Family · kids · pregnancy

Hey babes!

I know, I know. It’s been a hot minute, but here I am! Alive and well! And missing you friends……

I am ALONE for the evening which is unheard of in this house! Hubby bubby took the boys to play some basketball and they couldn’t have been more excited! They love their daddy time-and I don’t hate being alone for a minute-although I find it hard to figure out what to do with all this time!

I just wanted to pop in and give you guys a quick glance of what my day was like-as I thought this was a pretty entertaining day! Prepare yourselves………

Ok-start with waking up-at 5:55am. NO bueno yall. I am not an early riser, and the reason I woke up was a TERRIBLE nightmare. I refuse to mention it here but I don’t want it to be one of those dreams I remember my whole life. But let’s just say I ended up in tears after I woke-and not so happy. Then I was awake when Dale left for work-which I HATE! Usually he kisses me and the boys and slips out-I am half awake for a split second, then back off to dream land I go! Today I had to watch him leave and that made me pitiful!

Thank goodness I had a day full of distractions to keep me from thinking about being away from him! To start off, Cashy came in my room and laid in bed with me for a bit and was ready to chat! (Love those mornings) Not long after Ford joined, and wanted to read a book that has a goofy little dance song that goes along with it. So I play the song on my phone and immediately was in a better mood! Watching them enjoy it so much just makes me giggle!

Not too much longer after the mini dance party, the boys mentioned something about the baby and I thought this would be a good opportunity to explain to them about breast-feeding. You may wonder why, but I have been trying to figure out the perfect time to explain all of these things to them. Having a newbie around is a totally foreign concept to my kids! So last week they learned where the baby comes out of ( that was hysterical) and this week they learned what the baby eats from. Let me just tell you the education they have gotten in the past couple weeks has been priceless-for me.

Cash is so excited to learn that a baby eats from “boobies” and Ford is slightly traumatized. As far as he knows, those are things that Mommy’s have that should not be seen-now all of a sudden they’re feeding a baby? To watch the little gears turn in his mind today was too funny. If you ask him to explain it back to you he won’t even begin! He just covers his face and laughs! Cash on the other hand is a different story. Just ask him. He is happy to tell you that’s the reason God gave those things to women LOL

Some people may think I shouldn’t have mentioned that to my kids, but I figure pretty soon they’re going to see it happening and I didn’t want them to wonder what was going on. Dale and I have always said will be very honest with our kids and explaining things and honestly it’s been more fun for me than anything! I kind of assumed these things would be awkward, But I think since we are starting early and explaining things honestly, when the harder topics come along later it will be easier for us as parents!

Now, that was super interesting part of the day and then we had to rush out and get to target to pick up some things before a fun photo shoot! On the way I get asked if I can pick up my grandfather and take him to dialysis. I did, of course, and that didn’t fail to be interesting either. To spare you some of the details, let’s just say I had to make two stops for a bottle of ginger ale that could have happened in the first two minutes. He was mad at me because CVS did not carry ginger ale-ends up the bottle said “Canada dry” instead of “Ginger Ale” and he assumed that that was not what he should be getting. Jeez Louise. This is my life.

After we dropped him off at his dialysis appointment, we ran home, had lunch, and I started to get ready for the photo shoot! I’ll make sure to post lots of pictures soon. This should be a fun one! And might I add, my photographer is absolutely phenomenal! She brought me Starbucks, and her husband entertained my kids the whole time we shot. It was a little mini dream come true! Shoot me a message I will send you all of her info! Believe me you want her for your next family shoot.

As soon as they walked out the door, we had to leave for swim lessons! Ford took lessons last month but cash could not complete his with Ford because of breaking his arm. This is turned out to actually be awesome for us because now Ford can put all of his new ability in to practice while cash is taking his lessons!

So we came home from swim lessons and started folding all the laundry that the husband did last night while I was gone at a work event. We finish laundry and Dale walks in the door. We attempted to go out to dinner ( which we hardly ever do!) but it took so long getting ready and having one minor setback) that we had to stop and just eat at Arby’s. The minor setback, you ask?

In the Driveway, Dale realized I had something in my hair. I assumed it was a leaf so I told him to grab it out. He attempts to get it out of my hair only to realize that it is gum! So he told me to go in and “pick it out real quick.” I made sure to let him know that that gum is not something I can just grab out of my hair.

We went to dinner anyways- gum and all, just to sit down and eat for five minutes and Cash to say he has to poop. So I run him to the bathroom and we stay in there all of 10 minutes. Mind you, this kid is having a conversation with the lady in the stall next to us the whole time She is in the bathroom. I swear.

I come back, eat some more food, then Ford has to poop! Almost the whole dinner I spent in the bathroom with kids. I’m not going to lie, it was entertaining, but I wanted to spend some time with the hubbs- Mom life though I suppose.

One of the super cute things that happened tonight though, when Dale walked in the door from work, I was in the kitchen and he walks in with a box of chocolate hidden. He looked at me and said “You don’t give a girl flowers, you give her chocolate” and handed me the cutest heart shaped box. Lord did I melt into a puddle. I told him he sure knows the way to this pregnant girl’s heart. Swoon.

