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Smocked Auctions Sample Sale

Thursday, February 25, 2016

When we found out that we were having a boy, one of the first things I did was place an order to Smocked Auctions.  Smocked clothes aren't for everyone, but I tend to gravitate towards really classic baby styles. Multiple people have said I like "Downton Abbey child style" haha! But the smocks are just really sweet and Southern, and I think timeless. I have several sweet smocked and appliqu├ęd things that Ben wore as a little tot and that our sweet boy will now wear.

My friend McKenna and I bonded over our love for classic baby clothes when her and her family joined our home group, and so we decided to head to the sample sale in Dallas together. It started last night and runs through Friday, but we were determined to get our first picks- although I'm sure they held some things for the end of the week. The doors opened at 5:30 and we showed up about 20 minutes early. There were already a large load of ladies ready to shop! McKenna and I kept comparing it to the episode of Friends where Monica wants to get her wedding dress at the outlet sale and they have whistles.


This was before the doors opened, they had big banners so we knew we were in the right place! When the doors opened we actually got in pretty quickly, and I beelined for the boy things on the far side of the ballroom. About 3/4 of the room was girl stuff, so it was actually kind of nice that I knew I had my eye on one gender and I could be open to pretty much any size. I was one of the first people to make it to the racks, so I just grabbed anything I thought I would possibly want. This seemed to be the strategy of most ladies, and then everyone would go through their piles and then put other things in one of the discard racks. McKenna was mostly focused on shopping for her two year old daughter so she was lost in the abyss of girl clothes. When I turned around from choosing maybe 10 things from the racks, this is what I saw...


It was amazing how fast the room filled and how many people had their eye on the prize! There were a lot of people who seemed really focused on getting outfits for a certain occasion, and I was glad that I wasn't. I knew I wanted to get stuff for next spring and summer, so I wanted to mostly look at sizes 12 months and 18 months.. but it's not like I needed an Easter outfit for next month and that was just great haha.


It was so fun to sit down with McKenna and decide what items we wanted to get. We also made friends with so many other sweet gals in every part of our journey. At one point we looked over to see a group of friends pull wine glasses and a bottle of white wine out to enjoy while they went through their stacks, haha!


We kept looking through our things, then going back to discards.. I cycled through my keep pile several times. We actually got to visit with one of the founders of Smocked Auctions which was really fun. She was super sweet and kind and helpful. The line to check out was wrapped around a million times.. we waited to pay for over an hour. It was fun though, because we made friends with two really sweet ladies. It was so fun to just talk mama stuff and the whole experience made me so excited for our sweet boy to be here.


When we got in line we realized we had already been in the room for an hour and a half.. yikes. we got in line and started popping m&ms from my purse because we were needing sugar to power through the next hour and a half we spent in line, chatting with our new friends.

Overall it was a super fun experience but for the most part the deals didn't save you THAT much money. It was stuff I knew I'd eventually want to buy so it made sense to save $10 an item plus shipping.. but still. If there's something you'd really want, just order. :) It was such a fun time with a sweet friend though and I loved every second!

If you're curious about what items I purchased for baby boy, I'll share the terribly lit photos below. :)


One of the specific items I said I wanted going into the sale was a short set, and I love that I'll be able to purchase a few other shirts to mix and match with these shorts. :) The bunnies will be perfect next Spring!


This photo is particularly bad but I LOVED the lobsters and the navy color way!


I'm hoping that at this stage baby boy will have some chunky thighs that can be showcased in this precious bubble!


It was SO hard to choose from all the precious Easter things but I ended up deciding that for a 10 month old on his first Easter, a bubble would be perfect. Actually it was our new friends in line that pointed it out to me that the more mature outfit I had originally chosen could be worn at 2 or 3 and this couldn't be.


This raggedy andy outfit was my one big bargain from the crazy bargain bins and was $10. It was a great value especially coming with the shirt!

What do y'all think? Was I crazy to brave this crowd? Haha!

