Carter's Nursery

Thursday, July 27, 2017

 
 I'm not sure what's taken me so long on this post, but I finally wanted to share Carter's nursery here. It's one of my favorite rooms in the house. Granted, the house is on the market currently and we're fixing to sell and move, so some aspects of this room didn't get finished exactly how I wanted them to, but I just love this space so much. 


Carter's room is what once was our guest room, which was also a favorite of mine at the time. Part of what I love so much about it now is the family history behind a lot of the pieces I used in  the room. 


The crib was my daddy's crib when he was a baby. My sister and I used it, her kids used it, Caroline used it and now it's Carter man's spot to rest his head. I've painted it a few times since we've started using it. It was a bright white when it was in Caroline's nursery, but I used a cream shade once I settled on how to decorate Carter's space. 

The glider that we use was also in Caroline's nursery, but I'd made a slipcover for it when it was in there. Before it was Caroline's, my sister had it in my nephew's nursery about seventeen years ago! The little stuffed animals in the chair are handmade by a relative; the bear being especially sentimental to me because she made it using a sweater that was my Papaw Scott's. Carter Scott was named after him:) And the blanket on the back was made by my mom when we found out Carter was a boy. I love this little corner of the nursery. 

I can't tell you the last time we used the changing pad, but I haven't taken it out yet. Something about removing baby items from the room just seems a little bit sad. It all just passes so quickly, doesn't it? I found the chest (it's actually a server) above at an antique market in Lexington a few years ago. It matches a buffet we currently have in our foyer, but since our new home has a formal dining room, both of those pieces will be in there.


These little baskets on the wall are from Magnolia, Chip and Joana's online shop. They're great for diaper storage and as a catchall for things like lotions, diaper creams, etc. 


The little car on top of the marble top chest was also handmade by a relative and given to Carter as a gift. I found the sign on Etsy, and I just love that quote from Peter Pan. 



Carter's room in the new house will likely look a lot different. The two chests will be used in other spots in the house, he only has one window in his room so I'm not sure if I'll use the cornices we made or not. Then before we know it, he'll be transitioning into a toddler bed (probably not for at least a year, but most parents can attest to how quickly a year passes).  I have a bit of a blank slate to work with in there, so I thought about utilizing some online design service to get me going and help me develop a clear vision for his new space. Has anyone ever tried online design services before? What are your thoughts if you have?

I've been perusing the website Havenly and am really loving what I'm seeing there. They have a page of their Interior Designers and will match you to a designer who's a good fit for your taste and style. You can filter according to your design style (I'd say I lean towards classic/traditional and preppy with a touch of coastal in some spaces) as well as your geographic region, because let's face it, a lot of us Southerners have a taste all our own ;) More is more!

Anyway, I'm looking forward to sharing our new home as we undertake lots of updates, additions and changes over the coming months. Keep checking back here and there will be lots more decorating posts to come! Also, I think I've finally decided on a new name for the blog, so once I have a new page design, I'll be making the switch!



Charleston

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

For an early anniversary gift, Juston surprised me with a trip to Charleston for just the two of us. He knows me so well, because there's nothing he could have given me that I'd want more, unless it was a house in Charleston;) I thought I'd post a quick recap of our trip. We are literally home for less than 24 hours and then heading out on another trip. I'll be sure and post about that one next week. It's a place we've never been before, so I'm excited to explore a new city with the kids. 

This post will be heavy on the pictures, not so much on words. 

Lobster Roll from The Darling. 


We met some great friends of ours who live in Daniel Island for lunch our first day in town. We'd been wanting to give The Darling oyster bar a try for quite some time now, so that's where we ended up meeting. I got the lobster roll and it was really great. I've never had a New England lobster roll before, so I'm not sure how it compares, but it was wonderful. 

We had our anniversary dinner at Hall's Chophouse, which is always a favorite! They brought us free champagne and a free drink with our desert. It was such a fabulous meal. Some of the best fried okra ever.


I can't know for sure, but if Instagram is any indication, this pretty coral door on Tradd Street is one of the most photographed on the peninsula. It's easy to see why. 



Tradd st

 Queen st. 

Juston and I actually have a Gorgon Wheeler original painting of the home above that we purchased on a visit a few years ago. I love it so much, but we have yet to hand it anywhere. 


For breakfast on day two, we walked to Hominy Grill (and got rained on), but it was worth the walk. Juston got Geechee catfish and grits and it was so incredible, I kept sneaking bites because I played it safe with egg and cheese grits. 

