Confessional/Dip Friday: {Link-Up}

Since this week's topic for CF was "grab bag", I decided to throw caution to the wind (or Velveeta into the crockpot) and blog about...DIP!!

You know, that amazing manna from heaven?

Well, since college football started back last night, I felt it fitting to throw some dip at'cha. Here are a few of my very favorite dip recipes that you can often find the hubs and me devouring on any given game day:

Nothin' Fancy Dip


  • 1 can of chili (we like Wolf brand)
  • 1 block Philadelphia cream cheese
  • Half a small bag of sharp shredded cheddar cheese

1. Coat the bottom and sides of a 9 x 9 glass dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Melt the cream cheese in the microwave until it's soft and lump free, so that you can easily spread it.
3. Spread melted cream cheese onto the bottom of the dish.
4. Top that layer with the entire can of chili, spreading evenly. Top THAT layer with the cheddar.
5. Now, put the dish uncovered into the microwave for 2.5 minutes or so, until cheese is bubbly.

You can thank me later.

Oh, give me a home dip, where the buffalo roam...
(Photo via recipleaser.com)

Buffalo Chicken Dip

  • 4 clean chicken breasts
  • 1 Bottle of  Hot sauce (12 oz.)
  • 12 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup Mexican cheese
  • 1 cup Ranch dressing
  • Tortilla chips
  1. Cook the chicken breasts in water until done.
  2. Cut the chicken into small chunks or cubes .
  3. Place the chicken in a bowl and pour the wing sauce over it, mixing well.
  4. In an oven-proof dish, add the cream cheese and pour the chicken on top of it. Add the cheese over it and also sprinkle some ranch dressing.
  5. Bake for about half an hour at 325 degrees.

Tell me this doesn't make you wanna dive in face first.
(photo via Food Network)
Charleston Dip


  • 1/2 - cup mayonnaise
  • 1 - 8oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 - cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 - cup grated monterey jack cheese
  • 2 - green onions, finely chopped
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • 8 - Ritz crackers, crushed
  • 8 - slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (I prefer center-cut bacon for its thickness.)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
2. In a medium bowl, mix the mayonnaise, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, monterey jack cheese, green onions and cayenne pepper. 
3. Transfer the mixture to a shallow baking dish. 
4. Top mixture with cracker crumbs and bake for 15 minutes, or until heated through. 
5. Remove the pan from the oven and top with the bacon.
6.  Serve immediately with corn chips, bagel chips or crackers.

Sufficiently hungry yet?

If the InLinkz tool is not working, (and it rarely does), just leave your link in the comments!


Bumpdate: {33 Weeks}

I'm still scratching my head and wondering how the heck I've arrived at 33 weeks. It seemed like just yesterday we found out we were expecting. Time really does fly during this third trimester, doesn't it?

Weight Gain:  +1 lb. this week

Baby: I'll get an exact weight on her at tomorrow's weekly biophysical profile appointment (yep - we are going once a week now), but I'm guessing she's at 4 lbs. or more - a healthy girl!

Bathroom pic at work...sorry, no time to take a good photo last night : )

Cravings:  Pickles! I've eaten my weight (and my husband's) in mini dill pickles this week. How stereotypical of a pregnant gal is that? Ha! We've enjoyed steak twice this week, which has tasted oh-so-good. I'm also PUMPED for chili cheese dip while we watch the Razorback game Saturday!

How I'm Feeling: I still have a lot of energy once I get going, though it's been HARD to drag myself out of bed lately. Not the actual waking up, but the physical rolling over and getting up is difficult stuff : ) 

No swelling or shortness of breath still yet, and keeping my fingers crossed I can avoid this until the very end. Morning sickness has returned once again though, and Tuesday, I had to take a Zofran. 

Movement: Good gracious, yes. She's running out of room in there, so I feel everything. At some point last week, she flipped from the breech position to head down, which feels a LOT better on her mama : ) Breech kicks hurt like no other!

Favorite Moment this Week:  It actually happened last Friday, but we scheduled the date for the C-section! October 14th will be Caroline's birthday! Six weeks from Monday, by this time, we'll be holding a BABY GIRL in our arms!!

Sleeping: Sleep? What is this thing you call sleep? Ha! (I'm a pro at going on two hours at this point.)

