Thursday, December 31, 2015

Snapshot of 2015

Happy New Years Eve! Ever since Thanksgiving I have had the feeing of how in the world did this year pass by so quickly. I know this happens to everyone and this year it has hit me harder than most. I have been pregnant for 8 out of the 12 months this year. That has made time pass by very slowly but yet move very quickly at times. This year has been a whirlwind of huge life changes. I am thankful that I have this little blog to document it all.

Here is a month by month snapshot of 2015. While writing this I realized how our lives have slowed down since August. This mirrors how much how much I have slowed down myself as well. These different seasons happen for a reason and I enjoyed our busy months as well as the slower ones.    

January: Fell in love with Pure Barre. A wonderful workout which helps clear my mind after a long day. I am thankful that I re-discovered Pure Barre and have continued it into pregnancy. 

February: The highlight of February was a girl's trip to Walt Disney World. I visited Orlando for a psychology conference and an added bonus of spending a few days at the happiest place on earth.

March: Enjoyed hosting friends in Cary and exploring the local breweries. 

April: Stepped up my healthy cooking game with some great recipes including Tropical Energy Bites and Blueberry Macadamia Muffins.


May: Attended my 10 year class reunion in Wilmington. I am thankful that these wonderful girls from high school have become lifelong friends. 

June: Celebrated our 3 year wedding anniversary. We enjoyed dinner at our favorite restaurant at Wrightsville Beach. June 16th also marked the day we found out we were expecting! Then we spent the last week in June at Topsail Beach. We also purchased our home establishing roots in Raleigh.

July: Had a blast in Charleston celebrating Jen the beautiful bride to be. Loved every minute of our Bachelorette Party in Charleston

August: The month started out on a sentimental note as I said goodbye to my grandparents with their passing less than a month apart. The month wrapped up on a much happier note as we let the world in on out little secret! 

September: September really starts a slowdown in my blogging. I did share an amazing hack for Fruit  & Yogurt Parfaits along with weekly pregnancy re-caps. 

October: Hosted the first party at our new home. Loved decorating our home for the season and look forward to many mote celebrations to come. 

November: Made huge steps to making our house a home. After much procrastination, deliberation and planning I hired painters to re-paint our bathroom, bedroom and nursery. 

December: Celebrated our last holidays as a family of two. We spent Christmas Eve with my extended family continuing the traditions of secret santa and gag gifts. Then I was able to head down to Georgia to celebrate Christmas Day with my Grandmother and parents. 

Oh man, what a year! I'd love to hear your favorite memory from 2015. 

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Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! Wishing you lots of love and joy this Christmas. I am so thankful for all the blessings that God has bestowed to my family this year. I am thankful for this holiday season as a chance marvel and His grace and mercy.

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."
Luke 2:10- 11

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Holiday Photo Session

A few weekends ago Joe and I had the pleasure of taking our Christmas card photos with Jordan Maunder. These photos came at a perfect time to capture the best stage of my pregnancy. These were taken at the end of the second trimester. When I scheduled the pictures in the fall, I was concerned at that time that I might not look pregnant enough. Ha! I am so glad that the timing worked out as once I hit the third trimester I started feeling huge!

We took the photos at the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh. It ended up being a perfect warm and sunny afternoon in November. I love the sweetness of these photos and I know we will enjoy them fondly for years to come.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Pregnancy | Week 29

Size of Baby: Baby M is the length of a pineapple. She is 16.7 inches long and weighs up to 3.5 pounds.

Gender: Baby girl. 

Weight Gain: Total gain of 20 pounds so far. Feeling every pound.  l 

Maternity Clothes: I am enjoying dresses thanks to the warm weather this week. I purchased some high waisted leggings over the weekend as I am tired of by leggings rolling over during barre class. Gave them a try this morning and they stayed up perfectly. 

Nursery: Nursery is painted, curtains and rug purchased, and a monogram ordered for her wall. So excited to see everything come together. 

Movement: All the time. Felt some hiccups one night which was a strange experience. She is becoming stronger everyday as my arm or hand will jump off my stomach when she moves!

Symptoms: Still struggling with heartburn. Thankfully, I can knock it out with a few tums. I don't know how to describe it other than I am feeling really pregnant these days. I am still getting carsick on the ride for work and spend most morning battling rounds of nausea coupled with feeling hungry. My emotions are all over the place as well. I find myself grumpy for no reason and can get into a funk that I just can't shake. My poor sleep habits are not helping matters.

