My Last First Date

Yesterday, Stephen and I celebrated the three-year anniversary of our first date: July 30, 2010.

Is it a tad cheesy that we like to relive the memory of that day each year? Yes, probably. But for us, it was that date that changed the course of our lives forever. (Funny to think that an evening of Cajun food and a movie could be so life-altering, huh?)

He picked me up five minutes early at my apartment that night and I remember (quite literally) feeling weak in the knees, like I needed to sit down and catch my breath. He was the most handsome man I'd ever seen and he was standing in my living room.

The conversation that night came easily. The laughter, abundantly.

At one point during the movie later, he slid his hand across the arm of the seat and grasped mine.

And for me, it was game over.

I wanted to hold hands with this man every day for the rest of my life.

And, thanks to the good Lord, I can.


I sat on the couch writing this post last night, trying to sum up just what July 30 means to me.

I looked at the bouquet, which S had brought home for me yesterday afternoon, sitting atop the kitchen counter. I looked at the various framed photos of the times we've shared, all lining our mantle...the same mantle that served as the backdrop for the night he proposed to me.

I looked down at the ring he gave me; a beautiful, emerald-cut stunner with baguettes, just like the style of the Harry Winston I'd always coveted, but never told him about. The ring he designed himself, the stone selected by hand. Just four months after we'd met without my having a clue.

And my eyes drifted down to the bump on my stomach, serving as a "desk" for my laptop. The sweet, ever-growing bump holding our precious baby girl, who we'll meet in just a few weeks. Our daughter. Half him, half me; all miracle.

My goodness. So much life has happened in just three July 30ths.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. - 1 Corinthians 13:13


Whitney English Planner Review

I’m old school. Even though I always put appointments and reminders in both my work Outlook calendar and in my iPhone, I love having a real, paper and ink planner to keep track of life’s details. Recently, my planner expired and, with the bambina on the way, I wanted to upgrade to something a little thicker and more spacious than my Target version.

My friend Christi bought one a few months ago and I loved the way hers looked. I compared a few different styles and brands, including:

-Erin Condren
-Whitney English (obviously)

 All three were really, really similar in size and space for writing, so for me, it came down to aesthetics. I LOVED the clean black and white exterior cover of the Whitney English design. Plus, she had this cool personal brand and goal planning section at the front of hers that really appealed to the PR professional in me. (In case you’re new here, I’m a writer for a public relations firm.) And finally, there was a LOT of space to accommodate my gigantic chicken scratch handwriting.

I’ll be honest, the girly girl in me would have loved the personalized stickers that the E.C. planner offered, but I plan to purchase some cute scrapbooking stickers at Hobby Lobby to utilize for the same purpose for my Whitney English planner.

All said and done, I’m really happy with my choice. Because I like things neat n’ tidy, I made a comparison chart for you:
And there you have it! I bought mine on Etsy, here.

*I was not compensated or given the product to write this review. This is strictly my opinion of a really great planner that I'm pleased I purchased!


Rando' Pregnancy Thoughts

‘Ello, you fancy faces!

Everyone have a good weekend? Mine was a whirlwind, as we headed to Heber Springs on Saturday for my little brother’s wedding. It was absolutely beautiful and I’ll definitely share a few pics as soon as the bride and groom have a chance to do so first! (That was my biggest pet peeve when Stephen and I got married…peeps sharing photos all over creation before we had a chance to share them ourselves!)

Today is a mish mash of random pregnancy thoughts with a review of the Whitney English planner coming tomorrow, so stay tuned for that.


  • Let it be known that today is the day I shall order my first pair of maternity pants. After spending five minutes grunting and pulling and sweating while trying to get a pair of regular dress slacks on for work, I threw in the proverbial towel. (I mean, y’all, my eyes were watering, it was so painful trying to get those suckers on this morning.) I’ll be hitting up ASOS this afternoon to purchase a couple pair of pants to get me through this next nine or ten weeks.

At nearly 29 weeks, I think it’s about time. I’ve held on as long as I can. But the jig is up.