Next cute thing? Besides all of the wonderful things that Ford says to me all the time, as we were leaving the restaurant he said “love you mom!” then looked at my belly and said “love you baby! ” Dale and I both melted. Then Cash followed through with the cute little “Love you baby! ” as well. I’m telling you somehow we got so fortunate with these kids. And I am so happy that Cash and baby girl have Ford as such an amazing older brother!

So as I left my kiddos and husband, I ran to pick up some paint samples to pick for baby girls room! I think I found one that I love. It only took me 40 minutes in Home Depot ( ha ha Ha that girl totally hated me) but I’m telling you it’s worth it. Pink walls could make you crazy really quick! So I want to find the perfect pale pink that won’t make me nauseous looking at it after week! You know I will be sharing nursery pics with you guys as soon as we get her room up and ready. Now that may be five months after she’s born, but we’re getting there-promise- slowly but surely.

Now I’m Home. I put the paint samples on the wall. Now blogging and eating chocolate. I’m about to go try and get this gum out of my hair ( let’s hope it isn’t a nightmare- I’ve already had one of those this morning) And then going to get myself prepared for bed! At any rate, I just figured this was one of those days and I should probably fill you guys in on. Never a dull moment in this life!

Hoping everyone has a fantastic weekend and I’ll be back soon!

All the love dollsπŸ’‹

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Deals · Family · knoxville

How I am staying organized these days

Yall…It’s one of those days. I have already run 100 errands this morning and now I am back home and ready to crash. But, oh. Yeah. I can’t. Why? Because my life is insanity all the time!

Yes, I am technically considered a stay at home mom, but let me tell you why that isn’t always the easiest.

We have one child in school (thank goodness that is almost over for the summer!) and one who stays home with me. So every day, we take Ford to school and then the madness starts. (Cash is a tiny tornado, so the longer I am home, the more he is terrorizing the house. It’s madness.)

I have dishes and laundry nonstop-and my dear gosh-pray for me when this baby gets here. I have a strong feeling it isn’t going to get easier.

Doctor appointments are an every week thing….and here is why. One kid in school means sickness NONSTOP. Literally, I have to pick him up early for an appt today. Then he likes to pass on his sicknesses to the other kid a week later. Let’s just say our docs know us well….

Not to mention, all the preggo appts I have to go to. ( I am considered a high-risk pregnancy because of my high blood pressure with past pregnancies so I go every 2 weeks.)

This month, every Tuesday and Thursday we have swim lessons and physical therapy for Ford’s knee. (Yeah we are trying to fix a knee injury from when he was 2.)

And of course, all the blog things going on now…Which I refuse to complain about! You all have been amazing at keeping me busy, and I love it! But I want you to know, this blog venture isn’t always easy. Maybe one of these days, I will try to give you the rundown of what each blog post entails!

I also work in the office one day a week for a Non-Profit Foundation. Let me tell you, I LOVE my job! I get to find people to donate money to and that is pretty darn fun. But with that, comes board meetings that I have to prepare for, meet with potential NPO’s to work with, emails, phone calls, work conferences, etc. That all can’t be done during one day, so my work week is whenever I have a moment to take care of those things….a lot of times….in the carline to pick up my son, driving to appointments, just whenever!

Now throw in all the day to day things that happen, and really, life can get messy if I don’t somehow stay organized! I want to share with you all how I do it!

1. My phone calendar

This is where I immediately insert every appointment as soon as I know about it. (For a long time my phone calendar didn’t work and I kept a little calendar in my purse!) This keeps me organized on the go…

But I like a backup….so…..

2. My Picture it Custom Calendar

This is my newest addition to the calendar family..and it’s so fun! I am doing my best to start meal planning a bit better, and this has a place for my meals, things to do weekly, monthly, and daily. I even have a “goals” section! It’s metal, so I can use my dry erase markers and this way we can edit as we go!

Check out our month here….

How cute that our name is at the top?? And for everyone who doesn’t know, believe it or not, it’s pronounced “Cook”!

Make sure Click here to buy one of these awesome customized family calendars, or any of the awesome things Picture it Custom has to offer… I am telling you…they are amazing! Every item they make is gorgeous!

My favorites are the Metal prints and Wood pallet prints. Their prices are amazing and the quality is phenomenal!

Check out their showroom here..

(How flipping cute is all that????? I want every piece!)

Better yet, they are a local business right here in Knoxville! Believe it or not, they are only 4 minutes from my house, so I obviously am going to support them being a little Fountain City business! ***Can I take a minute to tell yall, it’s time to shop small, OK? Little businesses need our support, and I guarantee you there are places in your hometown that could really use your love and support! Let’s build up our little towns friends!***

Now, I know plenty of your photographers could use them in your line of work, and all of their items make such wonderful gifts! (What a great surprise it would be to anyone who chose you to freeze their moments in time over another photographer!)

And all you picture fanatics like me: Sometimes you need to print those pictures off and use them as a statement piece in your house. Now is the time to do it! And what an amazing present for a bride to be, anniversary gift, or a special keepsake for a momma to be. Just thinking out loud here people.

Make sure to follow Picture It Custom on Instagram for fun giveaways and all the newest products Here! *Fun giveaway coming soon…FYI I may or may not be hosting it on my Instagram page over at @SmittenWithThree_blog TODAY!!!!!*

And if you are local, stop in and see them! Take a look at the showroom and meet the owners. They are awesome people! (Fun fact: They have 2 boys with a baby girl too!)

Ok now that my local business rant is over, make sure to look them up on IG, follow, support, and come back to tell me you did….I want to know!

