A Reintroduction

Thursday, January 18, 2018

This morning I noticed several friends sharing "reintroduction" posts, so I thought I would do the same, even if it's a bit late.

My name is Victoria Strader. I'll be 27 in February (whoowee!!) and I was born in Paris, France. My British parents lived there for a few years. By the time I was a year old they had moved to the US, but all of my extended family lives in England. I live outside of Fort Worth, Texas. I absolutely love the blend of culture that has made me who I am. I love all things Southern, but am also a die-hard fan of the Royal family. For the most part I have a classic style, something I think is influenced by both of the places that have shaped me.

I married Ben on December 29, 2012. We met the first day of high school at our fish camp, became good friends a few years later and basically I fell in love with him and twiddled my thumbs waiting for him to do the same. I've been blogging through our love story recently and owe y'all a new post. But I'd say pretty much daily, if not every few days, I stop and think how much my life would suck without him. Truly. He's the absolute best and has given me the sweetest life we could dream of. No one is more dedicated to loving God. No one is more dedicated to me and our children. He's just a gemstone. But he also annoys me plenty because we're normal human beings but overall, major gemstone.

We have a 20 month son named Beau William, and are expecting his Little Sister in early May! Being a mama has always been my absolute dream and I really do love every day. So many parts of it come with a learning curve but even on days that I'm exhausted or discouraged all I need is some time cuddling my boy and all is better. I cannot wait for the joy that is ahead with loving my two babies.

My faith is the glue of all of these things. Every day there is hope and light because of Jesus.

A few other things:
  • Beautiful paper goods are my favorite thing. I live for a good invitation or announcement. 
  • I pretty much only see white, blue, and blush. Just kidding. But those colors are my favorite for sure.
  • We are travel lovers! We truly mix being homebodies and loving exploring the world. I think Beau has already visited 10 countries (there is a note on my phone) and times traveling are our absolute best. I can't wait to plan little sister's first trip abroad! 
  • I love silhouettes and my favorite gift this year was from my brother and sister in law, they had Clay Rice silhouettes done of my niece and nephew for me!
  • I know I'm behind the times but I purchased an insulated tumbler last week and it's radically changed my life and I feel like I'm so happy each day because of my tumbler. Thank you $12.99 30oz tumbler for being my bestie!!
  • My girlfriends are INCREDIBLY important to me. I have two best friends from college who are like sisters to me, and all of the families in our home group are also really like family to us. We're in a season of life where all of our friendships are really close ones. 
  • I love interior design. We're dreaming of building a long term home in the next few years and when we do it's going to be like my Olympics. In the two homes we've lived in I've loved making them ours, but being able to customize everything is going to be fantastic. 
  • My favorite desserts include cookie cake, smores, and normal chocolate chip cookies. :) Currently trying to keep the pregnancy weight at bay with just 2 treats a week though. My husband and I always say we could be extremely happy only eating really healthy- plus desserts and candies. Haha! Fried foods are not my temptation at all, but love me some sugar treats. 
That's all for now! I'd love if you would reintroduce yourself in the comments. I know this is out of comfort zone but so many of y'all have read my blog for years and I have grown to love you as friends. And if you haven't said hi before, I'd love that too!

Linking up with Emily!

Little Sister Strader's Nursery Progress

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

We are the type of people that wake up on December 26 and start wrecking shop on our house, haha. We put the Christmas decorations down, purge things we don't need, and organize. This is our version of Spring cleaning. I know some of y'all might bah humbug this.. but we just love enjoying Christmas and then taking it right down when it's over. This year we truly tore the house upside down because we turned our guest room into the new nursery, and put up Beau's new bed in his room. And we moved around a few other pieces of furniture, too. So it became instant chaos that honestly took us a week to work through, because we wanted to add in a ton of relaxation too! 

The guest room was full of a bunch of storage stuff so soon after breakfast I went in there and spent a really focused 45 minutes and just dealt with stuff. Pile to sell, donate, trash. Execute! The room was a clean surface for Ben to come in and take down the bed. We're keeping it, but just don't have room in this house. We packaged it all up tight and put it in storage for when we have a guest bedroom again one day. 

Next step was painting the room! We went back and forth on if we should hire painters but ultimately opted to not. The color is Behr My Sweetheart, and we're REALLY pleased with it. At first I thought that I might lighten the shade some in an ideal world.. but now I think it's perfect. 

Yay! It felt like such a victory when the room was finished. In between painting we had a quick anniversary getaway, and had lots of other fun things going on. Our break was the perfect balance between productive and relaxing. 

And here's what it looks like now. Well, the bedding I chose did arrive, but not a whole lot else has happened. I ordered a special monogrammed pillow, but it's not in yet. Next will be figuring out art, and adding some more special details! 

On My Radar Lately

Monday, January 15, 2018

I'm baaaaack! You might not have noticed my absence, or maybe you have. I stopped abruptly blogging at the beginning of December because of some family things that took priority, then enjoyed our long Christmas break, and then just didn't feel super motivated to return. Something that felt pretty unusual for me, because I LOVE writing this blog. So I decided to wait it out, and here I am! :)

I thought I'd jump back in by sharing some little snippets of what we've been up to and things I've been enjoying lately!

