Thursday, April 25, 2019

Charleston Baby Shower

As y'all might have seen a couple of months ago on this little blog (here's the link if you would like to check it out!), my mom hosted the sweetest baby shower for me when Mike and I were in Connecticut for our last pre-baby Northeast trip.  Well, she is so kind and also wanted to do something for Mike and I with our friends in Charleston, but being a thousand miles away in Rhode Island, she started scheming with one of my best friends and coworkers to put together the perfect co-ed party for all of our friends.  Obviously, the word "shower" was not used at all (in fear of scaring away all of our male friends haha), and this party came together as the perfect bbq-eating, beer-drinking, lawn game-playing event to bring all of our friends to one place.  To put the "theme" in perspective, even the traditional "diaper cake" had layers of Bud Light cans, which everyone loved!

If you are interested in any of the vendors, make sure you scroll all the way to the end for a full list!
When guests arrived, they signed two of the sweetest "guest books."  My mom bought a second thumbprint page to frame alongside the turtle print from my shower in Connecticut.  Both prints definitely have plenty of character, and we can't wait to hang them in the nursery!
Charlie also bought a copy of Mike's favorite childhood book, Fox in Socks, and guests all signed different pages.  We cannot wait to read all of the messages the first time we read our little dude the book!
With this crowd, personalized koozie favors and plenty of beer were must-haves.  The food was all catered by one of our favorite spots, Home Team BBQ - who doesn't love a taco bar and tons of queso?!
As if that wasn't enough food, we also had two cakes, and both were delicious!  One was even made by one of our kickball friends, and as you can see from the photo below, our kickball family is definitely the absolute best!!
Thank you so much to Charlie and my parents for hosting such a perfect event for Baby Taylor, Mike, and me!

Vendors: alligator thumb print guest book ||| "a baby is brewing" koozies ||| catering ||| golf-themed cake ||| alligator cake ||| my dress ||| all other details DIYed by the amazing Charlie!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

2019 at The Masters and DIY Round Up

Happy Masters weekend, friends!  Last July, I received one of the most amazing emails ever: I was selected for the random Masters ticket lottery.  If you haven't heard of it before, this is how tickets are distributed for the tournament; someone in your household can enter the free lottery in the spring, and in the summertime, you hear if you were accepted or not.  Well, we were selected for 4 Tuesday practice round tickets, and I've been looking forward to this week ever since.
We arrived before the 7am gate opening (even though every website will tell you 8am, you can actually get in an hour earlier to go to the gift shop, concessions, and practice range before access to the course opens at 8am).  We ate chicken biscuits, shopped for ourselves (and all of our families), and checked all of our purchases to pick up later.
As you can probably tell from my first few photos, it was a rainy morning, but we made the most of it and got great seats in Amen Corner to watch the couple of groups come through.  While Mike drank a couple beers, I had the famous Stand 12 punch (lemonade, blue powerade, and Sprite) along with plenty of sandwiches and peach ice cream sandwiches.
 Around 11am, we did get kicked out for a couple of hours as a line of thunderstorms was in the area, but at 12:45 when they let us back in, the sun came out and the rest of the afternoon was perfect!
I'm unsure if we will be back next year after our little dude is born, but we will definitely still be entering the lottery, just in case!
Whether or not you're headed to August this weekend, if you plan on celebrating this weekend, click on the photo below to visit my post and get in the spirit!
 
 



Thursday, April 4, 2019

March Review

Happy April!  Last year, I loved doing these monthly reviews, and I hope to continue them this year, especially as life gets a little crazier in less than 2 months with Baby Boy.  I cannot believe I'm already at 32 weeks!

This month started with Mike's 33rd birthday!  I swear he doesn't always dress like that, but his birthday fell on "pirate day" for kickball theme weeks.  Of course, I made the same cupcakes I've made for Mike for the last 5ish years: inside out cupcakes.  They're otherwise called black bottom cupcakes, but we call them "inside out" so that I don't feel as bad when I don't frost them;  we count the chocolate chip cheesecake filling the frosting, and trust me, you don't miss the frosting on top - they're so sweet! 

Speaking of sweet things, we also visited the newest hotel in Charleston with the best French bakery.  Hotel Bennett's La Patisserie is amazing!  Mike got an apple and pear turnover, and I got a chocolate banana croissant (plus a toffee brownie to go - haha). 
The following weekend, we went to Disney World for the weekend to spend time with Mike's family.  They were spending a long weekend down there, and being only 5 hours away, it seemed like to perfect excuse to see them.  We stayed at the Grand Floridian for the first time as a little babymoon treat to ourselves, and it was amazing being on the monorail.  We also visited all 4 parks in 2 days and tried some of the new Disney food, including that "Up!" Dole Whip cone in the second photo.  The mango soft serve was so good!  Plus, it was Flower & Garden festival in Epcot, and it was amazing to see all of the topiaries and colorful blooms.
Halfway through the month we started celebrating St. Patrick's Day (and that went on for a good ten days!) including my last game of kickball before maternity leave. 
This month also finally brought the Elton John Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour.  I literally bought tickets for this show a year and a half ago, so I've been looking forward to it forever.  I loved getting to see Elton one last time, and his energy was amazing!
Last but not least, we started with our nursery prep and got in plenty of walks around the city.  Roxy has become our little shadow every time we go into the nursery, and we have the crib and some of the furniture!  The nursery is quickly becoming one of my favorite places in the house!
Oh, and the month ended with more birthday celebrations for Mike.  One of our friends thought we hadn't spent enough time celebrating yet, so we surprised him with birthday dinner, cake, and bowling - because why not?!  He's the best and deserves it!

