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What's Up Wednesday: June 2017

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

I feel like I JUST published last month's What's Up Wednesday.. so crazy! Summertime has turned out to be super busy over at our house!




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1: WHAT WE’RE EATING THIS WEEK:
Honestly we're eating up all of the random food in our house before we leave for traveling for two weeks! And we're eating out a few times with family, attending a wedding, staying busy!
2. WHAT I’M REMINISCING ABOUT:
Usually this is one of my favorite questions to answer, but I'm not really reminiscing about a whole lot right now. :) I'm in a season where there is just a TON happening. Hosting three showers almost back to back, planning a trip to Nashville, booking a last minute trip to Europe for two and a half weeks, caring for a one year old, being a semi decent friend/wife/human... I just don't feel like I've had a lot of head space recently. This too shall pass, but I'm looking forward to a slower pace at the end of July.

3: WHAT I'M LOVING: 
My previous question kind of covers this.. I'm sure I'm loving something but I can't think of it at this very moment. Eek! Oh!! I have something. I've never been one to take baths, and I've picked it up. Incredibly relaxing at the end of a long day. :) 
4: WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO:
Last weekend we took a quick trip to Nashville to see one of our best friends, Ben's college room mate. From there, we did a road trip to Asheville, NC. We had so much fun! I recapped the first half of the trip, here

I still need to recap this, but a few weeks ago we had a baby shower for my friend Kayla! Her little girl, Ella, will be here so soon and we just can't wait! :) 

Beau and I have been enjoying daily life together. These photos are randomly some of my favorite.. it's the mundane things like going to Target with a little helper that make me feel so happy to be a mama. 

Two weeks after Kayla's shower we had one for my friend Rachel, who also happens to be Kayla's childhood best friend. They are having girls due just three days apart. It's so incredibly sweet and so if you need me in August, I'll be the one having someone else hold my baby so I can hold the two tiny new ones at the same time. :) 

We're missing my precious niece's birthday while we're out of town this month, so we had her over for a special birthday breakfast and played so much. It was so incredibly sweet. Being an aunt is SO much fun! 

I also got to hug my friend Sarah Hunt, at her champagne and shopping event in Highland Park Village! 

5: WHAT I’M DREADING:
I wouldn't say I'm DREADING this.. that sounds so dramatic.. but I do think that dealing with jet lag for Beau as a 13 month old will be a totally different thing than a 2 month old. Last year he didn't skip a beat, and even went back quickly to sleeping through the night for the most part.. but this year I know it will be different and I'm entering that situation with low expectations. 
6: WHAT I’M WORKING ON:
We leave for Europe on Sunday so I'm busy with last minute preparation and packing for Beau and I. I'll share this sweet story about our packing too.. Ben knows that I love having packing done early and situated so when I got home from hosting a baby shower on Sunday night he had already packed himself (one week early!) as a surprise for me! A lot of you are like.. cool that is a lame surprise. Ha!! But usually he's a night before packer and knowing that I can focus on packing Beau and I, and have him available to help with last minute prep.. that takes so much off my shoulders! 

Packing for several different climates is going to be interesting, but we'll make it work! This little guy was drowning in this jacket, praise for Amazon free returns and quick shipping for a replacement. 
Some things I've ordered for this trip: a cute and inexpensive raincoat (I've honestly needed one for awhile so this trip gave me the final push!), an on sale cross body bag (I also really liked this one), 
7: WHAT I’M EXCITED ABOUT:
Reese Witherspoon liked my photo on Instagram!! Haha!! Do you think this means that she wants to be my best friend now? ;)

8: WHAT I’M WATCHING/READING:
I'm watching The Bachelorette, Counting On, Southern Charm, and as of last night, officially no longer Pretty Little Liars. I've watched it for the whole run (a zillion years!!) and it's finally done!! Ha!! I didn't watch the finale last night.. but I will today!
9: WHAT I’M LISTENING TO:
I've been getting a ton of questions lately about the podcasts that I've been listening to. I'm planning on addressing this in a post soon, but right now I'm consistently loving The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey, Young House Love Has a Podcast, and Risen Motherhood.
10: WHAT I’M WEARING:
As I mentioned, I attended my friend Sarah Hunt's event at Draper James on Friday, and I tried on a few gorgeous dresses. Something I've learned is that with pricer stores like DJ, to try on things I love when I pop in so that I'll know my size for if/when they go on sale. I did pick up a few things this time though, as I had gotten a generous coupon from them in the mail!
This dress is marketed as a "beach dress" aka a fancy coverup.. but I would literally dress it up a bit and wear it almost anywhere. It's one of those no brainer dresses you can throw on and love. (also available at Nordstrom, here)

This dress was a really random try on for me. I wasn't originally incredibly drawn to it, but then decided to try it on because it's a really comfy knit material. Around my birthday I bought a top in the same fabric, and I wear it ALL the time. Anyways, I tried the dress on and instantly fell in love. I feel like since becoming a mama I'm drawn to classier silhouettes for special occasions. 

