In Retrospect

Caroline at 2 weeks old. Photo by Bethany McGhehey.

Approximately one time per year, I get a little reflective and, well, cheeseball-ish. (Though, with Caroline's arrival, I've become one of those women who bawls happy tears at the drop of a hat. But normally, I save the sentimental nonsense for New Year's.)

And folks, it's that time of the year.

I was going to do a month-by-month recap of what we did this year, but honestly, it would have all been pregnancy-related, ha! And since most of y'all were here for that ride from the get-go, I won't make you suffer through it again.

In all seriousness though, this year was unbelievably, amazingly wonderful.

I mean, WE HAD A BABY.

And gaw, y'all. She is simply magnificent.

I cannot wait to see how she changes and develops throughout the coming year. I know that the best is still yet to come and this makes me exponentially happy.

I hope your 2014 is full of treasures. Not the kind that money will buy, but the little gems that can only be felt by the heart and experienced by the soul.

Thank you all for sticking around here for another year of memories. Let's do it again, shall we?


*All photos are property of A Blonde Ambition Blog and Bethany Blair Photography. Please do not re-post or "pin" without express written consent. Thanks for being kind, y'all!


Gravy and Gabbing

It's Friday, y'all. Let's give a collective golf clap, (or a big 'ol hoop and holler, if you're like me.) Another day, another post filled with random goodness - delicious and ready to be served. So let's do it!


On Christmas day, I posted a photo of my Memaw's chocolate gravy, which I made for us. I got a couple of emails asking if the recipe was a family secret and I'm happy to report that I have cleared it with the source herself and I can post it : )

Here goes:

3/4 cup sugar (white, granulated)
3 Tbsp. cocoa powder (I like Hershey's, but hey - it's your world.)
3 Tbsp. self-rising flour
2 cups milk (skim actually works best.)
1 egg yolk
2 Tbsp. real, salted butter
1/8 tsp. salt


Mix the sugar, cocoa powder and flour together in a bowl until there are no lumps. In a sauce pan, combine the milk and egg yolk. Add the flour mixture and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. It should take on the consistency of pudding. Once it thickens, reduce to low heat and continue to stir constantly until it's silky smooth. Add butter and stir again.

Serve piping hot on top of fresh biscuits for a crowd-pleasing breakfast!


I was BLOWN AWAY by the amount of responses from those of you interested in the mom Gmail chat forum and also the local mom playgroup. I'm currently organizing the emails and will continue to do so over the weekend! I'll email everyone next week with details of both the chat forum and the playgroup/meet-up for Northwest Arkansas moms.

Right click and save the image above, and post on your own blogs to spread the word! The more moms we get, the better the chats will be!

Thanks again for your interest in all this mom stuff! I'm so excited to talk to you girls and meet those of you who are local. Yay for new friends!!


Okay gals, I'm out. Stephen and I are packing up the baby and our 150 pounds of baby stuff and heading to my parents in Heber Springs, AR to celebrate Christmas with them. I'll talk to you bunnies on Monday!


Thursday Randomness

I hope everyone enjoyed a fantastic Christmas day and that y'all gorged yourself on as many redonkulously bad, (but good-tasting), foods as I did.

1. We had the best Christmas day of our lives, Stephen and me. We celebrated quietly, just the three of us, with our sweet Caroline Rose. I cannot wait until she's big enough next year to understand more of what's going on. Still though, it was amazing. I highly recommend Christmas with a baby ; )

2. Confessional Friday....oh yes, it's baaaaaack. Beginning on January 3rd, our little weekly link-up resumes. I'm still not certain if I want to do topics, but I do think to get us back into the swing of things, we'll begin with a little questionnaire-type theme. Something like, "One thing people might not know about me is __________." I'll get the questions posted no later than Monday on here and we can begin that way.

3. Would any of the new moms out there be interested in doing a weekly or bi-weekly Gmail chat forum? Where we throw out a couple of pre-set topics, like breastfeeding advice or tricks for getting baby on a schedule, and just talk it out? I'd like to cover many of these on the blog, but I realize that not every one is interested in my baby's bathroom habits or favorite Baby Einstein toys : )

If you think you'd be interested in this, shoot me an email at askblondeambition@gmail.com! If there's enough interest, I may just start this thing up! 

4. With that said, are there any NWA moms reading this thing that might be interested in starting a little once-weekly playgroup or meet-up? I'd love to meet some gals in-person and make some new friends with rookie mommas like myself. If you live in NWA and are the momma of an infant or young child, hit me up!

