A Few of My Favorite Things (152)

[Stella & Dot outfit of the week:: Engravable Bar Necklace // Rebel Pendant // Gilded Path Double Wrap Bracelet // Express top // Old Navy skinny jeans // Sam Edelman sandals from DSW]

[food truck Tuesdays]

[girls night]

[Chihuly in the Garden]

[best friends share everything]

[park playtime]

[cocktails at The Luminary]

[ready for summer]

[baby’s 1st pool day]

[red white and cute]

[neighborhood MemDay party]

[family cookout]

What a busy, fun week and long weekend! Tuesday night was spent at one of our favorite local parks for food trucks with some friends and their little lady. Craig spent most of the evening in line for some AMAZING biscuit sandwiches, but Leighton and Molly had fun rolling around and trying to steal each others’ toys/food/cups.  I got a girls night out on Wednesday with some of my favorite ladies, which was a highlight of my week! We had dinner at Gio’s Chicken (I’m a huge fan of their chicken parm) and of course had to pick up gelato at his place across the street. To continue our fun week, mom and I took LL with us to see Chihuly in the Garden at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Such amazing colors, shapes, and beautiful glass work mixed in with the impressive gardens. It’s up through October, and I highly recommend it!

We stayed in town over the holiday weekend, and it was a busy but also relaxing few days (except for Craig, who spent many hours pressure washing and re-staining our fence in the hot summer sun). My mom babysat for us on Friday night so we could have a double date with one of my very first friends from college and her boyfriend, who Craig just loves (it’s the best when that happens!). Leighton got to experience her first pool day, and I think she loved it. We spent a couple hours hanging in the pool with some of our friends and their littles and then had a cookout and LL stayed up way past her bedtime (#partyanimal). Our neighborhood hosted a Memorial Day potluck party in the cul-de-sac, which was lots of fun. We got to meet several new(ish) neighbors, and it was fun hanging out with friends, letting the kids play (as much as babies can do so), and eating yummy food together. To round out a great weekend, we headed over to my parents’ house in Marietta for a cookout feast of BBQ wings and ribs, corn on the cob, cake, and homemade peach ice cream. It was a beautiful night, and we were thoroughly entertained by baby’s antics at the dinner table.

I was able to squeeze in a couple photo sessions as well — yay for work that truly makes me happy! It was a pretty perfect several days spent together and with so many people we love. Thank you again to those who serve and sacrifice for our country so that we can enjoy these freedoms every day. I’m grateful for the land of the free because of the brave.

A Few of My Favorite Things (151)

[weekly baby style:: Carter’s outfit // Nordstrom headband // Old Navy jelly sandals]IMG_0518

[newest donut obsession]

[big girl things]

[twinning with my baby bear]

[perfect day for a GA wedding]

[celebrating Mr. & Mrs. Scott]

[baby’s first taste of summer]

[Leighton’s first tooth!]

Another great week is in the books. We had a fun lunch date with my mom up in Marietta early in the week. We had sandwiches out on the patio at Canvas (a new spot for us), and the best part was their doughnut shop below the restaurant! Afterward, we strolled down some streets near the Square and admired historic homes that we’d love to buy when we win the lottery. 😉 Marietta has some really beautiful historic homes surrounding the downtown area. 

On Friday, we took advantage of another day of gorgeous weather and walked at Piedmont Park with my mom. The start of the weekend called for a little family date at Zama, a new, nicer Mexican place that opened up nearby. We had delicious ritas, and the live music covered up any noise made by LL, who had decided to boycott her nap that afternoon. 

We hit up the Peachtree Road Farmers Market Saturday morning and picked up some different meats for next week’s dinners, had treats from The Little Tart Bakeshop and wood fired pizza from our friends at S&J’s Pizza, and also got a meal from Garnish and Gather (like a local Plated or Blue Apron service) to cook this week. The recipe includes popcorn to crust the chicken with, so I’m intrigued!

One of my college friends got married Saturday down in Newnan, GA, and it was the most perfect day for a wedding! The ceremony was in her parents’ backyard overlooking the lake, and the reception took place at a really neat barn/event space on a beautiful piece of property. It was a lovely way to kick off wedding season! 

