A Few of My Favorite Things (130)

[Stella & Dot outfit of the week:: Relic Statement Necklace (worn short) // Cleopatra Studs // Old Navy maternity tank // Ann Taylor Loft maternity jeans]
[farewell work lunches must involve Mexican food]
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[celebrating 32]
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[some birthday goodies]
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[farewell to the Center for Puppetry Arts]
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[dining al fresco]
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[a beautiful night for celebrating dad’s 60th]
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Birthdays, birthdays, everywhere! We had a wonderful week celebrating mine and my dad’s birthdays (he turned 60!). I also share a birthday with my sister-in-law’s mom, so we had a fun smorgasbord dinner from California Pizza Kitchen with both of our families on Wednesday — followed, of course, by cupcakes, cookies, and the most decadent salted caramel ice cream from Sprinkles.

Over the weekend, the boys took our dad to the Braves/Yankees game, so my mom and I had a fun outing on the Westside. We got a little taste of Italy with dinner at Gio’s Chicken and had the best gelato for dessert. Yum! Saturday, we started my dad’s big 6-0 off with Mountain Biscuits, which is a tiny little place in Marietta, but it feels like it could be up in the North GA mountains. The weather was absolutely perfect for breakfast on their picnic tables, and the food did not disappoint. The menu includes Fried Cinnamon Rolls… to die for. We finished up his big day with a delicious meal at Kevin Rathbun Steak.

So what’s next… I’m done with work and just hoping to enjoy a few days of relaxation and finishing up a few things before baby girl makes her debut!

bump watch:: 38 weeks


# weeks: 38 — baby is the size of Swiss chard!
Measuring approx 19-22″ long and weighing up to 6.5 lbs.

Best moment this week: Today is the best day of the week because it’s my 32nd birthday and we’re only 2 weeks out from my due date! We had dinner at Murphy’s in the Highlands last night with my family, and it was excellent, as it always is. They have such a decadent dessert menu – we all wanted several items from the list, but settled on three, including their famous Bonzo Cake and Tollhouse Cookie. Yum!! My sister-in-law’s mom and I share a birthday, so tonight we’re going to their house for a joint celebration dinner. Parties all around! I have a feeling 32 is going to bring the most exhausting, crazy, exciting, BEST year of my life!

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Miss anything: A couple glasses of wine during all these celebration dinners would be nice! So soon, so soon….

Cravings: Eating all the cake!

Feeling good/bad: The lower back pain continues, as does lack of sleep. I’ve started having some Braxton Hicks contractions at night, so I guess things are getting going. At my appointment yesterday, the doctor said she’s in position and things are looking good!

Baby purchases/gifts: I finally found a UGA onesie for baby girl so that she can cheer for the Dawgs (and Auburn, of course) in just a few short weeks.

Looking forward to: We’ll be celebrating my dad’s 60th birthday this coming weekend! I so wish we could have done something big and exciting in his honor, but he promises that getting his granddaughter is the best present of all. 🙂

And in case anyone would like an update on Coco and her new bed… it’s on the left. Unused. I guess the girl knows what she likes.


maternity portraits

As a photographer and soon-to-be mom, it was important to me to have maternity portraits taken. I felt like this was something I’d want to have to look back on years from now, as well as for Leighton to see how very loved she was before she even got here. We had them done in nursery so that big (fur) sister Coco could be included, and then we headed out to my favorite nearby photo session spot, Whittier Mill Park, for some more just before the sun set. The lighting was gorgeous, and we had the park all to ourselves! The photos were taken by the lovely Hayley Jo Photography, and we couldn’t be happier with the finished product… enjoy!

Also, if anyone needs embroidering done in the Atlanta area, Savvi Stitches (run by my neighbor, Savannah) is super easy to work with and has a very quick turnaround time when she’s not busy working as a flight attendant!

A Few of My Favorite Things (129)

[Stella & Dot outfit of the week:: Artisan Pendant Necklace // Engravable Bar Necklace // Artisan Stretch Bracelets // Renegade Cluster Bracelet // Express top // Ann Taylor Loft maternity jeans // Tieks flats]
[saying goodbye to 9 years at the Center]
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[sweet overload]
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[Granny Annie has made it to GA!]
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[the best dinner with the best girls]
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What a fun couple weeks as we’re winding down pre-baby life… just a little further to go! The celebrations have continued with an early going away party at work, and then I had a fun dinner in honor of Leighton’s impending arrival and my upcoming birthday with several of my girlfriends at Community Smith in Midtown. We had a private table in the back of the restaurant, the service was excellent, every dish we tried was delicious, and they even gave us a dessert on the house for my birthday! (In case you were wondering, I picked the Popcorn Ice Cream with a blondie bar, housemade chocolate sauce and fleur de sel, and it was to die for. It smelled and tasted like real popcorn!) I so love time spent with our group of girlfriends, and this last time before baby was just what I needed!

