Monday, November 22, 2021

2021 Gift Guide For Him


Charcoal Smoker: This is definitely a more expensive gift but it's the ultimate mans gift. Shane has a Big Green Egg and uses it weekly to smoke wings, ribs, pork, etc. There's something guys like about watching football and manning the grill.

Whiskey Wedge: This is a great idea for the Whiskey lover. The block of ice looks luxurious and also prevents the cocktail from watering down quickly while you sip from a perfectly chilled glass. Comes with a double old fashioned glass and I recommend purchasing 2!

Hat Rack: For the guy who wears hats. Great way to organize a hat collection and allows him to see which ones he has. 

Freezer Gel Beer Glasses: Perfect for the craft beer lover, or the guy who prefers to drink beer from a glass. Also has a silicone comfort grip for ideal handling.

Bourbon Cocktail Recipe Book: Great for the guy who likes to host or experiment with cocktails at home.

Custom Wallet: Engrave his favorite sports teams slogan on the inside for an easy win, or go sentimental with it and add a personalized note.

Golden Goose Sneakers: A great splurge item for the shoe lover. Shane loves sneakers, and these have quickly become his go-to's. The neutral colors mean he can wear it with anything.

Joggers: Every guy loves a comfy pair of joggers, these are a favorite amongst the men in our friend group.

Ugg Slippers: Super comfy and cozy. Shane wears these year round and it stops him from wearing shoes in the house.

Golf Bag Organizer: This is a nice gift for the golfer. Shane owns more than one set of clubs so this rack gives his bags a place to live, while also looking organized - complete with a spot for their shoes and extra balls too. 

Manscaped Grooming Kit: A luxury grooming kit is a great option for all men! This set is waterproof which makes trimming in the shower easy and it has over 1500 five star reviews for performance and quality (the link in this blog post gives 20% off).

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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Modern Holiday Table Decor









A recent poll on Instagram stories revealed TCB followers were most interested in holiday tablescape ideas. So today, I'm excited to share my modern approach to a holiday table setting with Walmart. 

In full transparency, I have a love/hate relationship with holiday decor. I love to decorate and make everything feel festive, but I hate how expensive it is to do so - especially for something that's seasonal! So this year, I made it my prerogative to not only decorate with budget friendly options, but to also pick items that can transition into the next season. Walmart Home is pretty impressive! They have a whole holiday home lookbook complete with festive ideas for your living space, guest bedrooms, kitchen, and even easy DIY ideas. I initially found these little snack bowls a few months back and was blown away by the quality and price point! You would never guess they're from Walmart, and not to mention - they're dishwasher safe. When I saw they had an entire 12 piece set (only $54), I chose to build my tablescape around that knowing we could also get long term use out of it! The 12 piece dinnerware set includes everything you need for four place settings, and it comes in 4 different prints if the polka dots aren't your thing. I added metallic decor elements like these salt and pepper shakers to lend a little seasonal luxury to the table and dressed it up with a pretty floral center piece. Switch it up for Christmas by adding holiday foliage like long fern clippings as the centerpiece or faux cedar and berry stems. You can also sprinkle mini holiday ornaments over the center of the table - lots of options! 

*Thank you to Walmart for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

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Friday, July 30, 2021

Our Cranial Band Journey + a little nursery update

If you follow us on social media, it's no secret that we recently started our cranial band journey with Liam. At our 2 month pediatrician appointment, our doctor noticed Liam was beginning to get a slight flat spot on the back of his head. She mentioned it very casually at the end of the appointment and suggested we place Liam in the crib in different directions with the goal of getting him to sleep on both sides of his head. She said this was a common occurrence in good sleepers, and that babies typically find something like a light or shiny object in their room that they focus on before falling asleep, so positioning him differently for each nap would encourage him to look in both directions and the issue would likely "self correct" itself. The conversation was so casual I didn't think much of it, we took her advice and began placing him in different directions and continued moving forward with our sleep training schedule assuming this was all we needed to do to resolve the issue. 