This dress was a splurge for me (even with my great coupon!) but I'm SO glad I got it. The girls at the store said it was selling out quickly. I was obviously drawn to the gingham, but originally hesitated because I didn't think the silhouette would look good on me. Anyways, I ended up loving it and wore it to the baby shower I cohosted on Sunday! I got a ton of compliments! 


This is a weird photo to show off a top, but I recently realized I didn't have ton of short sleeved, casual shirts so I picked this one up at Anthro. I've worn it at least once a week, and dressed it up and down. I LOVE it and it'll be perfect for our travels because I know I'll wear it a bunch of times. It also comes in a cute coral color.. aaaannnd now I'm wondering if I need it. Eek! 

One of my favorite summer tops just went on sale 50% off.. so grab it quick! :) It runs big in my opinion! I was going to get the XS but it was a little snug in the chest so I ended up with the small. It's pretty loose in the arms though but I overall preferred the fit. All of that being said, size down. 

11: WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND:
Saturday morning we have a little parade for the 4th and Beau will ride in his wagon with his friend Hallie :) and the next day we're on a plane to The Netherlands! :)
12: WHAT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:
So much sweet time with family on our trip, exploring new places, and experiencing new things with Ben and Beau. And a few days after we get back I'm hosting a monogram themed bridal shower for a sweet friend! :) 

13: WHAT ELSE IS NEW:
I think I covered it all :)
Bonus question this month: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOURTH OF JULY TRADITION? 




Fourth of July has become bittersweet and really full of meaning for us. Two years ago on the fourth, I had a miscarriage. Our sweet first baby who we will forever love with all of our hearts. Because of this, last year getting Beau a little July 4th outfit meant so much to us. This photo is up in our living room and will forever be one of my favorites. We had such a photo shoot of our new baby boy in his crib. :) This year will be different, since we'll be out of the country on the 4th (not our preference.. but when you're traveling on flyer miles...) On Saturday we're partaking in a fun children's parade with some friends, so we'll celebrate this holiday then, and I may or may not be putting Beau in smocked flags in Amsterdam. It's whatever. :) People are going to think we're some kind of weird, American supremacists or something... eek!!!! All of that to be said, I decided that every year our child/children will get specially dressed up for the 4th, to commemorate how special that was for me that first year after loss. This will always be a sweet time that we can celebrate that short life and how precious it is to us. Stay tuned to see photos of this year's outfit(s.. if we're honest!) :)

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Nashville + Asheville Trip: Part One

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

For those looking for more Nashville recommendations, I also blogged our trip there last year.

The goal of our trip was to spend some good old quality time with Ben's college roommate, one of our best friends, Collin. And we sure did achieve that goal! We also got in some sweet time with Meredith.

We had an early flight out of Love Field, about an hour from our house. We left at 4:30 am, making my wakeup call about 3:30. Eek! By the time we got on the plane for our 7am flight, it felt like we were almost in Nashville! 

We got in lots of playing and cuddling on the flight. :) I've gotten questions about Beau's armadillo pajamas. They can be found here, and are one of our favorite brands for him. They make me think of when he was a cuddly newborn. 

Our first stop straight from the airport was Five Daughters for a delicious donut. I got maple, and Beau enjoyed a bit too! Yum!

We then popped into Draper James. If you've ever been in there before, they always offer you a glass of sweet tea. I don't like it, but they gave us one anyway so we had one extra glass. While I was in the dressing room Ben poured it into Beau's sippy cup and let him go to town. I was horrified when I came out and it was so funny how all of the other ladies in there were cheering Ben on. Needless to say, Beau was in heaven. 

The last time we visited this spot I was at the start of my third trimester, and there's my cuddly baby posing on the couch. Really Sweet! In case you hadn't already noticed, the head tilt is his signature "Mama is taking my photo" pose. :) 

A sweet photo outside of the store.. REESE WITHERSPOON herself actually liked this photo on Instagram. Life goal achieved!!

After that we stopped by the Belmont University campus to check it out. We walked around and explored for a little bit and Beau napped in his stroller. It had already been a really long day for him!


I loved finding some beautiful Magnolia Blooms!

The boys then dropped me off at The Pharmacy to meet Meredith and Chandra. We missed a pic of all three of us, but Meredith pointed out that we always forget to take photos together so we made sure to get one! 


These two photos are actually from the morning in 12th South. I set Beau down to take his photo with the hydrangeas, and he immediately started trying to eat them. Oops! The rest of the night we just spent some sweet time together. We went back to Collin's house and rested, ordered in some hot chicken for dinner, and let Beau wind down from his crazy day. 

By 7:30 the next morning we were on the road to Asheville. On the way there we stopped at Cummins Falls State Park. The goal for Ben and Collin was to find a spot to cliff dive (spoiler alert: it was not here) and I just wanted to enjoy the beautiful nature of Tennessee. Beau's only goal was to enjoy the carrier, his favorite thing. 

The majority of the hike was along the riverbed. Super out of my comfort zone. :) Four years ago I would have refused this hike altogether. I like trying new things much better now. It's not worth being intimidated. 

