Monday, April 18, 2016

weekend recap:: kat's bach

Monday, Monday... this one's feeling a lot less Monday and a lot more exciting because it's Lilly Beth's birthday week! One year ago today Drew and I were attending childbirthing classes at our hospital, faking out instagram followers with cryptic images of me in front of L&D, and getting freaked out by birth videos and everything that was coming FAST. I had gotten a pedicure on the 17th after my OB appointment (report had been 80% effaced and 2cm) and the carseat was installed, ready to receive little Miss.

How time flies!!

I've already been trying to weep it all out before her big day arrives -- made Drew play sappy Zac Brown Band songs (actually, Lilly's specific song -- Song for a Daughter) on the ride home last night so I could ugly cry a little bit. Success!!

This past weekend marked a potential client meeting, attending a rehearsal dinner for Drew's coworker, throwing Kat's bachelorette party, and recovering with errands and family dinner last night.


(the setup!)



(snuggles before heading out!)

(pink glitter, obvy)


(bride to be!)


(#basicbelle)

All in all -- it was fun, we party hard, I'm too old for this sh*t, but WOO Kat's getting married in 53 days! Onto puppy pawty plans!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

bachelorette party prep:: to do lists galore

On top of throwing Lilly's first birthday and kicking off the 2016 wedding season this month, I've got one of my best friends' bachelorette parties coming up this Saturday! (AHHH!) She wanted a mimosas-and-manicures affair with a lingerie shower and dinner to follow. It's going to be an intimate group (most bridesmaids live out of town and several close friends are traveling this weekend too, unfortunately), but hopefully will be a fun time for everyone!


(My bach gathering, circa 2012!)

The plans:


Manicures at cute in-town nail salon

Lingerie Shower at my house, complete with mimosa bar and cupcakes!
Dinner at hip midtown restaurant the bride adores
Downtown bar-hopping and revelry -- meeting up with the groom & his guys

To Do, as the party planner:



  • Get fruit juices / mixers for mimosa bar
  • Wrap lingerie gift
  • Arrange for some decor for festive feel at home
  • Prepare Bachelorette sash
  • Bake & decorate Buy cupcakes
  • Chill champagne
  • Blow up balloons to put on mailbox
  • Wash car, remove baby clutter
  • Tidy up downstairs - eliminate baby clutter
  • Sweep deck & porch
  • Clean bathroom
  • Call ahead to restaurant before we leave my house (!!!)
  • Get dressed up and ready to partay!


(Sneak peek of how I'm setting up the table!)

It's been a WHILE since I attended or had my own bachelorette party... I was never into the crazy debauchery of penis paraphernalia and clubbing scene (we just did lingerie in a hotel room and dinner at a restaurant for mine -- easy peasy and classy), and neither is this bride. Since it's a smaller group it should hopefully be manageable and a low-key, classy gathering of friends. Fingers crossed for a successful event!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

birthday party prep:: to do lists galore

Anybody else thrive on to-do lists? I love writing lists out, checking things off, marking text documents with strikethrough lines...

Lilly's birthday party is rapidly approaching, so I've got to get my shit together to make her party come off without a hitch!



(Party outfit? Check!)
  • Make monogrammed "1" bib
  • Blow up balloons, make balloon arch for cake table
  • Buy tablecloth, sew pom pom trim on it seersucker runner
  • Write chalkboard stats board
  • Get grass mowed again
  • Print signage for food / games / activities / etc
  • Print photos of Lilly at all her month markings to hang
  • Set up food table
  • Grocery shop for final party supplies / foodstuffs
  • Grill hot dogs
  • Prepare hot dog fixings
  • Tie balloons on mailbox
  • Return broken patio chair & bench, receive replacements
  • Buy two more plants for back deck (?)
  • Print coloring book pages, get crayons
  • Oxyclean high chair cover, decorate
  • Get Dellingers to bring over nice camera for party photos / hire pro photographer 
  • Pick up cake from bakery
  • Clean house

Monday, April 11, 2016

planning the perfect date night

Planning last week's date night with Drew got me thinking -- what makes for a really great date? It's hard to transition out of the perspective of We're married so going out to Nacho's in leggings to get a $3 enchilada and a jumbo margarita with the baby in tow is date night.... Right? and into the land of dressing up, being intentional, and thinking of ourselves independently as a couple. It's hard to do when you're obsessed with your baby. It's hard to do when all you talk about is home improvement projects and to do lists. It's hard to do when you live together and talk a lot and run out of interesting things that you don't know about each other after 9 years of dating/marriage. What did we even talk about in our dating years? 