We had a low-key weekend, which included dinner in Marietta with mom, a morning of leisure on Saturday with a prenatal massage, and then pedicures, lunch, and furniture shopping with mom. Today marks my last week of work! Where has the time gone?!

bump watch:: 37 weeks


# weeks: 37 — baby is the size of a winter melon!
Measuring approx 19-22″ long and weighing up to 6.5 lbs.

Best moment this week: A few things! We received the images from our maternity portrait session, done by the lovely Hayley Jo Photography. I especially love the photos including our first baby, Coco — she did a good job tricking the camera into thinking she was a perfect angel. 🙂


My parents are officially moved into their home in Marietta! Craig, my dad, and my brother have been working like crazy the past 2 months to get the house updated for my mom to be living here before my due date, and the transformation is amazing. We’re excited to have them join us in Georgia after all these years of talking about it!

And my incredibly thoughtful coworkers threw me an early going away party last night, complete with all of my favorite desserts, a piñata, Phil Collins tunes (my fave!), and the most wonderful Puppet Yearbook, which chronicles my 9 years at the Center. Leaving is bittersweet, but little lady and I will be back to visit often!!


Miss anything: Same ol, same ol — uninterrupted sleep, as well as being able to sleep on my back!

Cravings: Not really!

Feeling good/bad: I’ve started having some pretty bad lower back pain if I sit for too long. The only thing that seems to help is walking around or at least standing up. No fun.

Baby purchases/gifts: My coworkers gifted me with a spa gift certificate to use before or after baby, which I’m thrilled about! And to go with the “Tiki Baby Shower” theme, they got us the cutest outfit with gold pineapples all over it. I can’t wait to see her in it soon!
Our glider finally came in — a few weeks early, too! We picked it up over the weekend, and it completes the nursery perfectly.
My Lily Jade diaper bag also arrived, and I am in love! Sounds funny to say that about a diaper bag, but this guy is leather, smells amazing, and looks just like a bag that I’d normally carry. It has a huge pouch with about 75 pockets for baby stuff, and I love that I can take it out to use as my own bag when baby’s not with me.

Looking forward to: My 37 week appointment this morning — hopefully all is well! She’s been moving around like a wild banshee lately, which is always reassuring, but I think she’s starting to run out of room in there. 🙂 I’m also really excited for tomorrow night’s dinner with several girlfriends in celebration of my bday and Leighton’s impending arrival. We’re going to Community Smith in Midtown, which is a newer restaurant that I’ve not yet been to. The 3-week countdown is on!

Leighton’s nursery tour

Our baby’s nursery has been something I’ve been dreaming about off and on for years. Way before we were ready to start a family, I’d find myself “pinning” ideas for baby nurseries and fun things to do with our kids one day. It’s hard to believe that time is finally here! I’ve had the best time planning out each detail of her room to make it somewhere special, both for her and for us as her parents.

We started by painting the walls a very neutral color (light grey) because I had fallen for this gorgeous Land of Nod crib in a bright emerald green, and I wanted it to be the star of the room. I loved the idea of flanking the crib with bookcases for lots of open storage, and I found inspiration photos of black metal and glass bookcases that had been spray painted gold, which is exactly what we (or really Craig) did. Although risky with a big black dog who loves rugs, we went with a white faux sheepskin run to add some plushness and lighten up the darker carpeted floor. It was a steal of a deal, so I figure that if it has to be replaced sooner than later, it won’t be the end of the world.

The gallery wall is filled with a mix of prints and photos (or soon-to-be printed photos from our maternity session and later, from her newborn session). I found this “Bushel and a Peck” print on Etsy and couldn’t resist, as that’s something my dad’s mom Nannie has said to all of us grand kids our entire lives… so Miss Leighton will now have a piece of her great-grandmother in her room with her. The watercolor of the Rottweiler was another lucky find, and it just so happens to look exactly like Coco! It’s not pictured in a close-up, but I also framed a letterpress printed coaster featuring a map of downtown Nashville, which is a nod to Craig’s hometown and the place we met.

