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Show & Tell Tuesday: Want, Need, Wear, & Read

Tuesday, November 28, 2017


I am so excited about the prompt for today's Show and Tell Tuesday! I think want, need, wear, read is such a great concept and it will be so fun to look at what people have chosen. I thought I'd share for every member of our family! :)

Want: I mentioned a while back, but I am interested in growing my collection of silver frames. Right now the ones I have hold two of my favorite photos from the day Beau was born, and his 3D sonogram. I'd love to get a few more to be able to do the same thing for new baby!

Need: A few weeks ago I dropped and shattered one of my favorite pantry containers, spilling chocolate chips everywhere. I would love to replace it!

Wear: I've head this simple tunic is great for pregnancy even though it's not maternity. They suggest sizing down, but as an expecting mama I'd probably stick to my normal size!

Read: This is kind of cheating because I already downloaded this book on my kindle app for my trip next week but I'm so excited for a festive read!


Want: Ben's wishlist this year has several cigar related items.. sigh! Haha!

Need: This is a little creative for a NEED.. but our apple tv has been acting up lately, which makes sense because Ben got it in like 2010, but we've considered replacing it with an Amazon fire stick, a cheaper option.

Wear: An easy pullover like this is a no-brainer male gift.. any man would look great in one and end up reaching for it often!

Read: I got Ben Chip Gaines's new book, and it would make a great gift for so many men in your life!

Want: This is kind of a borderline want and need, but it's something I want him to have so does that count.. haha? We're planning on moving Beau out of his crib in the new year and so I'll be using some sort of railing like this.

Need: This cooling bowl would totally change my life when it comes to morning oatmeal for Beau! He loves oatmeal, but if I don't remember to prepare it a good bit before he wants it I'll skip that option entirely.

Wear: This simple sweater is too cute.

Read: This big brother book is so classic and sweet.


Want: I really regret not getting a bow swaddle for Beau, because I could have had the caption on a photo "all tied up with a Beau"!!! Plus I just think they are really really sweet. But Ben veto-ed for a boy, and said that this time my caption can be "all tied up with a [name]" Cue the eye roll!!

Need: Another item that I didn't get for Beau but honestly needed is a Milk Snob. It's a nursing cover, carseat cover, highchair cover, grocery cart cover... to be honest I almost bought one for Beau a few months ago because the grocery cart cover we got was lame. And there were so many times I wished I had a carseat cover. This time this is a non negotiable for us, and I love the gray stripe!

Wear: I fell in love with several things while looking for one to choose for this. Shopping is about to be a major problem as I fall in love with things for our sweet girl. A little pea coat, and a fur collar sweater for next Christmas both caught my eye... but ultimately just a simple ruffle blush onesie won out because it's just something that's so specific for a little girl!

Read: We actually already have this book, it was a sweet gift for Beau, but it's going to live in Little Sister's room now and I am so excited about it! :) It'd be the cutest little token for a baby girl in your life.. a friend's baby or something like that. I'd love to give it to someone who didn't expect anything from me as just a little sweet surprise!


I'm so excited to announce that Sarah and I are hosting are The Most Wonderful Time of the Year linkup for the second year in a row! This year we're adding a twist.. there will be a co-host for almost all of the days! We're so excited for that fun element and to share this with some sweet friends! I'm so excited to share my posts with y'all, and to read all of yours! Last year I really tried to comment on as many posts as possible, and it's my goal for this year as well. Please join in with us, and we'd love for you to help us spread the word of the linkup. 

December 4th- Christmas Wish List with A Little Bit of Emily
December 5th- Holiday Entertaining Tips with Classic Catherine
December 6th- Christmas Day in the Life with Nicole Cole
December 7th- Christmas Gift Guide with Whimsical September
December 11th- Christmas Cards with Taz and Belly
December 12th- Holiday Home Tour with Michaela Noelle Designs
December 13th- Favorite Holiday Party Recipe with The Queen in Between
December 14th- Favorite Meaningful Holiday Memories
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Friday No. 73 + Black Friday Shopping

Friday, November 24, 2017

No. 1 
We put up a sweet little tree in Beau's room last night and it's making my life SO happy. It was so fun for him to come in and look at it and of course try to put his hands all over it, haha! When I told him not to touch he was immediately over the whole experience, haha! 