What's Up Wednesday- February 2016

Wednesday, February 24, 2016



What we're eating this week...
At the beginning of the year I posted a list of recipes that I want to try in 2016. I've actually ended up using this post as a resource and trying a bunch of them. I need to go back and update with details about which ones I've tried but on Monday I made slow cooker Enchilada Orzo and it was AMAZING! I'd highly recommend for a really easy recipe. 


aaaaand I'm still thinking abut the maple donut we ate at Five Daughters Bakery last weekend! 



What I'm reminiscing about...
Honestly I'm not really in a season where I'm reminiscing a ton, there is so much new to focus on coming up in our lives. I did recently hang up the first photo of Ben and I ever taken (we were 16!) and it's just been fun to remember how the Lord brought us from a high school crush to a family. I'm so grateful! I just looked so hard for the digital copy of that photo but it's lost in the Facebook abyss! 

What I'm loving...
It's been a busy month for us, but it's been full of rich time with people that we love and care about! This weekend (which I'll share more about below) is literally one giant time of celebration.

What we've been up to...
Last weekend we went to Nashville (recapped here), I had my first baby shower (here), I went to IF Gathering at the beginning of the month (here) and working on lots of nursery projects! (here and here) It's been a bit boring on my blog this month as so much has been taking place!

What I'm dreading...
I usually love cleaning, but the up and down is starting to get a little hard with this big old belly of mine. Just being honest here. :) 

What I'm working on...
It's unfortunate that "nesting" and needing to save money for a whole new human coming into your life go hand in hand, haha! For me, I've found that this season has come with a ton of inspiration for decorating and organizing trouble spots in our home. I feel like I'm constantly taking screenshots of beautiful things that would be the perfect addition to our home or the nursery. This week I've also been working on sweet last minute things for a shower I'm hosting this weekend. I was particularly inspired by visiting the Draper James flagship in Nashville, pictured below!



What I'm excited about...
My second baby shower is this weekend! :) 

What I'm watching/reading...
 For some reason I've not really been watching tv outside of the Bachelor and Fixer Upper. I watched the first week of the TGIT shows and I just feel like Shonda Rimes is personally victimizing me (haha!)... not really but the storylines are just really loosing me. For some reason Fixer Upper has just been a safe place for my little (well, big!) pregnant self. No dramatic story lines and just beautiful inspiration decor that helps me get my nest on. :) 

What I'm listening to...
I always want to delete this one... fun fact about me is that I very rarely listen to music. Yikes! I know for some people that is absolutely insane. I promise I'm normal I just prefer listening to my favorite radio show's app or thinking and praying. Occasionally when I clean I'll put on pandora but it's been months if we are honest! 

What I'm wearing...
Stretchy pants and non maternity swing tops or the occasional dress. My early Texas spring May baby uniform! :) 




What I'm doing this weekend...
This weekend will be jam packed and full of celebration! On Saturday morning I have my second baby shower, and then in the afternoon I'm watching my friend's sweet little girl while she hosts a baby shower, and that evening we have a birthday party. On Sunday I'm hosting a bridal shower... lots and lots of fun happy times! :) 

What I'm looking forward to next month...
March means that we'll wrap up baby showers- which I've been loving but I also am excited to really look at what we have and what we need and to get fully prepared for baby boy. We'll also take our maternity photos, and Ben has a week off work! 

What else is new...
I think it's all covered. :) 

Nashville Weekend

Monday, February 22, 2016


This past weekend we took a mini baby moon, or really just a quick trip to Nashville to visit some friends and explore the fun city. Ben's room mate from college, Collin is one of our best friends and moved to Nashville after we all graduated from Texas A&M. We were blessed to get to spend some sweet time with him and have him as our tour guide for the weekend. :)

We started our time in Nashville early Friday morning, our quick flight landed at a little after nine. We spent our morning meeting Collin's room mates and walking around downtown. It's funny because it really didn't feel like we did that much walking but that night we noticed my feet swelling for the first time during pregnancy.. yikes! After our morning of walking we decided we needed to try the Nashville classic, hot chicken.




