Wednesday

Weekend Fun: Celebrating a Bride and The Cutest Baby Bathingsuit

My girlfriend Kerry is tying the knot in a few weeks, and I absolutely can't wait for this wedding. It is going to be one awesome weekend chock full of exciting events, and I just love Ker and her beau together.

Because of having brand new babies, two of us bridesmaids were unable to make it to NYC for her fabulous bachelorette weekend, so we asked her if we could do a local make-up bach weekend with her when our babies were a little older. And this past weekend, that's just what we did!


The girls came in town Saturday. We started off the day at Ballantyne Spa, my favorite place to spend a few luxurious hours in Charlotte. We were greeted with spa robes, flip flops, and glasses of champagne. We decided to start the day at the pool with some lunch.


We had deli wraps for lunch and then sat in the pool and chatted until it was time for our massages. All three of us fell asleep during our massages! Afterwards we went into the steamroom and sauna, and then left in order to get ready for our big night out.

That evening, we stayed at a hotel ... the first night I've been away with just daddy on duty! Now, truth be told, the hotel is literally around the corner from my house. :) But this way, I could devote my time to my girlfriends and still be home lickety-split if I needed to. It was the perfect situation.



I reserved a black car through Uber and we headed uptown for dinner reservations at Basil. Once we arrived at the restaurant, we ran into a sorority sister! Too much fun.


Sunday, before the bride left town, Camille and I went with her to the mall where I made some returns and picked up a new knit dress at Loft. Later that afternoon, Ian, Camille and I went to the pool with friends. The baby looked too, too cute in her Janie and Jack bathingsuit (I'd seriously love one in my size) and even moreso darling when she fell asleep sitting right on my lap.


I loved every bit about this weekend and hope you had an enjoyable one too!

Tuesday

Two Fab Finds From Uncommon Goods

When it comes to gifts for girlfriends or family members, I am often looking for fun finds in the $20-$40 range, so I'm really excited to share with you two awesome gifts from UncommonGoods. Have you ever shopped with them before? I have to say ... after perusing their website and reading more about their company, I was quite impressed.

First up are these floral wine glasses. They are $39 and there are six glasses. The perfect size for wine or juice and the patterns on all six vary. I absolutely love the vintage look of these glasses. Does it make me strange that I like to match the style of the glass to my mood? At least I own it.



These two below are my favorites.



I mean seriously ... love, love, love these glasses.


They look great in our dining room!





Okay, next up is a $20 gift and I'm loving it. The state dish towels are way fun. Decorated with each state's most famous landmarks and mascots, they are so fun to have out on display. Sort of a Where's Waldo of your state's claims to fame, if you will.


There's our city Charlotte with a crown to represent the fact that it is the Queen City.


And of course my husband loves the shout-out to his alma mater. Go Pirates!




I'm already a little more protective of this dishtowel than a regular person should be.

Navigating the site is easy as pie. The two categories that are my go-to pages are their personalized gifts section as well as the gifts for women section. And from there, you can filter out the results by ratings, price, et cetera. Simple and straightforward.

Now, a little more about UncommonGoods, taken directly from their site:

Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Brooklyn, New York, UncommonGoods is an privately-owned retailer that endeavors to feature unique designs and handcrafted gifts created in harmony with the environment and without harm to animals or people. We run all our operations out of the historic Brooklyn Army Terminal, including our warehouse where the lowest-paid seasonal worker starts at 50% above the minimum wage. We make it our mission to support and provide a platform for artists and designers; in fact, half of what we sell is made by hand. Most of the products we carry are created right here in the USA, and about one-third of our entire collection incorporates recycled and/or upcycled materials. At the core of our company is a great respect for the integrity of the creative individual and the belief that it is our responsibility to use our business to impact the world in a positive way.

How's that for a solidly-based company?! Love their philosophy, and love supporting a company like this.

So if you are looking for some new gifts for your friends or yourself, I highly recommend these two fab finds!

Wednesday

Still Loving This Tee.

My grandmother Gigi was a "one in every color" type of gal. If she found something that worked well for her, may as well stick with a good thing and purchase it in a multitude of colors. Seems as if I've inherited that gene.

I have already waxed poetic about the Loft Sunwashed Tees, but here I go again.