Clothes: Pants are all maternity, with the exception of leggings and gym shorts, which I quickly put on as soon as I walk in the door from work. Tops are about half maternity, half regular. Dresses are all regular.

Most looking forward to: Our couples baby shower brunch that our friends the Sadlers are hosting for us Sunday. This is our second-to-last baby shower before Caroline gets here, so we plan to enjoy every second of it! (My mom and her friends are also hosting a Sip 'n See back in my hometown after baby girl arrives, which I'm pumped about, too!)

Thankful for: Zantac (the heartburn med) and Zofran (the anti-nausea med). They are my two best friends this week.


Do the DIP!!

Confessional Friday update: I plan to post a few of my favorite dip recipes tomorrow, in honor of football season beginning. BUT, you are more than welcome to do a Confessional post, too. Whatever you decide to write about, the InLinkz link-up stream will be up and going at the usual 7 a.m. time slot.

A lot of y'all seemed to like having the optional topics for each week, so I'll put up the fall schedule next week.

How to join a link up!

In case you are new to blogging and haven't done a link-up before, here's how you participate:

1) Write a post that pertains to the "link-up" topic. Fridays around here are Confessional Fridays and you can find a schedule of topics for each week here. Tomorrow though, I'll be posting dip recipes in honor of the beginning of college football season!

2) After you've written and published your post on Friday, you'll copy and paste the URL of your post into the InLinkz stream here on this blog.

3) And voila! You've linked up!


Let's Just Talk.

Sometimes in blogland, it's nice to just write a few random thoughts down instead of having a carefully orchestrated post.

Today, friends, is one of those times.

Here's what's on my mind, mid-week:
  • Would y'all want to do a dip recipe link-up in place of Confessional Friday this week? Just a thought. A thought that stemmed from seeing a Philadelphia Cream Cheese pop-up ad in my browser. This is how my mind works, you see. 
  • I'm le tired. Baby Caroline enjoys practicing her Rockette-like kicks from around 10 p.m. until 4:00 a.m. or so. I'm pleased as punch that my tiny dancer is already working on proper form and technique, but I wake up every morning feeling (and looking) like a zombie from Walking Dead. I've heard other moms say they slept better after they had the baby. Is this true for any of you girls?
  • I'm a bit afraid of having to wear shoes that require me to buckle them. Sometimes after I bend down, I wonder if that might be the time I'm not able to get up again. Asking a pregnant woman at 8 and a half months to gracefully bend over is like asking Miley Cyrus to teach an etiquette class. A very bad idea, indeed.
  • College football begins tomorrow night! Hallelujah and amen. I can hear the angels singing now. Do you hear them, too? Their song sounds a bit like...

  • My husband has been giddy all week because of college football starting back up and his energy is infectious. ESPN is on constant play in our living room and Razorback yard flags are being put up all over our subdivision. I had a dream last night that we went to the hospital to have the baby and my regular OB had been replaced by ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit. 
What's on your mind today?


Falling Flat

As you all know, I love, love, love my heels with a purple passion. However, I know that with the wee little one around this fall, I'm going to need to mix in a few pair of chic flats to pull mommy duty. And I must say, I'm pretty excited about the options out there.

Behold (!!) - a few glorious flats for your viewing (and purchasing) pleasure:

From the top right: Ruby flat from Shoemint // Whisper in my Ear flat from Zappos // The Narea by Ted Baker // Leopard flat via Forever 21 // Kaeli flat from Aldo // Gav d' Orsay via Shopbop
Have you scooped up any flats for fall yet?

*Collage by me. Feel free to use, but please credit my blog : )


1,000th Blog Post (!!)

Well, y'all - it has happened. As of today, I've officially written 1,000 blog posts since beginning this little adventure in 2009. To say I can't believe it is, well, a magnificent understatement.


I'm not sure how many people purposefully set out to do 1,000 of anything, but I'm now one of them. I'm honestly shocked that I've stuck with any hobby long enough to say I've done it 1,000 times - ha!

I went back and forth trying to come up with some grand idea for a commemorative blog post, but in the end, I decided to blog about something reflective of my life at this current time - my daughter.

I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate 1,000 "journal" entries than to write to the person who will make her entrance into this world very soon.