Fried chicken is usually something  I wouldn't really choose to order.. but let me tell you... we LOVED Hattie B's! Ben and Collin both got "hot" chicken and I ordered "mild" which was plenty hot for me. We also got a variety of side dishes and the pimento mac and cheese was truly amazing. Yum! I want to try and make some. :) After lunch we headed to the Green Hills Mall, because somehow I forgot to bring pants on this trip. Yikes! Normally this wouldn't be a huge deal and I could just rewear what I had or something.. but being that I'm rocking a growing belly I knew it would be best for my confidence and overall attitude if we just swung by Pea in the Pod and picked up a pair of my favorite maternity jeans. It actually worked out because my other pair was a size too big (I'll share more about my maternity clothes picks soon!) so I felt better in this size anyway. Overall victory.

After that adventure we stopped at Jeni's Ice Cream. I had heard about it from so many sweet people and was dying to try. Now again, I'm usually inclined to choose any other dessert over ice cream, but Jeni's turned out to be an exception. I fell in love with the atmosphere and the many yummy flavors we sampled. We were over samplers for sure. Oh well! :) I settled on Brambleberry crisp and Lemon Buttermilk Frozen Yogurt. Amazing!!



We then headed to our Airbnb to check in. I'd highly recommend staying there. It was such a smooth process and a great, clean place to stay in a wonderful location (between Belmont and 12th South). Our hosts were so sweet and really set things up wonderfully for us. 





We freshened up and ate a big dinner at Husk. We missed out on being able to get a reservation at Husk's Charleston location when we went on our honeymoon.. and had thought about it since. I'm sad to report that it was kind of a letdown. Between the three of us, we all agreed that our food was just okay. I'd recommend saving your money and going somewhere else. 

The next morning we decided to take advantage of all the food our airbnb hosts had left for us and cooked breakfast at our place. Collin and Ben loved cooking together in college and so it was a sweet flashback and just a great morning of quality time together. 



As you can see we had breakfast sandwiches.. egg, cheese, onion, and avocado on whole wheat bagels. YUM! 


We then headed to the 12th South neighborhood, and I anticipated correctly that it would be my favorite spot of the trip. The boys were very patient as I got my shop on. :) 


We peeked through the windows waiting in anticipation for Draper James to open.. eek! 


We stopped by Five Daughters Bakery for donuts.. let me just say YUM. You must go here. YOU MUST. 




We tried Maple, Chocolate Sea Salt, and Vanilla Sugar. Ben and Collin loved Chocolate Sea Salt and I want to live in a world where I get to eat a maple donut each week that has 0 calories, please. 

We still had about 30 minutes to enjoy the cool morning & wait for the shops to open, so we hopped in the car with our donuts and drove around the neighborhoods with the windows down looking at homes. We would have walked but after my puffy feet I was a little bit over it. :) The houses were so fun to look at so I'd highly recommend this activity. :) 

We popped into the super cute White's Mercantile & then headed to Draper James. DJ is Reese Witherspoon's clothing and home brand.. and I'm mildly obsessed. I was so excited that the boys were joking about telling me they were closed today to see me freak out! 



When we walked in the sweet sales ladies offered us sweet tea and the boys accepted. They drank their tea in the sitting area for a few minutes and then decided to head to get coffee and let me soak it all in. I was in there for a ridiculously long amount of time considering I couldn't try on any clothes, haha! I made friends with a sweet worker named Elizabeth and she told me tons of fun details about the products and the interior designer that designed the store.




I left with a pillow and a ton of interior inspiration. :) There are several pieces from the spring line that I loved and am hoping will go on sale around the time this belly gets a little smaller!

A really wonderful treat of the weekend was my sweet blogging friend Sarah coming up to have lunch with me. She lives in Alabama and I was so grateful that she would take the time to come see me. :) 


We had such a sweet time together & I hope we'll meet again soon.. if not we'll just keep texting about anything and everything for the time being. Haha! :) 


We ate at Bartaco, A++ atmosphere, A+ side dishes, B on the actual taco. :) 

After parting ways with Sarah, Ben, Collin & I stopped by Jeni's again (yikes!) and then headed south out of town to visit my dear friend Meredith and her family. We had such a sweet evening talking and snuggling her sweet babies. 