No. 2
I mentioned the skinny chicken pot pie recipe in one of my last Friday posts and made it on Tuesday. It was so easy and really exceeded my expectations. We ate a ton that first night, and I've eaten leftovers a ton and most of the time I honestly don't want to eat leftovers. This is going to become a staple at our house this winter! 

No. 3 
I've been gathering inspiration for little sister's nursery this week, and really don't know what I want. I have thought about wallpaper but just don't know if I'm ready to rock with the price tag, even for just one accent wall it's really pricey. I'm hoping to go visit the new Caitlin Wilson Design shop in Dallas and check out some samples and get some ideas. I really like the paint color of the inside of the closet pictured below so that's an option too. I just feel like there's minimal inspiration out there that I like. Help! I want to see classy, Southern influenced girl nurseries and everything on pinterest is not really tickling my fancy haha. 


No. 4
I'll probably have more thoughts to share on this at some point, but last Saturday our bulldog, Matilda, passed away. It was honestly really traumatic for me, because she passed away during our neighborhood turkey trot. We think she had a stroke after all of the excitement. It really put us in a sad mood so we set out for a family lunch at East Hampton Sandwich company (lobster mac has healing powers, y'all!) and I snapped this photo of Beau and I. His little profile kills me. Time with my boys made it all better. It's really crazy to me that using "my boys" all the time will soon be something I don't use near as much as I do now.

No. 5
There are so many little things about Beau right now that I don't want to forget. His new thing is wanting to see out of the grocery cart so he flips around every time. It's just so sweet to see him take everything in. I LOVE being this boy's mama!!!

Happy Weekend! I hope y'all had an incredible Thanksgiving and are enjoying a restful Friday- or a crazy one with lots of shopping! 

I don't feel like I ever talk about Black Friday or even really take advantage of it, but this year it's come up in conversation SO much. With all my girlfriends, we just keep talking about what sales we're going to take advantage of, so I thought I would share what I'm hoping to snag/will hopefully have snagged by now haha! I wrote this post before Friday, so I'll update it sometime Friday morning with my actual picks and finds!

Some things I'm buying on Black Friday: 
  • Emily Ley Baby Book in Blush for Little Sister Strader! 
  • Snagged some MAJOR treasure for her at The Beaufort Bonnet Company. I'll include it in a widget below!
  • Some Piper Finn Shoes for Beau
  • Big Boy Bedding and sheets (these + these) for Beau (cue the tears!!) 
  • Beau's Big boy BED 
  • Freshly Picked Moccs are still 25% off- I got a few pairs of the bow moccs and mary janes for our girl! (if you prefer to order from Nordstrom, they are price matched but there's less of a selection!)

Some things I'm window shopping on Black Friday (haha!): 


All of my Friday posts can be found here.





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Christmas Cards with Dixie Design Collective

Monday, November 20, 2017

First, I'm guest posting on my dear friend Nicole's blog this morning on my heart for hospitality! Go check that out! :) 

I've been counting down the days for Christmas cards to start showing up in our mailbox. I'm the crazy person that will be mailing the day after Thanksgiving, and checking my mail like a hawk. I just love getting photos of our friends and family, and being able to showcase them in our home and think about all of the sweet people we know! :) 

This year I had the privilege of working with Dixie Design Collective on our Christmas cards. I've been a long time admirer of Dixie and their classic, Southern designs. All of the cards are designed by one of Dixie Designs' skilled artists, and they are all so charming! I got to visit with one of Dixie's helpful graphic designers and come up with a few cards that show off my favorite family photo from our fall/pregnancy announcement session with my friend Nicole Cole Photo + Film. The card that I ended up choosing isn't featured below, I'll reveal that as part of The Most Wonderful Time of the Year linkup I'm hosting with my friend Sarah (details at the bottom of this post in case you missed it!) and I'm already so excited to share. It was such a hard decision when I felt like so many of Dixie's card designs reflected my heart and personal aesthetic. Here are the runner ups: 






Which card design is your favorite? :) I'm hoping you'll like the one we chose even more!

I'm so excited to announce that Sarah and I are hosting are The Most Wonderful Time of the Year linkup for the second year in a row! This year we're adding a twist.. there will be a co-host for almost all of the days! We're so excited for that fun element and to share this with some sweet friends! I'm so excited to share my posts with y'all, and to read all of yours! Last year I really tried to comment on as many posts as possible, and it's my goal for this year as well. Please join in with us, and we'd love for you to help us spread the word of the linkup. 

