A Few of My Favorite Things (145)

[Friday lunch date]

[sleepy coworker]

[afternoon walks with my girl]

[Swan-shaped dessert]

[bathroom progress]

[Valentine’s fun]

[my funny Valentines]

We’ve had another busy week over here! Our master bathroom renovation is going strong — more than a little delayed, but it’s moving along. The tile work is almost complete, and then we move on to some drywall / electrical / painting work this coming week. The final step is having the glass installed on two sides of the shower — hopefully we don’t have to wait too long for that.

I had a fun girls’ lunch (with one sweet little boy) at Joy Cafe, which has incredibly yummy grilled cheeses and a dessert called Milk and Cookies Pie. I could go there every week if it wouldn’t be so bad for me! We also left Leighton with someone other than my mom for the first time ever. Our neighbor kept her for a few hours so we could go to a nice dinner at Blue Ridge Grill with my parents, and it was so good! On Saturday, I helped celebrate an old  college friend at her wedding shower at the Swan Coach House, a Buckhead staple for ladies’ luncheons. It was so nice to see her and catch up with some other friends over yummy chicken salad, frozen fruit salad, and a dessert that looked like a swan. ๐Ÿ™‚

We celebrated Valentine’s a few days early with a most decadent dinner at Marcel, one of our favorite new restaurants in the city. On the actual holiday, we cooked fresh blueberry pancakes for breakfast, gave LL some fun goodies, and made homemade Thai curry chicken soup for dinner (I squeezed in a maternity photo session, too!). We just love our chubby little Valentine so much, and it was the best Vday yet!

A Few of My Favorite Things (144)

[Stella & Dot outfit of the week:: Pavilion Necklace // Gilded Path Double Wrap Bracelet // green Tieks flats]


[celebrating Andrew’s 30th]

[warm February weather calls for a trip to the park]

[master bath reno has begun]

[dinner with Aunt Lauren + Uncle Andrew]

[microfashion this week:: Old Navy jeggings and button-up // Freshly Picked mocs // ZoZu Baby headband]

After 2 weeks of sickness and fever making the rounds in our house, we finally had a healthy week! A couple of us got to visit with sweet baby Lainey, the newest addition to the Springbluff girls group, and I can’t wait for her to become friends with Leighton. I had a couple wonderful photo sessions, and we also started our master bathroom renovation. Hopefully there won’t be too many delays and we’ll be back in our room before too long!

We had 2 (very early) dinner dates this weekend — one with our neighbors and their little lady, who is just a couple months older than L. I’m sure they’re going to become great buddies when they’re old enough to play together. And we had a fun night with my mom, brother, and sister-in-law at Gio’s Chicken on Saturday, which of course ended with gelato. Leighton was such a good sport, staying up well past her bedtime both nights for dinner. Nights out with a baby sure have changed, but we wouldn’t trade them for the world. We ended the weekend with a Super Bowl party at our friends’ house. I had more than my fair share of chocolate desserts and I barely watched the game because I was too busy chatting with the girls…both are fairly typical, I suppose. Hope you all have a great week! 

A Few of My Favorite Things (143)

[Stella & Dot outfit of the week:: Bliss Statement Necklace // Cage Cuff // Old Navy sweater top // Gap jeans // gold Tieks flats]

[so many newborns in January]

[4 month bubble bath]

[L’s first snow day]

[so much versatility with the new Riad Layering Necklace]

[ready for rabbit hunting]

After several days of gross weather (and a “winterย storm” that brought a little dusting of snow to Atlanta), I’m happy to see the sun for once! We didn’t venture out much, thanks to said weather, but I did keep busy with several photo sessions (yay for new babies!), and we have officially started demo on our master bathroom. The plumber and tile company will start work a week from today, and we CANNOT WAIT to transform our bathroom! Don’t worry – a post will follow. ๐Ÿ™‚

A Few of My Favorite Things (142)

[Stella & Dot outfit of the week:: NEW Totem Tassel Pendant Necklace/ Gilded Path Double Wrap Bracelet / Turquoise Sawyer Stone Stretch Bracelet / Engravable Bar Necklace / Stitchfix top]

[sitting up and loving it]

[sister time in the nursery]

[clam strips are back in my life!]