All the love dolls πŸ’‹

Deals · Family · Food · Home · kids · pregnancy

Staying Hydrated in Pregnancy

Let me just tell you, I was ON IT when pregnant with my boys.

With Ford, I drank 10-12 glasses of water a day….and it was never enough! At 31 weeks pregnant with him, I had to be taken to the ER for severe dehydration….The doctor told me my baby was taking everything from me-and my body was suffering! After 2 IV bolus’s (Is that what they are called? If not, feel free to laugh at me) I felt like a new woman! So he sent me out, and told me to drink more water….Well 12 glasses a day was already putting me on the toilet every half hour or so, and working at a credit union at the time, (the bathroom was at the very back, and walking back there KILLED ME! Thanks swollen ankles.) It just wasn’t good. All the girls there were so sweet to me and never said a word about my frequent potty visits…but I hated it! But I did my best to drink more, and thankfully, never ended up in the ER again!

With Cash, water was my friend and I drank it up! I never once had a problem! But this pregnancy, yall, I have STRUGGLED. Drinking water the first 3 months was miserable and I couldn’t make myself drink it. Lately, I can stomach it, but I am not nearly as diligent as I was with my boys… I know. I’m terrible. Really. I do.

But if you are a fellow preggo, please know dehydration is so unsafe for you and your baby! Now your body will first thing, take care of your baby, thank goodness. But that leaves Mama NOT at her best, and it just isn’t doable when you have 2 other babies, or a husband, or anyone who needs you!

So while I have struggled so terrible in the beginning, I have finally found a drink that doesn’t make me feel guilty (the sweet tea was out of control) and it’s super hydrating for me and baby!

Insert *BODY ARMOR*. YALL. I’m obsessed. I drink this stuff nonstop. And yes, I am still drinking water throughout the day, but this is my saving grace right now.

Have you all tried it? My uncle swears by it for his workouts. My sister drinks them religiously (working night shift is a pistol) and everywhere I go I see people with one in their hand! There has got to be something good about it!

There are less sugars than other sports drinks, it has coconut water in it (que the extra hydration) electrolytes, vitamins, and NO caffeine!

If you are worried about the calories, there are a few lighter versions and they taste sooooo good!

And let me include, when I am dehydrated, the first place to show it is my lips. When I am being good about drinking these, my lips are smooth and my skin is plump! It makes such a difference when I am being naughty about drinking my water. (Please don’t judge. It’s just so hard this time around!)

I know this is so random, but I really wanted to share how I am staying hydrated this time. I wish I had these the first time around..It could have saved me a mini heart attack and an ER visit!! (I gave you the short version. It was traumatic yall.) And maybe, just maybe, this will help some of you all along the way! (Really that is all I hope from my blog-maybe I am being helpful to someone and that keeps me going!)

And really, they are good for anyone to drink..Not just the mama’s to be. (Obviously my uncle isn’t expecting.) So if you haven’t tried them, I promise, they are AMAZING and deserve you trying one soon! If you are close, come to my house and I’m happy to share one of mine with you:)

**Oh I forgot to share my favorite flavors!!! My top two favs are cherry berry and orange mango! That’s a start-and then try them all one by one from there!**

Ok yall, off to work…but in the meantime, go grab you one, and report back !

I’m out, but don’t forget,

All the love dolls πŸ’‹

Family · Food · Travel

Elkmont Exchange

Knoxville-your mouth is about to get hit with some serious flavor…And not going to lie- little old K-town is getting hit with so many breweries lately, it’s hard to know where to turn. Well, let me guide you in the right direction-take a turn into the Elkmont parking lot, and let them take over.

Really, before you even hit the parking lot, Elkmont’s building design is going to rope you in……We were all so curious what was going in there when it was being built-the architecture is phenomenal! (Prepare yourselves, PHENOMENAL is probably going to be my word of choice throughout my post when talking about EE.)

Ok where to start?? Hmmm….Maybe appetizers? I’m thinking so…..

We started with an awesome charcuterie board..and the cheese yall…..I could have devoured all the cheese myself, but chose to share with my table mates (Hope you all appreciated that. This preggo can get RAVENOUS.) But seriously, try it out. If meat and cheese is your thing, start here and move around the gameboard bite by bite (rrrr….I mean…menu. But really. Bite by bite by bite.)

Next up…Boudin Balls (Ok the name isn’t something I was familiar with, but the taste I could totally relate to.) They are sausage balls made of ground pork, jasmine rice, and vegetables..then rolled in breadcrumbs and fried. Hello yum! The dipping sauce is beer based, so if you are here for the beer experience, you may as well start with your app.

Our next appetizer–WINGSSS….Yall, this girl loves her some wings, and these were just different enough to reel me in…They have a slight Asian flair as they are cooked in soy sauce, and then you get hit with a little kick. Perfect for those of us who like it slightly spicy….Here is what they look like Notice the pic below-no shame in my game. Finger licking.

Ok, possibly my favorite bit of the night….Was the Shrimp and Grits. And I do NOT LIKE GRITS. Should I repeat that?? Nah you got it….But when I say, this meal was one of my favorite dinners of all time, I kid you not. The grits are cheesy and not gritty in the least bit….Just smooth and the flavor hits hard. In the sauce on top, is catfish! You would never know it though–You almost would assume its tomatoes in the sauce! I can’t explain in words–all I have to say is, order this when you visit. You won’t be disappointed.