By 9 weeks old, Liam was sleeping 12 hours through the night. We felt like we were crushing it in the sleep department, until our 4 month well check back at the pediatricians office when all of a sudden the flat spot was no longer a casual mention, but now a referral to a physical therapists office to have it evaluated for moderate to severe Plagiocephaly. In all honesty, Shane and I both felt pretty misled. We heeded the advice of our pediatrician, but because the conversation was so non-chalant we didn't look into the subject any further. Fast forward 2 months and we were meeting with a physical therapist who diagnosed Liam with not only Plagiocephaly, but Torticollis as well. All of this was brand new to me. None of my close friends have kids, and I had no prior experience with anyone whose child had to have a helmet. Our PT explained that this is more common than we realized, and that 1 in 4 infants get Plagiocephaly now that the "back to sleep" movement is a priority. Along with looking at the different types of Plagiocephaly, we also learned that this is not only common in good sleepers, but also in babies who are breech in utero which was the case for our little Liam. Measurements were taken, and ultimately Liam fell at the end of the moderate range so we opted to begin with 4 weeks of Physical Therapy at the end of May. If a babies skull is soft enough, counter-pressure can sometimes correct the flat spot without the need for a helmet. We were still in the "early intervention" timeframe so opting to start this way was recommended. 



In early July we remeasured after the 4 weeks of counter-pressure and physical therapy, and unfortunately Liams flat spot had not gotten worse, but it also had not gotten better - meaning that his skull had likely hardened to where counter-pressure alone would not be enough. We were advised to move forward with the helmet. At this point, as much as I wanted to avoid this route - I felt like we had to do it. My worry was that as he got older glasses wouldn't fit him correctly, he may be more prone to ear infections or jaw issues, and from a cosmetic standpoint I didn't want him to hate how his head looked - especially because boys tend to have shorter haircuts. 

After our first helmet fitting, the guilt I felt was overwhelming. There was something about seeing him with the helmet on that just crushed my mama heart. I burst into tears the second I walked out of the PT's office. I felt like I should have taken the initial mention of this with our pediatrician more seriously and that if I would have invested time into researching it back then, that I could have prevented this from happening. A support system in those first few days is essential, and I'm so thankful I chose to share our story on social media because it was everything I needed and more. If you're in this season just know that it is harder on us than it is on them! Liam was uncomfortable for a day or two and we experienced some initial skin irritation, but babies are so adaptable, and the band has become part of our day. Another plus is that it serves as a form of protection now that he is mobile and on the go! 

We are still in the beginning of this journey, but I know time will go by fast. It's already been almost 2 weeks and we should start to see change with each appointment at Carolina Kinder Development. I'm sharing our story today to not only bring awareness to the topic, but also in the hopes that it provides comfort to anyone else going through this. The process is common, you are not alone, your feelings are valid, and while it feels challenging at the time - our babies will be just fine. They are strong and resilient, and will come out of this with the most beautiful round noggin' you've ever seen. 

In other news, we also made a little update to Liam's nursery this week! The toys and baby gear seem to be filling every crevice of our house lately, so I opted to try and streamline a place for them to live. In an ideal world we would build out a playroom, but that would require me to kick Shane out of his man cave and something tells me that's not happening. So, I found this 8 cube storage organizer from Walmart along with coordinating indigo storage bins and placed it on the empty wall in his room. It looks cute while serving an incredibly functional purpose and goes easy on the wallet, too (hello under $70)! Not to mention, it was also fairly easy to put together and it comes in different finish options. We've had such great luck with Walmart's home furnishing's lately! I also picked up these bowls for the kitchen at a steal, and recently decorated our deck with this Walmart Home bistro furniture set



*Thank you to Walmart for sponsoring todays post. As always, all opinions are my own.

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Monday, July 12, 2021

2021 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Top Picks

It's that time again, the 2021 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is here! If you're not familiar with the #nsale, it's one of my favorite sales to shop because Nordstrom offers brand new Fall styles at deeply discounted prices for a few weeks. Hot items tend to sell out within the first few days, and quantities are limited so I recommend taking this time to stock up on staple items like jeans, pajamas, hair and makeup favorites, and pricier items like shoes and booties. It's also the perfect time to grab gift options that are nice to have on hand for the holidays (I also grab a few things to keep for housewarming gifts). You'll find tons of name brand/designer items that don't typically go on sale outside of this timeframe, so if you're in need of some good basics - now is the time. I own all but a couple items in the graphic, and personally vouch for their quality!