5. I'm also thrilled that 2014 will bring outfit posts back! Now that the baby bump is officially extinct, which, I'll admit, is a little sad, I can now return to one of my favorite past-times: style posts! In fact, I'm having Stephen snap a few pics this very afternoon for a post tomorrow! (He just doesn't know it yet.) I'm so excited to get back to style blogging, and I'm sure that some of you will be refreshed by the fact that not every post will be baby-related next year ; )


That is it, that is all. So what have we learned today? Let's recap:

1. If you're a mom to a bambino and would like to start a G-chat with other moms and me, email me at askblondeambition@gmail.com

2. If you're a mom that lives in Northwest Arkansas and have an infant or young child, shoot me an email. I'd love to meet up in person and get the babies together for some social time, (both for their sake and ours!)

3. Let's all breathe a collective sigh of relief that 2014 will have a little less baby talk and a little more style.

4. Mark your calendars for January 3rd for the grand return of Confessional Friday.


My Wish For You

Hey, ladies! Yep, I'm still alive and kicking, though my lack of recent blog posting would seem to say otherwise. You see, I made it my mission to really savor each moment of the holiday season with our new baby girl, and for once, put blogging on the back burner.

Taken Sunday afternoon at Stephen's parents' house with my sweet girl.

Caroline got all dolled up to visit Santa yesterday  : )

I hope to be back writing on here full force come January, but until then, new posts may be a little scarce.

It's no surprise that we feel incredibly blessed this year to be enjoying this season with our little nugget. It certainly has the makings to be our best Christmas yet!

There were definitely times in my life where I wondered if I'd ever have my own little family with which to hang stockings, open presents and take silly Christmas morning home videos. Flash forward a few years later, and it seems crazy now to imagine life without Stephen and Caroline.

My wish for you this holiday season is this: enjoy and relish the moments with the ones you're with. Whether it be your spouse or partner, your children, your best friends or family, really make the most of the moments you're given.

As an aside, I always have a soft spot in my heart for single gals, but more so during the holidays. My advice? Enjoy this time. Now, being solo during all the festivities can be a lot of fun and I realize that many folks choose to fly solo - and that's fantastic! but if you're at the place in life where you're ready to find that soul mate or start that family, please hold on to hope. God is so good and I believe that he uses that time as a single person to really mold and shape us in a way only he could.

So whoever you find yourself with on December 25, I hope that you have the merriest of Christmases.

Love y'all.


Caroline Rose: {Two Months}

We took this photo last night to send to her grandpa, as his birthday was yesterday!

Weight/Length: We won't know until her two month appointment on Wednesday, but I'll come back and update then. (I'm guessing 8.5 pounds!)

Hair: Getting longer and longer by the day! She hasn't really lost any of baby hair yet, (I'm told this sometimes happens around one to two months old.) It's still a lovely chocolate brown color, just like her handsome daddy!

Diapers: Newborn dipes for the win! We still love our Pampers Swaddlers.

Clothing: All size newborn!

Favorite Things: Her Zubels ballerina doll, her Petit Ami doll named Penelope, Ruby (our mini dachshund) and her little Wubbanub, which we've named "Lambie".

Likes: Right now, our petite princess loves: cuddling with momma and daddy, her "Lambie" Wubbanub, shopping (the bright colors and lights of department stores make her so happy), riding in the car, our doxie Ruby (she smiles so much when Ruby nuzzles her little feet), bath time and sitting up like a big girl on daddy's lap to watch TV.

Dislikes: The Nose Frida -- but really, who would enjoy that? -- big, noisy crowds, wearing socks and her Pack and Play. We are really praying she sleeps in her P & P when we visit Stephen's mom and dad in Oklahoma City next weekend. Otherwise, it may be a looooooong three days : (

Sleeping: Our girl is an awesome sleeper! Most nights, she'll wake only once for a quick feeding then it's back to bed. We got SO lucky with a sound sleeper.

Mama Thoughts: Although she's a dainty little thing, our sweet Caroline is growing every day. She is a JOY to be around, very content and easily soothed. She is starting to smile intentionally, (not from gas or during her sleep), and it makes me SO happy!

Breastfeeding is still going really well. Luckily, she has been able to take my milk easily and I haven't had to make any major changes to my diet. She latches in a snap and feeds a lot more quickly than she did a month ago. We joke that she eats like she's being timed, haha! I feel like I can finally say that we've got breastfeeding down cold : )

I feel amazing! Tons of energy and no issues whatsoever following the C-section. Honestly, the recovery was really easy considering it was a major surgery. Two weeks out of the gate and I was pretty much pain-free. We want at least one more child, but the thought of going through it again doesn't concern me at all.