Working from home now, these have become a weekly staple for me. They are relaxed yet still fitted enough to look feminine ... not sloppy. They have held up really well in the washer and dryer (my last dry cleaning bill nearly took my feet out from under me, so this is a good thing). And lastly, they are available in lots of colors. :)


So far I have the bright seafoam green...


...the bright bubblegum...



...and the light heather gray.

I've worn them with shorts, skorts, and maxi skirts. And as soon as this Charlotte humidity subsides, they will look awesome with jeans.

This is the one that I want to go purchase this weekend -- deep emerald. Perfect for now and also for fall.


I'm also loving morning mist. What a beautiful light blue, especially for all of you Tarheel gals.


And I figure while I'm at it, I'll need to pick up one in white and one in black as well.

Hold the bus, THEY HAVE NAVY.

I think I need to consider a part-time job at Loft!

Do you have any items that you are like this about? Are you a "one in every color" gal like Gigi and me?

Tuesday

Simple, Quick Dinner: Chopped Greek Salad


My husband and I love starting out the week with a really healthy meal. Monday dinners are typically the healthiest meals we eat all week long. I guess it's thinking that if we start out the week as healthy as we can be, then we won't feel as guilty if we splurge a little here and there during the coming days.

Recently, I made a chopped Greek salad that was quite healthy -- and simple, to boot.

On a large platter, I added the following:

+ Black pitted olives
+ Chopped red onion
+ Rinsed canned white beans (I used cannelini)
+ Chopped cucumber
+ Reduced fat feta cheese
+ Lettuce
+ Grilled chicken



The vinaigrette was really easy to make -- equal portions of red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of kosher salt and some oregano. I mixed it right in a small mason jar and shook together to combine.



The chicken marinated a few hours in some Greek salad dressing, and then Ian cooked it on the grill.


Right before we ate, I just chopped up the chicken, drizzled the red wine vinaigrette over all ingredients on the platter, and then combined everything with salad tongs. Simple!


Monday

Weekend Rewind

Another fun and relaxing weekend on the books! 

Not going to lie, last night was the first time in three months that I've experienced what we call the Sunday Blues. You know, that feeling where you get kind of quiet on Sunday evenings thinking about the fact that the weekend is coming to a close and there are five more workdays separating you from another blissful weekend. 

My maternity leave was so awesome in the sense that the Sunday Blues just disappeared ... whoooosh, gone. But I can say that I do enjoy starting off Monday mornings with a strong cup of coffee and the promise of a fresh week of making things happen. PLUS, I get paid at the end of this week, and that is a true happy dance moment. :) 


So despite the rain forecasted for Friday, my girlfriend Lindsay and I went to go see David Gray in concert at our outdoors amphitheater here in Charlotte. We just put on our rubber boots and made a night of it, and wouldn't you know that not a drop fell from the sky! The husbands were on baby duty.


He was awesome in concert and you may know him by his song "Babylon." What an incredible voice he has.

Saturday afternoon I took Camille to a big consignment sale put on by our local Moms of Multiples group. I went for the afternoon session when all remaining items were marked half off. A lot of the items were pretty picked over, but I did find two cute pieces for chillier weather. This little ivory long-sleeved onesie is so stretchy and soft and it was $1.25. The adorable pink and chocolate brown toile knit pants were only $0.75! I love the little ruffle at their hem.


That evening, the three of us went over to our friends' home and hung out with a few more couples before returning home to have burgers on the grill. Ian and I are trying to watch our carbs a little more, so we had lettuce-wrapped burgers with roasted zucchini spears in lieu of fries.

Sunday morning was spent relaxing with coffee and a movie. We watched Hereafter during Camille's long morning nap. Matt Damon was great in that movie, and while we both thought it was a little slow in the middle, it was the perfect movie to have on during a dreary, gray Sunday.

This is my first full week of having Camille at the church daycare, so I'm a bit sad, but it makes the mornings and evenings we spend together that much more special. I have noticed that I am much more intentional now with how we spend our time, and I like that.

Friday

My Friday Five

Okay, so I really miss our Five on Friday link-up and can't wait for it to be back from summer break! I love seeing who links up with us each week, so I'm getting really jazzed about its return.