Monday, June 21, 2021

How To Make Life Easier While Traveling With an Infant

Walmart+ Must Have Baby Items For Travel

With several road trips and one flight under our belt with baby Liam, I feel pretty well acquainted with what it takes to travel with an infant successfully. To be honest, traveling with him has been surprisingly easy as long as we are well prepared. I think the hardest part is the amount of preparation that goes into making it a smooth trip. It's shocking knowing how much one tiny human needs to live! 

My biggest and best piece of advice is to travel as lightly as possible (especially if you're traveling by air) - insert Walmart+. I've talked about my Walmart+ membership several times over the last year, but it comes in especially handy with a baby and travel! We are currently preparing for an 8 day trip to Rosemary Beach and will be flying, so I am planning to place a quick free delivery order from the local Walmart store with the above items (35$ minimum, restrictions apply). Walmart offers Walmart+ free shipping, (excludes freight items). Trust me when I say you will thank me later for this tip! It only costs $98 a year, or $12.95 per month and includes a 15 day free trial period so you can see if you like it! To sign up for the free trial, click here

Bottles // 3-4 bottles on each trip have been fine! Dr. Browns are our favorite.
Diapers // We travel with around 8 diapers in the diaper bag, and will order a pack at our destination.
Wipes // We travel with 1 pack, and then have another pack delivered when we arrive.
Baby Shampoo // We love the Johnsons Tearless Gentle Baby Wash shampoo.
Formula // Make however many bottles you need to travel with, and have a canister delivered for the rest of the trip! Saves so much space and weight.
Bottle Brush // bottles are tricky to clean while traveling if you don't have one of these on hand.
Pacifiers // Believe me when I say you will lose or misplace a few of these en route, have a couple delivered to your destination - you always need more of these than you think.
Pacifier wipes // Since you have a limited number of paci's while traveling, and may not always be at home to wash them, wipes come in handy. They also double as bottle wipes.
Gripe Water // Typically over 3 oz so you have to pack it in a checked bag, and if it busts its super sticky. I opt to just have one delivered for a longer trip.
Aquaphor // Everybody is a little out of routine on vacation so you don't want to be caught in the middle of a diaper rash unprepared. 

Honorable mentions would be sunscreen if you're destination is beach based, and ziplock bags if you're staying at your destination for a little while. They're so helpful for soiled clothing when you aren't near home but a whole box full isn't ideal to travel with. 

*Thank you to Walmart for sponsoring todays post. As always, all opinions are my own. 

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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Liam's Nursery Reveal













I'm so excited to share this space with you guys! This was my first attempt at a masculine yet classy room, and I'm so happy with how it turned out. We started working on this room back in September and finally completed it January 5th - the day baby Liam was born. I'm someone who wants everything completed as soon as possible so I can feel prepared, but as I'm sure you've heard, the pandemic has slowed the furniture industry down tremendously so the lead times were crazy, but we got his room done in the nick of time and it was so worth the wait! 

I love to pull images from Pinterest and home decor accounts I follow on Instagram as color inspirations, so I knew I wanted to use a grey toned navy on the walls, and dark wood furniture with gold accents as the base for the room. I love that those colors feel boyish without looking "young", and I felt like it had longevity for when Liam is older as well. I started with that color palette, and then began with the acacia wood dresser and crib. I always have a good eye for what I want, but I struggle with bringing it all together. So, I took my little self made mood board to New South Home and asked them to help me source options to make my vision a reality. If I've learned anything over the years, it's that working with an interior designer actually saves us money in the long run because I get exactly what I want from the jump, versus me trying to make it happen on my own and never truly loving the end result. Not to mention, they have access to so much more than the average consumer, and they can work within your budget. If you remember from this post, I had an amazing experience with them over the summer when they designed our outdoor living space, so I couldn't wait for them to work on the nursery as well. 

I also knew I wanted an accent wall with wallpaper. I had a wallpaper picked out, but remember when I mentioned budget above? It definitely was not in our budget. Melissa with NSH sourced the Thibaut 1886 paper we ended up using and I'm obsessed with it! I actually think I like it better than what I originally picked, and it was less expensive without sacrificing quality. The gold veining tied in with the animal theme we went with beautifully, and I love that's it is a textured paper. 

Because inventory was so low in stores, I didn't have the opportunity to go check out rockers in person - but comfort was something I really wanted seeing as you spend many hours rocking baby in it. Melissa sent me the rocker pictured above as an option (unfortunately I can't link directly to it, but New South Home can source it for you), and she was able to vouch for it's comfort level. I trusted her judgement and went with it, and am so happy we did. It's the most comfortable chair in our house!

