Thursday, April 28, 2016

Impromptu Maternity Shoot

A few weeks ago, T and I were in Charlotte and had a few hours to spare before we headed to the airport for our babymoon.  My sister April was home, so we stopped by her house to see our niece Camille, and decided to do a little impromptu maternity shoot.

I'm going to be using a professional photographer for a newborn photoshoot once Thompson arrives, so I didn't want to shell out the additional money for a maternity shoot so soon to baby's arrival.   I'll write more on this later, but I'm really pumped about working with WonderLight Kids Photography for our newborn shoot.  They have been such a pleasure to work with so far, and I just love their work.

Here are a couple of my favorite photos we captured that day.  Thanks again, April!











Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Showering Baby Thompson

This weekend three of my best friends from high school threw the cutest shower for our baby.  They did such a great job putting everything together, not a single detail was missed.  It was held at my girlfriend Kate's parent's house on Lake Murray, and the weather couldn't have been more perfect that day for a lakeside shower.  We sipped on cocktails (and mocktails) and ate our little pimiento cheese and chicken salad sandwiches.  My friend Courtney also had the cutest baby boy themed sugar cookies made.  Coming from a family of all girls, it still shocks me how my heart skips a beat now any time I see something baby boy themed.


Kate's mom put together this precious diaper bike made of diapers (duh), swaddle blankets, rattles, socks, a bottle brush, and a wipe holder for the seat.  And this Bunnies By The Bay Pacifier Holder that I've been wanting was the driver of the bike.


Sidenote on this pacifier holder: My niece Camille has the white version of this, and LOVES it.  The material is so soft, and I like that it's a little larger in size.   The hand on the bunny has a velcro closure, so that you can switch out pacifiers and remove them to wash.  It will also be good when weaning a baby off of a paci, because you can just remove the pacifier, and give them the bunny if they're wanting to be soothed.  Our dog George also has a mission to chew the nipple off of every pacifier, so I have a feeling we'll be switching them out quite frequently.







This is my niece Caroline, the daughter of T's sister and her husband.  At this age Caroline is looking just like T did as a toddler.  I am so curious if our son will have her same coloring, too!  She's the most precious little girl, so I definitely wouldn't hate it. :)


It was so great to see so many of my college and high school girlfriends and family.  Getting to see them and hear how excited they are to meet our son makes me even more ready to meet this little boy.  We've got just a month, or maybe even less, left!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Weekend Recap

As we get closer and closer to D-Day (delivery day) I find that our weekends are jam-packed with things that won't be as easy to do once Thompson makes his arrival.

Friday night we headed to one of our favorite seafood places, The Shuckin' Shack.  T and I fell in love with this place on our Wilmington anniversary trip a few years ago, so we were thrilled to hear they were opening another location near us last fall.  They opened just in time for oyster season to begin, and just in time for me to find out I was pregnant.  So each time we've gone I've drooled over T's oysters and settled for fish and chips, which are actually pretty darn good, too.


Saturday was spent running errands around town.  We've desperately been needing a new couch in our den, and we finally bit the bullet this weekend.  The couch we've been  using was mine from college.  It's been recovered numerous times, but it's actually older than I am.  It was the couch my parents had in their house for years, and then they gave it to me when they upgraded. 

We went with The Kensington Sofa from Haverty's.   This couch is going to get napped on, spit up on, spilled on, and sat on by our 85 lb dog, so we decided for a middle-of-the-road quality couch knowing it's going to last us for a few years.  And as much as I loved the cream upholstery, we couldn't take the risk, so we ordered it in a charcoal gray in stead.   You can see what it will look like in the rendering below.  Not sure if I love the pillows, but they came with the couch for free, so I can always switch them out.  


Saturday evening we attended the wedding of one of T's high school friends, and had a blast.  The bride and her family are from Belgium, so it was really neat to see all the Belgian touches their wedding had, complete with yummy Belgian chocolates for their wedding favors.  

This was the first and last wedding I attended while pregnant.  I was a trooper, but as soon as 10:00 hit my stomach was feeling heavy and my feet were aching, so I convinced T it was time to go.  I think he liked that for once I wasn't drunkenly dragging him to the dance floor every time a good song came on, and not having a pounding headache the next morning was quite nice. 


Hope y'all had a great weekend! 