After lots of shopping and walking, we made our way to Poogan's Porch, which has always been one of our favorites. We split the pimento cheese fritters, pictured below and they were as delicious as ever. I got my usual BLT pimento cheese and Juston chose the fried green tomatoes. They were good, not great. I think for me, after having had fried green tomato perfection at Magnolia's restaurant, nothing else will compare. 




 Post lunch meant more shopping and walking, where I captured some of these photos.



 


I made my way to Sugar Bakeshop on Cannon st. It's sort of out of the way if you're walking, but Cannon street is undergoing a bit of a revitalization. It's not in the greatest part of town, but it doesn't feel unsafe walking the street during the day at all. I got Juston and myself some small caramel cupcakes. They were good, but I think I still prefer Cupcakes on King. 

For dinner, we went to another favorite, 82 Queen. This was our favorite overall experience of this particular trip. The service was top notch and the food is always over the top. 82 Queen has my favorite she crab soup in town that I have tried, and I have tried it in a LOT of places. Nothing beats 82 Queens' she crab soup in my opinion. Juston and I split the BBQ shrimp and grits seen below. They are very tasty, but light on the BBQ flavor and heavy on the bacon and cheese.

 




I snapped this beauty of Rainbow Row on our way out of town. We stayed downtown at the King Charles Inn and really liked. It wasn't my favorite place we've stayed downtown, but only because there isn't much in the way of scenery. The website for the hotel talks up the "scenic private balcony" that was to come with our room...it overlooked a parking lot, so "scenic" is a generous term, but the hotel itself is beautifully decorated and the staff was very friendly. It was another great trip to the city that captured our heart ten years ago. We'll be heading back late this fall and I can't wait.

Recent Beauty Buys

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

In the summertime, I generally keep my hair and make-up routine minimal, but I have found a few products lately that I have been loving and I thought I would share with y'all.

First up is an eye shadow palate that I'm loving. I have the Lorac Pro and the Naked 2 palates and really love both of them, but thought the price point was great on Tarte Sex Kitten palate, so I picked it up from Ulta and am really liking the colors.

If you sign up for Ebates before ordering from Ulta, you can earn cash back. I think I got 6% cash back when I ordered mine.

Next up is hair. While mine isn't naturally curly, it's prone to horrible flyaways right now as I'm dealing with regrowth from all the hair that fell out after I had Carter. Any given day I fix my hair, it looks like I stuck my finger in an electric socket after being out in this Southern heat and humidity for ten minutes. I decided to try this anti-frizz weightless styling spray from Living Proof, also from Ulta.


It worked really well for me. I can't say that it would be as effective on naturally curly hair since mine isn't, but it helped tame my flyaways, even in this crazy humid weather we're in the throes of currently.


Moving on to lips. This Glo Minerals suede matte crayon in color Sorbet is such a fun punch of color for summer. I like to use this color when keeping the rest of my make-up pretty simple so that the bold lip color is the star of the show. I found that this wore well for me and stayed put for the better part of about three hours before I removed my makeup for the evening.


Sticking with lip color, but this time a bit more neutral, I picked up Bare Minerals radiant lipstick in color Heaven. I really love this color for everyday use. It's pretty and neutral and I'd think flattering on most complexions. I purchased from Sephora (which is currently 4% cashback from Ebates).

Last up is a new brush I picked up. I'm slowly phasing in new make-up brushes since I'm pretty sure the last time I purchased a new one, I was still a freshman in college. I got the Bobbi Brown eye shadow brush.  The reviews on this were great, and given the length of time I use my brushes, I feel like I got a really good one, I'm pleased with it and would definitely recommend it.

Fresh from the Garden

Friday, July 14, 2017

There are few things that make me more proud than being able to walk into our back yard and pick fresh veggies we've grown in our garden. I know exactly what has, or more accurately what hasn't gone into the food we're growing and even though our raised garden bed is smaller, it's produced lots of fresh food for us in the last few years since Juston built it.  

I thought I'd start a new series of posts over the next few weeks about preparing fresh foods, either from your own garden or your local farmer's market. The first vegetable I'm going to post about it probably my favorite of the summer because of it's versatility; tomatoes. 

Below, I'm sharing four of my favorite ways to prepare fresh tomatoes. Mine aren't quite ripe for picking right now, so these came from our local farmer's market and they were delicious! So here goes, four ways with tomatoes, starting with a breakfast option.

Breakfast option: Pimento cheese and tomato english muffin

This is one of my favorite breakfast options in the summertime and it's so simple and quick. You need the following:

Whole grain English muffin, two slices tomato, pimento cheese (I use Palmetto Cheese brand), bacon, salt and pepper.

Start by halving the muffin and placing a slice of tomato on each half. Salt and pepper the tomato slices!