For the ottoman, I had a particular image saved from Pinterest that I wanted to replicate. We weren't able to find anything retail wise that matched my inspiration image, so New South Home reached out to a contact of theirs and had it made for us. Another reason why using a designer is worth it! I got exactly what I wanted, and didn't have to settle for something I didn't love as much. I never would have known who to reach out too for that, and even if I did - many of those vendors only work with designers.

We repurposed my custom drapes from my old office in the townhome for the nursery. Our ceilings in that home were much shorter than this house, and my current office has way more windows so I need more than two panels for it. I loved these drapes so I didn't want to do away with them, and we had the option to release the hem to make them the perfect length for this room. Lucky for us, they match the wall color we chose perfectly!

Baby Liam was gifted lots of books, so I wanted to hang a bookshelf somewhere lower on the wall in his room so he can reach them when he gets older. I ended up choosing the acrylic ones from Pottery Barn Modern and love how they turned out! 

The paint color is Benjamin Moore Hale Navy at 50%. We actually painted the room in another color initially, and for whatever reason - It didn't look like the samples we painted on the wall and I hated it. Lighting in a room can completely change the color of paint, so I highly recommend painting a sample on each wall in the room prior to painting the whole thing so you don't make the same mistake I did!

Overall, this has become one of my favorite rooms in our house! It turned out exactly like I pictured and we love spending time with Liam in it. The only thing I would add to it is a chandelier (this is what I have picked out), but for SIDS prevention - we are keeping the ceiling fan until we no longer need to worry about that.  

If you need help sourcing anything as some of these items are only available to designers, please reach out to New South Home here.

SOURCE LIST:
Rug 

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Monday, December 28, 2020

Shane's Brown Butter Pecan Cookie Recipe









Okay, these have been the star of the show over on stories multiple times since Shane first made them a year ago. They're probably the most requested recipe post I get from you guys, so when I had a craving for them earlier this week I got Shane to agree to make them again if I placed a quick free delivery order from our local Walmart store for the ingredients with my Walmart+ membership ($35 minimum, restrictions apply). This membership has come in so handy more times than we can count, and they just launched a new benefit starting this month where Walmart offers Walmart+ free shipping, no order minimum for Walmart+ members as well (excludes oversized/freight & marketplace items). Members also receive member prices on fuel at Walmart, Sams Club, and Murphy gas stations, and access to tools that make in-store shopping faster. Our store has same day delivery, so it's easy to convince hubby to make these when it doesn't require either of us to have to leave for the ingredients -- and I'm sure it'll only become handier once the baby is here. 

As for the cookies, these are hands down my favorite cookie ever! Shane has become quite the baker during the pandemic and the extra time at home, and I think he sort of has a secret calling in the kitchen. Everyone we've shared the cookies with has also been impressed (and addicted immediately) so if you need something fun to bake that's a sure fire hit - these are it!  

Brown Butter Pecan Cookies 

INGREDIENTS:

- 1 cup of unsalted butter
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- 1/2 cup of white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp of vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups of flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp salt
- 2 cups (approximately 1 bar) chunks of chocolate (not chips)
- 1 cup chopped pecans 

DIRECTIONS:

In a small sauce pan, boil butter until browned. It should smell nutty and have a caramel color to it. Remove butter from heat and place in the refrigerator to cool for 30 minutes. Next, mix the butter and sugar together. Add eggs and vanilla, and mix. Add in the flour, salt, and baking soda. Mix together. Next, add in chocolate chunks and pecans and fold into a dough. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover dough and set for 30 minutes. Roll dough into balls and cook for 9-11 minutes, they should be fairly moist still. Let cookies cool for approximately 8 minutes after you remove them from the oven. We like to take a fork and press down on the top of them, and sprinkle a little Pink Himalayan Sea Salt on top!

Keep me posted if you make these! We would love to hear how they turn out, and don't forget to check out the Walmart+ benefits in your area! It costs $98 a year, or $12.95 per month and includes a 15-day free trial period so you can test it out and see if you like it (but trust me, you will)! To sign up for the free trial, click here. 

*Thank you to Walmart for sponsoring todays post. As always, all opinions are my own.

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