(Back when we were younger and crazier and went on dates... or ok, fraternity or sorority socials. #collegesweethearts)

So I asked Drew last week what kind of date he would plan for us if we had just met as adults. (I technically phrased it as "If you swiped left for me on Tinder" but he maintained he was too classy for Tinder to which I give him skeptical-eye because half my couples get married after meeting on Tinder these days.)

He asked what all he would know about me upfront -- I said my profile would probably mention that I'm a wedding planner, love yoga and the beach, social and outgoing, love planning parties, and could eat Mexican food daily. With that, he said he'd probably take me to a yoga class, then to dinner (for upscale tacos and margaritas), and then to some nice bar to chat over a nightcap. Not too shabby, eh?!



All that in mind, we ran with that as inspiration -- and then reality struck.  Friday rolled around, I dropped Lilly off with Grandma, spent the rest of the day working on her birthday outfit and answering client emails, and Drew came home around 5. We ended up sipping cava while we got dressed up, then headed out for hip local restaurant Bartaco. ...Only I forgot to call ahead and we had 43 parties in front of us in line! (!!!!!!!)




 I would've been up to hang out and drink margaritas while we waited (the two hours they quoted us), but Drew got impatient, so we ended up heading out to try a different new-to-us restaurant, Sopapillas. 



I had low expectations but they pleasantly surprised us tremendously -- we sat at the bar and got to indulge in their happy hour specials, which were $5 margs (the best we've had in such a long time -- tasted just like the ones we've gotten in Mexican resorts!) and half-priced appetizers. We got stuffed to the brims, didn't break the bank, and actually enjoyed the kinda-weird atmosphere and music they had playing. It certainly wasn't the hippest place to be on a Friday night (it's located in a kind of hidden part of Brentwood), but the food and drinks were DELICIOUS, reasonable, and we were able to hear each other talk.




Of course we joked later about how things would've definitely gone down differently had it been our first date... He wouldn't have yelled at me to make up my mind in the car as we headed to Sopapillas, I wouldn't have bemoaned "why do we even TRY?!?" in response, and we would've been a lot more adventurous afterwards (rather than just heading home to listen to Latino pop music and go to sleep, haha). But it was still fun, much needed, and one day we'll work on going somewhere hip on a Friday night. Maybe.

Friday, April 8, 2016

five on friday

It's that time! Linking up with ChristinaApril, and Natasha:




1. Let's talk about bras. As a breastfeeding mama, I've been stuck wearing soft cupped brassieres for the last year-plus and I am O-V-E-R them. Fortunately we've finally recently gotten to the point where Lilly eats enough solids to not have me leaking all over the place 24/7, and for the most part I'm not expanding and shrinking bra sizes dramatically all day long every day anymore. This leads me to needing a bra that fits and flatters. I used to love Maidenform in the years before pregnancy; perhaps that's a good place to look now? Victoria's Secret is lovely but usually uncomfortable. Hmmm!! Where's the best place to go these days? I need FLATTERING. For a smaller rack.

via 

2. My car battery totally died yesterday while I was out running errands. I'm embarrassed to say I waited until an approachable man came by before I actually warranted help, and then after he got it done, I realized how easy it would've been for anyone with a car to help jump me. As my brother-in-law pointed out "Jumping a car does not require any specific genitals." YIKES. (#sexist?) Fortunately for Lilly and me, we immediately got a new car battery so we can avoid situations like that in the future. But YAY for having jumper cables on me, at least! (And now I know how to open the hood of my car.... #incompetentadult.)

3. Remember how I mentioned Lilly's a biter back in JANUARY? Yeah, that hasn't gotten resolved yet. And it's APRIL. I'm DYYYYYING. But not enough to wean her. What is wrong with me?! Why is my daughter a cannibal? When will this teething stop so I can have boobs without missing chunks again?! Help!

4. I have a personal goal right now to have at least the downstairs of my house decent enough at all times to not be totally mortifying if I have unexpected guests drop by. One too many pushy door-to-door salespeople have barged in to see my catastrophic messes, and not that I'm condoning random people coming into my house uninvited... but I know there are some women out there in the world that maintain clean enough houses that can have random people come over and not be embarrassed out of their minds. I want to be one of those women! Tell me it's not that hard!! I do have to vacuum literally every single day to maintain the crumbs / cat hair tumbleweeds and I'm all about opening windows and lighting candles for ambiance, but how hard can it be to just have things picked up all the time? (Really hard? Am I insane?)

