Confessional Friday: {Link Up}

Sorry this is late. Work and Caroline took top priority this morning, but now we can get to it. So....

It's Friday (!!) (All day, I'm told.)

Now, if that isn't something to celebrate by joining in a delightful link-up, then I don't know what is.

1. I confess that the beginning of college football season, (or just football season, in general), has me aching to make chili. The only thing holding me back? Oh, ya know, the temperature outside, which is currently displaying a crisp and cool 97 degrees. FOR THE LOVE, Y'ALL.

Will cooler temps get here? Will we ever get to wear scarves? Will I be able to sit outside on our patio without my rear end and thighs sticking to the seat because of the 1,000% humidity? These are questions that deserve answers.

2. I confess that the weather has not stopped me from ordering sweaters and cute pants. The hellish temperatures may be able to stall my chili-making ways, but I can still shop online.

Premium Knitted Longline Overcoat. Or, as I like to call it, 'what I'll be wearing every other day'.

Need these, you do. (I do, too.) So, I bought 'em Wednesday night. (Not a maternity pant, but the BeBand will fix that problem handily.)

Boucle Sweater. Don't get too excited; it's maternity.

3. I confess that I went to the grocery store with the intention of buying healthy food yesterday and came out with lots of it. Except for the family size box of Apple Jacks. Because, apparently I'm five. (If you would like to join me for some Smurfs and Flinstones on Saturday morning, I'll share my cereal. Then, maybe my mom will take us to the skating rink!)

4. I confess that my child ate a piece of dog food. Yes, friends, it was bound to happen. Ruby's bowl was on the floor last week and Caroline was crawling around like a mad woman. I always try to pick it up first thing before she gets down on the floor in the mornings, but I was dealing with crazy amounts of work emails and trying to participate in a conference call. Lo' and behold, I turned around to see her pop a piece in her mouth like it was a freaking M&M.

I gagged. And screamed. And wiped her mouth out. And may or may not have called our pediatrician and spoke with his nurse who, quite literally, laughed over the phone at me. Her words? "Welcome to the club, Mom."


Has your offspring eaten dog food this week? Have you purchased a heavy knit sweater despite the Saharan heat outside? If so, DO TELL!


    An InLinkz Link-up


Pumpkin Bread, Hunter Boots and Scarves

I know, I know; it's August 27. The official start of fall is still a few weeks away -- it happens on September 23, to be exact -- but in my mind, it has already arrived.

On Monday, I posted a photo of my pumpkin bread on Instagram (username is ablondeambition, if you like to keep on with folks on that platform), and had a few people ask about the recipe. I love sharing anything food-related, so here it is.

'Better than Cake' Pumpkin Bread
1-2/3 cups of all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 can pumpkin
1/4 cup of vegetable or canola oil
1/4 cup melted, unsalted butter

  1. In a large small bowl, combine the flour, sugar (white and brown), baking soda cinnamon, salt, baking powder and nutmeg. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, vanilla, sour cream, pumpkin, oil, unsalted butter (melted) and water. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. 
  2. Pour into a greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan. Bake at 350° for 65-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Dust with powdered sugar if desired. Yield: 1 loaf (16 slices).
I've decided I'm definitely going to take the plunge on a pair of Hunter boots this fall. I figure, they'll probably be worn a lot if it gets nasty again this winter, so I may as well invest. And, if Mother Nature goes against the almanac and surprises us with a calm winter season, then I'll wear 'em anyway. Now the hard part...which color to buy? I'll probably go with basic glossy black to start and branch out with a fun color next time if I like them!

Scarves. Can you ever have too many? In my opinion, no. I've got my eyes on several, including these:

Cheetah Red Accent Printed Scarf

Soft Navy Jacquard Scarf from Zara

Lush Leopard Scarf from Forever 21

Tinley Road Faux Fur Infinity Scarf from Piperlime

Veronica Scarf from Banana Republic

Is fall on your brain, too? When does fall start in your mind?


Buying Cute Maternity Clothes: {It Is Possible}

One of the topics I get emailed about most is maternity clothes and dressing a burgeoning bump. Mama-to-be styles have definitely come a loooooong way since the horrendous potato sack dresses of previous decades, but it still ain't easy.

Especially when all of your non-pregger work friends are rocking cute little pencil skirts and you're sitting there like, "Check out my fourth maxi dress of the week!"

BUT. But. There are stores where you can score a pretty cute maternity outfit that will help you feel less cow-like and more, um, Beyonce-like than the mumus of yesteryear.

The Best Maternity Stores Where I've Had Luck Scoring Great Stuff

Pink Blush
Pink Blush is my hands-down favorite spot online to buy maternity clothes. (And no, they didn't put me up to this. They don't know me from Adam.) They have the cutest tops and best fitting pants I've found for maternity. Oh, and it's very affordable. I call that a win, my friends.
My pregnancy with Caroline - pants were from Pink Blush!

