Thursday, July 28, 2016

Pregnancy Survey: 41 Weeks

1. How far along are you? 41 weeks. Leighton and I have been hanging out for 287 days.

2. What fruit/veggie is your baby? Pumpkin

3. Symptoms: Nada. Feeling great!! 

4. Total weight gain/loss: 29 pounds

5. Sleep: All of it. As soon as my head hits the pillow I'm out. And thank goodness for that.

6. Cravings: Izze Sparkling Clementine 

7. Aversions: Nada

8. Best Moment of the Week: Knowing that Leighton will be here TOMORROW. Looking back on being pregnant and just loving it and feeling so grateful / thankful / lucky for it. 

9. Gender: Girl

10. Belly Button In or Out? In (but it really wants to be out!)

11. What I Miss: What I will miss... Being pregnant! And once again, time, just how darn fast those 287 days went by. 

12. What I am Looking Forward to: Same as last time... Meeting Leighton!! And soaking in this sweet time with Hank and family and friends.

13. Milestones: Flying right by that due date. And being ready.

14. Exercise: Long walks catching Pokemon (seriously!). 

15. Maternity clothes: Same flow-y goodness as before. I found a gem of a dress in a forgotten drawer so that was a win.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Pregnancy Survey: 37 Weeks

1. How far along are you? 37 Weeks. (38 weeks tomorrow!)

2. What fruit/veggie is your baby? Swiss chard... I have no idea. BUT, tomorrow the milestone sticker set we have marks 38 weeks with a pineapple. 

3. Symptoms: Swollen feet and fingers. All the pee breaks in the night. Overall feeling big. People often say, oh to be pregnant in the summer, but that part, the season part, hasn't been that bad. I get to wear flowy dresses, sandals and swim outdoors in the sunshine. I'm good with that. 

4. Total weight gain/loss: 25 pounds

5. Sleep: With having to sleep on your side, you're putting all the new weight on that one side. So it eventually feels like pins and needles on your right side. So you flip. And then it happens to your left side. So you flip. So just dealing with flipping like a pancake a few times in the night. 

6. Cravings: All the sweets. 

7. Aversions: All the vegetables. Except broccoli, I can get really excited for some broccoli. 

8. Best Moment of the Week: Feeling ready because at this point it's ready or not. Having all the small to dos off the checklist. Swimming laps before work with Hank is always fun. I feel happy and accomplished and most of all - weightless. Oh, and my very Carolina shower at work was super fun, and we were gifted and loved well. 

9. Gender: Girl.

10. Belly Button In or Out? In. 

11. What I Miss: Fitting in a good pair of distressed jeans. 

12. What I am Looking Forward to: Meeting Leighton!!

13. Milestones: Making it to 37 weeks which is full term. Yay!

14. Exercise: Swimming laps tomorrow morning with Hank. Last week I did 22 so that felt pretty great. 

15. Maternity clothes: I rocked some of my best friend Kathleen's white maternity shorts over the fourth, and they were great but other than that, carrying on with all my boho flowy-ness. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A Down by the Sea Nursery

My husband Hank and I are college sweethearts from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. We were engaged in Charleston a couple years after we graduated and fell in love with that sweet city down by the sea. After a year and a half trying to get pregnant, we were so excited when it became a reality for us with baby girl Leighton Hope on the way this July. In creating a nursery, I knew I wanted it to be a space that would grow with Leighton while also having a nod to Charleston charm with a side of our alma mater.

We started with a fresh coat of toasty gray paint and sailed to it. Hank and I had a blast curating each and every item throughout these past few months. Hank is a talent at hanging frames so our gallery wall was the anchor for the rest of the nursery. Among the sailboats and pineapple on the gallery wall lives the happiest merman you'll ever see. It's my favorite art piece because Hank created the watercolor when he was just a little guy in elementary school.

Each month throughout our journey to having a baby, we put all that we could into Hope. Hope is Leighton's middle name and can also be found in a print on the gallery wall, a reminder to 'Let Hope Anchor Your Soul.' You'll see that the nod to our alma mater, with a ram as our mascot, is subtle but found in the felt ram head on the gallery wall - complete with a pink flower crown, of course - and the mobile above the crib.

I delight in estate sales, vintage shops and fields upon fields of antiques. I could not be more excited when I moved around a few things in an antique field to discover a wooden pineapple that we later set upon the dresser. As for the vintage books, Peter Pan and Fifty Fairy Tales, that was one of those u-turn when you see an amazing estate sale kind of moments. I love any piece in a space that is unique and tells a story.

There's a sweet mother and daughter duo in my area that finds the cutest pieces. I almost fell out of my chair when they posted a 'rockin' boat' they scored. It was bright red, yellow and blue, and I saw the potential right away. Hank brought it to life with mint, light blue and gold spray paint. For now it will hold Leighton's stuffed animals but soon she'll be rocking away in this playful find.

Children's books are really important to me so I wanted to be sure I tucked them into every nook and cranny I could. I cherish creativity and imagination so really enjoyed picking favorites that we can read to Leighton as soon as she arrives. I think that's one of the little moments I am most excited about.

When I was little, my room was entirely pink. For the nursery, we wanted to create a more neutral and serene space but definitely could not leave pink behind. We brought in a hint of pink with a felt flamingo head - who wanted to wear a flower crown just like the aforementioned felt ram head - and an art print featuring pink flamingos. Where can you go wrong with flamingos, pineapples and a day by the sea?