Sleep: Sleeping is becoming more uncomfortable. I wake up every night around 2-3 am and struggle to fall back asleep. 

Cravings: Food is losing it's appeal as I am running out of room to digest it. I was craving "shower punch" the stuff they serve at church or wedding showers the other day so I grabbed some ginger ale and grape juice. Just not the same. 

What I Miss: Having control of my own body. Honestly, I miss having a normal digestive system and being able to sit without feeling stuffed. I know it will all be worth it. 

Exercise: Three Pure Barre classes and one long and very slow walk. 

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Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday... Short & Sweet

I hope everyone has had a great start to their Friday. Keeping things short this week as I have a lot to do today! This week has flown by and I am thrilled to see another weekend. I finally feel like we are making progress with little one's nursery thanks to having the room painted Wednesday. I can't wait to see her room come together. Our Christmas cards also went out this week. I just love being able to document each year especially as our family grows. For our cards, I used a few beautiful photos we took as our holiday/maternity photo shoot. Here is my favorite one that we used for the front of the card. I will be sharing the rest next week!

Happy Friday y'all and have a great weekend! 

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Simple Christmas Wishlist

This Christmas things have switched tremendously from baking, decorating and buying tons of gifts for friends and family to preparing for little one's arrival. Baking has been pretty non existent thanks to pregnancy hormones. I am hoping after February I will have the desire to get back in the kitchen. Moving from an apartment back into a house, there is a lot of space to fill with potential Christmas decorations. Thanks to my wonderful parents, we have a new to us tree and outdoor garland decor. With that out of the way, it's time to focus on gifts. Thanks to Amazon prime, I was able to knock out family gifts quick and painlessly. We agreed that for each other we would stick to a budget based on a short Wishlist. I would be thrilled with any item on this list!

I have broken my list into four main themes which would be perfect for any gal this holiday. You can never go wrong with cute winter clothes, beauty basics, jewelry and especially shoes!

Simple Christmas Wishlist

Simple Christmas Wishlist by sweetcarolinabelle

1: Winter Wear. I love this fur topped knit beanie. I have very little (none) old weather headwear. Since beanies are back in style, this would be perfect on cold winter walks. This Lululemon Poncho would be perfect for lounging around the house with baby and keeping me warm on the way to barre. 

2: Beauty. Chapped lips are a serious problem for me in the winter. I love the idea of having a chapstick that also adds a bit of color to your face. I feel like having a bit of lip color helps brighten even the most tired under eyes. I love Chloe's signature fragrance. I just ran out so the holidays are the perfect time to restock.

3:Jewelry. Simple statement pieces are my favorite accessory. Both of the House of Harlow necklace and Kate Spade earrings are classic pieces I could see myself wearing for years to come.

4: Shoes. Many, many years ago, Joe got me my first pair of Revas for Christmas. I love how comfy they are still after years of wear. I also feel like they are the perfect flat to tie together any outfit.

What is on your Christmas list this year?

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Monday, December 7, 2015

Pregnancy | Week 28

Size of Baby: Baby M is the size of a coconut. She is 16 inches long and weighs 2.5 pounds.  We have made it to the third trimester! Can't believe that we will be meeting her in just 12 weeks. 

Gender: Sweet, sweet baby girl! 

Weight Gain: Total gain of 20 pounds so far. 

Maternity Clothes: I am currently repeating the same 2 pairs of dress pants and 4 dresses for work. I have a bit more flexibility on weekends thanks to jeans and leggings. Thanks to donations and friends lending me items, I have spent very little on my maternity wardrobe. Hoping I can make most of these pieces last until February! 

Nursery: Purchased paint and scheduled the painter for this week. Looking forward to start work on decor.

Movement: All the time! I will never get used to her sudden jabs during the day. I love it and am weirded out at the same time. 

Symptoms: Heartburn and digestion issues are becoming a daily struggle. I have started feeling quite lethargic and achey after my long walks around the neighborhood. Hot flashes are no joke and I am considering a portable fan for work. (Put that under things I never thought I would say.)

Sleep: Regularly getting around 8-9 hours of sleep a night with one bathroom break. 

Cravings: Still loving carbs in almost any form. Bagels, pancakes, oatmeal, potatoes you name it. 