Dear Caroline,

Your mommy is officially 32 and one-third weeks pregnant with you at this very moment. In just seven short weeks, we'll finally get to meet each other! Your nursery is nearly complete, thanks to your daddy and your Nana, (that's mommy's mom.) The three of us worked very hard and we have a beautiful room waiting on you, baby girl!

This is me wearing my swimsuit at the lake this weekend. Some people gave me some funny looks for wearing a two-piece with a big baby bump, but I don't give two licks; I am so proud of you and ready to show you off in any way I can!

This is a really neat 4D ultrasound picture that Dr. C captured for us last Thursday. Your two grandmas, Nana (my mom) and Hamaw (your daddy's mom), came to the appointment with me since daddy was in New York City, working hard for our family! They had such a great time getting to watch you on the big screen as you kicked and waved and stretched your long legs for everyone. You are already a showstopper, my darling girl!

You already weigh 3 lbs. and 10 oz. - right on track for your age. In fact, you're growing so fast, I've had to go shopping twice in the past month for some new clothes! We can already see some hair on your tiny head on the ultrasound and you share a lot of the same features as your daddy, like his full lips. This makes me very happy : )

You aren't letting me get a whole lot of sleep at night, but that's just fine with me. I LOVE those quiet late nights, just the two of us, sitting on the couch and blogging or reading. I can't get enough of your powerful kicks, and it makes me so happy that you're so active and healthy. Kick away, baby girl; kick away.

Seven weeks from today, Caroline. And then, my sweet, we begin our adventure together.


Your mama


Confessional Friday: {Link Up}

For today's Confessional Friday link up, I asked you girls how you'd spend your perfect day. (If you're not playing along with the schedule, but want to do so, it's here.)

There are approximately 4,592 things that I can think of that would make my day darn near perfect, (chili cheese fries, getting my hair highlighted, SEC football on my TV screen...), so when it came time to crafting my own "dream day", it took some narrowing down.

Here's what I think my perfect day's schedule would look like:

Now it's your turn to tell me what your perfect day would look like!


Bumpdate: {32 Weeks}

I cannot believe I'm 8 months pregnant and that I'll have a full-term baby in just FIVE weeks! Where the heck did time go? Anyway, here is the 32 week Bumpdate for y'all:

Taken with my new Canon Rebel t3i camera...a very generous gift from my parents for photographing sweet Caroline. 

Weight Gain:  My appointment is at 9:15 today, so I'll know then. My guess? Another 2-3 pounds or so.

Baby: Our girl is already about 3 pounds (probably more than that now) and getting bigger by the day. UPDATE: She now weighs 3 lbs. 10 oz! Right on track and thriving for gestation! No wonder she's getting tighter in there - ha!

Cravings:  Fresh Arkansas peaches, tomatoes with sea salt, cucumbers with balsamic vinegar (so delish) and strawberries. Mexican food has really hit the spot lately, too. And, of course, sweet tea.

How I'm Feeling: Still feeling really good! I still maintain that this is my favorite trimester. It's getting a little more difficult to bend over and put shoes on, but I love that the bump is getting nice and round! A few nasty cases of heartburn lately, but Zantac is helping that. The "morning" sickness has definitely started rearing its ugly head again, but nothing like before. 


Cardigan: Maude // Holy Chic tee: E.Leigh's // Pants: Pink Blush Maternity via Zulily // Shoes: ASOS

Movement: Oh yeah, buddy! This chica is moving all over the place in my tummy. She's starting to get a little cramped in there, so I get lots of strong kicks and lots of (what feels like) cartwheels. I think this means she'll be a cheerleader or dancer, just like her mama ; )

Favorite Moment this Week:  Working on the nursery with my mom all week while Stephen is in NYC for work. We finished hanging the shelves and artwork last night, so I'll be fine tuning the details this weekend for a very special nursery reveal at the beginning of September.

Sleeping: I get about five hours a night, which is pretty good for this stage of pregnancy.

Clothes: Mostly all maternity pants now. A couple of maternity tops, but for the most part, they are just my regular shirts.