I searched high and low for a white dresser that was long enough to accommodate a changing pad and had lots of storage, but not so long that it looked overbearing in this small room… and I wanted something fun. This one fit the bill exactly — I just love the brass detailing of campaign style furniture, and this is something that can grow with her for years to come. I think the gold geometric lamp pairs perfectly on top, too! Also, how gorgeous is that painting? My sister-in-law’s dad is a very talented self-taught artist and was gracious enough to gift us with a custom painting for the nursery. This is the second piece of Craig Griffin art that we own, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with how it turned out. I love that the design is somewhat simple, but it ties in the colors from the room and also incorporates different textural elements with wood and sand for a really unique look.


To bring some more gold accents into the room, we added a starburst mirror and small side table. The floating book shelves (which Craig almost threw out the window during the tedious hanging process) house an assortment of fun books that I plan to change out with the seasons.


I had a lot of fun styling the bookcases flanking the crib. I wanted to include functional items like the video monitor, but I also wanted to showcase the adorable giraffe cross-stitch that my mom made for her, framed photos, my mom’s childhood doll rocking chair, books, decor from my baby showers, and other pretty things.


Is this not the cutest laundry hamper you’ve ever seen? Just a little fun surprise that might make doing endless loads of laundry a tiny bit more enjoyable. Our friend also had this sweet hair bow and headband organizer made for us, complete with Leighton’s name, and of course it matches the nursery colors!


And because I always love when a blogger provides a list of source links in their posts, here are links to almost everything in the nursery that you could want to know about. Enjoy!

Crib: The Land of Nod
Bookcases: IKEA
Rug: Home Decorators Collection
Dresser: Pottery Barn Kids
Painting: Craig Griffin of Atlanta, GA (gift)
Geometric lamp: The Land of Nod
Glider: GA Baby & Kids
Pouf: The Land of Nod
Side table: Target (no longer available)
Owl lamp: Target (no longer available)
Blackout curtains: Pottery Barn Kids
Floating bookshelves: The Land of Nod
Toy baskets: Pottery Barn Kids (gift)
Mirror: Target (sold out – similar style here)
White shelving unit: Target  (similar here)
Crane cool mist humidifier: Amazon (gift)
Hamper: Home Decorators Collection (gift)
Frames on gallery wall: IKEA
Rottweiler watercolor print: Dog Art Studio
“Sprinkles on top” print: Brigette Turner
“Bushel & a Peck” print: Lori Danielle
Bird line drawing: IKEA
Nashville map coaster: Natty Michelle Paperie
Wooden L: Anthropologie 
Watercolor crib sheet: New Mom Designs
Scalloped crib skirt: Project Nursery
Glitter “hello” pillow: Hello Apparel
Large bunny stuffed animal: Jellycat at Seed Factory in Atlanta
Changing pad cover: ModFox
Dresser drawer organizers: IKEA
Personalized door sign: Miss Tweedle Crafts

A Few of My Favorite Things (128)

[Stella & Dot outfit of the week:: Zia Necklace // Artisan Stretch Bracelets // Ally Double Wrap Bracelet // Old Navy maxi dress // JCrew cardigan]
[tiki baby shower with coworkers]
[Trader Vic’s fun]
[maternity portrait sneak peek]
[saturday night double date on the west side]
The baby countdown is on, and I have a busy calendar to prove it! This past week consisted of my 35-week doctor’s appointment, a trip to the hair salon and the car seat check at Cobb County Safety Village (who even knew something like that existed?!), and then a fun tiki baby shower with my coworkers. We trekked over to the Old Fourth Ward to try out O4W Pizza, which was delicious (loved their “famous” Grandma Pie!), but their organization and menu availability leaves a bit to be desired… hopefully they can work on that in the coming months.

Saturday was spent driving all over creation to pick up the last of the necessary baby items (pack n play, swing, and our glider), and then putting some of those things together. We also got a new bed for Coco in hopes that she wouldn’t notice we took her couch away…. I don’t think it worked. Our double date at Gio’s Chicken with some friends and their baby that night was so fun and much-needed after our busy day. I’m happy that we got to try out 2 restaurants this weekend that we hadn’t yet been to — gotta get those in while we can! Our night ended with the most delicious gelato and a movie. Not too shabby. Here’s to another busy and fun week ahead!

bump watch:: 36 weeks


# weeks: 36 — baby is the size of a large cantaloupe! 
Measuring approx 19-22″ long and weighing up to 6 lbs.

Best moment this week: Having a relatively low-key weekend and getting in some pool time for the first time in over a month! I also had  my 36-week doctor’s appointment, and everything is looking good! The doctor said that she was really going to town with a high heartbeat, which is always nice to hear.

Miss anything: An ice cold beer by the pool would have been nice. Can’t wait to pour a pumpkin-flavored one for the start of football season in about a month! My very limited closet is also getting really old, but again, I can see the finish line!

