Friday, May 11, 2018

5 on Friday


What a busy week this has been! It has gone by fast this week, which is always welcome when Corey is away. Madeline has thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful weather and spending them playing outside on her new playset. If you missed it in my stories, this was a major impulse by at Costco and had a pretty big instant rebate this week.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

5 Summer Backyard Must-Haves for the Toddler

The weather in North Carolina has finally warmed up and the end of preschool is near. With our mornings at school about to end until next September, Madeline and I are preparing for lots of time outside. We are planning to enjoy some days at the pool but when we are home, we have some great outside toys to enjoy. If you have a toddler, I can not recommend these items enough to keep them entertained during the warm summer months and the bonus is that all of them can be purchased from Amazon so that they conveniently arrive at your front door. 

Monday, May 7, 2018

Coffee + Conversation

Happy Monday, friends. Its hard to believe the weekend is over - they really go so fast, don't they?

On Friday we went to Costco for fig bars and coffee and then stumbled upon this. It was love at first sight for Madeline and apparently I have no self-control because it is being installed today as I type this.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Join me for Go Gray in May

Last month I shared a little about our family’s switch to safer personal care and household products. This month I am putting my money where my mouth is - literally - and donating 100% of my Beautycounter commission this month to the American Brain Tumor Association as part of Go Gray in May.

May is brain cancer awareness month and this is a cause that is near and dear to my heart as we lost my husband's dad to a glioblastoma almost three years ago. This is a very aggressive type of cancer with most patients surviving less than a year, is very expensive to attempt to treat in the event that a loved one is diagnosed, and is critically underfunded. 

I was personally introduced to Beautycounter about a year and a half ago when I was sent a little sample package and asked to review it on Instagram. I shared here that I tried to use safe products while I was pregnant but afterwards went righ back to my old ways. Not because I didn’t care but because I didn’t know better.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Make your own pizza Supper Club

It was our turn to host our monthly Supper Club last weekend. We get together once a month with some of our favorite couples and the host plans the main dish. Then, the guests bring an appetizer, sides, and dessert. It’s such a fun way to catch up with our friends on a regular basis.

When we lived in Hoboken and were preparing to move back South we attended a pizza making class in the city because Corey and I are pretty big pizza snobs and we wanted to be able to make the New York pizza we’d gotten so attached to. So, I made the dough using that recipe and Corey prepared the sauce from our take-home cook book from our pizza school class. Unfortunately it’s copyrighted so I can’t post it in full here but if you want some homemade pizza tips, send me an email. I will say homemade dough makes all the difference, though, and is so much more cost efficient when making lots of pizzas (8 in our case). I use the dough hook on my Kitchen Aid mixer to do the kneading for me so it keeps it from being a lot of work.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Coffee + Conversation

Happy Monday, friends! I’m back to the blog today after a little break last week from all things social media.

I had a fun little post planned last week about our make your own pizza party we hosted for supper club and didn’t get it posted because we lost power in the most bizarre little incident when a neighbor’s transformer blew and started a tree fire. Then the rest of the week kind of went downhill from there. So that post is ready to go and will be coming to you tomorrow.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Strawberry Picking

This week Madeline and I met up with a couple friends at a local farm to go strawberry picking. She has such a fun time and I do believe she ate her weight in strawberries. Of course we dressed for the occasion and Madeline wore her little strawberry Shrimp and Grits Kids outfit.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Mom Friends that Every Mom Should Have

A couple weeks ago I shared a post about the top seven practices that keep us all happy and somewhat together while my husband travels. One of the most important of those was finding your tribe. Those mama friends are everything at keeping me sane when he is away and I am trying to tackle all the things on my own.

By far my biggest adjustment of leaving my full-time job was leaving behind my coworkers. When my Mother-in-Law returned to Florida and Corey went back to work after Madeline was born, I was staring at five long days in front of us just the two of us. With no adults to talk to. All of my friends were working. My mom was working. My friend with almost the same age baby had just finished her maternity leave and was, you guessed it, working.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Coffee + Conversation

It has been a busy few weeks in the W household and I’ve honestly been down right exhausted hence my mini hiatus. After a low-key weekend and ten (!!) hours of sleep last night, I’m feeling much more like myself today and ready for the week ahead.

Let’s chat a little about what’s been going on around these parts, shall we. Madeline went back to preschool from spring break last week and made it through the week in her little Peppa Pig big-girl undies with no accidents. All the praise hands because potty training was a lot of work.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018


Happy Wednesday! The last two weeks have been so busy that they’ve flown right by in the blink of an eye.