  • I love that anytime I use instagram stories I get a ton of sweet, helpful responses from people. On New Year's Eve we scrapped our plans because it was icy on the roads that morning and this pregnant mama was scared so we hankered down at Ben's parents' house for the evening and spent the night. Ben was staying up late doing a puzzle with his brothers so I fell down the Whole 30 research train and was chatting with people about their experiences doing Whole 30 while pregnant. We ultimately decided not to do the Whole 30... but we've been eating a lot healthier and minimizing our sugar intake (and dairy!) and so I've been using a lot of really cool resources. The most helpful one that I found was on "Style Your Senses" a blog I've loosely followed for awhile but have recently been OBSESSED with! That link goes to her ultimate Whole 30 guide. We've been eating a ton of Whole 30 meals and honestly the thing about Whole 30 is you eat REALLY good on it. We've loved eating some of the recipes in her roundup. Pinch of Yum has also had some really good resources like this guide for buying products that don't have added sugar. 
  • I haven't done any goal planning for the full year.. it just seems like it's going to be too broken up to me, with a new baby coming in May. (I get more and more excited every day!! Nursery update will be my next post I think!) I did, however, make a list of things I want to be conscious of and accomplish before Little Sister Strader is here. I've already crossed off a few action steps. For my big goal of creating more moments for Beau and I to create joyful memories during the week, we had a step of joining the library. We went last week and got a smoothie, got our library card, played for awhile, and checked out a few books. The guy working at Jamba Juice gave us a bigger smoothie for the cost of the smaller because he thought Beau would like some. Sometimes if things are too cold he just spits it out but let me tell you my child chugged no less than 12 oz of this giant smoothie. He was OBSESSED! So I want to start making him smoothies if y'all have any recipe recommendations for little ones. We had so much fun at the library!! 

  • I've added a lot of different products into my skincare routine, so I should probably do a full update on that, but wanted to address one thing really quickly. When I started using Tula cleanser I posted about it in passing and it's been one of the things I'm asked about the most. Months later I still love it, will never use anything else... and have a husband who loves it too haha! The other day Ben got out of the shower and was like "my skin feels luxurious because of the fancy skin care routine I just did. I exfoliated!!" And I was like okay there's nothing in the shower to exfoliate with, haha! Come to find out he just used the face wash but thought his face used very fancy. Haha! Highly, highly recommend. I haven't had to get a new container since I first bought it at the beginning of summer, either. A little bit goes a long way which helps with the price tag. 
  • This time around pregnancy wise, I've felt like my belly has gotten SO much bigger faster. Which is sort of true but also it is about the same size as it was this time with Beau. I can't believe I'm 24 weeks!! Anyway, I've been living in a few things. I don't know how I ever lived without these maternity leggings. My inlaws generously gave me some money to get a few maternity staples so I ordered the leggings, and two of these tops and it's been my uniform. I truly wear the leggings daily, and the tops are such great quality. I think I'll wear these until it gets warm, and then it will be dresses on rotation until we meet our girl! 
  • Speaking of meeting our girl.. I feel like with Beau the anticipation of pregnancy was all we knew so it made it extra fun. We were excited to meet him but didn't know what it would be like so I feel like I didn't wish the time away as much as I am now. It's such a bittersweet feeling because on one hand I want to soak up every second with Beau, but on the other hand I know he's going to be obsessed with having a sibling and I just want to meet our baby girl. I am seriously having dreams almost every night about what it will be like in the hospital. I mentioned earlier that we've been doing a lot in the nursery, but I've also been thinking about things like outfits and swaddles for the hospital, for newborn photos, etc. And ordering some things. Those little things just make me feel so connected to the baby and the anticipation just grows. My baby shower is at the beginning of March, I'm so excited!! I think after that too because there is so much going on it will feel like time is going by really fast. 
  • We usually don't go to the 7:15 Saturday night service at church, but this week we decided it would be fun to take Beau in his jammies, keep him out of the nursery and with us, and just see if he would fall asleep and snuggle us during worship. Ha!! It ended up being such a sweet time. He slept most of the time and when he didn't he sat still and was so good for the most part. I really do think that since he's so social he's picked up on cues for social situations since he was teeny tiny. There are for sure times when he's a normal toddler and is just over mommy having a lunch date and wants to go play but a lot of times he reads the situation. Makes me such a proud mama. Also, that was his last time to wear his sweet little fox jammies, they were a bit snug, so they're going in the box with special things I want to save for our other babies.
  • He's always changing, but right now Beau is all about being where his mama is. This photo is from Sunday when I was baking cookies and he stood right there with his hands on my legs not letting go as I mixed ingredients. I'll also give y'all one guess who dressed him in that mix match outfit.. hint.. it was not me! Haha! 
  • I'll probably do a whole post on things I've been shopping for Spring and Summer with my babies in mind (two! so fun!) but the baby girl old navy section is SO cute right now. Last night I texted my friend a photo of this gingham romper that was marked down to $6 and she responded "FREE!" haha! 

  • The other day after Beau had a quick doctor's appointment, his Granny took us out for ice cream as a treat for him being so good. These little outings always end up being my favorite and I just love spending quality time with my boy! 

That's all for now!! Excited to be back into the swing of things! XO

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