December 4th- Christmas Wish List with A Little Bit of Emily
December 5th- Holiday Entertaining Tips with Classic Catherine
December 6th- Christmas Day in the Life with Nicole Cole
December 7th- Christmas Gift Guide with Whimsical September
December 11th- Christmas Cards with Taz and Belly
December 12th- Holiday Home Tour with Michaela Noelle Designs
December 13th- Favorite Holiday Party Recipe with The Queen in Between
December 14th- Favorite Meaningful Holiday Memories


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Friday No. 72

Friday, November 17, 2017

No. 1 
I snapped this blurry, flash photo the other night when we were walking to the car.. look at how much fun our boy has with his daddy. These two melt me!

No. 2
I found this recipe on the Sequins & Stripes blog (I've been LOVING her lately) and I'm dying to try it.. Skinny Chicken Pot Pie! Perfect for this time of year, too!


No. 3 
I loved this video SO much and it got me really in the Christmas spirit. I'm so excited to do a few new things with our Christmas tree, and I'm now really inspired to go to At Home and Home Goods! :)

No. 4
Some of our good friends are Korean, and my friend's mom is in town so she hosted a bunch of us for a Korean feast. It was so fun to have the opportunity to try so many different new things and experience a totally different cultural cuisine. We all loved it so much! 

No. 5
Beau and I got the treat of having lunch with my friend Sarah Hunt yesterday... It was so fun to get to enjoy girl talk with this Florida friend, and especially precious to see her loving on my boy!

No. 6
These from Trader Joes have been a major problem lately!! I'm usually not a dark chocolate girl, but something about the dark taste with a more whipped peanut butter than a normal peanut butter cup.. YUM! If you're thinking that these are no big deal just a peanut butter cup I would encourage trying them.. so delicious!

Happy Weekend!

All of my Friday posts can be found here.




Gift Guide: Womens

Thursday, November 16, 2017

This widget belowshows a bunch of things that I think would make great gifts at different price points, including a very expensive sweater that I think is adorable and is actually 20% off right now! But I also wanted to break it down a little further and isolate a few gifts that I have received or would love to receive.

First is what my sister in law got me last year- a two year subscription to The Magnolia Journal. If you haven't picked up a copy I would highly, highly recommend. Its fun to read but also always has a lot more depth to it than a normal magazine would, in my opinion. I love getting one in the mail quarterly and just logged on to check when I need to renew and was so pleasantly surprised that I have another year. They even have a little thing you can download and print and give, which my sister in law did.

This necklace from Anthropologie has a sweet twist to it, it's available in birthstones. I think it would be extra sweet to gift to a new mama for the month of her baby's birthday, or you could even do an anniversary month. 

My friend Chandra of C. Jayne Teach is about to release her Holiday collection, and there are amazing things for mama and child! Check out the catalog here.


I feel like all I do lately is talk about Women's gifts, so I'll include a few more links here. I recently put together a wishlist for my friend Sarah, and coming up in the next few weeks I'll have my Christmas Wishlist, as well as a Want, Need, Wear, Read wishlist too!







Our Love Story: Part Six

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Where we left off, Ben and I have just broken up. Sad. Even typing these parts of the story is hard because I remember how deeply this rocked me. I had found such stability and encouragement in our relationship. It was just really hard. I threw myself into personal growth and really grew in my prayer life. I tried to do whatever I could to not be "a girl who was broken hearted over a boy" and begged God over and over daily to remove the sadness from my heart. I knew that no matter the feat He could provide that but he didn't. Summer was approaching quicker than I would have guessed and the last thing I wanted to do was be at home and risk running into Ben or his family members in our worlds that overlapped in so many ways. Our close friends felt torn and divided between us. I should note that my friend Kristen kept a photo of Ben and I together on her bulletin board this whole time because she believed we'd work it out. 

On a whim I got an email about working at a small Christian camp in Colorado, with a hiking and climbing focus. I emailed and told them that I loved the Lord but had no outdoor skills. I went through the interviews and they assured me I would be fine without those skills. So I went to Colorado. My plan was to get over Ben. 

I got there and pretty quickly it became clear that it was ridiculous that I was ever hired. The job was literally to teach children to repel and things during the day. Not going to happen. This girl was not going to repel herself let alone STRAP PEOPLE'S CHILDREN into repels. NOPE! The head of the camp who hired me also thought this and so we talked and he offered me the position to nanny for his sons while his wife could be more hands on with the camp. I thought about it, prayed about it, and decided to return home. I was embarrassed, but I went because it sounded like a good dramatic story. I thought I was going to have this huge life change in the nature. But I didn't want to be there. So home I came. 