It's starting to hit me that I only have a month of maternity leave left, which makes me quite sad. I'm super grateful for my job, but I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't love to stay at home with this little lady, too. It's the balance so many moms have to find and I pray daily that I'll be able to juggle everything come January 13.

That's all until next month, friends!


Go with the Flowbee

I wish I had some grandiose blog post to send you all off for the weekend, but alas, I do not.

Instead, (and in honor of me FINALLY getting my hair done tomorrow after 8 long weeks away from the salon), I thought we'd watch this compelling infomercial for the Flowbee. Somehow, my dear husband and I got on the topic of bad infomercials last night and this one came to mind.

"It's a vacuum! No, it's a pair of hair clippers! NO! It's the FLOWBEE!"

Children of the 80s and early 90s probably remember this hair-raising (literally) gem. Funny story, my mom was a hairdresser for many, many years and had to correct approximately eleventy million haircuts marred by this handy dandy tool.

Here are my thoughts on styling or cutting hair with a high-powered suction device:

1. The words "vacuum" and "hair" should never occur in a sentence.
2. God gave us professional hairstylists for a reason. Amen.

See yous Monday.


You Can Call Me Queen B(eanie)

Bet y'all thought I'd gone and deserted you, huh? Nope. Just enjoying a snowy, icy week inside the house with the little jewel below.

Alright, bunnies. Let's talk beanies. 

Taken yesterday with the most precious baby I've ever seen.
Beanie from Savoir-Faire last year // Fur vest from Belle Boutique Bentonville

Headband from Harts & Roses via Etsy // outfit by Carter's here
I like a fedora. I adore a baseball cap. I can even get down with a wide brimmed winter hat now and again. But, babes, I LOVE a beanie. 

Here are a few of my favorite beanies, which can be dressed up by adding a blingy brooch or even - gasp (!!) - a sparkly pair of earrings to the bottom edge.

Olive and Brown Striped Beanie from Savoir-Faire // Slouchy Solid Beanie hat in blue from Maude

And for your beanie babies...

Striped Beanie from Baby Gap in icy pink // and in navy


So It's My Birthday...

Today, I'm 29 - woot! Thanks for making 28 such a great year for me, friends! Seriously. You bunnies are the best. 

Stephen asked last weekend what I'd like for my birthday. I told him that I already got her on October 14. 

I can't wait to see what 29 holds! 

In celebration, Little Cee and I will be hitting up Starbucks for a caramel brûlée latte, then Hobby Lobby to let her "choose" a Christmas stocking. And finally, Lord willing, Stephen and I are going on our first post-baby date tonight. 

It'll be a nice low key birthday. The best sort, if you ask me.

Later gators.


But Before 30...

Hello, all! So it appears that tomorrow I shall turn 29. Yes, friends, that is '2' followed by a '9'.

I laugh because ten years ago, 29 sounded ANCIENT. Like, to me, if 29 had a smell, it would have been mothballs.

But now that I am less than 24 hours from turning 29, it feels not ancient at all. There's a lot I'd like to do this year before hitting the big 3-0. Not sure if I'll get around to accomplishing all of them, but I feel like it's an admirable goal.

Now, I'm not wishing my life away, but I'm looking forward to next year's 30th birthday. (It's such a nice, round number!) But before 30, I'd like to say I mastered (or attempted) the following:

-Learn to bake bread. Or breadsticks. Or gingerbread. I have issues with creating things made from dough, which usually involve complicated matters like opening packets of yeast and using thermometers.  This one is Everest for me, y'all.

-Maybe clean out the heaping baskets of clean clothes in our laundry room. You know, those baskets that contain items pulled from the dryer, but not quite making it to the closet or dresser. I always say, "I have nothing to wear", to which Stephen reminds me that "there's no wonder, it's probably in one of the 18 baskets in there." If learning to make things out of dough is Mt. Everest, this one is the dadgum Himalayas.

-Go zip lining. Where? I don't care. It will likely have to be off our roof since a vacay isn't in our near future. "Honey, rig up a harness and make sure our life insurance policy is in order. Mama's going zip lining!"

-Figure out the cause behind that weird rattling sound in my car when I make left-hand turns. This could probably be easily solved with a trip to the Nissan dealership, but who wants to do that...ever?

So, that's about it, I guess. What did you do or what do you plan to do before you turn 30?

Peace out, homefries.