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!

Leighton @ 3 months


Height + Weight: Approx 23″ | 13lbs 4oz (We didn’t have a monthly checkup, so we measured her ourselves for an estimate.)

Milestones: Oh my goodness, we have such a chatterbox on our hands! A couple weeks ago, we noticed that instead of crying when she woke up in her crib each morning, she was starting to “talk” — making lots of little noises and entertaining herself for quite a while before she started to get upset and really want to be picked up. Her coos and noises are absolutely adorable… we keep saying we wonder what stories she’s trying to tell us. ๐Ÿ™‚

She is obsessed with her tongue! She sticks it out all the time and looks like a little lizard — it’s the cutest thing ever. 

Likes: She has become so incredibly smiley, especially when she’s lying on her back in our laps or on her changing table! And for some reason, getting to lie there in just her diaper is like icing on the cake to her!

Of all the baby-holding devices that we use to help us around the house from time to time, she seems to really enjoy the 4moms Bounceroo the most. I put her in it in our bathroom every morning and we listen to music while I get ready for the day. She’ll stay in that seat and be happy about it much longer than when in the swing downstairs. She probably just likes staring at the bathroom lights, but I’ll take it!

She’s also really started to enjoy her activity mat. She’ll happily lie there staring up at her monkey and puppy friends hanging above her head. It’s fun to see her focusing on objects, occasionally reaching out for them, and enjoying “play” time more and more!


Dislikes: Still being made to wait to eat once she’s decided she’s hungry. She also really dislikes being put in her car seat, but she usually calms down once the car starts moving… and then does not like it when the car stops. Makes long red lights fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

She has started to get rather attached to me, which of course makes me feel like a million bucks, but it is also hard because I’d love to hand her off to everyone who wants to get in some baby snuggles. Hopefully this phase will pass before too long so that friends and family can enjoy holding her as much as I do! 

Fun stuff  & firsts: She had a very exciting first this month — our friend Amy’s son Jack, who is 2, managed to sneak in a kiss when we came to visit over Thanksgiving, and it was pretty darn sweet. 

We celebrated Leighton’s first Thanksgiving and took a road trip to Nashville to be with Craig’s family. This was her first time going to Tennessee, and we had so much fun introducing her to all of his extended family, as well as several of our friends. She’s now checked off 3 states in just 2.5 months — next up, Alabama for our Sims/Smith/Finch family Christmas!



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!

Leighton @ 2 months

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Height + Weight: 22.84” (68th percentile) | 11lbs 5oz (50th percentile)

We had her two month checkup this morning, and aside from a little cold and slight cradle cap on her eyebrow area (that’s why they look orange in photos right now), she got a glowing review from the doctor. She did have to get her first round of shots, which is never fun. Thankfully, we don’t have to go back till she’s 4 months. Yay!

Milestones: Leighton moved on up to size 1 diapers this month, and she has also outgrown most of her newborn clothes. We have a couple pair of footie pjs that she never even got to wear because she was too long for them. She’s growing like crazy, which is great but also bittersweet!

She has also become so much more alert. All of a sudden, she really likes to be held facing outward and sitting up – I guess she was tired of just looking at us all the time. ๐Ÿ™‚ And she’s been rocking tummy time since we started propping her up on a little boppy pillow. The first time she held her head up high and looked all around was one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen!


Likes: Leighton LOVES bath time. She will sit quietly in her baby tub and just look around while we bathe her, and she only cries when it’s time to get out — ha! And we’ve discovered that she really enjoys lying on her changing pad in her room… sometimes I think she’d stay there for an hour if we could leave her unattended! (Not to worry, she’s always supervised.)

She also loves going on walks in her stroller. We got the City Mini GT, and I love it so much! A couple weeks ago, we started laying down the back of the seat so she could be strapped right into the stroller rather than having to sit in her car seat since she’s still so small. She will lie there looking up through the little sunroof in the hood of the stroller, just happy as a clam!


Dislikes: Still seriously hates being made to wait more than about 5 seconds to eat when she’s hungry! It’s amazing how mad she can get and how quickly things escalate when she’s dying of starvation. 

She also does not appreciate being swaddled — especially by her daddy because he does it so tightly! But it never fails to calm her down and get her to sleep once she’s wrapped.

Fun stuff & firsts: We celebrated Leighton’s first official holiday — Halloween! She was the cutest cupcake, and we had a great time celebrating with our neighborhood friends.

Not exactly fun, but she seems to have developed a bit of acid reflux recently. Out of nowhere, she started screaming every time she was put in her crib at night, her spit up went from normal to crazy amounts being spewed all over us and the floor, and she seemed to be in a bit pain during feedings. So we’ve done a few things to help, and they seem to be working. Hopefully she’ll outgrow this before too long!

The past month, she’s had several restaurant and shopping outings, and she’s getting much more used to hanging out in her car seat for longer periods of time. Riding in the car tends to put her to sleep pretty quickly, which is nice!

To cap off her 2nd month, Leighton has found her tongue, is chewing on her fists, and has officially started smiling! To interact with her and receive a genuine smile is one of the happiest feelings — it totally redeems her random crying fits. ๐Ÿ™‚ But seriously, baby smiles will melt your heart!