What I Miss: Sleeping on my stomach or being able to lay on my stomach in any way whatsoever. 

Exercise: Three Pure Barre classes and one long walk. 

Best Moments: Every second of knowing I am going to be this little one's mother. 


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Monday, November 30, 2015

Pregnancy | Week 27

This little space of mine is slowly turning into a pregnancy blog. I'm okay with it and I hope y'all are too. I always thought of this as a space to express my passions and musings. Right now, it is all about baby!  I am looking forward to mixing it up a bit and sharing some favorite holiday recipes and holiday decor these next few weeks. 

Size of Baby: Baby M is the size of a bunch of bananas. She weighs over 2 pounds and is 15 inches long! Honestly, I can't believe that little one is that large when I look down at my belly.  

Gender: Baby girl. 

Weight Gain: Up to a total of 19 pounds. I am right on track to gain a little over 30 pounds. 

Maternity Clothes: My wardrobe selection is dedicated to maternity pants and mainly maternity tops. My leggings for Pure Barre still fit but have started rolling down over the bump during class. 

Nursery: Did a lot of shopping at Hobby Lobby over the weekend to get decor for her room. Also, we are set to have her nursery painted this week.

Movement: It is still strange to see her kick and roll from the outside. Her kicks and punches are becoming stronger each day. Some jabs really do hurt depending on her position.   

Symptoms: I had my first experience with car sickness headed to work. I have never gotten car sick before so that was a new feeling! I find that I get overheated easily and constantly want a fan nearby. The heartburn has gone down a little bit thanks to my daily chugs of milk. I am now winded when I walk up one flight of stairs. Getting off the sofa is not as easy as it used to be thanks to my growing belly. 

Sleep: Overall, I am still sleeping pretty great. I average getting up 1-2 times a night to use the bathroom. 

Cravings: The delicious Thanksgiving food kept my cravings subdued this week. Loving Peppermint Joe Joe's which are Trader Joe's version of Peppermint Oreos. They are a holiday treat every year. I don't feel as guilty indulging in a few extra this year.   

What I Miss: Being able to order drinks without thinking at a restaurant. I can never think of a non alcoholic mixed drink so I always order water

Exercise: I was able to get in 4 Pure Barre classes this week along with several long walks!! I have the holiday break to thank for getting in that extra class. Hoping to keep it up.  

Best Moments: Spending Thanksgiving with both our families. I loved spending time with my mom shopping for baby girl. 

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Monday, November 23, 2015

Pregnancy | Week 26

Size of Baby: Baby M is the size of a head of butternut squash. She weighs over 2 pounds and is 13 inches long. I feel like I am carrying her wide aka all in my hips. According to wives' tales it is typical to carry girls low. 

Gender: Little girl!

Weight Gain: Holding steady at 16 pounds. We will see what the Thanksgiving treats this week brings.

Maternity Clothes: Rocking maternity clothes the majority of the time. I brought out my winter jackets this weekend and they are not even close to buttoning at the waist. The tops in the photos are both non-maternity Lilly. I wore this for church Sunday and after we got home was ready to rip off the pants. The pants were way too tight around the waist. 

Nursery: Slowly working toward the goal of having everything completed by Christmas break. I am hoping to snag some good sales this weekend. 

Movement: Loving all the movement I feel during the day. I was able to see her move from the outside this week which was so amazing but yet weird at the same time.

Symptoms: I have been developing a light case of heartburn daily. Thankfully, a tall glass of milk has helped. I am still struggling with calf cramps through out the day. I have been stretching and foam rolling to help work my muscles out. My lower back is starting to ache at the end of the long day. I am dreaming of a pregnancy massage in the very near future. 

Sleep: Sleeping pretty great. I wake up 1-2 times a night to use the bathroom. 

Cravings: Enjoying oatmeal with raisins for breakfast. I am also loving a glass of milk before bed at night. I have noticed that my cravings come and go within an hour. I was really craving some fries one night but by the time Joe got home I had canceled my order. 

What I Miss: Hard cider. Apple cider is not the same. 

Exercise: I was able to get in 3 Pure Barre classes this week along with several long walks. 

Best Moments: Taking Christmas card/ maternity photos this weekend with the amazing Jordan Maunder. 

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Painting Our Home

One way to make a new house feel more like home is a fresh coat of paint. When we bought our new home in June, I knew that I wanted new colors in the master bedroom as well as several of the upstairs rooms.  Five months later, I have finally decided on paint colors and have a painter scheduled!  I am extremely indecisive and am have a huge fear of messing up our beautiful new home. In out last home, I took two years to hang pictures and curtains because I was not confident in my decisions.  

Today, I want to share my final paint color decision. I’ll be sharing before and after photos when everything gets painted next month!

I decided on Behr premium paints based on Consumer Report’s review. They rated Behr the highest out of all major paint brands based on coverage, application, durability and ability to clean. 

Downstairs Living Area- Shale Grey: Our downstairs living room, kitchen, hall bath and dining room are painted the same shade of light blue/grey. It is a pretty neutral which coordinates with almost anything. 

Upstairs Den- Stone Fence: The upstairs den is an open area which currently features textured paint and cow hide curtains. Between the beige carpet, beige sofa and brown walls it all blends together. This deep grey will go on the stairwell and in the open den.

Master Bedroom- Green Meets Blue: The master bedroom is currently a deep shade of hunter green with a light green accent wall. I am looking forward to brightening it up with this light shade of teal.

Bathrooms- Celadon: The upstairs bath is connected to little one’s nursery. To make it more bright I decided on this green tinted shade of grey. The color sample does not do it justice it. It truly looks more green and spa like in person.

Nursery- Radiant Rose: For the nursery, I decided on this beautiful shade of pink which coordinates with her bedding. It is the perfect dupe for Sherwin Williams White Dogwood which I love.

What are your go-to paint colors? Is anyone else just as indecisive as I am?

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Monday, November 16, 2015

Pregnancy | Week 25

Size of Baby: Baby M is the size of a head of nappa cabbage. She weighs almost 2 pounds.  

Gender: Little girl!!

Weight Gain: Up 16 pounds. Slowly weaning myself off my nightly brownie and candy raid. 

Maternity Clothes: Rocking maternity clothes the majority of the time. My normal pajamas are starting to get a bit snug. Hoping to find a pair of long button up PJs like these beauties from Target. 

Nursery: Decided on a paint color and are setting up a painter. Looking forward to everything coming together. My goal is to have all of the major parts of the nursery ordered and se up by Christmas break. 
Sherwin Williams White Dogwood

Movement: Loving that I can feel movement through out the day. She is most active around 9:30- 10pm when I am settling in for bed. 

Symptoms: I continue to be grossed out my most meat. I try my best to tolerate protein at dinner although it does not aways happen. 

Sleep: Thank goodness for the pregnancy pillow. I have it to thank for my long stretches of sleep at night. 

Cravings: Roasted Carrots, Cracker Barrel Pancakes and peach gummi rings. I enjoyed all three this week. Just not together, promise!

What I Miss: This weather really makes me miss running. But I am sticking to walking until after little girl gets here. 

Exercise: I was able to get in 3 Pure Barre classes this week along with several long walks. 

Best Moments: Still being able to touch my toes in barre class. Also, the fact that my Lululemon leggings are very forgiving and still fit. It is the little things :) 

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Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday Fives

Happy Friday loves. I am thankful to be spending a weekend at home with plans to lazily lay around the house and complete a few needed house project. The last couple of weekends I have been on the go. We enjoyed the State Fair with friends then Halloween weekend was spent shopping at IKEA and last weekend was spent at a board retreat for the NC School Psychologist Association. This weekend is going to be much needed down time. To celebrate, here are five things that I just can't wait to share with each of you!

 One. Address Stencil. This is for all my Type A friends like me who might be addressing tons of Christmas cards in a few weeks. I just bought one and I'm probably more excited than I should be. Looking forward to sending out holiday cards from our new home!

Two. Winter Cardigans + a sale! Target is featuring a great sale today. 40% off sweaters and cardigans. These two are currently in my shopping bag and I can't wait to wear both of them this winter. They are going to be perfect maternity staples. Check them out here & here.  

Three. Chili Cook-off. Tonight Joe and I are headed to a dinner party with some friends from church. I'm mixing things up by fixing white chili. This southern living recipe is a family favorite and I know it will be a hit. Already ready to enjoy a cup! Recipe here. 

Four. Favorite Calm-down Trick. These calm down jars are a go-to at work with hard to re-direct toddlers and work all the way up to upset 1st graders. 

Five. Keep in Mind. I hope you have a wonderful Friday and take the chance to be a blessing to someone else. 

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