[learning to roll]

[birthday brunch]

[first taste of rice cereal!]

What an eventful week! We started off with Leighton’s 4 month pediatrician appointment, which included shots, but she was a pretty good sport, other than a few screams. She’s finally strong enough to sit up on her Bumbo chair, and she loved her first time in it! She played with a toy for probably 30 minutes while in the Bumbo, which made mom and dad very happy! It was truly a week of firsts for her, as she also officially rolled over from back to stomach (and does it all the time now) and she also had her first taste of rice cereal to close out the week! I assumed she’d spit it all out, but she actually ate some and even tried to take the spoon to feed herself. I can’t wait to get past this boring cereal and onto the pureed foods… hopefully she’ll love those!

We had a couple fun meals out with my family while my dad was in town on a break from work this week. The guys ended up with some free time on Friday, so we took the opportunity to try out chef Ford Fry’s newest hot spot, BeetleCat in Inman Park. They only serve lunch one day a week (Friday), and they only serve their fried clams (whole belly and strips) at lunch. I have a lifelong obsession with clam strips (just ask my family), so naturally, that’s what I ordered. They were light, airy, and perfectly fried — I just wish there had been more of them on the roll! The waitress said that their coconut cream pie was the chef’s grandmother’s recipe, and it did not disappoint. We all agreed it was probably the best coconut pie we’d ever had.

I got a girls’ afternoon out on Saturday to celebrate one of my bff’s birthdays with brunch at Kaleidoscope. It was a gorgeous day filled with delicious food, mimosas, cake, a little shopping, and good friends. We had a cookout later that night with some friends, which was a great way to wind down the weekend. If only Miss LL had been a good sleeper later that night… but we’re in the midst of her learning to put herself back to sleep after rolling over in the middle of the night, which has not been fun. Hopefully she’ll get the hang of it soon (to then move on to the next sleep-depriving phase, I’m sure).

A Few of My Favorite Things (141)

[L’s favorite outfit of the week]
[Garden Lights at the Atlanta Botanical Garden]
[L’s first visit to Auburn]
[the best baby accessory]
[family Christmas in South Alabama]
[Christmas caroling around Samson]
[anyone recognize Santa?]
[L’s first dolly is a hit!]
Oh what a fun weekend! We traveled down to Samson, AL for our annual Sims/Smith/Finch family Christmas over the weekend, and we had the best time introducing Leighton to yet another set of extended family. She’s been such a trooper with our car travels these past couple months, and while I think it was bit overwhelming for her to see so many new faces at once, she was a great little traveler. We got to spend quality time with my grandmother Nannie, aunts and uncles, cousins, and their many kids, and it’s so wonderful being able to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas together.

My aunt rented giant bounce houses and slides for the weekend, and I’m pretty sure my brother was one of the “kids” who enjoyed them the most! Craig has his turn playing Santa this year (shh, don’t tell!), we ate way too many sweets, we met some new additions to the big family, and Leighton got her first dolly. It was a lovely weekend, as always!

We also stopped through Auburn on the way down this year. We took my mom to Momma Goldberg’s for lunch (an Auburn staple) and L signed her name on the wall (actually, she wrote LLCoolHayes… of course). We visited downtown and got some AU goodies at J&M Bookstore, where my dad worked when he was in college, and then finished off our detour with milkshakes from Toomer’s Drugs. It was the perfect little pitstop!

I can’t believe it’s already time for Christmas this week. We’re looking forward to lots of fun gatherings and dinners this week with family — and of course, sharing this holiday with Leighton for the first time!

A Few of My Favorite Things (140)

[Stella & Dot outfit of the week:: Essential Fringe Necklace // Engravable Bar with Leighton’s birthdate // ZoZuBaby headband]10585c8b-1ee5-4074-a74d-b35688a6bb17
[baby elf in her Hanna Andersson jammies]
[6th annual Christmas ornament exchange]
[Lights of Life]
[Leighton’s first visit with Santa]
[festive attire all around]

It’s hard to believe that it’s already mid-December, but it’s been so fun getting in the Christmas spirit this week!  I had not one, but two Christmas ornament exchanges and girls dinners this week — one at Mezza Luna with my Springbluff college girls and one at American Food & Beverage (our 6th year in a row!). I ended up with 2 animal ornaments to add to my collection — a felt mouse wearing winter attire and a hot pink glass balloon animal dachshund. I love them!