Friday, March 29, 2019

Second Trimester Essentials

I'm taking a break from my Maui recaps this week to share my second trimester essentials now that I've made it all the way through that portion of my pregnancy and am now into the third trimester!  If you missed my first trimester essentials, you can find them linked here.  I would absolutely say that I am still using everything from that first list, and these products are all additions to my current favorites.
Hot water bottle - I was really lucky in that my first trimester was pretty much smooth sailing.  Don't get me wrong, I feel super fortunate to feel as great as I do and to have this sweet little dude growing, but the back pain in the second trimester definitely came on strong.  For me, at least, Tylenol is a joke (aka doesn't even work as a placebo effect haha), and I miss Advil so much!  I used a lot of heat and ice, and I love that this pack has its own sleeve - totally beats the dish towels and random wraps to keep it from burning my skin.

Tums - Acid reflux has also appeared during my second trimester, and boy, did it come on strong one night.  I watch what I eat and try not to eat too late at night, but sometimes you just want that extra spicy salsa with your Mexican food or some chocolate.

Happiest Baby on the Block - A friend shared this book with me, and it was one of our first registry gifts.  I'm a few chapters in

Leggings - I've learned that maternity leggings are definitely a trimester by trimester purchase.  I love that they're snug, but they don't fit for more than a couple of months before buying new ones.  These were my top choice for trimester #2, and THEY HAVE POCKETS.  They actually remind me more of those stretch pants we all wore as kids in the 90s because they're a little on the thick side, but they're amazing.  As I get into my 3rd trimester, though, they don't go all the way up my belly anymore, so these are definitely getting replaced asap.

Fitted maternity dresses - I have to admit, I loved the way that little bump looked through my second trimester, so I was absolutely taking advantage by wearing way more fitted things that I even would have pre-pregnancy.  Old Navy has the best selection, and I even wore the dress linked to my baby shower in Connecticut.

Decaffeinated tea - YES, I drink caffeine during my pregnancy, but I am trying to keep it to a cup a day, and during the afternoons, while I'm sitting at work, I just need something warm to wake me up.  This tea is delicious, and if you happen to be in your first trimester, it's great, too, because it has ginger to help with nausea.

Compression socks - One of my amazing mama friends sent me a whole package of goodies when she found out I was pregnant, and these have definitely been my most-used item.  I wore them on our flights to and from Maui for our babymoon, every week to kickball, and when I know I'll be doing more vigorous exercise. 

Body pillow - This thing is amazing.  Yes, it takes up half of the bed (luckily we have a king), but it is so worth it.  Sleeping on my side is definitely not something I used to do (hello, fellow belly sleepers out there!), so it keeps me in the right position without too much pain in my hips and legs.  Plus, I can almost feel like I'm still sleeping on my belly by leaning into it.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Exploring Kula and Haleakala

Welcome back to my Maui recaps!  One of the first recommendations I received when asking for advice in Maui was to go to Surfing Goat Dairy.  I had no idea what it was, but it sounded cool!  We ended up building a whole day out of Surfing Goat and the surrounding areas as well as a trip up nearby Haleakala to see the crater.

Our first stop of the day was Surfing Goat Dairy, which was about an hour from our hotel in Kapalua.  We pulled up and parked besides some baby goats and started walking the grounds.  They have a gift shop, a small kitchen, and a few picnic tables in the guest area.  We signed up for the first tour of the day and met the resident cat, Emma!  Yes, that's her on top of the pergola in the photo below.  On the tour, we learned all about the history of the dairy's name, the goats, the milking process, and even got to feed them.  The tour ended with samples of a few of their goat cheese, and luckily, Hawaii is a full-pasteurization state, so I could try everything!
Our next stop of the day was right down the road at Ocean Organic Vodka.  We toured their grounds and learned all about how they make their vodka from sugar cane on their plantation and water from thousands of miles down in the Pacific Ocean.  Unfortunately, I couldn't try the vodka and rum (Mike said it was good!), but I did get a sample a bunch of the fresh sugar cane.
After our first two tours, we were ready for lunch and drove a couple of miles to the middle of the town of Kula to try Kula Bistro.  They had everything from Italian to Hawaiian to seafood, so we tried a little bit of everything: Kula pork eggrolls, mac and cheese with shrimp, and penne alla vodka with shrimp and scallops.  Everything was absolutely amazing!
Next on the list was Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm, just up the mountain in Kula.  We honestly didn't spend a lot of time there, as we were already a little "toured-out" after the goat farm and distillery, but we walked the gardens and through the gift shop for a $3 per person admission at the gate.  It was really pretty and definitely worth a short stop if you happen to be in the area.
And our last adventure was to drive up to 10,023 feet through Haleakala National Park.  We did have a pay a $25 admission fee per car, but it was so worth it.  The switchbacks all the way up the mountain were amazing, and we only got a little nervous right at the top when our Jeep started to overheat.  We think it was just the depleted oxygen levels, and luckily, it was fine all the way back down.  We seriously went on one of the coldest days of the year.  There were 50-60mph sustained winds at the top and with the wind chill, it was hovering around 20 degrees.  We walked around for a few minutes at the top and honestly tried not to blow away or get wind burn!  It was such an amazing view, and you could see all the way over to the Big Island.
This was a perfect day trip to make the most of the central part of Maui.  What was crazy is that the following day, snow covered all of Haleakala, almost all the way down to the lavender farm.  It had never snowed that low in elevation before, but don't worry, we were still loving the mid-70s weather at sea level!

 
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