Here is my {unofficial} Five on Friday this week. :)

O N E 
Thank you all for your advice and support with my return to work this past Wednesday. It was not the easiest transition, but the advice I keep hearing over and over is "give it time -- it WILL get easier", so I am focusing on that. I enjoy the opportunity to contribute financially to our family and provide Camille with some really fun vacations way down the road! :)

To celebrate one chapter closing and another chapter opening, we took advantage of the best babysitter in the world (my mom) being in town, and we went out to eat at a great sushi restaurant down the road. Over dinner, I told Ian that as painful as it was to be apart from Camille during the day, it was so nice to be able to have a nice dinner out with him on a random weeknight. This is exactly the sort of thing that we would have had to cut out completely had I not returned to work. So all in all, I think it will be a really positive thing for our family. And never have I ever looked so forward to 5pm in my LIFE! :)


T W O
This is my sweet baby around 7am this morning. She is really enjoying being propped up on the Boppy so she can look at pictures these days. It looks like she is holding the book herself, but I assure you she is a typical 12-week old baby :) She does like touching the pages, though! I purchased this book on Amazon for a few bucks after reading so many reviews saying how much the book was enjoyed by babies.


T H R E E
I love fun mail and cannot WAIT to share with you some beautiful little things I received from the postman!


F O U R
Look at this little one getting SO big. 

I can't even.

#thighs

F I V E
On my wishlist is this Lovecat romper. I think it is just so cute and (this is random) it reminds me of the old-school Peaches & Cream Barbie ... did anyone have that one?! My sisters are nodding their heads furiously right now. 

Lovecat Ruffle Sleeve Romper $68

Just for fun ...


Earlier in the summer, I saw Caitlin from Southern Curls and Pearls wearing it and it looked so cute on her! I think she's probably a good bit taller than I am, so I'm hoping the proportions would work on me being only 5'2". I think it would be so perfect for an upcoming bridal luncheon I have for my best girlfriend.


So what do you think, should I pull the trigger on the romper?

Happy Friday to you all and enjoy the weekend!

Thursday

Corn, Feta and Avocado Salad


Last week, our grocery store was running a special where I ended up with four ears of sweet corn. We rarely eat corn, and I really believe this was the first time I've ever prepared it. Ever. I had to google how to properly cook ears of corn.

I decided to use the ears of corn in a cold side salad to accompany some grilled brats. It was such a tasty addition!

All I did was bring the ears of corn to a boil in a large pot of water. Once it started to boil, they were considered cooked so I removed them with tongs and let them cool. I cut the corn off the cob with a serrated knife and added it to a bowl along with a diced avocado, a small container of feta cheese (yes, the entire thing -- we love feta), and the juice of one lime.

Stir it all together, and that's it! No added oils to this dish. I don't think it's the loveliest, but it sure was tasty.


Tuesday

Lakehouse Summer Trip

While I don't have a lot of photos from the weekend, the ones I do have are meaningful.

First up: what we refer to as "the fish light."

A few Mothers Days ago, I was down at the lakehouse and we were changing some things up on the screened porch. We switched the positioning of the picnic table and wanted it to feel like a space of its own. My mental gears started turning and I had a kooky idea that turned out pretty fun -- we put a ton of white Christmas lights in a vintage fish trap, and bam -- a lake-worthy chandelier.



My mom looks so cute in this one, and so I told dad to go join her. 

So adorable.  


After dinner Friday night, I bathed Camille, changed her into her pajamas, and then brought her downstairs for storytime. My aunt bought her some Mercer Mayer books, so I packed one for her to read to the babe. It was such a sweet moment.






The next morning, we all enjoyed a nice breakfast.


HA!

My uncle was quite smitten with the Millster. And I think the feeling was mutual.





Later that evening, we enjoyed prosecco with lavender simple syrup. I made that simple syrup Friday morning and used the microwave to combine the sugar and water this time around ... way easier and quicker than the stovetop, and with no cleanup since I microwaved it right in the mason jar. Then I tossed in the dried lavender buds, let it sit several hours, and then strained off the buds, leaving just the simple syrup.


The kitchen goddesses worked their magic. And I just sipped my prosecco. :)


The weather was rainy outdoors, so the menfolk brought the dartboard inside the porch and got a good game going.



As you can imagine, I didn't get to hold my own baby too much with all of those loving family members around, but it was great to see her so happy in everyones arms.



It was a great weekend together and I love having these photos to show Camille when she is older! No doubt she is one adored babe.

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