In case you’re wondering about this morning’s wardrobe debacle, I found one of my old standby pencil skirts from Savoir-Faire, rolled it down to hip level, threw a BeBand on top of it and it worked seamlessly. Crisis solved. 

  • It’s funny, but I honestly feel so much better in this third trimester than I did in that horrific first and (mostly) second. I’ll take the puffiness and swollen ta-ta’s ANY DAY over those 22 weeks of nausea and puking. (I’ve heard this is common for lots of gals that had rough first trimesters.) 
  • I have a feeling outfit posts are quickly coming to an end. I’m getting to that point where I feel not…um…cute. I have a couple outfits from Riffraff and one from Maude that I’m DYING to share with you girls, but after that, well…I think it’s time for a an outfit pic break : )
  • I’m starting to get a little nervous about maternity leave. I know that sounds absurd, but I’m hoping I don’t get cabin fever being at home with Miss Priss all day. Don’t get me wrong, I’m SO excited to bond with the babe and just enjoy being a mom for a few months, but I think I’m going to miss seeing my work pals and tackling projects, too. Any other working moms feel like this before going on leave? 
  • With that said, I’m stoked that we conceived when we did because this means I’ll have the best three holiday-filled months to be home! My SIL Sarah was also home from mid-October through early January with her youngest and LOVED it. She was able to really enjoy and savor every moment of planning and decorating and shopping with her newest addition. 

And that, folks, is all that this blogger wrote.


Confessional Friday: {Link Up}

If you're playing along with the topics, you know that today's Confessional Friday is a Q & A. I am SO excited to read all of your posts today. I love fill-in-the-blank questionnaires and think they're such a fun way to get a glimpse into someone's personality. 

Here are my answers:

1. My worst fashion offense of all time has to be butterfly clips

Sarah Michelle Gellar rocks her butterfly clips, circa 1999

2. The most embarrassing song on my iPod is probably "This is How We Do It" by Montell Jordan.

3. The last white lie I told was to our dog Ruby.

I tricked her into getting into her crate so that I could go to work by telling her we were going to "GO" somewhere...this is her trigger word. She hopped in the crate, I shut the door, then proceeded to feel like a horrible person.

4. The celebrity I most wish would disappear is Kim Kardashian, with Amanda Bynes coming in a close second.

5. Sometimes, I wish I could make time stand still. 

6. My childhood crush was Jonathan Taylor Thomas.

7. I've never turned down sweet tea.

8. Balloons make me a nervous wreck. 

I have an insane fear of balloons bursting. Not sure why, but every time there's a birthday party or we're at a restaurant where they're handing kiddos balloons, I'm on edge the entire time.

9. I'd rather watch paint dry than listen to contemporary country music. 

Sorry country music fans. I love my old school Johnny Cash and Dolly P., but the newer stuff just doesn't do it for me.

10. Much like a train wreck, I can't turn away from watching Real Housewives of New Jersey


Bumpdate: {28 Weeks}

Well, ladies, we are officially in the THIRD and FINAL trimester of this pregnancy! It really didn't start flying by until this summer, which has disappeared before our very eyes. We are ten weeks or so away from meeting our baby girl and right now, I'm feeling great!

Weight Loss/Gain?  9 lbs.  Expecting to put on about a pound per week (according to TheBump.com) until sweet pea's arrival. 

Cravings:   I've had the BIGGEST craving for some southern fried catfish and hushpuppies lately, but haven't had a chance to indulge that craving just yet. Hopefully I can do that soon!

Favorite Moment this Week:  Our friends from Pottery Barn came last weekend to set up Cee's furniture and after they left, Stephen and I just sort of stood in there and took it all in. He was giddy like a little kid (and so was I) as we imagined what it would be like in just a few weeks with a tiny person lying in that crib.

Funniest Moment this Week:   Caroline is breech right now, so all of her kicks have been really low. I've also carried her super low the entire pregnancy, so imagine my shock when I got a huge jolt to the ribcage last week when she literally jumped up like a diver springing off a diving board. That was a new and kind of painful sensation!

Sleeping: Pretty well. Again, I am SO thankful to have been carrying her low this whole time, so I'm pretty comfortable.