And while we have a second, let’s talk about beer. I, obviously, at the moment, can’t drink it. But every person there seemed to find one they loved! My bestie was with me, and she isn’t a beer drinker, but she even found one she really loved! It’s made with butternut squash and was so smooth (according to her and the other drinkers around me.)

Another cool thing? We got an abbreviated brew tour from Knox Brew Tours and it was so interesting! Even though I couldn’t drink, just learning about the process was fun…. And it helped that our tour guide clearly loved his job. To see someone enthusiastic about their job makes you love it too…..Even if you are just a pregnant spectator. Check them out for a Knoxville tour with your buds soon!

And while we are one drinks, I really wanted something fun but wasn’t sure what to get. The bartender was kind enough to whip up a concoction for me (and even made me another before he walked out. Literally-he wasn’t even clocked in.) This drink was so yummy and everyone around me wanted one! Wish I could tell you what it was, but I don’t think he even knew. Yeah- those are the good bartenders–the ones that whip something out of nothing and then can recreate it later. So tell him your pregnant friend came, he made a drink for her, and you want it now too.

So even though my eyebrows disappeared, ( see above) my drink was pretty and tasted great. Go nab one.

And this was hard to put in 2nd place, so let’s tie it for first, shall we? The blondie. Who doesn’t love a blondie? Well, believe me when I say there isn’t one better than this one. I was sad I had to share in all honesty. (Don’t judge.)

It’s made by the local Flour Head Bakery, and topped with butter pecan ice cream from the Phoenix Pharmacy. Now once again, butter pecan ice cream wouldn’t have been my immediate choice-but this was amazing! And if you haven’t been to the Phoenix, do yourself a favor and go this weekend. Even the nostalgia in it is intoxicating-not to mention how creamy the ice cream is. *Swoon*

So have any of you been to Elkmont Exchange? If not, NOW is the time. Food is phenomenal, beer is great (so I heard) and the environment is the perfect place to enjoy some quality time with friends and family. Hit em’ up.

* I also wanted to thank Yelp for having me! If it wasn’t for this event, I wouldn’t have made some awesome new friends, and found a new favorite to take my oldies!

Here are a few more pics for the road, and a huge thanks to Hayley at Sharper Photography for the amazing photos!

Go visit ASAP and of course,

All the love dolls πŸ’‹

Deals · Family · pregnancy

Momma guilt is real

True story.

It’s not joke. We all compare. We all analyze. We all judge. And while we all try not to, (at least I would think) it’s difficult! And not just thinking we are the ones doing it right–It’s more like thinking we are constantly in the wrong.

Like-seeing the mom at Chick Fil A not lose her cool over her kid doing that, when I totally would have. It’s pushing our child too hard in school, or not hard enough….It’s not feeding them the right foods, making them drink enough water, play outside enough, read them enough stories, etc. It’s all there. Tell me I am not the only one with these thoughts??

I refuse to believe I am the only one who feels this way, and wanted to make it clear. Today, momma, you are enough. You are perfection. You did it. You kept them alive. They were fed (maybe not bathed) but hey, nourished at least.

And I am not just talking about raising our big kids. *gulp* I just referred to my chit-lins as “big kids.” But really, I mean the Little’s too. The infants. Can we talk about the whole “breastfed vs. bottle-fed” conflict? I once had someone ask me how my oldest was fed..I replied with something like “He is a bottle baby (formula baby)” or something to that affect. It killed me that I couldn’t breastfeed. That is what I wanted for him. And for myself. Her response? “God’s way is never the wrong way.” I died. I didn’t want it all to go that way. It just did. She unknowingly called me out, and it broke me.

What I should have responded with? “Ummmm. Fed is best. Nourished is best.” But after the shock wore off, I just cried. If she would have known my struggle, she never would have made that comment. I thought it was so insensitive….And you know what I felt? Guilt.

Like I wasn’t enough for my baby. I’ll talk more about all this come later in pregnancy, but until then…..the guilt continues.

Something I think about (or talk about often if you know me in person) is how so many people are unable to have babies and this is all they truly long for in life. Pregnancy. To carry and hold their own baby. Or the others, who pine to adopt a baby with no home, but are unable because of the cost of adoption. And the guilt these ladies feel is overwhelming. Like maybe they aren’t enough… While every day, we see so many women popping out babies left and right who truly don’t deserve the privilege, nor do they cherish their title as mother. It’s cruel and unfair. I hate it.

Now while that may be a tad controversial, I truly believe it. So we are left with the mothers who know what some women are struggling with as far as conceiving goes, and our heart aches for them. We know that every baby they see born is a reminder of the fact that they still aren’t a mother. That they aren’t pregnant. That they can’t feel their own baby kick. I am doing my best to be a friend to those and truly sympathize with them. To cry with them. To listen to them. Just to be there.

I have to admit, my pregnancies have brought on guilt for this reason. Every time I have found out I’m pregnant, I know there are some who truly want the same feeling and can’t have it. It kills me. Then I want to apologize for my pregnancy. To apologize for happiness. This is where the pregnancy guilt kicks in. It’s a rough cycle ya’ll.

But if you are one of those women who are trying to conceive, trying to adopt, thinking about the feeling of pregnancy every day, please know I am in your corner. I want you to experience this more than I can express, and only want the best for you and your family!