Hank's grandma completed our nursery look for us at our baby shower when she gifted us a painting of a beach she did. Grandmother art could not be more special. It was the last item we placed upon the shelf and not only reminds me of our favorite beach days in Charleston's neighboring Sullivan's Island but of the love found in family. We can't wait for this space to come alive as soon as Leighton arrives. Until then, we'll be soaking in the last few days down by the sea (and pool) that we can.

See the full 'A Down by the Sea' nursery gallery.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Duck, Duck, Itinerary

Hey, OBX. Here's what we were up to in Duck, North Carolina. My favorite part was beach walks every single morning and collecting all the seashells.

Destination: Sanderling Resort

DAY 1 
Four-hour drive from Raleigh, N.C. 
Lunch: Cruise right into town by lunchtime and stop at Coastal Cravings (Guy Fieri via Food Network; Get the crab cake sandwich.) 
Check in and explore resort (4 p.m. check in but our ocean view room in North Building was ready early!)
Dinner: Paper Canoe at 7:30 p.m. (Right near hotel - you can walk. My favorite spot of the whole trip.) 
S'mores at the fire pit!!

Breakfast: Duck's Cottage for Coffee (coconut-crunch coffee is all the yum!) and Donutz on a Stick for breakfast. The cottage has some cute little shopping like their wood-crafted Christmas ornaments. Donutz is on the boardwalk with benches, a nice little spot to eat your donuts outside. 
Walk some of the boardwalk. 
Lunch: Red Sky Cafe (Get the fish tacos.) 
Beach (or outdoor pools, indoor pool, spa tubs, etc.)
Dinner: The Blue Point at 7:30 p.m. (Pricey, romantic spot. Get the fresh catch.) 
S'mores at the fire pit!!

DAY 3 
Breakfast: Treehouse Coffee (Get your coffee and breakfast sandwich or bagel with cream cheese all in one stop. Love their vibe so much.)
Lunch: Roadside Bar and Grill (My favorite lunch spot of the whole trip. I'll say it 38362883 more times but get the fish tacos. AND they have an awesome bar called Backside Bar that wasn't open for the season yet when we were there but definitely set aside a chill time and grab some beers there.) 
After lunch stroll at Duck Village and Scarborough Shops
Get ready for the night then head to Seagreen Gallery in Kill Devil Hills. My favorite of favorite shops. Super cool feel, awesome vintage postcards, glassware and locally poured soy candles (jasmine rose scent!). 
Stop by Forbes to grab the tastiest salt water taffy to eat later (when your home dreaming about OBX). 
Jockey's Ridge for climbing epic sand dunes. And I mean epic.
Outer Banks Brewing Station for local beers. 
Dinner: Tortuga's Lie (Guy Fieri via Food Network; We just grabbed burgers - cheap and tasty). 
I found out I passed my glucose test!! So had a massive craving to celebrate with DQ. Although, I think they told the Oreos to evacuate before my blizzard was made.

Breakfast: Stack 'Em High (Back out towards Kill Devil Hills; owner is hilarious; order up pancakes with bananas, chocolate chips and pecans.)
This was my favorite day!! We had time to kill so of course stopped by Seagreen Gallery again. Then I dropped Hank off at Crossfit OBX, and he worked out while I shopped away at... TJ Maxx! Seriously - it was a good one where I found cheap beach dresses and cute Rifle Paper Co. for LeSportSac pieces. 
Lunch: We grabbed a bag of Coastal Cantina (Mexican!) to go and picnicked on the beach. 
Currituck Beach Lighthouse in Corolla (So pretty! Climb all 220 steps at $10 each, cash. It's gusty at the top.)
Drinks on the water at super touristy Sunset Grill. I wouldn't go here to eat but for a a drink, okay. I had a Shirley Temple, my favorite.
Beach / Resort Chill 
Dinner: We ordered in pizza from Pizzazz - delivered right to your door. We sat on our cute little balcony complete with screened door and enjoyed away. 
No fire pits when storm is brewing so no s'mores this night. Carry on...

DAY 5 
Breakfast: Lifesaving Station (at resort; built in 1899) 
Massages at Sanderling Spa at 10 a.m. (The best massage we each have ever had.)
Lunch: The Black Pelican, Kitty Hawk (Guy Fieri via Food Network; Get the she-crab soup and shrimp platter.) 
Back to Coastal Cravings for drinks (original plan was beers at Sweet T's but they closed early that night). 
Dinner: Eastside at 7:30 p.m. (Seriously ah-mazing and such a breath of fresh air for a beach spot. Just wow. Second favorite dinner spot - and it's surely almost tied with Paper Canoe.)
S'mores at the fire pit!!

DAY 6 
Breakfast: Coffee at Sweet T's and Duck Donuts for breakfast
Check out at 11 a.m.; Soak in last beach views

Notes for next time: Beach chairs and umbrella included each day; S'mores kit in room upon arrival; Cutest rubber duck in shower; Duck Boardwalk for a stroll; Yoga on the beach would be a great idea; Dune gliding; Pack kite; Outer Banks Popcorn Shoppe; Sunset cruise; Rent bikes; Sanderling beach picnic basket as a lunch option.

Maternity Session Sneak Peek