We rounded out the weekend with a cookout at my parents’ house, and I think Craig is still full. 😉 Grilled sausage, burgers and dogs, piping hot French fries,  slaw, ice cold watermelon, and homemade ice cream and cheesecake bars… it’s safe to say that no one left hungry. Leighton entertained us with her food-eating antics, and she LOVED trying a huge slice of watermelon for the first time. I think it helped her little gums, because she cut her first TWO teeth this weekend!!  We didn’t even know the first one (bottom front) had come in until my mom saw it while babysitting her Saturday night. The second one came in next to it the very next day. Our baby is growing up before our eyes! 

Leighton @ 8 months

Weight: approx 19 lbs 5 oz 

We don’t have another check-up until 9 months, so we estimated her weight for recording purposes. 🙂

Milestones: Leighton has been sitting up like a rock star since just after she turned 7 months, and it’s making play time so much more fun! She’ll sit and inspect/play with lots of different toys before needing a change of scenery, which is great. 

We had to lower her crib at 7.5 months because she started pulling up on the side once she was set upright. She’s getting so curious about everything around her!


She also decided to start sleeping through the night during our beach vacation in mid-April (and in a pack n play, no less!). I know this is pretty late in the game for her to still be waking up in the middle of the night to eat (only once a night and it was always quick, but it still took a toll)…  so we were actually planning on starting sleep training as soon as she got over her recent illnesses. I’m so thankful that she started it on her own instead, and she has been sleeping through the night since then!

Likes: Coco — her eyes light up every time her puppy walks into the room. What else makes her smile? Seeing herself in the phone screen when we turn the camera function to selfie mode. As soon as she sees herself, she gives a huge smile for the camera – mama taught her well! 


She loves eating, as well as drinking out of a “miracle” cup, which has no spout and can be drunk out of from all sides of the lid, but it doesn’t spill water everywhere. She holds her little hands out to her side and sticks her head way out to drink from the cups when we hand it to her, which is pretty hilarious. She’s also gotten pretty good at picking it up and drinking from it herself.


When we’re out in public, whether it’s a restaurant, Target, the grocery store, etc., she loves people watching. She’ll all but turn her head 360 degrees to watch someone walk by behind her, and if they stop to talk to her, she’s all smiles. I think we have a social butterfly in the making.

Her current favorite activity — bouncing! If someone will hold her upright, she’ll bounce to her heart’s content. Add in a mirror so she can see herself bouncing? Happiest baby on the block! 

Dislikes: She still gets mad when she’s being strapped into her carseat and stroller, but she typically calms down once we get rolling. 

Napping in her crib — consistently, at least. Some days she will for 1-2 hours, some days she will have none of it. It’s really fun. That’s currently on the agenda to get under control. 

Fun stuff  & firsts: One of my favorite things yet — we took Leighton to my mom’s family’s beach house in St. Augustine in mid-April (read about it here)! This house, beach, and town holds a very special place in my heart, and I’m so happy that this is where we took her for her first beach experience. She got to touch the sand (and ate a little, too), put her toes in the Atlantic Ocean, and had a hilarious encounter with a lemon during our trip.


She has started giving out kisses (big, slobbery ones) — but we usually have to beg a little for them. 🙂 Her favorite person to kiss, though, is the baby in the mirror (or in the iPad reflection). She’ll even sort of pucker up her lips and make a little kissing sound, which is adorable!

We traveled back up to Nashville at the end of the month for Craig’s 15yr high school reunion.  We love getting to spend time with his family, and Leighton got in plenty of playtime with them and some of our friends, which we all enjoyed!

We celebrated my first Mother’s Day, and it was so special! We spent the weekend eating good food and visiting with family. It was perfect!

With each passing month, Leighton’s little personality is really starting to shine. She’s sassy and silly, so happy, and the cutest, chubbiest little babe. We love her more and more every day!


my 1st mother’s day


There’s really no better way to start my first Mother’s Day than by being woken up by my favorite two people in the whole world. I usually get up first thing with Leighton to feed her, but Craig got her up and brought her into our room so they could give me presents (which included these super soft Mama Bear and Baby Bear tshirts) and cards in bed – so sweet!


We met my parents, brother and sister-in-law for brunch at Paces & Vine, which we’ve been wanting to try since it popped up in the Vinings. I wanted about half a dozen things on the menu, but I chose the Chorizo Frittata with grits, and it did not disappoint. Biscuits and blueberry muffins, the malted waffle, and the chilaquiles dish were all highlights, too. Miss LL was a little angel during our meal – she’s gotten so much better at hanging out in her high chair, as long as she has things to play with (usually a spoon or straw instead of her actual toys).