We drove up to Life University on Friday to check out the huge light display on their campus, and we finished off our night in the burbs with dinner at Outback (blooming onion and all – yum!). On Saturday, we went to the Tinsel & Twine event at Westside Provisions District. It’s a free event at one of our favorite shopping/dining areas, and they had fake snow, carolers, free hot chocolate from West Egg, and a great Santa Claus with free photos! Leighton did great with being handed off to a stranger, which was surprising, and we had a fun morning walking around in the crazy warm 70+ degree weather. My mom had a slumber party with Leighton that night so that we could don our tackiest Christmas attire for our friends’ tacky sweater party. It’s not often (or ever) that we leave the house both wearing sweater dresses… hopefully Leighton isn’t scarred for life by her father’s outfit!

A Few of My Favorite Things (139)

[Stella & Dot outfit of the week:: Havana Pendant necklace // Artisan Stretch Bracelets // Stitchfix top // green Old navy skinny jeans // gold Tieks flats]
[Christmas tree is trimmed]
[L’s ready for winter]

[12 weeks and obsessed with her tongue]
[happy birthday to the best mom and grandma!]
[decking the halls with Stella & Dot]
[sweet baby Raine]

I feel like I’ve said this every month, but how is it already December?! My mom and I started the month off with a trip to the Outlet Shoppes of Atlanta earlier this week (I still don’t understand how they get away with claiming Atlanta when they’re actually 45 minutes north in Woodstock, but I digress…). We didn’t really plan it this way, but it was the best time to go — the place was empty on a weekday morning after the madness of Black Friday, but all the sales were still going on. Score for us! We got Leighton that adorable peplum puffy coat from GAP Kids, but she was clearly not a fan!

We celebrated my mom’s birthday with lunch and dinner out on Thursday, and Leighton turned 12 weeks that day, too. It’s been so amazing having mom here full-time, and I know it was extra special for us all to be together for her birthday… especially when they didn’t have to turn around and go home to Florida afterward!

I kept busy with 3 more photo sessions (lots of babies being born!) and my holiday Stella & Dot trunk show/sample sale. It was an amazing turnout and so much fun to spend the afternoon with neighbors, friends, old coworkers, and my mom. It was also Leighton’s first trunk show – she loved it so much that she passed out and slept through a good bit of it. 

I’m looking forward to this coming week — girls Christmas dinners and ornament exchanges, a tacky sweater party, lunch with a friend, and finishing up the year for MHP with 4 more photo sessions. 

A Few of My Favorite Things (137)

[Stella & Dot outfit of the week:: Relic Statement Necklace // Pave Chevron Ring // bracelet stack // Stitchfix top // Gap jeans // Sole Society booties (last year)]

[2 month check-up]
[reading time with baby]
[field trip to the Center for Puppetry Arts]
[parents’ night out at the Tabernacle]
[Chase Rice concert]
[exploring PCM]
[gameday – 8 weeks apart]

I’m not sure how it’s already mid-November, but I suspect that having a 2-month-old may have something to do with time flying by in the blink of an eye lately. This month is the busiest time of the year for my photography business, and this week, I had 7 sessions that kept me incredibly busy. Needless to say, I need more hours in the day to get everything done! But I couldn’t be more thankful for the continued support of my business from repeat clients, referral clients, friends, and family. I feel incredibly blessed that it worked out for me to work from home, and in addition to that, be doing what I love. I couldn’t be more happy that I don’t have to spend these next couple weeks preparing to go back to work full-time and be away from my darling baby. The days can be tiresome and long, but I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

In addition to lots of fall photo sessions, we did have some fun things going on. Leighton turned 2 months old, we took our family Christmas photos (thanks to the help of my mom and a tripod), and I took my mom and Leighton back to my old workplace (the Center for Puppetry Arts) for the members only preview of the brand new Museum that was just completed, and it was better than I could have imagined! If you’re in Atlanta, it’s a definite must-see.