And while sometimes it’s so hard NOT to complain about being pregnant and all the little things that comes with it, I am trying my hardest to cool it. There are so many out there who would kill to be in my misery. I’m trying to be sensitive to that!

This is something that has been weighing on me for a while…and today was the day to share with you friends on my corner of the internet. Thanks for following along with me and I hope this doesn’t offend or hurt anyone along the way. You all are amazing and I cherish you all!

Make sure to leave me your thoughts here-good or bad! I want to know..Fill me in yall!

All the love dollsπŸ’‹

*top from Pink Blush …Tap the pic to shop some amazing maternity wear*

Deals · Family · Fashion · kids · pregnancy

This baby is going to put us in the poor house…

Girl clothes ya’ll.

I was told Dale is going to need a second job–and we may have been told correctly. Girl clothes are just too fun! Don’t get me wrong, I love to dress my boys up, but there is something about baby girl clothes-they are so DANG CUTE!

So I wanted to show you all a few things I have gotten so far, and seriously-my stomach hurts from all the cute. So the first thing I wanted to show you is what baby girl will wear on her first day out (of the womb that is).

I hate that when babies are born they all wear the same exact hats-boy or girl. I love the way those newbies look in those hats, but I wanted my baby to have something original! In comes Infanteenie Beenie. They have the cutest newbie hats you will ever see-boy or girl!

They are ridiculously soft and I love that they still have the feel of the ones you get in the hospital-just with a little more jazz. Cash wanted to dress his baby doll in these so bad ( and not gonna lie I had to see what they looked like on, so we tried them on the baby). Now they both are stashed away til we pack the diaper bag for the hospital!

Seriously though, so far, these have been some of my favorite items for Baby Kuch. To follow her on Instagram, click Here. You will die from all the cute! And might I add, this would be an AMAZING gift for any momma-to-be…..You have to add this to your baby shower gift list!

Ok next items came from Baby Bear and Co. I am seriously obsessing over this gown….Y’all.

THIS. GOWN. IS. EVERYTHING. Not kidding, it combines all the things I love in my clothes-Floral pattern/ruffles/stripes. Could it be any more chic? And it’s a baby gown! I can’t wait to pair this with a huge headband, and then make myself a matching one. Eeeek!

I can’t stop looking at it! It’s so fab–and now tell me….Did you all put your babies in gowns? I never used them for my boys..because…well. They are boys. And I felt weird putting them in gowns. But this time, I feel like I may lean towards gowns way more–I am thinking 2am diaper changers will be so much easier sans 100 buttons. What is your take?

For some of the cutest clothes on the Gram, make sure to check out BabyBearandCo on Instagram here…

The next things I got were some super cute canisters ( I can’t think of what else to call them) for her room!

These were in the Target dollar spot-and I totally fell in love! I can see these on a cute floating shelf and serving zero purpose except looking cute. Hehe… Just had to share!

And one more just because Peaches was so interested in these…This pup has good taste!

I also wanted to give you a sneak peak into her curtains….They are still in the plastic-but I couldn’t’ help myself!

Tassels!!!!!! Ahhhh I can’t wait to get the room done and get these hung up in Peanut’s room! Ok trying to keep the rest of the room a secret til it’s done, so prepare yourselves! I have big ideas…

Now these items, ooooh man I am loving! My family in Florida sent these up and I am so smitten! Please……Just please. Check out those shoes.

Now if someone can find me matching shoes, that would be the dream….Glitter and scallops? What could be better?

And I have to include, the DAY they found out I was pregnant, they were shopping for baby…How sweet is that? I can’t handle the love yall. It’s the greatest knowing you have people out there who care about you that much, even when you don’t get to see them often πŸ™‚

I also had to throw these in there….Look at those giraffe feet! Gah I am in love with these cute animals on the feet (and on the booty!) It’s preshy!

And I am thinking all of these items came from Target, so go shop them now! Any momma would be happy to have these items for baby!

Ok and to end it all, I wanted to show you some things that I got–second hand! Now I know that scares some of you, but I promise, you can find some fabulous things when you shop second-hand (just give it all a good wash and it’s good as new!)

Now I have bought TONS already, but here are a couple items

My husband thought this skirt was so weird, but I thought it was so whimsical! My kids love ice cream, and I can’t imagine baby girl will be any different. This was .50 cents! Totally worth it πŸ™‚

This romper (sorry it’s wrinkled) is from Baby Gap,and rompers are my BABY JAM. Ok seriously though, if I could dress her in a romper every day from about 6 months on, I would. They are my favorite! And I have decided, I love babies that dress like adults. Not infants, but babies. So now you know. And I know so many people hate that, but it’s my baby style! Ok now to the romper.

This was $1.00 babes! Seriously, at Gap that would have run me probably 25.00+. I can’t wait to get her into this little bubble romper-and for a buck, you can’t beat it!

So that is my haul for baby! I can’t wait to show you all what else we get along the way..and are so thankful for everyone’s support already!

Let me know what you think, and of course,

All the love dolls πŸ’‹

Family · Home · kids · pregnancy

When it rains it pours

Not gonna lie, this isn’t the blog post I wanted to share today. But feeling like I need an outlet, I came to you friends on the blog!