Afterward, we showered my sweet mom with some gifts and played with Leighton and Coco, and then mom and I got to sneak off to Polished for pedicures and mimosas. Yay! This has become our new yearly tradition, and I love it.

Mother’s Day ended with the most delicious home-cooked meal at my sister-in-law’s parents’ house. My brother seriously should have been a chef, and I’ll happily eat his creations any time. On the menu: grilled skirt steak, blistered tomatoes, polenta, crusty bread, and a couple salads. Oh my, those tomatoes! And the polenta and steak! I’m still so stuffed as I write this.

We sat on her parents’ new deck, enjoyed the beautiful evening weather, and played with their Dachshund, Meyer. As you can see below, Leighton was a big fan of this dog that is about the size of Coco’s head. Meyer enjoyed having her ears pulled and feet massaged by tiny baby hands.

I made this butter pecan bundt cake with caramel icing, which is a recipe that Craig’s grandmother gave me last year. I appreciate that it’s super easy, but it looks impressive and is SO GOOD. It was almost demolished, but I did get to bring a little bit home. I’ll probably have it for breakfast. 😉

It’s absolutely wonderful having my parents living here now to celebrate these special days (as well as so many of the regular, run-of-the-mill days), and we had such a great time visiting with family. Craig and Leighton made me feel extra special, and we all got to do the same for our amazing mom. She’s the best mom we could ever ask for, and she’s also the perfect example of how to be a loving, selfless mom to Leighton. I’m so happy we have her nearby to be such a big part of our lives now.

Sunday was the best day, and I still just pinch myself that this is the life I get to live. I’m forever thankful to call this happy little ladybug my baby girl. 

A Few of My Favorite Things (150)

[Stella & Dot outfit of the week:: Eden Fringe Necklace // Gap tshirt // Target shorts]

[Monday happy hour(s)]

[baby fashion — catmermaid style!]

[reunion before the reunion]

[4 generations]

[15yr reunion]

[lunch dates]

It’s always a good thing when the week kicks off with a girls dinner – especially when it includes outdoor dining, margaritas, and good Mexican food! My college dorm girlfriends (who live nearby) and I try to meet up for dinner monthly, which is something I always look forward to. We spent a few hours talking, and it makes me so happy to have these friendships that have been going strong for almost 15 years!

My mom joined Leighton and me for our weekly music class and took us to lunch afterward, which may have to become a regular activity. 🙂 We jumped around, banged on instruments, and sang with our little bug. It was fun to include Grandma this time!

We continued the month of travel with a long weekend trip up to Nashville for Craig’s 15yr high school reunion, and we had such a great time! I love going to visit Craig’s hometown of Franklin and seeing his family and our many friends who live there and in Nashville. Since I’m not working full time and Craig’s work schedule allows for some more flexibility, we now typically go up to visit for 3 nights, which makes such a difference for us!

Friday night, we put L to bed and went into Nashville to hang out with some of our buddies. #momanddadsnightout We had a yummy pizza dinner with live music at Donato’s with one of our besties Danielle (and her new fiancé!) and met up with some more friends in Midtown for the night. We lost track of time having fun and sort of regretted it the next day when Leighton woke up at 6am, but it was worth it!

We got in lots of visits this time, including a delicious homemade lunch with Craig’s grandparents (chicken salad and croissants – yum!!), a trip to see some good family friends who were in town for the weekend, and lunch with my college BFF Charlotte and her boyfriend. We went to Mitchell Deli in East Nashville – great sammies, a Sunday breakfast buffet, and lots of outdoor seating. I recommend if you’re in the area! I begged Craig to stop at the famed Donut Den on our way there, but he denied my request, saying that we didn’t need donuts AND lunch… I say there’s always room for donuts. Amiright?

Craig’s reunion was Saturday night at this neat place in Franklin called The Factory. We stay in touch with several high school friends of his, so it was great to spend more time with them, as well as getting to catch up with some folks he hadn’t seen in years – or since graduating. It’s amazing how, in general, some people don’t seem to change at all, and others are almost unrecognizable after so much time. Also, big thanks to Craig’s family for staying home to make sure Leighton was sleeping safe and sound while we had some much-needed fun with friends!

Nashville is one of our most favorite places to be, and we look forward to making it back up soon!