I was so glad to be home and with my people. I had to get stronger though, because I was going to be seeing a lot of Ben. Pretty sure he was playing softball behind the taking of the photo above. 


Here's a photo from after serving at Vacation Bible School, shopping for food for the food pantry with the senior adults. Future grandmother by marriage pictured in the green shirt. This is how involved these worlds were, haha. 

I include this photo of my youth pastor's daughter and I from the family night of VBS that week because I remember breaking down and telling my youth pastor how hurt I still was. I remembered him and his wife telling me when the breakup happened that it was okay to be sad, but they didn't want me to be this sad six months later, or a year later. I told them here we were at the 6 month mark and there wasn't a moment that went by that I didn't miss Ben. This was hard to swallow. It just felt immature and foolish and I hated that. Ben and I still spoke from time to time, but it was hard. I actually can't remember if this was before or after this VBS but when I got home from Colorado the opportunity to take a girl's spot on a mission trip to Mexico had come up. I was really excited about this opportunity, and took the spot. It was a small group from our church, including my future mother in law, father in law, and brother in law. That was really hard and broke my heart. 



The trip was amazing and really strengthened my faith. It was a sweet time, but being in close proximity to Ben's family was just hard at times. I tried really hard to be strong. 

Look at these sunburns!

In true small town fashion, literally Ben and his other brother who remained home from the trip were in charge of picking everyone up from the airport. I'll never forget my mother in law awkwardly trying to encourage conversation between Ben and I, saying "why don't you tell Ben about the man in Mexico that you shared the gospel with?" and me like muttering a few sentences and hoping he didn't notice my sunburn. Things like this are heartbreaking but also hilarious now knowing this is the man who holds my hair back when I get sick from carrying his babies. :) Haha! 

To close the summer, I decided to rush and pledge Kappa Alpha Theta. BEST DECISION EVER. This group of women became the source of my community and friendship for all of college. If I had been really dialed into a hometown relationship, I don't know that I would have done it. One reason I'm thankful for that time apart. 



Shortly after the start of school, I told Ben that I needed to know that we wouldn't speak to each other. I said if we weren't going to be together, we needed to not talk for any reason. We both still texted from time to time and it was just plain unhealthy for me. Fall continued and the fire that had been stirred in my heart in Mexico for international missions grew. The opportunity to go on a really small trip of college students to Romania the next summer became available and I thought and prayed about it. I decided to go. I paid my deposit and actually dreamed of a member of the small team, maybe one of the guys from the other schools, would be able to help me get over Ben. When I went home for Thanksgiving, I was at church after Sunday School sharing with our youth pastor (who if you can't tell was a huge source of guidance and encouragement for all his students) how excited I was for the trip. He took my shoulder and asked me why I thought it was a good idea for Ben and I to go on this small trip together. UH OH. Didn't know that information. Yikes.

More soon! :) 

It's a Girl!!!

Monday, November 13, 2017

You might have seen on social media this weekend, but family will be joined by a LITTLE SISTER in May! It's a GIRL! We are so beyond excited. 

If you want to read the post like this that I wrote when we revealed Beau's gender, that is here

I had originally thought I didn't want to do a gender reveal for this pregnancy, but a month or so ago I started to get sad about not doing one. Beau's was one of my favorite days ever.. and so we decided to do one! We kept it a lot smaller than last time- for Beau's we invited everyone we've ever met, but for our girl's we kept it at family, our home group, and my two best friends... so basically all family. :) I'm so grateful we decided to do it because it was so much fun! I'll share more photos soon, there are a ton on my MILs camera!

 I think this dynamic will be so fun for our family, and you know I love that its the same as George and Charlotte. 

If anyone knows the source of this image, let me know!
I've had this photo on my pinterest for years, and it makes me so excited. I know Ben is going to be such a great girl dad. This little girl is going to have him wrapped around her finger. Beau already does, but add in that daddy/daughter dynamic and he's going to be melted.