Just hopping right in, Ford has been really sick for the past 3 days and we can’t figure out what it is. Cash had a fever on Wednesday, and by Thursday evening it was gone! Well, come Friday morning, we had another sickie on our hands, and his has been 100 times worse.

So Friday was his ONE AND ONLY field trip of the year. We have been looking forward to this day since he started Kindergarten! It was a day at the zoo, and I got to be a chaperone! We were so beyond excited, just for him to wake up feeling a little off on Friday. “Mom, are you going to make me stay home?” Is the response I got when I asked if he wasn’t feeling well. That totally broke my heart, so I let him go to school. Well, I met him at the zoo and gathered up my troop for our fun day!

Not too long into the trip, I could tell he was REALLY off. I felt his head and realized the poor child has a fever. It’s not good. He won’t smile. He hasn’t laughed. Did’t point out one animal. Wouldn’t eat. Not good. So I gave him a dose of Motrin and hoped he could last the 2 more hours. Nope not even close.

This kid is ACTIVE ya’ll. He loves to run and play and be outside, and when he told me he couldn’t walk anymore I knew it was bad. So we happened to run into his teacher not long after, and she let us know we could go home. I felt awful! I was the chaperone for the trip and had to leave…Thank goodness another Mom came and took over for me. So we made our way out and the poor child was so so sad. Which made me sad. And then began the tears. ( I’ll leave it to the imagination as to who was crying.)

So we came home and the rest of the day was miserable. I assumed by Saturday afternoon he would be back to normal like baby bro, but that wasn’t the case. (It seems like everything Ford gets is so much worse than Cash!) So late last night, he asked for a drink -I handed it to him and he could barely hold the cup up! So we went to the ER thinking the FLU was our diagnosis. Nope-it’s just something viral that somehow mimics the flu. No strep. No pneumonia. (Which-whew! Relief! But now they can’t offer him a medication to improve.) So we came home, he slept a couple hours then woke up throwing up. Sheesh.

So all we can do is give him Tylenol and liquids and do our best to keep him comfortable! We have tried baths, essential oils, cold washrags on his head, vinegar soaked socks (that lasted all of 5 minutes) and plenty of cuddles.

We finished washing all of the pukey things, and as soon as I started another load-the washer broke. Trying to look on the bright side here…at least we washed the puke-nastiness! So now we have a washer full of water and wet clothes, a sick kid, and a tired mommy. This is the life ya’ll.

Not to mention today is Monster Jam day! I went to Chick Fil A with my dad last week to try and win tickets for my boys…and somehow we won!!!!! But since he is sick, Ford is stuck at home with baby bro parties at Monster Jam with the grandparents. That makes 2 events in 3 days he missed on account of fever. (And it is killing me that he can’t go and enjoy. He loves it so much! )

This year has just been so awful for sickness for this kid–he has been sent home for fever more times than I can count, and most of them have been on the REALLY fun days at school. And let me tell you, no child deserves those fun days more than he does! (Ok overboard Mom moment, but really, he is phenomenal.) He works so hard, never has to be reprimanded and is always respectful….(All things I have been told by the staff at his school.) He deserves all the fun days. Low and behold, he has been sick almost every time. It’s not fair! It’s time for a break yall.

Thank goodness we leave for Florida in just over a month, and let me say, it is NEEDED. I am craving the heat and ocean! And I am craving a good time with my family–who is with me?

So I guess I just needed a way to vent and hope you all will send him all the well wishes and that tomorrow is a better day. Hoping your weekend is going well and I’ll have a more upbeat post soon! Thanks for letting me vent friends!

And as always,

All the love dolls πŸ’‹

Family · kids · pregnancy

Gender Reveal

You guys! We finally know what this baby is…I say finally, but really, I am only 15 weeks along. That is pretty early to find out via ultrasound, but thanks to my best friend being an ultrasound technician, I didn’t have to wait for my doctor to tell me at 18-19 weeks. (Hallelujah!)

The first time we tried to see gender, I was 13 weeks along. Cali said she would TRY to see, but made no promises. So she checked, and last minute, I decided I didn’t want to find out…I would just wait for the little gender reveal party! She then proceeded to make a guess as to what she thought it was, but said she couldn’t be 100% sure. Either way, she told Dale and my sister what her best guess was, and I was left in the dark.

The whole time, Dale told me he was 100% sure he knew what it was (despite what Cali said.) He said Cali told him what to look for in the ultrasound, and he said he “saw what he needed to see.” I just left it at that hahaha. So I made him write down in an envelope what HE thought it was….and seal it up in an envelope. Funny enough, he didn’t trust me to NOT look at it. (I can’t lie–A few times I was SO TEMPTED to peek. But I never even ONCE picked up the envelope. On my honor.)

So just in case I was to try to look through the envelope, he wrote BOY on one side…..like so.

But when you unfolded it….It said NOT A BOY…….. Well played husband. Well played.

And on the flip side……it said GIRL

Now I obviously didn’t see this until after our reveal, but still wanted to share this fun little detail… Really…He was right all along! ( I am telling you, he knows me better than I know myself.)

Now I have felt like it was a girl since Day 1. With my boys I wasn’t sick AT ALL. This time I was nauseous every day for 10 1/2 weeks. I also didn’t have pregnancy cravings like I have with this girl! It has just been so different, I just knew it HAD to be a girl this time. But, you know how it goes. Plenty of times, mothers “intuition” kicks in….and the girl they thought they were having….is 100% a boy. So of course, I had some doubts.