After Easter, Corey had to get right back to traveling for work and Madeline and I tackled potty training during her spring break. We started trying this over Christmas when she started showing so much interest in the potty but I couldn’t get her tob100% accuracy so over her little break from school we decided to rip off the bandaid, er pull-up, and try again. I’m happy to say she is doing great and hasn’t had an accident in a week. The Peppa Pig undies really did the trick in motivating her.

During our potty training week, we were also busy dog sitting for my mother-in-law’s dog. There have been times in our marriage where we contemplated getting a second dog. I’m here to tell you that that is never going to happen! Two dogs are definitely more work than one, especially when you need to walk them while pushing a stroller.

We did manage a few fun outings, like going Uptown to Discovery Place and lunch with one of Madeline's best buddies.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Easter 2018 Recap

We had a great Easter this year and Corey and I are both in agreement that it was the most fun yet because of Madeline's age. What a special Holiday this is and it was so fun to try to teach her about the significance of the Holiday. Of course she is to young to truly understand it at yet but seeing her joy was a great reminder for us of the sacrifice God made so that we could have such special moments with her.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Our Family’s Switch to Safer

The last week of March is hard for our family. As I stared at the pages of my planner this week, I’ve felt such a heavy weight - a brick sitting on my chest making it hard to catch my breath. I’m reminded of spring break three years ago. Corey had just left for a work happy hour. I’d dropped him off on my way to pick up dinner for myself at one of my favorite restaurants. It was a beautiful, sunshiny warm day. I was off work for the week for spring break and had no responsibilities. The days were getting longer and it was the perfect evening for a crisp glass of white wine on our patio.

I was standing in my driveway, having just stepped out of my car, holding my to-go bag for dinner. I felt so at peace. Something about that time of year. Then, my phone rang. It was my husband and he’d just received the news that a cherry-sized tumor had shown up on my father-in-law’s MRI.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

On My Radar

The weather is finally warming up again today and with Easter just days away, my mind is going to all the warm weather clothes. Spring weather is my favorite and I am always looking for lightweight feminine tops to look a little put together even in the brutal North Carolina heat.

One of my favorite retails is having a 40% off sale right now and I have a few cute pieces on my radar.

I love this eyelet top. I just love a white top in the spring and summer. You can pair it with anything - denim, white denim with statement jewelry, chambray shorts, bright, fun shorts. A white top really is so versatile and I love the eyelet detail on this one.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Coffee + Conversation

Happy Monday! This weekend was a good bit more relaxing than last week and I am feeling ready for the week ahead.

On Friday, we took Madeline out for a little Mexican dinner date. It was a nice little dinner. Madeline enjoyed her quesadilla and Corey and I enjoyed a margarita. After dinner, we took Madeline to Baskin’ Robins for a cup of strawberry ice cream. She was definitely living her best life on Friday.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

7 ways I stay sane when my husband travels.

Corey was traveling regularly for work long before we ever got pregnant with Madeline. I had my routine down for when he was away. I’d always worked a job that ate up a ton of my time - both while I was work and when I was home, too. So, when I decided to leave my job to stay home with Madeline, I really didn’t think it would be that much of an adjustment.

I know you seasoned mamas are laughing right now. I mean I knew babies were demanding but I’d been in a career for years where I couldn’t get so much as a restroom break for six hours at a time many days and where I was often away from home for work twelve hours at a time just to have to bring more home with me. How hard could taking care of just one little baby be?

Yet, when Madeline was a two weeks old and Corey was setting out to travel for the first time since my mother in law returned to Florida, I couldn’t help feeling overwhelmed with five days of just the two of us standing in front of me. So. Much. Responsibility.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Coffee + Conversation

Happy Monday, friends. We are having a slow morning around these parts after Madeline and I were both sick yesterday. It is 8:30 as I type this and we are both still in our pajamas, which never happens.

We had a nice weekend. Corey called Thursday late afternoon saying he had gotten on an earlier flight home and would land in just enough time to eat dinner and put Madeline too bed. It was a great surprise.

Friday, March 16, 2018

5 on Friday

Happy Friday, friends!

I had a fun post planned for you yesterday and then the morning got away from me. Madeline woke up early and was so unhappyl so by the time I got her settled, us both dressed, her off to school, and me off to my doctor’s appointment I’d lost any time to finish it up. So, stay tuned next week.


Madeline’s social calendar has been so full this month. She has had play date after play date after birthday party and I’m not hating it. It has made this month fly by. Here she is waiting on her little boy friend to yesterday. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

For the Toddler Easter Basket

Easter is just around the corner and I have been busy getting Madeline's Easter basket ready. I ordered the monogrammed Easter basket below for her when I was in labor in the hospital. It is from Etsy and we plan to use it every year. This year, now that she is a little bit older, I am going to start the tradition of putting it out empty for her the night before Easter so that the Easter Bunny can fill it when he comes.