Craig and I also got to go out on Thursday for a night of dinner, drinks, and country music with my brother and our friend Hunter (we missed you, Lauren!). We had so much fun that night, but it was hard not to miss our girl, even just for a few hours. We were home by midnight and I was up just a couple hours later to feed Leighton, but we wouldn’t have had it any other way. 

Craig went to Auburn on Saturday for the Georgia game, and I stayed in town with L due to having a couple make-up photo sessions. I spent part of the game day with some friends and their babies, and we capped off the night with Mexican once Craig made it back in town. And although it was a boring game, I can’t go without saying “Go Dawgs!” So glad we managed to get a W this week! Here’s looking forward to a week of photo sessions, family time, and prepping for Thanksgiving travel!

A Few of My Favorite Things (138)

[Stella & Dot outfit of the week:: Sanibel Reversible Pendant // Engravable Bar Necklace // Stitchfix top // Gap jeans // Toms booties]

[smiley tummy time]
[date night at SIMB]
[happy 5th birthday, Coco!]
[tub time @ 1 week vs. 10 weeks]

[celebrating Baby French!]

[double the cuteness]
It’s been a busy week trying to squeeze in a lot of stuff before our Thanksgiving holiday travel. I’ve been doing photo sessions and editing like a mad woman all week. We had 2 fun dinners out — one with my family at Varasano’s Pizzeria and one with just the two of us at Sun in My Belly over in the Decatur/Kirkwood area on Thursday. It was nice to get out of the house for a couple hours and be able to eat a nice meal without having to bounce a certain somebody on my lap… but I still missed her while we were gone. ๐Ÿ™‚

In between more photo sessions over the weekend, we watched some football and I helped celebrate the impending arrival of my college friend’s baby girl. I can’t wait for Leighton’s newest friend to get here! We also celebrated Coco’s 5th birthday on 11/21. It’s hard to believe we’ve had her almost that long. She was our first baby, and we love her so dearly. Our family wouldn’t be the same without that silly, stubborn, lovable fur baby!

Also, it’s now freezing outside!! Hope everyone has a wonderfully fun, delicious, and safe Thanksgiving holiday week!

A Few of My Favorite Things (136)

[Stella & Dot outfit of the week:: Relic Statement Necklace // Aurora Studs (1 of 3 in the set) // Pave Chevron Ring // Old Navy shift dress // Sole Society booties]
unnamed (7)
[neighborhood fall foliage]
unnamed (2)
[Craig’s 33rd birthday]
unnamed (3)
[rocking tummy time!]
unnamed (4)
[scarecrow fun]
unnamed (5)
[1 week vs. 6 weeks]
unnamed (6)
[the husband is a baker, too]
[sessions with friends are the best kind]
unnamed (1)

What a crazy busy week we had over at the Hayes house! We started it off with little to no sleep and ended up taking Leighton to the doctor just to make sure there wasn’t something wrong since she was suddenly crying uncontrollably, spitting up profusely, and wouldn’t sleep on her back. They said she may have acid reflux, so we’re doing a couple different things to help with that. On another note, they weighed her and she gained 12oz in less than a week!! She was up to 9 lbs 15oz at 5.5 weeks.

Craig’s birthday was Tuesday, and thankfully, Leighton graciously gave us a little more sleep as a gift. ๐Ÿ™‚ My sweet mom babysat her so I could take Craig out for a fancy steak dinner at one of Ford Fry’s newest Atlanta hot spots, Marcel. It was beyond fantastic from start to finish — you can read more about it in my post here. We can’t wait to go back!

I had a girls night out on Thursday with my mom and Leighton. I took them to the Atlanta Botanical Garden for the annual scarecrow exhibit, which is always a highlight of the fall season for me! We met up with a few of my old coworkers and strolled the gardens until Miss LL had enough and demanded to go home. ๐Ÿ™‚

I also jumped full force back into work with a Stella & Dot Halloween-themed trunk show on Friday and 3 photo sessions over the weekend. It made for a whirlwind few days, but I’m so thankful for my loyal clients who continue to support my businesses! We topped the weekend off with a cookout at our friends’ house. With 6 adults and 4 kids, our group dinners sure have changed, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.