Introducing our littlest addition!

Baby Girl!

Our Baby Girl is here!!  Annabelle Elizabeth was born on Monday, August 21st at 2:19 pm (during the solar eclipse).  She was born by cesarean section and weighed 6 lbs 5 ozs and was 19.5 inches long!  She is a happy healthy little girl and we are over the moon excited she is here!

Annabelle Elizabeth birth photo
Annabelle Elizabeth’s first photo
Baby Girl!
Baby Girl!
First Family Photo
First Family Photo
She will definitely be a daddy's girl...
She will definitely be a daddy’s girl…
Annabelle's first car ride
Annabelle’s first car ride

The first couple days home were tiring as we all got adjusted as a family of three!  But we are all now settling in nicely and loving this time with our little girl.

Happy at Home
Happy at Home

I can’t wait to share as we navigate this new adventure in life!

Baby Girl Bows

…and can we talk about how much I can’t wait to dress her in all the bows and tutus!!

find these bows here: Grey* | Grey Striped | Pink & White
*thank you to babiesrhere.com for this adorable bow – check out their super soft bows here {https://babiesrhere.com/products/new-girls-kids-baby-big-bow-hairband-good-quality-headband-stretch-turban-knot-head-wrap-hats-caps}

 

Baby Girl’s Nursery Design

We have reached the third trimester!  I can’t believe how close we are to bringing our little one home (and then again, it feels so far away!).  As our due date looms near we figured it was time to start on baby girl’s room.

I scoured pinterest for a little inspiration and then began the online shopping spree.  I put together the big pieces we picked to show the design we are going with.  There are many more little pieces to come, but I love how far we have come.

 

Nursery Inspiration

Rug: I knew we wanted to stick with a neutral scheme for the wall and furniture so we can change things around as we want, so I thought a rug may be a great piece to add a pop of color to the room.  The bedroom is already carpeted, so the thin 6′ x 4′ rug was just enough!  I stumbled upon Society 6 and loved how you can search an idea, like floral watercolors, and search endless designs by various artists.

Crib: I had another crib in mind that was white with natural wood colored legs, but after talking with my sister and measuring out what the actual dimensions were (a crucial thing to do when online shopping) Brandon and I decided the crib would sit very low to the ground.  So I went back on the hunt and hit pottery barn during a great sale!

Rocker: Now this was one of the harder pieces to decide on.  In my mind I was dead set on a rocker but after searching (and searching… and searching) we came back to this glider Brandon and I had sat in at Babies r’ Us.  It was just so comfortable and I love the chairs with the high back.

Ottoman: A storage ottoman will fit perfectly in front of the glider.  Knowing I wouldn’t be able to match the linen color, I went with this great gray color.

Dresser: I have been in love with this Ikea dresser for awhile now and am hoping that Brandon will agree we need one of these for our room once he sees how great it is :).

Paint Color: The hardest decision!  There are so many “gray” options and knowing just how the shade will look in our house is near impossible.  I wanted to stick with a gray hue that leaned more blue than beige and now that the walls are painted, and we can see it in person, it is exactly what I was going for!!

Now the walls are painted and it’s time to start building the furniture!  And on to the search for curtains, shelves and some simple wall pieces begins!!

Spring Whites

I have been on the hunt for some new pieces this Spring to add to my closet that would not only be perfect for dressing the bump this summer, but that could also be worn again next year.  I hit up the sale Old Navy and stocked up.  One piece I couldn’t wait to wear was this beautiful eyelet dress!

Spring Whites

While the shift dress is a flattering look normally, I decided I needed to dress the bump a little so I added a simple braided belt.  I added simple flats for Mother’s Day brunch at my brother’s house at the beach this past Sunday.  (First I grabbed a pair of brown wedges, which were a perfect look,  but thought flats seemed more appropriate for the day)

Spring Whites

Spring Whites

The dress is lined so it is not as sheer as many of the other dresses out today.  And with a price tag under $20 right now, you can’t go wrong!

Dress: Old Navy | Belt: similar, similar | Sandals: J Crew Factory (last season) similar, similar

Some Bunny’s excited about our news…

I was back and forth on whether I wanted to find out the gender of the baby but Brandon was positive that there was no way he could wait until August to find out!  So of course, if he was going to know, I had to know too.  I mean, how could someone keep that big of a secret during all the prepping and planning!

Because Brandon was going to be working over the weekend after our appointment, we choose to find out at the ultrasound.  Brandon wouldn’t have time over the weekend for a gender reveal for us to find out with our families, but my brother asked if he could do a gender reveal for my family to find out when we would be together at my parent’s for my dad’s birthday.  So in true pinterest fashion, Mark prepped with cans of silly string and my nephew had fun finding out they had a baby girl cousin on the way!

My sweet co-worker has been obsessed with gender reveal videos on youtube and asked if I could hold off on posting online what we were having so we could have an office gender reveal (I work with some of the sweetest people).  So the office girls planned a little lunch party and we decided on a box of balloons to make the big reveal.   I prepped the box and all my coworkers wore pink or blue to pick sides.  It was so fun to share the news with them!

So when the secret was out we took the opportunity when we had the bunny on hand at Easter to do a quick little shoot.

Baby Girl Upton

We are so excited to have a little girl on the way.  I know she will have Brandon wrapped around her little finger and of course she will have some of the prettiest smocked dresses from my mom.  Can’t wait till she is here!

Big News about a Little Thing!

We have some big things over here!!

Baby Makes Three
Baby Makes Three

We were so excited to announce that we are expecting this August!!  I had to share the cute photos my youngest brother took to help make our announcement to our friends and family.

Baby Makes 3 couple picture

Brandon was excited to add the fireman theme in to the announcement so we used the trucks at Station 3 to tell our news!

Our due date is August 15 and everything so far has been amazing (*knock on wood).  I can’t wait to share all about this new adventure!!

 

Life Lately

Oh what a whirlwind of a year! It has been a busy couple of months around here so a life lately recap is much over due.

In August, Brandon and I enjoyed another trip to the beach with friends and spent the few days soaking up the sun, trying some tasty new adult drinks and driving along the beach at Corova.

outerbanksjuly2016_house
Home Sweet Beach Home
outerbanksjuly2016_shower
Outside Showers are the very best
outerbanksjuly2016_corova
Corova!
outerbanksjuly2016_watermelon
Delicious Watermelon Spiked Punch

We cut the trip a little shorter than planned but we were more than excited to head back to town for Brandon’s promotion ceremony at the fire department. Words can not describe how proud I am of him. He works so hard and spent most of the past year preparing to rock his promotion testing and interview (which he did!!). He looked so handsome dressed in his dress uniform and we celebrated his success with dinner, drinks and friends!

brandons-promotion-july-2016

September was a busy one at the office for me, but when my day-to-day work involves event prepping, even the stressful work ends in a big fun street festival. One of my favorite new events we have added is the Drive-In movies at the park. ET was the halloween season pick and watching the loads of cars pour in to the park was the best! The busy days continued as we celebrated the holidays in town with tree lightings, parades, and Santa himself!! I definitely love the work I get to do and am so thankful for a great workplace!

grand-illumination-2016
The best Mr and Mrs Claus in town!

This Thanksgiving I headed to Pennsylvania to visit family and every trip there is magical. The fall in the mountains is always breathtaking and time with family and friends is the best. We spent time shopping, eating and drinking, just how the holidays should be spent!

 

thanksgiving-outfit
Thanksgiving outfit with a fantastic bottle of Casanel Wine
victory-brewey
Victory Brewery, our favorite Black Friday hang out

Christmas this year was wonderful too. Brandon worked at the fire station Christmas Eve so I headed to mass with my parent’s and brothers and dinner at the oceanfront in Virginia Beach. Christmas day we opened presents, watched the boys play with nerf guns around the house, and ate and drank until we were stuffed!

moran-christmas-2016
The “kids” on Christmas

My favorite present we gave this year was taking our niece and nephew (who are both 11) to the trampoline park for the day. They are at the age where we have no idea what to get them and most of their time is spent on their computers or phones so we figured getting them up and out of the house over their winter break was the best thing we could do!

And we are two years in to our new house and still loving every inch of it! Slow and steady we are adding furniture and decor pieces and figuring out our personal style has certainly been an adventure. I feel a real sign of “adulting” is gifting furniture to ourselves for our anniversary! We are creating a list of work to be done (built-ins here, new room designs there) and getting to work making the house our home.

It has been a great year for us overall and we are looking forward to all the wonderful things 2017 has in store.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful New Year!!!