Clothes: I’m still able to wear regular clothes, but pants and shorts definitely require the BeBand, which has been a lifesaver (and a money saver…maternity pants are expensive). I've also been enjoying the freedom and comfort of the maxi dress. 

Most looking forward to: Going to Heber Springs for my brother's wedding this weekend and seeing a lot of my family and friends who I haven't seen since we got pregnant. 


Tuesday TIdbits

-Yesterday was crazytown, so blogging didn't happen. I have a feeling with Baby Caroline heading our way in, oh, ten weeks or so, it's only going to get crazier. I've never been so excited to be busy beyond belief, though!

-I ordered my diaper bag last night! I went with the Marilyn II by timi & leslie, which I bought from Amazon with my super-amazing Prime account. Mamas, if y'all aren't on Amazon Prime or Amazon Mom, I would do so STAT. It's also how we'll be getting diapers delivered each month, saving us a bundle.

-Oh, and my Whitney English planner arrived yesterday! She's a real beauty and she really couldn't have come at a better time. I've already started filling in upcoming baby appointments, to-do lists, birthdays, etc.. As promised via my Instagram, I'll do a full review once I've given her a proper test drive.

-I can't wait to read all of your Confessional Friday posts coming this week for the fun Q & A topic. I'm really enjoying having an established "theme" for CF. If you want to play along, you can find the schedule for upcoming weeks here.

-The bump, it is a changin'. And by that, I mean growing by the nanosecond. I bought a dress last month for my brother's wedding this upcoming weekend, and when I went to try it on last week, it was too suffocating on the baby bump. Thanks to my friends at Maude though, I now have a new dress...she's citron-colored and amazing, and you'll see her in an outfit post this Thursday.

-I (thankfully) haven't had to deal with lots of pregnancy swelling yet, but my veins are constantly protruding out of my arms and hands, Incredible Hulk-style. Anyone else have that weird symptom during their third trimester?

See y'all tomorrow.


Confessional Friday: {Link Up}

Today is Friday and therefore, time to confess. Let us be away with it (!!) I had a lot of fun with today’s topic – guilty pleasures – and I hope you did, too.  

In no particular order, here are the things in which I admit to indulging from time to time.

-Gummy bears. They have to be the Haribo brand and I refuse to eat the pineapple. I’d keep an unlimited stash, but I’d just eat them all and probably go into a sugar coma.

-Gangster movies and TV shows. Whether it’s a midnight showing of Goodfellas or Raging Bull on HBO, a rerun of The Sopranos or an episode of I Married the Mob, I’m obsessed with the gangsta lifestyle. Strange, I know.

-Old school Brad Pitt movies. Um, Legends of the Fall, anyone? Enough said. #yum

-Cookie dough. I rarely eat the finished cookies, but plead guilty to enjoying a couple grande spoonfuls of the dough when I bake them. Whoops.

-Sun tanning. Nope, not out of those awful tanning beds, (swore those off years ago), but laying out in the real sun. Of course now that I’m 28, I load up on SPF. But man, oh, man…I’m a sun worshipper at heart.

-Heels. I’ve worn them the entire pregnancy and plan to up until the end, if my tootsies can stand it. I do not own a pair of Toms (even though I think they’re precious) and my flip flops are even wedge-heeled. Nothing against flat shoes, but me, I prefer heels.

Your turn!


Bumpdate: {27 Weeks}

Apparently workout clothes have become the new normal for my bump pics : )
Weight Loss/Gain?  8 lbs.  

Cravings:  Lots of fresh peaches this week – YUM! Big salads with ranch dressing and lots of shredded cheese have tasted so divine. And, as always, steak. It’s safe to say that Baby Caroline is a fan of the ribeye. She’ll fit in well with this carnivorous family. 

Things that don’t sound appetizing? Anything with frosting (read: cupcakes or cake), or anything too syrupy sweet, like Sonic slushes, which I previously loved in my non-pregnant life.

Favorite Moment this Week:  Starting the process of washing and hanging Caroline's little outfits in her closet. Never have I not minded doing laundry so much!