Next, spread the pimento cheese over the tomato. Place in oven on low broil until the cheese starts to bubble and melt. 

It should come out of the oven looking like what's pictured below


I top with crumbled bacon and serve. You could use Bacon Bits if you don't have bacon on hand, but it's not as good. 


Lunch Option: BLT with Avocado. 

I haven't prepared one of these this week, so this photo isn't mine. Mine does not turn out nearly as pretty. 


You'll need the following:
whole grain bread (2-3 slices depending on how many layers you want your sandwich to be), 3 slices cooked bacon, sliced tomato, green leaf lettuce, sliced avocado, (Duke's) mayonnaise, salt and pepper. 

You can toast the bread for this sandwich, but a lot of times, I skip that step. I put mayo on both pieces of bread, then place tomato on top of that. Salt and pepper the tomato next to flavor it. Next, layer on the avocado slices, followed by the lettuce, then bacon. If we're feeling wild, we'll repeat these steps for another layer to the sandwich. 


Appetizer Option: Caprese Salad


I typically prefer to serve this when we have company over and line a whole platter like you see above, but I had a hankering for it mid-week this week, so this was my supper one night. 

You'll need the following:
tomato, fresh mozzarella, basil leaves, salt, pepper, olive oil, balsamic vinegar. 

Slice your tomatoes and cheese. Salt and pepper the tomato slices (the salt will draw out some moisture from the tomato, so you may want to do this on a seperate plate and let sit for a few minutes before serving up on a platter. 

Start with a tomato slice, then layer mozzarella followed by the bay leaves. Repeat these steps until you've used all of those ingredients. Then mix olive oil and balsamic vinegar and pour over top tomato layers. I just sort of eyeball the olive oil mixture, but I do about 2 parts oil to one part vinegar. 



Supper Option: Tomato Pie




I posted this recipe originally a few years ago, and it hasn't changed since. You can click here to find the recipe for tomato pie. It does not disappoint. What's you favorite way to do tomatoes in the summer?


Lately

Thursday, July 13, 2017

If I could have it be summer all year long, I swear I'd do it! I just love it so much and so do my babies. We've been trying to make the most of ours by doing lots of swimming, swinging, water balloons, travelings and anything else outside. 
The kids and I have been trying to split our time between home and Elizabethtown where Juston is during the week. Our house down there still has no kitchen, (hopefully, it'll be done in two weeks), but the kids still manage to have fun. Something about a big open space with very little furniture is so appealing to kids. They can basically run wild without worrying about running into anything or something breaking. We're still not sure when we'll get our furniture moved down there. Our house here still hasn't sold and we're still renovating, so we're not in much of a hurry. 

How sweet is this picture of the kids?! Caroline was sitting in her camping chair "reading" a book and when Carter noticed, he backed up to her and she hoisted him into her lap and read to him...for the thirty seconds he's willing to sit still. She's just the best big sister to him. She probably has more patience than I do most days haha. 




I'm pretty sure that Carter is going to be carrying his wubbanub when he heads off to college. I haven't tried very hard to break him of it, but he's made it clear that even if I did it would be an exercise in futility. He usually only gets it at naptime and bedtime and I'll hide it once he's up, but occasionally he finds "Wubby" out in the wild and gets SO excited when he does. 


Most days, one or two of my sisters kids will end up coming to the house with us and spending some time. This week, Camden and Caroline picked out some rocks while we were at the park. They brought them home and painted them and are going to choose a place around town to hide them. It's part of something that kids in this and surrounding communities have been doing this summer and it seemed like something they'd enjoy. Camden painted her's Harry Potter and Caroline did a rainbow. 


How does she look a solid seven years old here! I can't get over the fact that in less than a month, my baby girl will be five. It's just crazy how time flies when you sleep-deprived, exhausted and having the time of your life. 


Carter loved the park when we went the other morning. It's just a few blocks from my parents house where we stay a lot during the week so we went as soon as the kids got up and dressed that morning. He was fascinated watching all the barges make their way up the river. 

Be sure to check back here tomorrow, because I'm going to be sharing some of my favorite ways to dress up garden tomatoes this time of year! So far, I've only harvested green beans and cucumbers from my garden, but the tomatoes are coming along great and should be ready in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, I've been getting mine from the farmer's market.

Recent Reads

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

I've finally had a chance to pick up a couple of the books in the last few weeks that I've been excited to read. I thought I'd share some vague thoughts on them and included links in the event that you'd want to read themselves. These are Amazon affiliate links. Anytime I buy books, I buy them used and have never had an issue with quality buying this way. It also saves a ton of money. 