Most looking forward to: My appointment at 9:15 this morning! My mom and my mom-in-law are both coming with me to the 4D ultrasound. I'm so excited to let them see her face like Stephen and I saw last time. We got some great photos of her face and features last time with the 4D, but I'm saving  those for just our eyes right now : ) Not long until we'll get to share our sweet girl with blogland, though!

Thankful for: Our amazing OB team, Dr. D and Dr. C. Like I've said before, due to some (major) medical reasons, we had to schedule a C-section. At first, this seemed really scary, but I also knew it was the only way to get our babe here safely and ensure my own health. I can honestly say that I feel so comfortable and at ease with this now though, simply because our two docs are amazing. I am grateful to have access to such incredible doctors and thank God for them every day.


Thrilled for Phil

Mark your calendars - or don't, so there'll be more goodies for me - for the debut of Phillip Lim for Target on September 15. I cannot tell y'all how thrilled I am that Mr. Lim has decided to jump on board the Target (or Tar-jay, if you're fancy) bandwagon. Apparently, just like the rest of us, Phillip shops at Target, so it was a natural choice for him to partner with the retail powerhouse.

And you should be excited, too.

Because if it weren't for Target, I'd probably never be able to own a piece of his very chic, very expensive pie.

Behold, mavens:

The sweet simplicity, the structure, the perfect blend of edgy and classic...it's enough to make this clothes horse click her heels.


Monday Randoms

Hi, girls! I hope you all enjoyed your weekend as much as I did!

-My parents came up for the weekend to celebrate my mom's birthday, and yesterday, Sarah hosted a baby shower for Caroline and me : ) I've got lots of photos to share with you all later this week, but I had to show you a pic of the beautiful cake. It was an ombre color scheme with pink, light pink and white, and featured little rosebuds (for Caroline Rose) all over it. Gorgeous!

-She also had every detail perfected, right down to the food. She had sweet tea from McAlister's (my FAV), Chick-Fil-A chicken nuggets, which I craved throughout this pregnancy, fresh fruit, spinach dip and more. All my very, very favorite foods!

-Caroline got a ton of amazing gifts, but I was extra fond of this set that Sarah got for her, crafted by SheShe Made. I cannot WAIT to put those little monogrammed bloomers on Cee-baby for her newborn pics!

-Since my mom is up here staying the week with me while Stephen is in NYC for work, we're going to be putting all the finishing touches on the nursery. I hope to be able to share photos of our completed girly masterpiece very soon!

-I'm seriously obsessed with the Aden + Anais brand of swaddles and was OVER THE MOON that baby girl received lots of them yesterday. Apparently, Duchess Kate loves them for her little George, and now I see why. I really wish they came in adult sizes ; )

-Since Stephen is gone for the week and the grandmas are around, I'm taking my mom and my mom-in-law to the doc with me on Thursday where they'll get to see a 4D ultrasound of our babe! I'm so excited to be able to share this very special appointment with Caroline's "Nana" (my mom) and "Hamaw" (Stephen's mom).

-When I got home from the baby shower yesterday, our entire house was cleaned, all laundry was done and there was a juicy pot roast in the oven - all courtesy of Stephen. Have I mentioned that I really love my husband? A good egg, that man.

-Lately, I cannot eat enough green apples. I've been craving crunchy apples like nobody's biz. And when paired with peanut butter or Nutella? I die. Soooooo good.

What did y'all do this weekend?


Bumpdate: {31 Weeks}

This last trimester is flying by at warp speed, so these weekly Bumpdate posts may get a little longwinded. I want to remember every detail of this coolest time of pregnancy, (it's SO neat!) 

Weight Loss/Gain?  ??? Good question. I go back to the doctor next week, so we'll see then. 

Cravings:  Still eating lots of fresh Arkansas peaches, tomatoes and bell peppers. We also made a pot of white chicken chili this week and it was so delicious! (Can you believe it's cool enough in AR in August to make and eat chili? It's a true story.)

How I'm Feeling: So, so good! I sound like a broken record, but I LOVE this trimester so much. I know it will get a lot harder in those final weeks, but honestly, this is great. I've had no swelling at all, tons of energy and enjoying the process of seeing my bump grow. 

My nausea/heaving started up again this week, so that hasn't been fun. I've heard it's pretty common for emesis (i.e. puking) to return in the final tri, though. 