(our current spring mantle)
5. Had to fill my first diabetes prescription of the year (new insurance year, woo hoo...) and GOOD LORD it's expensive. Over a dollar a test strip to test my blood sugar. Perhaps I've stumbled upon an alternative diabetes management system... being so cheap I have to eat perfectly and exercise perfectly to not HAVE to monitor my levels. That could work, right? (I'll let you know how it goes.)

_________

Here's to crossing fingers that April has her sweet little one this weekend! 
I'm voting girl on the gender surprise!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

'fess sesh

I do confess... (linking with Jess!) 



I was super hesitant about last night's bootcamp class at my yoga studio, but I went and I enjoyed it profusely and I may even go back. (Shocker!!)

It's been since November (we looked) that Drew and I have had a baby-free, only-us date night. We're remedying that tomorrow PM. 

(November 9 - our last "date night." Went to a work-sponsored fundraiser where Drew drank and I DD'd, then took him to Taco Bell and drove home. Anticlimactic. Do better this time, K&D.)

Totally bought some jean shorts yesterday at Target that are super cute, super soft, and make me feel young like I could go to a music festival or something. Not that I ever was into those at any point of my life or anything.... Haha.


I didn't realize how expensive it was to ship boxes of (seemingly lightweight) things until I had to make a F21 return yesterday. Sidenote - their return policy blows. Not worth shopping there.

Related note -- learned I'm either too tall for rompers or I have a long torso I wasn't aware of. Wtf?

(I have underwear with much more cheek coverage than this!!!)

I have no idea what to eat for breakfast now that my normal egg sandwiches are spiking my blood sugar levels. Omelettes? Uggggghhhhhhh...

I went 1,000% crazy on ordering stuff this week. Blame it on PMS, blame it on reading too many blogs, blame it on not leaving the house enough, whatever it is... I did major damage and it makes my cheap self cringe. Granted, I almost always use a coupon, never pay for shipping, and got a bunch of stuff we NEEDED (halogen lightbulbs for the hallway light, a whale [sale] doormat for the back deck, printer ink, a gift for a shower I'm attending, a swimsuit that will actually fit Drew, a small leather belt for me so I won't have to steal Drew's enormous one), I definitely squeezed in a few non-necessities (an off-shoulder dress, a cheap-O pair of aviators, a pair of white pants that should fit me). Also ordered some seersucker to make Lilly a birthday hat and bib set. Because I'm crazy like that.

(Practicing her hat wearing!)

I was considering getting a shorter haircut but I'm kind of in love with having this loooooong blonde hair. It's been since our wedding that it's been this long, and before that it had been my senior year of high school. I feel like it's more flattering, feminine, and slimming long. But then I see cute shorter cuts I love too. Oh well, I'm determined. No short hair until after my beach trip at LEAST. My sister says I'm looking a little "sister-wives" but maybe my next trim can get more layered-y?? Hmmm.

So far I think I wear normal people clothes about two days a week, working from home. Yikes! Working on that.

__________

Got anything to confess? 'Fess up, y'all!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

loving lately

The promise of summer + upcoming vacays + dreary weather online shopping has got me all heart-eyes over...



(I love hats for tossing over messy hair to look instantly polished. My green wool hat kept me going all fall/winter long - this seems to be the perfect spring/summer equivalent.)



(Bought this on sale for our back deck! Progress on the deck front, hooray!!)


(Didn't get this exact one, but got a cute red floral romper I'm awaiting in the mail. Come on, Fedex!)



(Instead of dropping $40+ on a custom bib and birthday hat for Lilly on etsy, I ordered fabric last night to make her a little set on my own, and Walmart of all places had the cutest coral pom-pom trim! May go pick some more up in different shades and sizes -- Target was stocking up on some too. Love this trend right now!)



(I started going through my closet yesterday and realized my collection of pants that fit are actually pretty dang limited. Swooning over these highly-rated Nordstrom jeans, thinking they may need to come live with me.)

_____________________________

What are you loving lately?

Monday, April 4, 2016

a place to entertain

Party planning is our family's collective love language. We adore hosting friends, family, and any possible group gathering we can manage at our humble abode. Entertaining has always been a big priority, especially when we were thinking what things we wanted to incorporate in our house hunt in fall of '14. Drew prioritized a deck and a big backyard. I wanted a nice front porch and room to host Thanksgivings and brunches and showers galore. Granted, our dining room is the tiniest room in the house (it's about as big as my office was - ok, maybe a little bit bigger). But still -- we hosted Thanksgiving with two long 6' tables last year and had no issues! 