Elle Ellinghaus Events
You might be wondering... was this my guess? Yes and no. When I became pregnant with Beau, I thought immediately that he was a boy. And then I let my guess be swayed by all of my wives tales pointing to him being a girl. This time, before pregnancy I was pretty confident I would be a mama of two boys, but the second I actually was pregnant I felt in my heart that this precious baby was a girl. I feel like in a lot of ways my heart felt girl but my head felt boy. SO many people told me they were sure I was having a boy, that I was a boy mom. So I guess I let that sink in and started to have a hard time thinking that the results would read anything but boy. When I went to College Station last month for my friend Julia's Theta imitation, taking part in the festivities there was a point when I had such a strong feeling that my little girl was taking part in her first sorority event. I know that sounds silly, and I have never had a strong gut on these things so I pushed it aside. It felt weird to think that I "just knew" because ultimately I didn't know if I knew.. haha! So there's my answer! I kind of knew but kind of didn't. When we read the test results I cried many happy tears, I felt so connected to our girl! It feels so crazy to know this early (almost 15 weeks now, found out at 13.5, found out with Beau at 20!) but it's really fun because even though my pregnancy timeline is the same, I'll know for some important little things like being able to get an "it's a girl!" ornament for our Christmas tree, and being able to do a little Black Friday shopping for our sweet girl. 

I'd love to hear of some sweet memories you have with your daughter if you're a girl mama, or sweet memories you have with your own mom, AND I'd love to be sent lots of fun places to shop for little girls! :) 
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Wives Tales for our Tiny Strader

Friday, November 10, 2017

photo by Nicole Cole
Morning Sickness? YEP! Not quite as bad as last time, but still very much a part of my daily life.

This puts a vote for: girl

Headaches? In my blog post about Beau I said yes, but I don't remember having them actually. But this pregnancy I really have had them a bunch!

This puts a vote for: boy

Heartbeat above or below 140? This baby has had heartbeats about the same as Beau, in the 160s and his were 170s/160s

This puts a vote for: girl

Craving sweet or salty? With Beau I thought cravings were completely made up, haha! This time there have been a few times I've most certainly craved things. Pumpkin pie, Shake Shack (still haven't satisfied that one!) and once I randomly really wanted a chicken fried steak.

This puts a vote for: ?

Face Breakouts: During my first pregnancy my skin was GROSS! So oily, and broken out with giant.. no other way to say it, ZITS! Sounds so yucky, but that's what they were! It was so hard to manage. This time, my skin has been mostly clear. I'm interested to see if this is because of a different pregnancy, or because of my favorite cleanser that really cleared up my skin even before I was pregnant. I've also been using this exfoliator and LOVING it!  Only time will tell if my skin has been different this pregnancy, or if my products have really changed the game. My gut is that it's both.

This puts a vote for: boy

Skin dry or soft? Soft with both pregnancies, but first it was soft just because of so much oil, now it's just really nice skin!

This puts a vote for: girl

Moody or pleasant? Moody for both, 100%. I've cried so much over so much random stuff. Don't get me started on the preview for the Wonder movie.

This puts a vote for: girl

Is your face rounder than usual? Yes, and it was briefly during this time of my pregnancy with Beau, but then it went back to normal. End of first trimester was Victoria bloats time. We'll see if it reverts back this time.

This puts a vote for: girl

What side do you sleep on? Both, both times.

This puts a vote for: ?

Carrying baby high or low? Last time I feel like I carried pretty high, it feels a bit lower this time but I'm also only 14 weeks. It's come on so much faster than last time, but still.

This puts a vote for: ?

I feel like it's hard to tell what the wives tales would say is the gender of my baby because of my several unanswered questions... only time will tell! Except I already know! :) What's your guess for our sweet baby? I'd love to hear in the comments! Stay tuned because we'll be announcing on Saturday! 

I'm so excited to announce that Sarah and I are hosting are The Most Wonderful Time of the Year linkup for the second year in a row! This year we're adding a twist.. there will be a co-host for almost all of the days! We're so excited for that fun element and to share this with some sweet friends! I'm so excited to share my posts with y'all, and to read all of yours! Last year I really tried to comment on as many posts as possible, and it's my goal for this year as well. Please join in with us, and we'd love for you to help us spread the word of the linkup. 

December 4th- Christmas Wish List with A Little Bit of Emily
December 5th- Holiday Entertaining Tips with Classic Catherine
December 6th- Christmas Day in the Life with Nicole Cole
December 7th- Christmas Gift Guide with Whimsical September
December 11th- Christmas Cards with Taz and Belly
December 12th- Holiday Home Tour with Michaela Noelle Designs
December 13th- Favorite Holiday Party Recipe with The Queen in Between
December 14th- Favorite Meaningful Holiday Memories
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