Movement: Tons and tons of movement. This girl is busy! Now, we can actually recognize where her certain body parts are located. For instance, she'll stick out her elbow or rear end and we'll see a sharp(ish) point or curve jut out from my bump. It's a strange mixture of feeling like I'm watching a Sci-Fi movie, mixed with awe that my body is housing a human being. 

A lot of times in the mornings, she sticks her fanny waaaaaaay out and then popping it back in, haha! When she does this, it literally makes my bump come to a point, (not unlike a torpedo), for a second. And just as quickly, it will pop back in as she "pops" her fanny back in.  Endlessly entertaining, y'all. (Above pic taken Tuesday morning, so you can really see how she's growing!)

Favorite Moment this Week:  I went into her room to hang up some clothes and ended up going through her whole closet. I took each piece out and just stared at them - touched them - amazed that in seven weeks, there will be a little person wearing them. 

Sleeping: Sleep is scarce, but I still have plenty of energy, so I'm not sweating over it. I honestly do think it's my body's way of preparing me for Caroline's arrival and the lack of sleep that will accompany her.

Clothes: For expectant mommas, here are some of the maternity clothes that I purchased last week that I like, in case you're also in the market:
  • I LOVE these skinny pants and white tee top from Zulilywhich I'm actually wearing in the "torpedo baby" pic above! They fit like a glove. I really wish I had purchased a couple pair of both the pants and the top because they are that awesome.

  • The below skinny jeans by Indigo Blue from Destination Maternity are a hit! I ordered the extra small in these and was pleased at how comfy they were. If you're looking to order, here are my stats: I'm 5'4", usually a size 0/2 and ordered the small, if you need a reference point. 

  • This striped peplum top (sold out, but similar style here), striped long-sleeved tee (here), and pair of oxblood-colored Mavi cords (right here), from Destination Maternity will also get lots of use as the weather cools off. So comfortable and all the items are fitted enough that I can wear them after Caroline's arrival, too.

  • Not a maternity shirt but I love this top from Forever 21, (sold out online, but very similar here.) It flows well over the baby bump and I love the accordion back.

  • I saw this top on Impressions' online store and knew I needed it. It's long enough to cover the bump, so I just went up a size (to a medium) to ensure there was enough room for my, um, growing "girls". Get one now because they'll go fast!

Most looking forward to: Two things: 1) My mom (a.k.a. Caroline's Nanna) is coming up this weekend to stay all weekend and ALL next week while Stephen is in NYC for work! 2) My baby shower that Stephen's sister Sarah is hosting this weekend!


Don't forget - there will be no Confessional Friday tomorrow, per our schedule. New fall schedule of topics will be announced at the end of the month, so stay tuned for that!


The "Loving Lately" List

Jamie from This Kind of Love always does this really fun link-up on Wednesdays where she tells about things she's loving - so fun! I thought I'd play along today with a few of my favorite things that I'm loving lately.

Behold, a little round-up of my favorite products of the moment! Some are wearable, some are shiny and sparkly, and some are guaranteed to make those undereye bags go away ; )

bareminerals® Well-Rested® Face & Eye Brightener  - here 

I am LOVING this miracle product from our friends at bareminerals! As most of y'all know, sleep isn't coming so easily lately. I've got a trick up my sleeve - err, rather, on my face - to help combat those pesky undereye bags and dark circles, and I think you'll love this stuff, too. Just a little dab under the eye and around the tops of the cheekbones and I look like I've gotten my eight hours.

Forever 21 Geometric Bib Necklace - here

This was a cheapy find from Forever 21, but I think it has a higher end look to it. I saw a similar style at a well-known online outlet for $200! This one is only $10. I call that smart

c.Booth Honey and Almond Body Butter - here

I'll be honest; I haven't spent a lot of money on special creams and oils for stretch marks, only because my OB said that if stretch marks are gonna happen, they're gonna happen. Instead, I've been slathering this stuff on after my shower and it makes my skin feel amazing! I also apply it to the bump twice daily and I've yet to see a stretch mark. See girls, cheap stuff works, too!

OCJ Collegiate Shorts - here

I've got an outfit post coming on these next week - and shot at a very special location - but in the mean time, I wanted to clue you in on these fun collegiate shorts from our friends at OCJ. There are tons of schools posted already, including those outside of the SEC, so be sure to check 'em out.