Lavender Summer Drink

We have been loving these summer days, especially down in the outer banks hanging out with friends and family. The sunny beach days by the water and the cool nights around the table playing the Mexican Train Game (have you played… it’s addicting) have been the best. My 30 by 30 list has seemed to fall by the way side between vacations and busy work weeks but my #28 – have a signature drink has been one everyone has been willing to help with! So by trial and error at the beach house we have been testing every pinteresty delicious drink around.

While this lavender lemonade didn’t make the signature cut it is still one I would recommend to try during these last few days before fall.

Found this great recipe at onekingslane.com (and cut the servings in half):

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar
4 sprigs lavender (stems and buds), plus a few additional sprigs for garnish
5 fresh squeezed lemons (approx 1 cup) lemon juice (I was excited to use my new juicer for this!)
2 fresh squeezed limes worth (approx. 1/4 cup) lime juice (and this!)

Directions:

Boil about half a gallon of water and the sugar. Remove from heat, and add lavender sprigs along with the lemon and lime juices all together in the pot.

Let the mixture cool to room temperature, strain the lavender.

For a quick way to serve use a shaker after straining (love this new shaker from Shikshook) with ice to chill quickly.

To make this a bit more adult friendly (and what better kind of signature drink than an adult one) I topped each serving off with a 1/4 glass pour of my favorite Prosecco from Trader Joes.  It added a little carbonation and whole lot of deliciousness!

Hope you enjoy!

 

*I received the shaker to test at a discounted rate but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Cucumber and Onion Salad

Summer is coming to end and while I am looking forward to pumpkin spice lattes, football games and cool fall weather I will miss the amazing vegetables from the garden my husband grew out back!  We have been eating out way through countless squash, zucchini, tomato, basil and cucumber recipes.

Last night while mixing and matching some delicious sounding cucumber salad recipes with what ingredients we had left in the cabinets (the struggle of not grocery shopping after vacation) I came up with a tasty little treat I thought I would share!  I even managed to use a new vegetable peeler I received from Raaya without slicing my own fingers in the process(which is a culinary miracle).Cucumber and Onion Salad

So here is my new favorite summer Cucumber and Onion Salad:

Ingredients:

1 large cucumber

1/2 purple onion

1/8 cup balsamic vinegar

1/8 cup extra virgin police oil

1 tbsp dill

2 tsp of sea salt

Directions:

I used the slicer to make vegetable noodles out of the cucumber, then chopped up the onion.  Next I simply combined all the ingredients in a large bowl, tossed it all with tongs, being sure to coat all of the vegetables and served!  Simple!

Hope you enjoy!

Weekend Ruminations {August 5 -7}

Happy Monday!

I am back from the beach and back to the office.  A quick weekend away is never enough but I can’t wait to get back down to the outer banks in two weeks for a longer vacay!  Here is a quick look at the weekend by the sea…

weekend ruminations August 5 - 7, 2016

My sister and I started an annual ‘Sister’s Weekend’ in Duck, NC a few years back and I was looking forward to a few days away with her all summer.  We packed the fridge with our favorite drinks and all the appetizers and cheese we could find at Trader Joes!

weekend ruminations August 5 - 7, 2016

That night we tested out the local Uber and went exploring (definitely a new adventure for us… we are usually homebodies at the beach).  The friendly drivers and delicious margaritas were so worth it!

weekend ruminations August 5 - 7, 2016

I have a few orders coming in for customized t-shirts for some friends so I thought I would play around with some techniques and made a few shirts for me and Beth to wear at the beach.  This lime one may be my favorite!

Now time to finish the laundry that I didn’t finish when I got home Sunday!  Hope you have a wonderful week!

 

Weekend Ruminations – July 2016

Happy Monday!

The weekend is never quite long enough! So let’s reminisce on the weekend and pretend it’s not over just yet!

Friday at work was a day I have been looking forward to all year. I put together a summer concert series for the city I work in and this Friday’s band was a definite favorite! The Deloreans are a local 80’s cover band and boy do they put on a phenomenal show! Things went smoothly (despite the 90 + degree weather and lack of breeze) and everyone seemed to have a great time!

Weekend Ruminations July 2016
Saturday I got to spend the day with my best friend, Holly, and her sweet new baby boy Everett! Holly and her husband recently bought a home in Maryland but this weekend she was back home in Virginia Beach to visit family and I took full advantage for some baby snuggles.

Weekend Ruminations July 2016
It was a weekend of stormy weather with the best sunsets, and Sunday we spent a lazy day complete with Mexican, margaritas and a red box movie night!

Weekend Ruminations July 2016

Now we are back and ready for the week ahead!