This year I started giving Madeline's Easter basket a little more thought because I feel like it starts to set the precedent for years going forward. It feels like she just had Christmas and she did just have a birthday so I didn't want to go overboard and I really don't like her to have candy or sweets. Back at Christmas, I shared mine and Corey's decision about how we will handle Santa gifts in our home and I was recently reading an article about raising grateful children in today's society. One of the things it recommended when gifting was to gift your child something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read and then leave it at that. I loved that recommendation and divided up my ideas for Easter basket goodies into those categories.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Greek Chicken Bowls with Cucumber, Tomato, Feta Salad

I really enjoy creating new healthy recipes for our family and I've had my mind on making greek chicken bowls for quite a while. There is a great restaurant in Charlotte where you can walk in and build your own mediterranean bowl or salad. Think Chipotle meets fresh, greek deliciousness. I sneak over whenever I can to pick up lunch while Madeline is in preschool but wanted to try my hand at making our own healthy bowls.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Asheville Mini Getaway

Last month Corey had two weeks off in between his last day at his old job and his first day at his new firm. It was so nice to have him home with us and the time coincided perfectly with the week of Madeline’s birthday.

The day after the party Corey and I headed to Asheville for a little one-on-one baby free time. We are so lucky to be able to get away for a few days every couple months with just the two of us, with the last time being to Charleston for my birthday in November. I really feel like this might be one of the absolute most important things we are able to do for our marriage, especially since he travels for work without me and we consequently spend a lot of time apart and it is certainly not lost on me how fortunate we are that both of our parents are able to take turns staying with Madeline.

Monday, March 5, 2018

TBB Asks: Beauty Edition

Happy Monday, friends! I decided at the last minute today to link up with The Blended Blog for her her Q+A series. This month to focus is on all things beauty, which seemed fun since boy oh boy has my beauty and self-care regimen changed in the last year!

1. Eyelash Curler Yes or No? Yes! Every single day! I use a lash serum and my lashes have gotten pretty long. Combined with a curler and a good, volumizing mascara my lashes have become one of my favorite features. This is the curler I use and I actually just purchased a brand new one last week in the gold and pink color. 

Friday, March 2, 2018

On My Radar (and recent purchases)

Well, spring is right around the corner and I have my eye on a few fun items for when the weather warms up. My warm weather closet still needs such an overhaul. I added a few fun pieces last year but the two seasons before I really did zero shopping with being pregnant and then nursing.

I am obsessed with these chambray scalloped shorts. Aren't they SO fun? I love an easy to wear pair of denim shorts and the scallop just adds a little something extra and feminine.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Madeline’s 2nd Birthday

We celebrated Madeline turning two with a Daniel Tiger themed birthday party on her actual birthday last Saturday. Daniel Tiger has been one of her greatest loves since she was around nine months old so it was fun to bring this party to fruition to celebrate her special day this year.

Last year I went a little overboard with decorations. I still think it was the absolute perfect first birthday party. (Check it out here). But, this year I decided to not go quite as crazy, even though I do love a good party.

I made two little table top trolleys using the patterns on the PBS website and pouffed up some tissue paper Pom Pom poufs for the Dollar Tree. The Pom Pom garlands are also from the dollar store. 

I ordered this party set for paper goods from Amazon and this set of balloons. This kept things SO easy because it was all delivered to my front door. 

The fireplace banner is from Etsy here and I love it. I moved it up to Madeline’s play area after the party. Madeline's little personalized Daniel Tiger dress is also from Etsy and you can find it here.

A sweet local mama passed down the “Happy 2nd Birthday” banner but it is also available here if you have a Daniel Tiger lover of your own. I set Madeline’s Daniel Tiger figurines around for a few extra little touches, too. She has this set, this set, and this one.

I made guacamole (my recipe here in a super old post), picked up queso from Moe’s, and set out a jar of salsa for appetizers. And goldfish and mini pretzels for the kids, of course.

I also served a taco bar. I used this recipe for the beef filling and made pulled salsa chicken. I made cheese quesadillas for the kids, cilantro rice and beans, and fruit salad.

For dessert, I ordered a mini cake and cupcakes from Publix just like last year and some fun cookies from my favorite cookie gal.

It was such a fun party and Madeline and her little friends sure did love all the Daniel Tiger decor. We loved celebrating our girl and when I tucked her in for bed that night she looked up and said “Mommy, I so happy!” which made it that much more special for me, too. 

We love you sweet girl!