Friday, April 15, 2016

Five on Friday

Happy Friday! Here's a look at the top five things on my list this Friday:

1. Baby Charlotte- My niece finally made her arrival yesterday morning!  At 41 weeks, my poor sister April was more than ready to go into labor.  Baby Charlotte arrived around 10:45 yesterday morning, and we are all so in love.  I'm headed to see her today, and can't wait to get that baby in my arms.



2. Rocksbox- This topic deserves is own post eventually, but I received my first Rocksbox in the mail the other day and LOVE it.  If you haven't heard of Rocksbox, here's a little bit about it.  It's a jewelry subscription service.  For $19/month you can receive three pieces of jewelry at a time, usually valued at around $200, to wear on loan.  Once you're done wearing those pieces, you just send them back and they'll send you another three!  You also have the option to purchase anything you receive, and they'll give you $10 towards that purchase each month.   My favorite part of this month's box were these Kendra Scott Alex Earrings.

I know, I'm a little late to jump on the Kendra Scott train, but now I see what all the fuss is about.  I absolutely love these earrings, and they seem to go with everything I own.  I've worn them so much that I've decided to purchase them, so they won't be getting sent back with the other two pieces.  These typically retail for $55, but through Rocksbox I can use my monthly credit to purchase them for $45.  If you're interested in Rocksbox you can use the code thereedyreviewxoxo to get a free month! I'd highly recommend it. 

3. Maternity photos- A few weeks ago, April and I took a few hours to snap some impromptu maternity photos at her house.  I am planning on using a professional photographer  for newborn photos once the baby arrives, but just couldn't justify paying for those plus maternity photos.  She snapped away for about 30 minutes, and we got some great shots!  I'll share a few more of them with you next week, but this one was one of my favorites.



4. Shopbop- During the big sale last week, I splurged on a pair of sandals for the summer.  Each spring, I buy a new pair of neutral or metallic sandals and wear them pretty much every day until they're completely busted.  Last year I purchased a pair of J.Crew brown sandals that I loved, but when I took them out of my closet this spring I realized what bad shape they were in.  Thankfully Shopbop's sale came at the perfect time, and I scooped up these Loeffler Randall beauties for 25% off.  I usually don't spend this much on a pair of sandals, so let's hope that these will last me more than one season.  Fingers crossed.





5. Windows- I mentioned in a post here that we hope to redo our den before Thompson makes his arrival.  There are LOTS of things that we want to get done to the room, but we finally crossed the first item off the list!  The catalyst for the entire room renovation was to install new windows.  We'll gradually be doing this throughout the house, but the den needed them the most.  Last night T had a friend come over and they knocked the old ones out and put the new ones in.  It's amazing what just three new windows can do to a room!  Now I can't wait to get some paint on those walls.  GOODBYE burgundy accent wall.  I will never, ever miss you.

Here's what the old windows looked like...


...and a peek at the new ones.  They still need trim pieces attached, but that will happen this weekend.  



Have a great weekend!

*Some affiliate links used

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Buffalo Chicken Wraps

Since leaving my nine to five job in November, I've been working from home building up my jewelry business.   Business has been great, financially we haven't been impacted one bit by my move which I am so, so thankful for.  As I've gotten settled into my self-employed groove, I have found myself lately with a bit more free time. I've been taking advantage of every minute of it since our baby is due in just a few short weeks.  I know once he's here things will get crazy again.  But it's really been nice to take it easy for a few months, considering I won't really be able to do that again for the next 18 years...

One thing I've enjoyed is getting to make lunch for both T and me each day.  He works about a mile away from our house, so he's able to come home most days for lunch.  I've had fun playing around with different sandwich, salad, and wrap recipes.  Nothing too extravagant, but a little more exciting than some chicken salad plopped on a piece of white bread.

We've been on a big wrap kick recently, and both of us LOVE these Buffalo Chicken Wraps.




Buffalo Chicken Wraps

Adapted from The Creative Bite
(makes 2 wraps)

Ingredients: 

2 wraps
1 heaping Tbsp plain Greek yogurt
1 heaping Tbsp mayo
1/2 c. cooked chicken, cubed
2 Tbsp buffalo wing sauce (I use Franks)
1/2 c. broccoli slaw
1/2 avocado, cubed
1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/4 cup bleu cheese crumbles
2 Tbsp red onion, diced
3-4 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 

1. Lay both wraps out.  In a small bowl, combine mayo and Greek yogurt.  Season with salt and pepper. Evenly spread this mixture over each wrap, using all of the mixture. 

2.  Toss the chicken in the buffalo sauce, and equally distribute it among the two wraps.  Top with remaining ingredients, and wrap it all up, and enjoy!  (I like to wrap mine in foil for extra reinforcement because I'm not the best at rolling a tight wrap, but you can skip this step)



My favorite part about these wraps is the broccoli slaw.  Lettuce gets boring and takes up so much space in a wrap, so the broccoli slaw is a great substitution.  T is a buffalo fanatic, so he also likes to add a little more buffalo sauce to his before wrapping it all up.  I'm okay without. 

Do you have any favorite lunch recipes?  If so, please do share!


Monday, April 11, 2016

Weekend Recap

This weekend was our annual girls trip with some of my best college girlfriends.  Since graduation, we've all been getting together one weekend to spend time with one another.  With so many girls with different schedules, it's not easy for us to find a weekend that always works for us, so we have a standing date each year for two weeks after Easter weekend.  That way we can plan ahead for years to come.

This trip was quite different than the other trips we've had in the past with the addition of three new babies, and one on the way (mine).  We rented a house at Lake Murray, since it was a perfect central location for all of us scattered across the state.

On Friday night we laid low and cooked dinner at home since people would be arriving sporadically throughout the evening.  I made an Avocado, Black Bean, and Corn Salad to go along with tacos, which was quite a hit.  After dinner we sat around talking for hours, and had a little too much fun playing a game that I brought. This Left Center Right game is SO much fun, and very compact so it's really easy to travel with.  We played with dollar bills, so having $3 on the line for each game made it even more fun and competitive.   I'm usually not a huge gamer, but I'd highly recommend it!




This is truly what the weekend looked like, taking turns doing mini photoshoots of babies, and doing everything that was in our power to make them laugh and smile.  


On Saturday, we had a Sip and See for the newest baby added to our group, baby Maines.  Maines is our friend Caroline's second baby, she tragically and suddenly lost her first little boy Riggs right after his first birthday.  Since Caroline has a lot of the gear she already needed, we threw a low key shower for her and Maines after he arrived.  And we also made sure that his sweet big brother had a presence there as well.  These cookies were brought by one of our girlfriends and they were absolutely perfect.  




As we continue to have these weekend get-togethers each year, the bond I have with these girls seems to only get stronger.   It was so great to spend time with each and every girl, and I can't wait until next year!

Hope y'all had a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Five-Spice Beef Kabobs

I love it when warm weather hits, because that means we're able to grill out more, and that's just one element of a meal that T gets to take on responsibility for.  I know nothing about getting our grill up and running, and have no desire to learn.  I'm totally cool with that being T's thing, and his thing only.  So when I came across this recipe for beef skewers that I pinned years ago and forgot about, I was excited to give it a shot.  We're both big dipping sauce people, so I was sold after I read about the cucumber lime mint dipping sauce that went along with the skewers.   I also love cooking with Chinese five-spice.  The flavor is so unique, and it's already blended (from five different spices, obviously), so I don't have to pull multiple spice jars from my cabinet to make up the mixture.



Five-Spice Beef Kabobs

Ingredients: 

1 lb flank steak
3-4 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
1 6 oz carton plain Greek yogurt (I used Fage)
1 spring roughly chopped mint leaves
1 lime
More mint and lime wedges for garnish, if desired

Directions: 

1. Thinly slice steak across grain.  In medium bowl combine beef, soy sauce, and five-spice powder.  Toss to coat beef.  Thread beef on skewers (soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes before threading). 

2. Grill kabobs on rack of covered grill directly over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or to desired doneness, turning once.  If you don't have a grill, you could easily do these indoors on a grill pan or in a large skillet.

3. Meanwhile, combine yogurt and chopped mint in a small bowl.  Zest 1 tsp of the lime into the yogurt, and then juice the lime and add it to the mixture.  

4. Serve skewers with yogurt sauce and additional lime wedges if desired.  Top with more fresh mint for garnish. 

The recipe also suggested serving a carrot ribbon salad alongside the beef.  I used a vegetable peeler to make thin ribbons, tossed the carrots with a squeeze of lime juice, some sesame oil, crushed red pepper, and sprinkled with five-spice powder.  They were very light in flavor, but a really good addition to this fresh meal. I'd definitely recommend making them, too!


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