My pregnancy with Ainsley - shorts from Blush are here

Pickles & Ice Cream
The cutest little designer boutique online for anything and everything maternity, Pickles and Ice Cream is a go-to for me, (and the name is just awesome.) My favorite brand of jeans when I'm not pregnant is Paige Denim and they carry ALL the styles of maternity in the same brand. Trust me, splurge on at least one pair of quality maternity jeans. You will wear them to the very end and then some.

Oh, and their tops are pretty great, too!

H&M Maternity
We all know and love H&M. They offer the trendiest pieces at prices that would make a garage sale blush. For leggings and outerwear when I'm with child, I always go straight to H&M's MAMA collection. Granted, both my pregnancies have been in cooler weather in the third trimester, (when you really need maternity clothing), but I'm sure that their summer apparel is equally good.

The famous leggings - LOVE 'em. 
Also, I loved my H&M MAMA leggings so much, I took them to the hospital when I had my C-section with Caroline. They were a lifesaver. They held my bandages in place during those first couple days, were so comfortable and soft, and were stylish enough to help me feel semi-cute when visitors stopped by. People may tell you not to bother with leggings after a C-section, but I wholeheartedly disagree if the leggings are from H&M. LIFESAVER, ya hear?
A Pea in the Pod
I can't sing the praises of Pea in the Pod enough, you guys. It's a little more than you'll spend at some maternity stores, but I guarantee you'll love the pieces so much more. I work a lot of Pea in the Pod for work during my last pregnancy and, even at 1,000 weeks pregnant, still felt stylish and put together.

Loft Maternity
I really and truly think that if I had to choose one store who does maternity workwear most affordably and stylishly, I'd give the trophy to Loft Maternity. I love that store when I'm not pregnant and possibly even more so when I am.
Pregnant last year with Caroline. Top from Loft Maternity and shoes were from regular Loft.

Poll for all the mamas out there: 
Where was your favorite place to shop for maternity clothes during your pregnancy? Which stores did you love and which left something to be desired?


Confessional Friday: {Link Up}

Is it really Friday again? Good lord, this summer has flown. This must mean fall is around the corner, right? Even despite the 1,000 degree temperatures that have hit Arkansas this week...ugh.

First up, though...HERE is the link to the shoes from this week's Riffraff Gameday post! I found them at Target early last spring and they still carry them! They come in other colors, too. You will LOVE. Pinky promise.

I'm wearing the Blush color here. You can get some here.

1) I confess that after my friend Taylor texted me a pic of the Southern Living September cover yesterday, I started putting together a grocery list for apple cake and pumpkin bread. Maybe if we all start cooking fall foods fall will get here sooner? Eh?

2) I confess that this swimsuit from ASOS was the best thing to happen to me this summer. Talk about comfy! I love a two-piece on a pregnant body, but wanted another option that was a little more accommodating to the growing ta-tas : ) If you live in a hot climate like we do and still need a suit for what's left of summer, I'd get this one.
3) I confess that I forgot how much I loved Look Who's Talking (yup, the movie from, like, 1990), until we watched it on a whim last night. It was playing on one of the movie channels, so we stopped and watched it. Still cracks me up.

4) I confess that I'm so tempted to get a pair of Hunter boots for fall. I've always wanted some, but have never taken the plunge. This may be the year, folks!

Your turn to confess!


    An InLinkz Link-up


Gameday Part II: {Ready with Riffraff}

The pre-gameday celebrations continue around here tonight with one of my very favorite new tops, perfect for tailgating this fall. 
My friends at Riffraff pretty much outdid themselves on this year's fall gameday collection. Just like football itself, their collection kicks a whole 'lotta tail. 

{And guess what? There's something there for girls from just about every conference and school; colors and patterns to represent nearly every alma mater.}

Seen here: the Samantha Tunic 
I was immediately drawn straight to the pattern and loose tunic style of this top, which I must say, accommodates a growing baby bump quite nicely. The pattern would also be perfect for all my 'Bama girls, (wink, wink!)

Seen here: Stone Dangle earrings // Black and Gold Fringe bracelet (sold out)

Seen here: Black and Gold Fringe Bracelet (sold out) // Shining Stones Bracelet in Clear

And, can we talk accessories for a sec? Yeah, love these. 

Go see my friends at Riffraff if you live in NWA, down on the Fayetteville square! And keep an eye out this summer for their new location opening in Dallas, TX! You can follow them for exclusive details on the new store on Instagram at riffraffdallas

Of course, you can always shop the gazillion looks on their website, too. Fast shipping and the best customer service this side of the Mississippi. 

Alright, ladies. I'm off to catch up on some True Blood with the husband. See you bright and early right back here!