The biggest entertaining feature in the house we bought was the ginormous back deck, overlooking our fenced-in yard. We didn't (don't) love the dusty blue it's painted and it definitely overtakes the entire backyard, but we saw so much potential. In our first married home (a two-bedroom apartment in West Nashville), we fixed up our covered balcony and made it super homey and gorgeous this spring after we'd moved in -- four-piece wooden ikea patio furniture, two strands of crisscrossing bistro lights, a beachy blue rug and cushions/pillows, a sago palm I brought back from Savannah, put up some mesh screen to potentially let our cats hang out with us, and you could open the sliding door leading up our bedroom to watch TV (which was mounted on the wall and could pivot to face the balcony). We spent lotssss of mornings drinking coffee out there, evenings eating al fresco, parties downing bottles of LaMarca Prosecco... Before the days of my office I even met with my intern out there, and Drew routinely would set up his CPA exam studying shop on that table until the wee hours of the morning. Suffice it to say, our apartment balcony was a pivotal part of our first home together and definitely our favorite place to hang out.




But then we moved to the house. With the enormous deck. And our sweet little setup didn't translate well. First off, the size of the deck completely dwarfed our patio set. The blue rug blended in with the blue paint and got pretty nasty from weathering a lot of storms and a ROUGH winter (we took it off last spring). There were no places to hang string lights, and no outlets to plug them in. We threw away the privacy curtains we'd had at the apartment (they had also protected that balcony from a lot of weather, so they were worse for wear. And cheap. And would only cover like six feet of deck space even if we had somewhere to hang them from, anyways!). Our cheap-o ikea furniture (which served us SO well and fit our balcony so perfectly) couldn't withstand all the elements, either, so the table warped and all the wood has been dramatically weathered. To add insult to injury, wasps and HUGE beetles congregated back there ALL THE TIME once it got warm last year, so any times we'd want to take advantage of hanging out out there, I'd freak out and go back inside the second I got swarmed. And then the stupid blue paint got all mildewy and IMPOSSIBLE to clean. And my palm died. (#pregnancyinducedplantnegligence)



(our embarrassingly gross deck as of March)

So now we're working on making it a lovely place to be. We borrowed Drew's dad's power-washer, have been to Home Depot about a million times, Drew's spent countless hours researching different ways to approach deck projects, and we've now used two weekends to peruse all the options. It's already looking a TRILLION times better, but I'll save the "After" pics for once everything's done!

Friday, April 1, 2016

five on friday

Friday Friday, gotta get down on Friday! (Did you know they removed that video? Anyone get my reference?) Linking up with ChristinaApril, and Natasha:


1. I made my first attempt at ceviche yesterday! It was delicious in all its garlicky glory. Garlic is one of the few things I'm alllowed to indulge in nowadays with a strict diabetic diet. I was killing Drew earlier this week with my garlic breath after crushing two cloves in my guacamole. Worth it! I tried this recipe and it's a winner. I heart red onion, too. Been craving this since listening to Cheeseburger In Paradise on repeat. Give me a big-ass burger with an onion and a margarita, please!





2. I cannot seem to get the dimensions right for cellophane basket bags lately. I'm compiling one of my clients' wedding hospitality bags and needing to fit two jars of jam and a biscuit mix in each. Got one that was too small, one that was way too big. Where's my Goldilocks bag?!

3. After a combination of multiple things happening this week, I'm starting to feel major pressure to get back to a consistent, legit workout routine. Considering getting an online barre3 membership, versus watching YouTube videos, versus going in-studio to the yoga place I teach at. Why is it so hard to be disciplined? One day I hope to have a pair of mesh-inset leggings and strappy bras to motivate me fashionably to go to class. And one day I want to be a barre3 teacher. Goals! (Ps -- loving this blog. So inspiring!)

4. Much to be done on the party planning front for April. Now that it's officially April 1, I've got to dive into bachelorette party planning and finishing up Lilly's birthday paw-ty. Thus far I've got the majority of supplies at least for the birthday... bought fetching balls and stuffed dogs and going in today to the bakery to discuss her cake. Progress? Need to print my signage so I can see if it looks ok or not. Wish I had more graphic design skills these days.


{finished this up yesterday! it's my second attempt -- huge learning curve, but I'm so happy with it!}

5. This week has felt so "off." I can't keep my days straight, yesterday was a total bust, I'm tired but all the coffee in the world won't fix it. I'm almost timid to go into the weekend from here. Maybe I'll get it together in time for April. On the bright side, Lilly slept all night in her crib last night!! 🙌