The Guests on South Battery is the fifth book in Karen White's Tradd Street series and I have to say, it's probably my least favorite of the series. It took me a while to get into it and I just wasn't as crazy about it. I've really liked every other book in this series, which chronicles Melanie and Jack Trenholm's adventures helping ghosts solve mysteries and crossover. I generally love story lines that involve supernatural occurances. The reasons I didn't like this one as much as the others is mainly the way the main character Melanie is portrayed. Honestly, she got on my nerves in this book and I feel like her behaviors were over-exaggerated and not very believable. I'm still glad I read the book, and will read any others that may follow in this series as Karen White is one of my favorite authors. The book is well written, as are all of hers I've read, it just wasn't easy for me to get into it. I'm glad I read it, but if I'd read this one alone, I probably wouldn't want to read any others in the series (which I love as a whole). 



This book by Kim Gatlin was made into a series for television a few years ago. does anyone else remember it? I watched (and loved) it because it had Kristen Chenowith and I just thought the concept was funny. The show was canceled after one season if I remember correctly. Well, I just recently picked up the book from Amazon and read it while I was on vacation. It was better than I'd anticipated it to be and I would definitely recommend it. The title may be a bit off-putting to some, but after reading the book, you understand it completely. I always try never to reveal too much of the plot lines when I post about books, but I really did like this one. It follows the journey of the main character, Amanda Vaughn, as she moves back to her hometown in Texas after a messy divorce. Without giving too much away, the people who she thinks are her friends are working behind the scenes to ruin her. We've all known people like that so I'd say lots of ladies can relate to this book. In short, I'd recommend it. 

Currently reading...


I just started this book over the weekend and I have been stealing every chance I get to read another chapter. I'm only about a quarter of the way into it, but I'm LOVING it so far. Thus far, the story is about three sisters returning to their mother's home to live with her for an indefinite time period. Each one is returning under different circumstances; one as a result of a cheating spouse, one whose husband is deployed with the military and one to film a movie in the area. I read Lies and Other Acts of Love by this same author a few months ago and knew I wanted to read anything else she put out because I loved that book. I'll be sure to report back here once I finish this one to let y'all know what I think.

Next up to be ordered and hopefully read this summer is Beach House for Rent by Mary Alice Monroe and Same Beach, Next Year by Dorthea Benton Frank. Has anyone read these yet? What are your thoughts? And what is everyone else reading right now?


Wilmington

Monday, July 10, 2017

When I was fixing to graduate from college, I was a lover of Nicholas Sparks books and a lover of fitness. I know that sounds totally random, but bare with me, I swear there's a point here.  I'd already been working as a personal trainer for about a year at a gym in Northern Kentucky where I was going to school and wanted to continue to pursue a career in the health and fitness industry, so when it came time to apply for jobs, I was applying for gyms all over the North Carolina coast, primarily in Morehead City, New Bern, the Outer Banks and Wilmington. If you've read Nicholas Sparks, you know his books primarily take place in North Carolina. So to spite never having been to any of these places, I was more than ready to up and move. I'd done phone interviews with quite a few places and had a few offers for jobs when a full time position came open as the Fitness Director at the YMCA in my hometown. I applied for it, too and since there were benefits and retirement involved, I figured I'd start out there and then transfer to a Y in North Carolina. I ended up meeting Juston through working at the Y and the rest is history, I suppose. 

I still have it in our five-ten year plan to end up living in North Carolina. I'd love to raise our kids there because everyplace we've ever been there, we've loved and met so many great people. I also feel like much of the entire state is really conducive to getting outdoors a lot. Anyway, the whole point of all that backstory is that while we were in Topsail Beach, I decided to do a day trip to Wilmington with Caroline, my mom and my niece. It did not disappoint and it has moved into the top five places I'd like to move now. We saw some absolutely stunning homes while we were there. One thing we also did was google the addresses for the houses used in the filming of One Tree Hill, one of my all time favorite shows. So here you go, so of the gorgeous homes we saw on our trip. 






And for any fellow One Tree Hill fans, here are some places you just might recognize.


Hey Brooke Davis (my favorite), you still behind that red door? The neighborhood this home was located in was unbelievable gorgeous. Every home was prettier than the next. 


Home of Lucas (Karen) Scott above. It's so cute in person. The pic I snapped stopped at a stop sign doesn't do it justice. 


And finally, Dan and Deb (Nathan) Scott's place from the early seasons. We also found the old location of Karen's Cafe and the bridge from the opening credits. Apparently (and sadly), the River Court is no longer around. We had a fun little trip and I'm hoping we'll find our way back really soon.