Collin was snapping pics the whole time and got a huge kick out of me crossing the "deep" part of the river. Ben's theme of the hike was forgetting that Collin and I existed and going ahead with Beau, haha! I will be honest.. hiking through the rocks with Beau made me super nervous. I was confident in Ben but I'm a mama and it just made me antsy. That being said there were literally children of all ages doing the hike themselves. There was a family with a baby a little bit younger than Beau when we reached the waterfall and their baby was literally napping on a rock. That totally erased all feelings of feeling like I was an adventurous gal!! 


We made it to the falls.. and this little guy was all tuckered out! :)

Ben and Collin climbed up the falls, and of course got the whistle blown on them a few times. I just sat with my feet in the water and cuddled our boy. 

I captioned this on instagram, "no swim diaper, no problems" because I had left the swim diapers in the car. Shortly after this photo, adventurous family offered us an extra one. Haha!! The water was pretty chilly, but Beau enjoyed it and I loved encouraging him to try something new. 


His favorite part was snuggling his Daddy and Uncle Collin!!


Ben was passionate about getting a photo that showcased Uncle Collin's man bun. Yikes!!

These girls got in trouble by their mom for coming and getting in our photo.. haha! 


I love these boys and the precious life we have together!


The next 3+ hours were spent in the car driving to Asheville. Right when we passed the state line into North Carolina, right in the middle of Smokey Mountain nothingness, Collin realized we had been so deep in conversation that his car was on E. Cue ants in literally all of our pants, because we had no idea how long it had been. Soon after we pulled into Hot Springs, NC and got gas. We were literally dancing with joy! They had free produce at the gas station, hence the squash that made it in this photo. 

As soon as we arrived in Asheville, we went straight to our airbnb. I honestly couldn't recommend it enough. It was the perfect location, and our host was lovely. So cozy and perfect for all of us. 

I showered, and Ben, Collin, + Beau enjoyed a glass of wine and snacks with our host on the front porch. Then we headed to dinner, stopping at LAB: Lexington Avenue Brewery. We were ravenous and devoured the nacho appetizer. My entree was okay, but those nachos were AMAZING! I never really eat nachos but they were great.

This is a weird photo to end on but it's one Collin snapped of us back at our room, getting ready for Bed. I had a bad headache, and was clearly relaxing and I don't know.. it's just one of those silly real life vacation photos. 

And that's the first half of our trip. :) 


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Friday No. 65

Friday, June 23, 2017

No. 1
Hi!! Long time no blog. We got back from vacation on Tuesday morning and have been recovering! I've written a few posts, but want to make sure I have stuff to post in the weeks ahead. :) So today's Friday post will probably be a little longer than usual.. catching up to speed on lots of random things!


First random thing being that my friend Tiffany hosted a dinner party for our home group a few weeks ago! (Ps. A few people have asked me about my home group so I might do a post on what it is and how we do things coming up!) This gathering was such a sweet time. Tiffany worked so hard on setting a festive table (it was supposed to be outside but poured rain!) and cooking delicious Italian for us. It was so great to just sit at the table with our people! Consider this my encouragement to have a dinner party.. so much fun!

No. 2 
We got Beau a water table and he LOVES it. It's great for encouraging him to toddle around, and he loves the water! It was something I wasn't dying to spend the $ on at the time.. but I'm so glad we did!

No. 3 
If you haven't tried Watermelon Mint Lemonade at Chick fil A.. consider this your public service announcement to go get one TODAY. I don't like any beverages.. like I literally drink something that's not water like 5 times a year! This drink will be doubling or maybe tripling my extra drink number!

No. 4 
When pulling out our camera to pack it last week, Ben snapped this quick pick of Beau and I cuddling and laughing together. I love it! 
No. 5 
We'll be out of the country for a few weeks coming up.. and I thought it would be fun to plan for a few guest posts while I'm gone. I already have a few things ready that I'll schedule, but if you're interested in throwing in a guest post, email me at victoriastrader9@gmail.com with your blog link, and what you would want to share on my blog! My criteria for selection is none other than fitting with the aesthetic and target audience of my blog, and that I haven't already committed to other people. :)

No. 6
I shared this one pan meal on instagram the other day and got a ton of questions! I just covered a cookie sheet in foil and put sweet potato, bell pepper, zucchini, onion, and chicken sausage on it. I tossed it in a little bit of olive oil and some seasonings (s+p, garlic powder, basil flakes) and baked on 400 degrees for 15 minutes, tossed it around, then cooked it for another 10 minutes. So easy and healthy and great for this time of year! 

While we're chatting food.. this boy has been LOVING trips to Trader Joe's lately! We were picking up some peonies for his future gf's baby shower ;)

We stopped at East Hampton Sandwich Company last week, and I got a lobster grilled cheese and watermelon and it was one of the best choices ever. :) 

No 7. 
We're not moving any time soon.. but the discussion of what's next for us is often on our lips. When we last moved, the decision of moving and where to go was made in just a day, so we're trying to think things through a little more this time. ;) We went and looked at some model homes and always have so fun discussing what we want for our next home. This whole house was a little too farmhousey for me, but we liked a lot of elements of the layout!

No. 8

PSA one of my favorite tops is now on sale! It runs a little big but I still got a small for room in the chest. I'd size down if that isn't an area you need space in. :) 


All of my Friday posts can be found here.



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