Now our gender reveal was SIMPLE.

Actually, my husband did it all! We just had a few family members over and did a cupcake reveal. My daddy made the cupcakes and brought them over (And I swear the man should go into the cupcake business. They were BOMB.) He still had no idea what baby was, so Dale then took 2 of the cupcakes-one vanilla/one chocolate-and filled them with whatever color icing the baby would be! He even decorated the cupcakes and all! I was a proud wifey for all his hard work…….Lord it even caused him to miss almost half a basketball game ( his team was playing) and he still put so much work into them and had a smile the whole time. Actually a pretty snarky smile. He loved actually having a secret from me. Brat.

The plan was to let everyone grab a cupcake and then as we all bit in, 2 people would know what baby was and would have to share! Last minute, Dale and Daddy decided to make sure I got a cupcake with icing (Yeah I was pretty happy about that decision too. I was the first to see, were having a GIRL!)

* I still haven’t found out what the Batman wrappers were about…I have to get the scoop there hehehe *

My uncle got the other cupcake and he was just a split second behind me…We got it all on video for those who want to see…Just ask and I will be happy to show you! Funny enough, my grandfather was DEAD set on picking the right cupcake…..And he did! Then he realized it was chocolate and he wanted a vanilla one….so he gave his away. Hahahaha ain’t that life?

Check our dale’s Handiwork here…..

I am also just not realizing our confetti was fish. Random. Fish and Batman….I guess that is a good way to throw people off. Hahahahahaha. Oh another thing….One of the cupcakes had a slight swirl of blue icing…This made me think for a split second I was wrong about being pregnant with a girl…and later found out that was just a mistake (that he left on purpose to throw us all off.Again. Brat.)

All in all, it was a fun reveal and I was so happy my husband took the lead in it! I am usually the party planner, so this was a nice little mix-up!

We found out Sunday that baby is a girl, and by Monday morning at 9:30 I was already shopping for her. This baby may be what sends us to the poor house–I seriously thought it would be feeding my boys, but now I am thinking buying bows may be what sends us over the edge.

Again, excuse the pictures. I managed to snap them in a split second before we chowed down…I was fortunate to get these! At least you get the gist and now everyone knows, IT’S A GIRL!

Pray for my budget, and pray that my husband doesn’t get wrapped around her finger so bad he forgets who the REAL princess is. πŸ˜†

That’s it for today…But of course,

All the love dolls πŸ’‹

Family · kids · pregnancy

Preggo Problems-AKA: Stretch Marks

Oh yes. Along with all the glowing that is supposed to happen (Ummmm….Glowing….Hello? Glow? Are you there? You can show up ANYTIME now if so…….) we get some not so pretty things. And if you are one of the fortunate ones who don’t get stretch marks..Congrats. Hate you. (JK all the the love dolls.)

My body, on the other hand, just thrives on stretch marks. This stomach yall-it’s been through some serious stretching. And the boobs. And the thighs. Lawd have mercy-the thighs. During pregnancy, I get so much cellulite on my thighs it’s unreal…..SO let’s all say a prayer that Brandi’s legs go back to something decent after pregnancy. And that this face won’t look like a bee stung my whole head anymore.

But really, this go around, I want to prevent all the grossness I can. I have never met ANYONE who says how much they love their stretch marks. Nope. Everyone wants to prevent and/or erase the old ones. I am totally one of those people. I need all the help I can get along the way. Enter The Spoiled Mama.

Now, y’all know how much I love to share my favorite products with you, and I expect you to do the same! I love to hear your favorite skin products, makeup tips, clothing brands, etc so please keep me updated as well! But at this very moment, I am obsessing over skin care products. And anything simple, vegan, clean, (all that good stuff) I am loving lately! Pregnancy skin care is so important in that you aren’t just putting things on YOUR body, you are also putting those products into your baby’s blood stream and it’s reaping the benefits (or disadvantages) of every thing you put on and in your body! (Now don’t judge me when you see me eating pizza, Ok? Thanks in advance.)

So as I am trying to be a little more careful with what I am using, this Tummy butter is my biggest ally. It’s safe for my baby and helps prevent all of those pesky stretch marks we are trying to avoid! This Pregnancy stretch mark oil is the holy grail of baby-mama skincare. It helps rid you of old stretch marks, all the while preventing the ugly new ones! Score! I use them morning and night, and the tummy butter smells like fruity pebbles…with a nice mix of chocolate. NO joke y’all.

Ready to indulge? The Peppermint Vanilla body polish is my favorite Sugar scrub for stretch marks. It smells like an Andes Mint! You know, how at Olive Garden, they give you one mint per person and it isn’t ever enough? Well this is the Andes mint that keeps on giving. It’s indulgence in a bottle-No calories expended. Doesn’t this look like the beach in a bottle?*Doesn’t this look like the beach in a bottle?*

Speaking of Luxury, we all could use a more therapeutic shower, am I right? Especially us Preggos! So if you are looking for some luxury, Mama, try this Pregnancy safe body wash. It’s worth it. Vanilla+Lavender come together for one of the happiest scents and you feel like you are at the spa even at home in your shower that may not be 100% perfect. It’s ok. Your body wash will be–and you can feel good about the ingredients in it! Mama and baby are safe and all is good in the universe.