Maybelline Color Whisper lipstick in Mad for Magenta - here

This lipstick provides just enough color to wake up my face without being garish. It works well on a lot of different skin tones and is a lot more sheer than most lipsticks I've ever tried. You might like it, too!

What are you loving this week?


Pregnancy Observations: {3rd Trimester Edition}

With each milestone of this pregnancy comes a brand new batch of realizations. Here are some of my latest observations. 

Morning sickness isn’t exclusive to the a.m.
I guess I naively assumed that morning sickness would amount to heaving once a day in the a.m. When all-day sickness began rearing it’s ugly head around the five week mark, I quickly poo-poo’d my earlier theory. Nothing, I repeat, nothing could have prepared me for the sheer misery of pregnancy sickness. I was sick until about week 24, and it seems to have returned (though not as severely) during the past weekend…lovely. (I’ve heard that sometimes happens once the final stretch rolls around due to your stomach being so crowded??)

Is it worth it anyway? Of course. And I really would do it again in a heartbeat because I’m SO excited to see our babe! But don’t think these post-traumatic "sickness" memories won’t resurface the next time we conceive. I’ll be armed with my Zofran beforehand.

You will sort of go all emo.
Pregnancy hormones are real. And in that first trimester, I got to be well acquainted with my emo side. Y’all, it was like a hormonal 15-year-old at a Paramore concert. I cried at: sad TV shows, funny TV shows, the Weather Channel, Hallmark cards, the Banana Republic semi-annual clearance sale, when Ruby outgrew her first collar last March…you name it, it made me bawl.

You won’t have all those weird cravings.
I was prepared to have all kinds of obscure cravings during pregnancy, but honestly, my tastes didn’t change at all. Not saying it’s that way for every woman, but personally, I didn’t have affinities for any specific foods.  Sidenote: I’ve never been huge on sweets, but being with child made me loathe them for a bit. That was the only noticeable change.

You will feel a kindred, almost spiritual connection to other moms.
I can’t explain it, but it feels like you’re a member of a very cool club…the mom club. Moms are tough cookies. They’re also smart cookies, (i.e. they know a LOT of stuff about a lot of stuff.)

Big or small, petty or earth-shattering, I can ask my mom friends anything. For the times I needed to know where to get cute hair bows, (the trivial), or whenever my boobs started doing strange things (the bizarre), or when I had questions about finding a daycare for the babe (the serious), I could consult my mom friends on Twitter, FB and here.

I feel like the Karate Kid consulting my Sensei. “Teach me thy ways, master. I, too, want to learn this art you call motherhood.”

You will nest.
Nesting, ladies, is a real thing. And not only has it struck me, but it has also spread to Stephen. I've been cleaning and sorting like a mad woman lately, which I can only attribute to the babe's impending arrival. Whatever the case, I don't think our house has ever been as spotless as it is right now.

Any other mommas out there experience similar things?

Sheaffer, the fabulous lady behind one of my favorite recent finds, Pinterest Told Me To, is having an amazing $365 Nordstrom giveaway to celebrate her blog's birthday. Be sure to check it out and read all the details here!


Citronic: {Outfit Pics feat. Maude}

Dress c/o Maude Boutique, bracelets via Groopdealz, belt via Target (very similar here), shoes by Sam & Libby for Target, purse by Louis Vuitton

Citron: the color of summer 2013. I had my reservations about wearing such a vibrant color, (especially since I'm fair skinned and blonde headed), but now I'm hooked. I recently wore this little citron number from Maude to my brother's wedding and loved how it looked in photos!

The color helps to make you look even more tan, (if you're like me and can use all the help you can get in that department), and the cut of the dress works so well with my nearly 31-week baby bump - bonus!

Don't forget that Maude also has a full line of baby and kids' clothing (Mini Maude) and a great home and gift store, which you can also purchase from online.

I have a sneaking feeling *hint, hint...wink, wink* that they'll be debuting some fun new pieces very soon for fall, so stay tuned to their website and Facebook page for the latest.

Also, if you have a sec, I'd appreciate your vote for a little color contest inspired by Dasani Drops! Vote here!