My Picks for Nashville: 

Stay: 

Eat: 
Hattie B's 
Bartaco 
Five Daughters Bakery 
Jenny's Ice Creams 

Shop: 
White's Mercantile 
Draper James 

Friday No. 29

Friday, February 19, 2016

No. 1



Yesterday was my glucose test.. and although I don't know the results yet, the whole experience was a ton easier than I expected. I feel like people lead me to believe that I was going to be gagging when trying to finish the drink. It wasn't exactly something I'm dying to drink constantly, but it just tasted like extra sugary Fanta. Not bad at all, which felt like a huge victory!

No. 2



These precious little pants arrived at our house yesterday. Anytime I see anything with bulldogs it's hard to resist.. and these were on sale at Janie and Jack. Originally $48 on sale for $14 AND I had a gift card! Wahoo!

No. 3



This is a terrible photo but on Tuesday night we made a fire at Ben's parents' house and made my favorite.. smores. Yum!

No. 4

I LOVED doing the Emily Ley simplicity challenge and miss seeing the posts on instagram every day. If you missed it, it was posted this week. You should check it out! I loved having fun ways to declutter our home. I think especially with nesting, I'm on full speed organize, clean, and decorate mode. I went through our bathroom cabinets and threw so much stuff away. Three half used deodorants that are in a brand I used to use but don't feel like really works.. never going to reach for that over one that works so I might as well chunk instead of feeling guilty about not using them. I cleared out so much space and it was a great feeling.

No. 5

As you read this, Ben and I are probably arriving in Nashville for a fun weekend away! We are so excited for some sweet time with some sweet friends, exploring a fun city! Hope y'all have a great weekend!


All of my Friday posts can be found here.

Second Trimester Update

Wednesday, February 17, 2016



Favorite Moments: 

Celebrating the Holidays & looking forward to next year with #SweetBabyStrader
#SBS has a few pairs of Christmas jammies all ready to go for next year.. I couldn't resist. Seeing everyone celebrate Christmas made us so excited for the years ahead of celebrating with our sweet little one!

Feeling better from crazy morning sickness.. around 18 weeks it got mostly under control as long as I still take my medicine

Finding out that #SweetBabyStrader is a boy!!
I'll never forget shaking with joy and anticipation while headed to our gender sonogram. We were both pretty convinced we were having a girl and I can barely describe the feelings of happiness that have swelled up in my heart for our little boy. I know I would have been happy either way, but I can't imagine the dynamic of our family starting any other way now. All the baby blue just makes sense and we are so pumped. 

Celebrating with friends and family at our gender reveal party
January 2nd will forever more be one of my favorite days.. starting the day with a fun dry bar appointment and having friends and family in our home all day was just the best! We probably won't do another gender reveal party just because I would hate for people to place expectations on if we "should" want another boy or a baby girl.. but I'd love to think of another fun way to celebrate life! 

Having my first baby shower and having three more on the calendar!

Scheduling our maternity photos

Getting back in my healthy eating and work out routine, for the most part!
I'm eating healthy a lot more than I'm working out, but I've managed to fit a workout back in my week 2-3 times. Some weeks I've been extra lethargic and not worked out and I honestly think it's kind of counter productive. Just working out at all makes me excited to really challenge myself once Sweet Baby Strader is here! 

Naming our Boy
Although we are waiting to publicly share the name until his birthday, being 100% sure on a name and calling him by name, hearing others call him by name.. has just been really encouraging and fun. 

Challenges: 

Being told I had Cancer
What? Yeah. That happened. The Sunday before Thanksgiving we found what we thought was a small black mole on my side. We made an emergency appointment at a dermatologist and went in on Tuesday, pretty worried and shaken up about it. The doctor told us straight that he was certain it was cancerous and at the very smallest I would be back to get more skin removed, but that he could tell it wasn't good. Aka stress all the week of Thanksgiving. The doctor personally called us that Sunday to apologize and say that it came back as a burst blood vessel. Everything was/is fine, except I now have a massive scar from getting a ton of skin removed. Yikes. This was just really unwelcome stress for us. 
The few times we've driven by that dermatologist office we've shaken our fists in the general direction of the doctor, haha! 


Being a little too excited for May
Because of the loss of our first precious baby, it very much feels like I have been pregnant since last June. Although for the most part I'm feeling good, it's been hard at times for me to be content and not wish the next few months away. We are just so grateful to the Lord for providing such a precious life! We cannot wait to meet our boy. 

I'm so excited to be entering the third trimester! Although I said above this pregnancy has felt long, I still can't fathom the fact that in three months we will have met our son. EEEEEEEK! :) My glucose test is tomorrow and after that I'll go to doctors appointments every two weeks until mid April when it switches to every week. Our last out of town trip before baby is this weekend. Much to be thankful for in our house!


Our Valentine's Day Weekend + My Family Baby Shower

Monday, February 15, 2016

We knew we had a busy weekend ahead & wanted to skip out on any crowds, so we decided to go on a Valentine's Day date on Friday night. I mentioned here, that I had eaten at Sissy's and really wanted to take Ben back. He surprised me and had made a reservation and it ended up being the absolute perfect spot for us to have a fun valentine outing to!


The reservation was at 6... which for some might be too early but for us it was perfect! It took us about an hour to get into Dallas and although it was a shorter trip home (no traffic!) we've had early bedtimes at our house recently. It was also nice because we arrived at an almost empty restaurant and watched it fill up over the two hours we were there. 


We were originally totally opposed to the fixed price Valentine's Day Menu, but then decided it sounded yummy AND was a great deal. It was also a great way to spread out our evening with lots of courses.


It started with an oyster which neither of us had ever had before.. we seriously almost googled "how to eat an oyster" haha! It was okay.. not my fave but I'm glad we tried it. :) The rest of the meal, however.. was delicious! The starter was a crab soup and then a pear salad, Surf and Turf, then a flourless chocolate cake. YUM. We left happy and full!


Pregnancy hormone disclosure: multiple times I looked at Ben crying and said "I'm just crying because I love you and our baby so much!!!" I'm crazy. :)

On Saturday lunchtime was my family baby shower. My sister in law Kayce headed up the planning with help from lots of extended family on food, and our close family friend Amanda planned the game. They truly went so above and beyond and I felt so loved. Kayce said that she prayed for creativity and that she would plan something that was consistent with what I would want to wear to a baby shower. This ended up being funny and sweet because last minute I changed my outfit...


and ended up matching the shower completely!

Dress: Lilly Pulitzer (sold out) Necklace: Kendra Scott (birthday discount what what!!)





The game we played involved feeling the item in each of the numbered bags (but not looking!) and then all writing down our guesses to what the goodies were. Our cousin Shelley, who has a four week old baby guessed them all which we thought was so funny and sweet since she obviously was currently using them all, haha!

















Baby boy is about to be SO loved on by all his girl extended cousins.. haha! :) 

We got so many sweet gifts and felt so cared for by our family. It was a really precious day that we will always remember! 

Towards the end of the shower, Ben came to thank all of our family again and to load the presents in our car. We headed home for a little bit and then went to go eat dinner with our friends, the Bashaws. 

Kathryn said that when she was pregnant she craved comfort food, so she made fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, and a jalepeno cheese dip! YUM. It was such a delicious meal spent with one of our favorite families. Josh and Kathryn have two little girls and a baby boy and we adore them! Their oldest, Myla, has a particularly sweet relationship with Ben so they snuggled all night long. :) 


Sunday morning we had to pass on church for the week and get some stuff done at my dad's new ranch. He closed on it on Friday and Ben is basically in charge of all of the stuff involving cattle, so we needed to go out there to load some cattle to take to sell. 



After dropping off the cows, we enjoyed an extended family lunch at Ben's parent's house and then while Ben played basketball with his brothers and Spencer I took a nap. We were so exhausted from our busy weekend! It was so nice that we had already celebrated valentine's day and just got to chill at the house. Ben didn't want to watch the Bachelor 20th anniversary special with me though, my only complaint. ;) I'll watch today, haha! 


Hope y'all had an incredibly sweet weekend, whatever you were doing! :) 


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