Cravings: Hm… nothing that I absolutely have to have. Still fully enjoying sweets while I have the excuse, because I’ve got to cut that out after she arrives!

Feeling good/bad: A little more tired, but otherwise pretty good. I’ve been waking up a lot more in the middle of the night, but it’s not like that’s going to change for the foreseeable future. I’m also kind of in disbelief that we only have 4 weeks left… the past 9 months have surprisingly flown by!

Baby purchases/gifts: We’ve been picking up some of the last little things we need to finish off her nursery, like the diaper pail and video monitor. We’ve put together the stroller and car seat so that we’ll be comfortable using them once she’s here. Coco, however, is TERRIFIED of both of these things, so we’re working on that…

I’m also thrilled with the name hoop I had made for her nursery door. I sent photos of the bedding and room to Miss Tweedle Crafts (on etsy), and she did a wonderful job! I love supporting fellow small businesses while adding a dash of whimsy and uniqueness to our home.

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Looking forward to: Tomorrow, several of my wonderful coworkers and I are doing a baby Happy Hour at our old favorite, Trader Vic’s! Six years ago, we celebrated my upcoming wedding there with work friends, so it only seemed appropriate that we’d go there for this big life event, too.

It’s hard to believe that I’m quickly winding down my time at the Center for Puppetry Arts. I’ve worked there for 9 years, which seems like a lifetime, yet it has flown by at the same time. I started there as a graphic design intern right after college and was soon hired as a full-time employee doing graphic design work and coordinating the birthday party program. I later took on facility rentals as well and became the Facility Rentals Manager. It’s been a wonderful 9 years filled with laughter, learning, great coworkers, and so many puppets. I am leaving my position at the end of this month to prepare for baby girl’s arrival. I will be staying home with her permanently, while also building my photography business (and of course selling Stella & Dot on the side!).  It will be quite the change, but I’m thrilled and so very thankful that we’re fortunate enough for this dream to become a reality!

A Few of My Favorite Things (127)

[Stella & Dot outfit of the week:: Artisan Pendant Necklace // Engravable Bar Necklace w/name // Arabesque Chandeliers // Pave Chevron Ring // Artisan Stretch Bracelets // Artisan Disc Cuff // Old Navy maternity maxi dress]

[celebrating a coworker’s 10th anniversary calls for ice cream cake]
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[checking things (like laundry) off the baby to do list]
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[Top Golfing at almost 9 mos pregnant]
[oh my goodness, SK is 1!]
It feels like the weeks leading up to my due date (9/9) are moving more and more quickly! I had a good 35 week doctor’s appointment, and we had a nice weekend in town. We got in one last movie before baby (Trainwreck) and celebrated our friend’s birthday at Top Golf, which was so fun! I wish I’d thought of the concept, because judging by the crowds there last night, they have got to be making a killing. Despite the 3 hour wait, we enjoyed the food and drinks and had a great time hitting golf balls and trying to reach different targets to score points against each other. I have not swung a golf club since my grandfather Bop tried to teach my cousin and me how to golf no less than 15 years ago… so it was fun to try my hand at it, even if my belly was slightly in the way. 😉 I can’t wait to go back post-baby belly so I can actually play!

I also wrapped up my last 2 photo sessions before starting maternity leave from MHP. I just love working with my clients, both new and old, and I can’t wait to get back at it in October!!

bump watch:: 35 weeks


# weeks: 35 — baby is the size of a canary melon! (What in the world is that?) 
Measuring approx 19-22″ long and weighing up to 5.5 lbs.

Best moment this week: Celebrating baby girl at my shower on Saturday! We feel so loved, and I can’t wait for everyone to meet Leighton when she arrives!!

Miss anything: I would have loved to have a mimosa at my shower, just saying… 😉

Cravings: Does craving cooler weather count?

Feeling good/bad: I’ve started experiencing some lower back pain when I sit for too long, which is incredibly uncomfortable, but it thankfully hasn’t happened very regularly — yet. Other than that, feeling good!

Baby purchases/gifts: We received so many wonderful, creative, and generous gifts at my shower! One of my very favorites is the custom painting that Lauren’s dad made for us. We have hung it above the dresser, and it finishes the nursery perfectly. We are now working on completing the “need” list from our various registries so that we’ll be all set before the big day. Also, how cute are these embroidered bloomers?!


Looking forward to: I have a doctor’s appointment this morning, so hopefully we’ll have another good report! Otherwise, I think we’re both just looking forward to a quiet week with home-cooked dinners and a low-key weekend. Hopefully some pool time, too!