So if you want to try them yourself (Believe me, you do) The Spoiled Mama has been so gracious to give me a coupon code for you babes! Just type in BASPOIL18BK at checkout for 20% off your order! AHHHHHHHH! Make sure to visit the site and go crazy yall-every product will be worth it for you and your baby!

* Stay tuned to my Instagram for something REALLY exciting this week! *

Happy shopping yall! And of course,

All the love dolls πŸ’‹

Deals · Family · Home · Travel

Newest Local Obsession

Hey Ladiesssssss!!!!! (And gents of course) It’s Friday!!!!!!!

Gosh, have you ever had one of those realllly good days? I mean–reallly good days. They just start off right and keep getting better? Today was one of those days for me–and it started with the most simple text message, of all things. From the Hubbs of course πŸ™‚ And it wasn’t anything sappy. Just a message telling me to look at the moon. Now where some wouldn’t think that is the most amazing message to get, I couldn’t help but smile knowing that my tall man saw something so gorgeous and thought of me. *Swoon*. Step 1 to my good day.

Step 2? Well, for my job, I work for a Non-profit Foundation here in beautiful Knoxville, TN. I am so K-town obsessed, it might be ridiculous. *When I say I never want to move-I mean-my butt needs to stay planted here forever. Everyone’s happiness depends on it.) But if you haven’t been, I’m TELLING you-come see us! ( and make sure to hit me up!) At any rate, I attended a meeting with some other like minded organizations and had such a wonderful discussion. It’s truly something amazing to sit and listen to people speak about something they are genuinely passionate about. And when you are talking with those people-you know it. Their passion is contagious. Even just an hour with some of Knoxville’s finest this morning had me on a high and I can’t wait for more meet-ups like that! Now all that being said, step 3 was my happiest moment of the day.

Step 3. We are going to call Step 3 “Ali.” Ok, really, her name was Ali and I fell head over heels in love with this girl from moment 1. I stopped into our local Juice Bar to have a quick meet up with Ali, to find her chatting with someone who was next headed to Nashville (Ali’s hometown!) I had never met Ali before and INSTANTLY knew she was who I was looking for. ( I’m telling you, I am pulled to people with this type of friendly energy.) This cute little lady then started chatting with me about where she is from, and how on every trip she wants to try the local places to get the “feel of the city.” Let me tell you, she picked the right place coming into Juice Bar ( and she knew it too.) Before she left, she was already on the internet giving the JB a great review on the internet. Still swooning over her cuteness and sweet heart.

Ok back to The Juice Bar. I found out that their first store was in Brentwood, TN and the owners are some of the coolest people out there. ( They are 100% on my list of people to meet.) Maybe I can share their backstory in the future! But know that I am so in love with all things local, and Juice Bar is as local as it comes. And just because they didn’t start here in Knoxville doesn’t mean FOR A SECOND they aren’t’ a local company. On the contrary. It’s the people who work in there who give it the local flair. It’s the fact that if they see you are having a bad day, they may give you a free shot. It’s knowing they want to get to know you on a personal level. Those are the things that give the local feel in my book. And on the corner of Market Square in Downtown Knoxville, it poses the easiest location to grab a quick and healthy lunch. And so so yummy! Score

Want to know my fav drink? Let’s call it my newest obsession. My newest obsession is the “Green Smoothie.” It has alllll the goodness in it your body needs and tastes like heaven. I always associate smoothies with the beach so if you hear me say “it reminds me of the beach” or “it reminds me of the ocean,” you know its a good thing. So if you haven’t tried it, make sure to order the “Green Smoothie” next time you hit any of the juice bar locations–thank goodness there are 3 locations that can satisfy your every smoothie desire . Turkey Creek, Bearden, and of course, Market Square!

Check out my drink

I barely remembered to snap a pic before I finished this–it was phenomenal!

Another item I tried was the Dragon Fruit smoothie Bowl….and YALL. With the strawberries and bananas mixed in, it was the beach. In a bowl. Remember how I feel about the beach?? Mmm Hmmmm…

And this pic for good measure….These lemons were beautiful! And I love how in some of the juice shots, I could taste the lemon. It wasn’t overpowering but just enough that they made their presence known.

I wish I could remember which flavors these were, (Pictured below) but what I can tell you , is they DID NOT have celery or beets. While those are some serious powerhouses, they aren’t for the faint of heart. So if you are feeling brave and needing a little health boost. Ask for beets. Ask for celery. They will know which to give you. But if you are like me and need them a tad sweeter, reach for the orange and green juice. (So sorry beautiful juices. I can’t remember your names. So rude, I know.)

Check these out. I made my way home with one, and its already cleaned and ready to be my new water bottle of choice. ( I have “cup babies” and I am way too happy to add this one to my collection.)

Overall, this day yall, has been top notch. Now I am home, ready to cuddle my little guy and play some Uno! Then after that, is Momma time (AKA-a bath/shower/foot soak) Anybody else doing things like this on your Friday night?

So overall yall, these juices can improve your health, your mood, your whole body. So try to include them in your diet! And maybe try to meet up with Ali, she defintely has that affect on you too. I left on a high -50% Ali / 50% juice.

Have you all been to my newest fav? How do you feel about juicing and smoothie bowls? Have you hopped on board yet? Let me know!

All the love dollsπŸ’‹