Funniest Moment this Week:  Deciding to throw in the towel and get a pedicure from a pro this weekend. I usually do mine at home because I’m weird and can’t stand someone else touching my feet (they’re SO sensitive.) However, leaning over to paint toe nails or tie shoes is getting really hard to do, so to the spa I shall go.
Taken Tuesday night for the Savoir-Faire post...love this dress so much, so I wanted to include it.

Sleeping: Better, actually. I’ve been trying to cut back on late night liquid drinking to reduce trips to the bathroom. 

Clothes: I’m still able to wear regular clothes, but pants and shorts definitely require the BeBand, which has been a lifesaver (and a money saver…maternity pants are expensive). I bought a couple more expensive versions from maternity stores, but the $16 BeBand works just as well!

Most NOT looking forward to: The dreaded glucose test on July 29. BUT, I feel a lot better after consulting my Twitter girls yesterday. Apparently, though unpleasant, it is tolerable. I'm nervous tat the possibility of having to do the 3-hour version, but I'd rather know (and get treatment) if gestational diabetes is in the cards for me. 

Most looking forward to: Getting her "big" furniture set up this weekend. The folks from Pottery Barn are coming to put everything together for us and I can't wait to see how it all looks!


Minted Maxi: {Outfit Photos feat. Savoir-Faire}

I have a confession to make and it’s not even Friday: I, Leslie, used to be afraid of maxi dresses. 

I felt that at 5’4”, the maxi overwhelmed my frame. I loved them more than cupcakes on other girls and wanted so badly to be able to wear one, but my lack of height just steered me away from diving into the long dress pool.

Mint Maxi c/o Savoir-Faire; bracelets via Groopdealz - similar here; earrings via Bauble Bar

But then, I got pregnant. And, ‘lo and behold, the maxi became my new best friend. I feel like with the growing baby bump, it helped lengthen my torso – not unlike those medieval body-stretching devices featured in the iconic film, Braveheart, (but far less painfully.)

I also discovered that if I just wore the maxi with a pair of wedges or heels instead of flat sandals, I didn’t feel like a tree stump. What a novel concept – a heel to add height (go figure.)

In fact, I've been known to throw one on for lazy Sundays around the house instead of my usual running short/old sorority T-shirt combo. And that, my friends, speaks volumes of their comfort level.

Check out more magnificent maxis, including the one featured above, at Savoir-Faire either online or at their store, located on the Fayetteville Square! 


P.S. - Special thanks to my girl (and one of the many resident hottie-patotties at SF) Ashley for selecting this beauty for me. I love it to bits!

P.P.S. - If you're pregnant with child (or pregnant with food baby from all that summer BBQ), this dress is forgiving to the nth degree. I didn't even have to wear my sexy pregnancy Spanx. Stephen was grateful. And so was the circulation to my lower body.


A Swift Kick

One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced during this pregnancy hasn’t been the nausea. It hasn’t been the uncomfortable, sleepless nights. It hasn’t even been the (recent) swollen ankles.

It has been learning to live in the moment.

I think we Type A people tend to spend 80% of our lives planning and the other 20% actually living out our plans. We prefer our days orderly and expected. We like “to-do” lists and schedules; in fact, we thrive on them.

I realized last week that we (my baby girl and me) only have three months left of this pregnancy journey. My initial reaction was, “Oh my gosh, we still don’t have a Pack n' Play or a glider!” And that reaction was quickly followed by, “And I still haven’t taken a 26 week Bumpdate photo yet…I’ve got to document this week.”

Then I got a swift kick in the gut.


Caroline let me have it – and hard. It was like she was saying, “Quit stressing. Enjoy this, Mom. We only have three more months left together.”

And it’s true; there are only 90 days left of this incredible process of growing a human. Only 90 more days of sharing the same body. Although we’ll (Lord willing) have her with us for many years to come, she and I will never get to spend time this closely together again.

My mission throughout the next three months is to savor every kick and movement. I want to spend more time sitting quietly on my couch with my hand on my bump. I want to spend less time Googling weird pregnancy symptoms and just allow things to happen.

There will be plenty of time for stress and worry for our baby girl when she gets here. Until then, I’m going to drink in each moment of this time.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV