Our Inspired Home

I'll be the first to admit, I have to enlist a ton of help from my more design-savvy friends when it comes to decorating a home. I always see things I like in magazines and on blogs, but I'm terrible when it comes down to executing it within my own four walls. I get overwhelmed and begin second-guessing my choices almost immediately.

My friend Shannon is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to creating a well-appointed home. (I'm going to see if she'll let me do a home tour of her place on this blog...y'all would die. Amazing.) With her help, I've been able to choose and purchase pieces that I'm so excited to put in our new house!

I thought I'd show you what we've bought so far, as well as the paint colors used in the house and an inspiration board to give you an idea of accent pieces I'll be pulling in to create a finished look.

I've posted a few sneak peek photos on my Instagram account throughout the previous month (username is ablondeambition), so check it out if you want to see a snip-it of our home!

We get to occupy next week and I couldn't be more ready.


What about you? What's your approach to decorating? Where are your go-to places for affordable and chic home decor?


Half Way Point Bumpdate: {Baby Girl Sisti #2}

I haven't been doing full out bumpdates with this bambina to try to spare you girls from having to read about my eternally pregnant state ; ) However, as we are coming up on 21 weeks Wednesday, I thought I might jot a few notes down for my own records, (and any inquiring minds...whoever they might be, ha!)

Had my husband snap this last night while we were on our walk. Under normal circumstances, I do not condone wearing tennis shoes with chino shorts ; )

Weeks: 20 (!!)

Trimester: Second

Gender: GIRL! (Woohoooooo!!)

Name: Ainsley Catherine

Baby's Size: At our anatomy scan last week, Ainsley was weighing in at a whopping 8 ounces. Her estimated length is 6.5 inches. 
Cravings: All the salty food in the world! Sweets make me so gaggy, but give me dill pickles, steak, potatoes, pizza and pasta all day long. Also? Queso. And salsa. All day, every day. 

How I'm Feeling: Lots of energy and much less sickness! This was about the point is started getting tolerable with Caroline, and this pregnancy is no different. I will say though, it was been a completely different experience this go'round. MUCH less barfing and cramping and all that fun stuff. 

Movement: We have a very active baby! Little Ainsley Catherine is a mover and a shaker, and I'm grateful. Just like with Caroline, my placenta is anterior, so I didn't expect to feel movement until well into my second trimester. To my surprise, I started feeling Ainsley move around week 16!

Birth plan: Because of some medical history of my own, we will be doing another (very necessary) scheduled C-section with Ainsley. I'm more than okay with this. I had a good experience recovery-wise, and we trust our doctor implicitly with his recommendations. We will deliver at either 38 or 39 weeks, depending upon her size and my progress leading up to d-date. 

Momma thoughts: This is going to sound so cheesy, but I love, love, love my pregnant body right now. Yeah, I'm carrying some extra weight and no, I'm not going to be wearing any cropped tops this summer (or ever again, ha!), but I'm comfortable in my own skin. With Caroline, I was so sick for so long that I didn't fully get to enjoy my burgeoning bump. Plus, as a first-time mommy, I was consumed constantly with anxiety about whether she was okay, whether I was doing everything right...you get the drift. I've been able to relax and appreciate this pregnancy for what it is: a blessing. 

I love the little round dome underneath my tank tops. I love the uber-womanly shape that my body has taken on. I mean, you are never more feminine that when you're pregnant, so why not own it? I flippin' adore it.

I feel like a lot of women spend the majority of their pregnancy focusing on the uncomfortable parts - granted, there are some - and not the amazing changes that are taking place. It is a GIFT to be able to carry a baby. Shouldn't we be thankful for gifts? 

Sorry to get all I am woman, hear me roar on you, but I'm dead set on relishing this special event and really appreciating this short time that Ainsley and I have in sharing a body. 

That's all for now! I'll probably touch base again next month. Until then -- 


Monday Musings

Update on the house - WE'RE FINALLY MOVED...almost...

This week and most of next are going to be crazytown around our place, so bear with me as blogging may be a little scarce. We moved the majority of our stuff over to the garage of the new house this past weekend. My parents drove up from Heber Springs on Friday night and very generously spent all day Saturday helping move our stuff and watch Caroline. (When I say we couldn't have done it without them, I mean it.) Mom and Dad, if you're reading this, thank you again! 

We officially close on the new place next week, (we had to delay closing until next week because of Stephen's work travel schedule), and the movers will take our bigger stuff that day. So exciting! It's here and I'm more than ready.


Fall will eventually show up. Of that much, we can be sure. Bath and Body Works says so.

Saw this ad for $3 hand soaps and ceramic owls and stuff on my browser this morning and nearly did a happy dance. Not necessarily because of the hand soap, (though I do appreciate good hygiene), but mainly because fall is around the corner. One more month of this summer nonsense and we'll be there. (Okay, maybe I'm just impatient because I'm ready for football and chili and trick-or-treating. And my third trimester.)

I ordered Caroline's outfit for her one-year photos this weekend. I sort of can't stand how cute it is. And it may or may not include a gigantic party hat hair fascinator and turban. 

Epic. I believe that is the word I'm looking for.

My friend Katie, the genius designer/seamstress behind August Lou Designs, is re-creating the above number (a sample she put up on her page Sunday) for Caroline. (And no, I did not purchase Dior sunglasses for my 9-month-old baby. Even I have my limits.)
I also bought a matching #1 cake topper from Etsy (like the below) for her smash cake pics. Because, duh. (I will say, it came in the mail Saturday and I was a little bit surprised at how small it was. My fault, though. I should have read the product description more carefully.) I'm going to see if I can make one myself that's larger for her actual birthday cake.


That'd be all she wrote today. I have a little brown-haired nugget of a baby pulling at my leg to come play. And I cannot pass that up.


Confessional Friday: {Link-Up}

'Ello, ladies! Another workweek in the books, so let's celebrate with a good Confessional, shall we?

1) I confess that I made this copycat recipe for Chili's Cajun Chicken Pasta on Wednesday night and had, not one helping, not two helpings, but THREE helpings. It was totally worth the all-night heartburn that greeted me later. Seriously, you should make it if you dig the real Chili's stuff at all. This taste-alike version honestly tasted even better than the original. Pinky swear.

This was mine! A food photographer, I am not. But, I was pretty proud of how tasty it was - and colorful, too.

2) I confess that I'm both thrilled about and dreading the moving of our bookoos of stuff this weekend to the new house. My parents are very graciously coming up to help us move our small things into the house, then the movers come on August 7th to finish the big stuff on the day we officially close, (and occupy the house.) I'm so glad that this process is nearing the end and we'll be in our new house. We are very grateful that the selling process went so smoothly and quickly. Hooray for more space and a new home where we can create more memories!

3) I confess that I've just discovered the joys of Joss & Main and I'm in home decor love. I bought a humongous area rug for the new living room and a really cool runner for the kitchen, all for way less than what I had planned to have to pay. Seriously. If you haven't checked them out, you should. (And no, I'm not affiliated with them, nor did they put me up to this. I just wanted to pass along the tip.)

4) I confess that I'm pretty ecstatic to begin the process of planning another sweet little girl's nursery! I don't think there's anything more fun that creating a pretty, girly space for a little gal. I had so much fun doing Caroline's, so I fully expect to put just as much time into Miss Ainsley's. Bring on the Restoration Hardware catalogs!

5) I confess that I may or may not have already started planning C's birthday party. And, it's in October. I want it to be amazing and I really want to concentrate on the little details. Now that we'll have a bigger space to host a party, I have some fun ideas for decorating. (Also, I ordered her cake topper, bunting banners, and her party outfit and hair fascinator -- my friend Katie of August Lou is making her outfit and it's going to be precious. I am so that mom.) I'm placing her cake order with one of our favorite local bakeries next week and I am so flipping excited to see how they execute the theme I've chosen. More fun details to come.

Okay, dazzle me, stun me, surprise me, confess to me.


    An InLinkz Link-up


Thursday Randoms

Lots of nonsense today, friends. My morning started at 5:30 and has been going 90-to-nothing since. Don't you just love those days when organization and planning take a flying leap into a black hole? That would be my day. So, randomness shall prevail.

Her profile is identical to Caroline's at the 20 week mark. Exact same bone structure, shape of nose, etc. So cool!

1) I was SO excited for little Ainsley Catherine's anatomy scan ultrasound yesterday! We headed to our high-risk OB yesterday morning to see our girl up close and personal. (High risk doc is a precaution due to medical history. Baby and I are great!) She is most definitely a SHE, as she showed us all of her, um, parts, (or lack-thereof, ha!) Most importantly, her heart, brain, spine, organs, all of it, looked perfect. She's 1,000% healthy and thriving away. Yay for being at the halfway point in this pregnancy!

2) It's strange having such a seamless pregnancy after the one I experienced with Caroline. (Don't get me wrong, we were very fortunate to have gotten such a healthy baby out of the whole thing, but girlfriend made me sicker than a dog.) Other than the 4 p.m. daily puke-fests, I feel peachy-keen. Large, but peachy-keen ; )

3) I swear this wasn't supposed to be a baby post. See? Here I go. Steering this train toward BuyBuyBaby, yet again. Sorry, y'all.

4) On to greener, less impregnated pastures...

5) I have to say, I'm not a huge fan of the palazzo pant trend. They actually do look really cute on a few gals with some major height, but at 5'4",  I'm not one of them. Sorry, palazzo pants. I'll be sticking to trouser cuts and skinnies.

6) Has anyone out there watched Hemlock Grove? Caroline went to bed a little earlier one night, so Stephen and I got sucked into the first episode on Netflix. It's kinda hokey, but who doesn't love hokey? We've also just started watching HBO's new show called The Leftovers. Really, really depressing, but such an interesting concept to me.

Yup, that's all I've got. I'm off to finish packing up the last of our house. We will be moving our stuff over to it this weekend, then we officially move in and close on August 7th. I cannot believe the time has finally come - woohoo for more space!


Buy This - Not That

Okay, here's a little truth for your Tuesday, (though it will come as no surprise to those who know me best.) In my entire 29 years, I've owned only one "designer" label item. That's it. And even that, I got on sale. (My wedding shoes. A pair of 6" Badgley Mischka stilettos. They looked like heaven and felt like hell.)

Yochi Design Turquoise Necklace ($76) // Shine On Necklace in blue from Riffraff ($28)

Call me cheap. Call me thrifty. Call me an assortment of other words. (It wouldn't be the first time.)

I gives no craps.

Yep, girls. Even my "Louis V" bag is a faux , albeit a pretty convincing one. At the time I bought it in 2010, I lived on a single gal's budget that was tighter than the lid on a pickle jar. Ergo, a faux LV for $250, it was. And, do you know what? I still carry the darn thing.

So, what is this post all about? To teach you how to be cheap resourceful like me?

"Why yes, Dorothy!! It is!!"

Here are a few of my recent picks for summer that look pretty doggone similar to their more expensive counterparts:

Kate Spade Saturday Tassel Heels in black ($195) // GMD High-Heeled Sandals in black ($49)

Aurelie Bidermann Esteban Ring from Barney's ($325) // Vertebrae Quad Ring ($28)

Alice D. Perforated White Leather Tote ($371) // Genuine Leather Shopper Tote ($129)

Diane von Furstenburg Tiffany Shorts  ($112) // Gap Sunkissed Striped Shorts ($49.95)

Anthropologie Cartonnier High-Rise Trousers ($98) // Clinton Greylin Pant from Maude Boutique ($39)


So how 'bout you? Are you a bargain hunter like me? Where's your favorite affordable place to shop?


A Must-Read for New or Expectant Moms

Y'all. My word.

If you've had kids or are expecting a baby, (or maybe in nursing school yourself), you NEED to read this post by my friend Rachel. She's a Labor & Delivery nurse and today, she's sharing the details and emotions of her job with the blog world.
She's one of my all-time favorite bloggers and internet friends and one of these days, I'm going to meet her in person. (Seriously Rachel, this needs to happen. It's been like six years.)

Read up, gals.

How I Make Caroline's Food

I apologize in advance to those of you who don't have infants. I really try to keep the baby posts to a minimum, but sometimes there's a post that's pretty momma-focused : ) This is one of those. Tomorrow, we'll discuss a new eyeliner, look at some fedoras and discuss how to achieve a "natural" blush. 

I got a couple of emails and comments via Instagram about what our food prep is like for Caroline. We chose to forego "baby food" and opt for fresh fruits and veggies prepared in purees. There's really not a lot of cooking involved and the fresh flavor is SO much better than that off a shelf or in a jar. (Trust me, I tasted it.)

We chose to make her food, simply for two reasons:
1) I wanted her to know what real food tasted like.
2) It was a LOT more cost-effective than the pre-packaged stuff. And with no preservatives. (For the record, it's my understanding that there are some awesome pre-packaged options out there without tons of preservatives or additives, but they are pretty expensive.)

I will say, there is a little bit more prep involved until they get some teeth, but it really isn't that big a headache. I just choose one day out of the week to prepare her meals and it only takes an hour or so.

In our regular rotation

Yellow squash
Yams/sweet potatoes
Green beans
Turkey (we buy the organic, no hormones/antibiotics added variety from our deli and have them shave it thin.)
Full-fat Greek yogurt (plain, non-flavored)

Every Sunday, I prepared fresh food and put it into large Tupperware containers, which we refrigerate. I know you can make larger batches ahead of time and freeze, but since we're in the process of moving and trying to cut down on food we'll have to transport, I'm making smaller batches weekly.


For squash, I remove the outer skin, then cut it into thin slices. (Usually 2-3 medium-to-large squash will get her through a week.) I spread the slices on the bottom of a sprayed 9x13 glass pan, drizzle a Tbsp. or two of olive oil to get her some of those good fats, and sprinkle with a teaspoon of sea salt to add a little flavor.

Then, I bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the slices are tender and well-cooked.

Hamilton Beach 10-Cup Food Processor, here

Lastly, I puree them up in our food processor. We actually purchased ours from Dillard's back when we got married and it was relatively inexpensive, ($50 or so.) The brand is Hamilton Beach and it does the trick quite nicely!

Sweet potatoes and carrots

For sweet potatoes and carrots, I cut them into small pieces and boil on the stove until tender. Then, I drain 'em and puree 'em. I don't add anything to these veggies for flavor, as both of these are plenty flavorful on their own.


For avocados, I ALWAYS prepare them right before I serve them to her. No one likes eating a brown avocado - yuck! So, I puree them up after pulling out the pit, then add 1/8 cup of full fat Greek yogurt, then puree with a couple of pulses to get it to a creamy consistency. The kid loves it!


Pears, bananas and apples are all tossed into the processor, too. Just a few quick pulses and they're good to go.

Turkey and Yogurt

We just started introducing her to meat and she loves it. Right now, we are doing turkey. I have the deli assistant to shave 1 lb. per week. (We do a no-hormone/no-antibiotic added brand, which also does not inject extra sodium or preservatives into theirs. It tastes SO much better than that packaged mess.) At home, I'll toss the turkey it in the microwave for a few seconds to make it even easier for her to chew. If there are any pieces that are still a little big, I just use the fork and mash 'em up until they're easy enough for her to swallow.

She also loves Greek yogurt. Our pediatrician said to avoid the "baby yogurts" since most pack a lot of sugar. He has seven kids of his own and said that he gave all of his plain, full-fat Greek yogurt mixed with apples or pears as a daily snack. And, since Greek yogurt is full of probiotics, it's great for little digestive tracks. We give her a little less than 1/4 cup at a time, mix it with pureed pears and she gobbles it right down.

Sample Food Day

Every day, she eats a generous bowl of plain, non-flavored infant, multi-grain oatmeal mixed with fresh peaches, apples or pears.

She'll have a mid-morning snack of yogurt with fresh, pureed fruit, followed by a small 4-oz. bottle.

Generous helping of sweet potatoes, green beans, mashed potatoes, butternut or yellow squash or carrots. Sides of turkey and some avocado, followed by a small 4-oz. bottle IF she's still acting hungry.

Afternoon Snack:
Fruit (kiwi, plums or banana), followed by 4 oz. bottle

Same as lunch, just with a different veggie than she had then.

Pre-Bedtime Bottle (5 oz.)

So that's about it. Nothing fancy and pretty simple to execute each week. If you have any specific questions about her eating schedule, the foods we love or anything else, you can shoot me an email at askblondeambition@gmail.com


Confessional Friday: {Link-Up}

‘Tis time once again, fair ladies of the interwebs. It’s time to confess (!!)

-I confess that I haven’t been sucked into a book like I am with Gone Girl right now. Holy plot twists and cagey characters! I know I’m two years late to the hoopla, but I’m glad I’m finally reading it. Can’t wait for the film in October now.

-I confess that I enjoyed a delicious bowl of piping hot chicken noodle soup last night because it was 60 degrees here yesterday. Yes, folks; in Arkansas, that qualifies as cold weather.

-I confess that, even though it is quite possible confirmed our Razorbacks will be awful again this year, I am so excited for college football to begin! I’ll admit, mostly because of tailgating food and cooler weather, but I love the energy of SEC football season. Bring. It. On.

-I confess that a very well known Northwest Arkansas boutique is doing a killer college gameday look book (seriously, it is the look book to end all look books) that will launch in August. Yours truly cannot WAIT to share it will y’all!

-I also confess that once again, I’ll be putting up my own gameday outfit picks in a post in August. Already surfing the online stores for the items I want to show ya. And just like always, I’ll post apparel in all color schemes so that, no matter what alma mater you cheer on, there’ll be something for you.

Finally, I confess that I was so caught up in telling you guys about Ainsley earlier this month that I forgot to say THANKS FOR FIVE YEARS OF BLOGGING! A Blonde Ambition turned FIVE on July 9. I never envisioned blogging this long and not sure how much longer I'll keep it up, but hey – I'm elated that you've allowed me to fill your computer screens every morning for the last five years. Thanks for tuning in. You guys have been great friends and I can’t wait to see where we all go from here.



The "Second Baby" Body: The Good, the Bad and the Bloated

Alright one-time mamas, I'm going to let you in on a little secret truth: you WILL show a lot faster when you become "with child" for the second time. It is inevitable. You can't outsmart the bump. And it won't creep up silently...oh no, girls. It will come like an atomic bomb in the dead of night.

(Can I get an ayyyyyyyyy-men from my Choir of Moms?)

And you'll be all like, "Hey doc, are you sure there's just one in there?"
And he'll nod his head and, with a smile, remind you that "your uterus is larger and more roomy now."

Wow, dude. Thanks for making me feel like the friggin' Holiday Inn Deluxe Suite.

For real though, somewhere around week 15, I went into the bathroom one morning and BAM! The bump had made itself very present. Don't get me wrong, if I'm going to be pregnant, I want to look pregnant. I just didn't know one could go from a flat(ish) tummy to a full-fledged bump quite literally overnight.

My feelings toward this can best be expressed with everybody's favorite Emoji, Bulgy Eyes:
In addition to my stomach shooting out like WOAH, there are some really fun (no seriously, I'm not being sarcastic) second-baby-body perks. Like, I actually am getting to enjoy a bumpier bump this time. With Caroline, I always had this weird torpedo shape to my baby belly, but Miss Ainsley has brought mama a rounder and more basketball-like (err, at least dome-shaped) baby bump, which I kind of love.

Taken this morning at work. Here we are!

And gosh, did I ever miss pregnancy hair and fingernails. (For the whole five months I was not pregnant, anyway.) I mean, who needs extensions when you've got B-complex vitamins surging through your veins, amIright?

However, with a rapidly expanding bump comes a rapidly expanding need for maternity clothes. With Caroline, I got away nearly to the bitter end with just regular tops and a single pair of maternity pants. ONE PAIR.

I had to gently explain to Stephen why mama may need to purchase a few more maternity items with this bambina. And by "gently explained", I mean I hormonally sobbed in our bathroom one morning while tossing pants around left and right and exclaiming, "I'm a beast!!"

To which he lied to me hugged me and said I was "very pretty and slim", and told me to order whatever my pregnant heart desired.

Thank you Lawd for giving me a kind and understanding man. A man who is equal parts sympathetic and terrified of my raging hormones. 


All HCG and the unceasing need to pee aside, I freaking love seeing my body support another life. It's beautiful and scary and humbling to think that the human body can sustain and grow another being. It's like the coolest science project ever.

Last night after a glorious round of barfing, I was perched on the couch eating a bowl of pretzels with a ginger ale, and Ainsley kicked. It wasn't terribly hard kick, but more of a little shuffle-ball-change, (tap dancers say what?!) It was like, "Hey mom. I'm here. Thanks for being a pal and bringing me into this world."

And I rested my hand on top of my tummy and thanked the good Lord for letting me do this again.

Because honestly, it's awesome.


My Answer to the Birkenstock Trend

My answer to the Birkenstock trend is a hard and fast NO.

Forget it.

Happened in the nineties.

Not gonna happen again.


My philosophy toward trends that resurge from my pre-teen years is that they should never, not ever be repeated. This includes, but is not limited to the following:

-Rope sandals
-Tie dye anything
-Butterfly clips
-Schoolgirl skirts (see collage for reference below)
-Utilization of feather pens (a 'la Cher Horowitz...youknowwhichmovie)
But not all of the nineties were bad...oh no, they had their good parts, too...

However, I know some of you are all, "But they're so comfy, Leslie! Give a girl a break!"

I understand and, as a mom who's on her feet 90 hours a day, even sympathize. But y'all, for the love...just don't with the Birks. Yuck. And yes, I'm aware that they come in metallics (!!) and, at least to me, that doesn't boost their appeal enough for me to schlep around in those boats.

For what it's worth, I do understand that doctors and nurses may wear them for comfort. They're saving lives. They get a pass.

If you're in the market for a comfy, easy-on/easy-off sandal with oodles more appeal AND for less moo-lah, check these out.
Bodhi sandals in Honey Leather from Riffraff

Neary Sandal by Dolce Vita from Riffraff

Seychelles 'So Far Away' Calf Hair Sandals in Leopard

Splendid Congo Sandal in Light Tan


Caroline Rose: {Nine Months}

Kind of a little bit crazy NUTS that Caroline is already NINE months old! (I promise that I won't be using annoying CAPS throughout the post.)

Weight/Length: 17 lbs., 14 oz. and 26.5 inches tall 

Hair: Hair is a blondish-brown. And thick!

Diapers: Size 3 Pampers Swaddlers. After the fourth night in a row of Honest Co. diapers leaking horribly, we threw in the towel. They're adorable little dipes, but don't contain the pee pee like our good 'ol Pampers. Sorry, Honest Co! 

Clothing: 9 month clothing across the board, although her 6 month tops still work pretty well, too.

Favorite Things: Her little pink V-tech baby "laptop"; Prima, her Zubels ballerina doll; her Pickles Farmfresh striped blanket, mommy's jewelry ; )

Likes: Right now, our petite princess loves: bath time, being on the lake, being in the yard with the pups, going for walks, sitting in mommy and daddy's bed and watching TV, trips to Target - ha!, eating, live music (especially if it involves drums!)

Dislikes: Being hot (she loathes the heat just like her momma), getting her diaper changed -- girlfriend doesn't have time for that anymore -- and wearing shoes, (she is from the South, after all.)

Favorite Foods: Sweet potatoes, squash, avocados and oatmeal with fresh applesauce. She also loves to snack on pureed pears, watermelon and mango. Her favorite "fun" food is pickles, which we let her enjoy occasionally ; ) We are still preparing all of her food ourselves rather than purchasing, and I love that I know exactly what's going into her little body.

Milestones: She can now go from lying flat to sitting upright, all on her own. She is pulling up and also bear crawling, which is hilarious to watch. She also planks. Yes, my kid can plank. I'll try to snap a pic the next time she does it!

Still says 'mama', 'dada', 'baba' (for bottle), and 'nana' (for my mom, who is her grandmother)

Mama Thoughts: 
Eight months was so much fun, but also really challenging for this expectant (again) momma. Now that she's much more mobile, I find myself drained by the end of the day. Gosh, though, it is SO much fun! (There I go using the annoying CAPS again. Sorry.)

She's a little sponge, constantly soaking in her surroundings and mimicking every sound we make. Caroline is in a stage right now where she wants to engage with everyone around her and likes to strike up conversations with complete strangers, which is hilarious to see.

She is still a devout mama's girl, which, I won't lie, I love. Daddy is fun for goofing around and playing, but when she needs comfort or cuddling, she's all about her mama.

It's true what they say; the bond between and mother and her child is unlike any other. I love her so fiercely and wholly that it nearly hurts. I know I'm partial, but I really do think she's the most beautiful and perfect little human I've ever met.

Taken July 5, 2014, the day after we announced her little baby sister!

And, as excited as I am to have another little girl in December, I'm a little sad that Caroline won't be the only baby anymore. (I hear this is a very common feeling for mamas when they are expecting their second baby.) The most exciting thing to me however, is that she and Ainsley will be so very close in age and, therefore, always have a really special bond. Almost like twins, from what I've been told from other moms with kiddos close in age.

And that, my friends, makes me endlessly happy.

I have loved having a daughter so, so much and I can't wait to see what Month Ten has in store for us!


Confessional Friday: A Day in the Life

Greetings, gals. Here it is already Friday and time for confessing once again! Is it just me, or is this summer going by at warp speed?

Alright. So.

As promised, today we’ll all (in theory) be providing a little insight into our day-to-day lives, complete with all the real-life stuff.

Now, I’ll go ahead and tell you that this particular day was uncharacteristically mundane. Usually, I can be found performing neurosurgery, base jumping, wrestling gators, drinking Dom Perignon and trying on my latest Reem Acra gown. And gracing the catwalks in my skivvies as a Victoria’s Secret model.

Except not.

No, folks. This is about as exciting as it gets and frankly, I wouldn’t want it any other way. There is something to be said for “uneventful” days. (Can I get an ‘amen’?)

A few things about my day-to-day

Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’m home with the little bambina. On those days, I spend time letting Caroline play outside, taking her for walks, packing our house for the move, cleaning our house, catching up on laundry, running errands and working on dinner prep while the little lady naps.

On Tuesday and Thursday of each week, I work as a copywriter for a public relations firm. Now, a lot of people hear my title and go, “Oh! You work on all that legal stuff!” The answer is a hard no. No, I don’t “do” legal stuff. That would be an attorney and that is called a copyright.

I write copy, i.e. words. I’m a creative writer who puts words together for commercial and TV scripts, tweets, ads, billboards, RFPs and websites. And for some pretty major brands and clients. Gotta say, it's pretty much the most fun job ever.

Sample Day


6:00 a.m. – Get up, zombie walk into the kitchen and blindly hit the “go” button on the Keurig. Open Caroline’s nursery door in hopes that the noise from the Keurig will wake her up.

6:04 a.m. – Realize that the coffee maker noise didn’t do the trick, so I resort to waking her up myself. I have to brace myself for this part. She HATES being forced out of her cozy slumber and screams. Loudly. It's a lovely way to start the morning. (She enjoys sleep, just like her momma.)

6:10 a.m. – Feed a perturbed Caroline, who becomes much less perturbed after her tummy is full. So I set her up in her Exersaucer with an episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse while I get ready for work.

7:10 a.m. – Stephen leaves for work. Gives Caroline and I a kiss and grabs his laptop. Then,  he's off. It's also about this time that I remember that I forgot to make C’s bottles and prepare her food the night before. So, I scramble to put together bottles, and pack sweet potatoes, green beans and squash into little Tupperware containers.

7:30 a.m. – Get Caroline dressed and make sure the dogs are fed and Ruby is in her crate for the day.

7:50 a.m. – Leave the house and take Caroline to daycare.

8:10 a.m. – Leave the daycare and head to my office in Fayetteville! 

(It is usually by this time that I'm sweating...errr, glistening. Profusely. That kid is heavy and it takes every ounce of strength to haul that carrier into the daycare.)

8:30 a.m. – Creative Team meeting where we discuss ongoing projects, Game of Thrones and World Cup happenings ; ) (Have I mentioned I LOVE being a part of the Creative Team?)

9:30 a.m. – Get. Busy. On this particular day, I write commercial scripts for one of our agency’s clients, a fun outdoor company who specializes in fishing gear.

9:45 a.m. – Realize that I know nothing about fishing or said gear, so I text my husband for help.

Noon – Come to the realization that lunch may not happen and resort to eating Cheeze-Its, Reese’s cups and anything else I can scrounge up in the lounge.

1:00 p.m. – Get a text from my friend Taylor regarding something we’d seen on Instagram and laugh uncontrollably at my desk. Get stares from nearby co-workers.

2:00 p.m. – Get word from doctor’s office that all the prenatal tests came back great on Baby #2 – wahoo!

3:30 p.m. – Conduct a call with a co-worker in our satellite office (in NYC) about a series of social posts we’re doing for a client.

4:00 p.m. – Catch a glimpse of myself in the bathroom mirror and realize I’m showing a whole lot quicker with this baby – wowza!

4:59 p.m. - Read the last email of the day, gather my oodles of crap and prepare to depart. 

5:00 p.m. – Head home to my lover and my sweet baby girl. (My lover and my husband are one in the same. Just in case you were like, "WHAA??!"

5:30-8:00 p.m. – Feed and bathe Caroline, read her a book or two, spend some time hanging out as a family and go on a late-night stroller walk.

8:00 p.m. – Baby goes down for the night and Stephen and I make up a quick dinner of grilled shrimp, sautéed green beans and corn on the cob, which we devour over an episode of Orange is the New Black.

9:00 p.m. – Stephen and I spend some time catching up on our day and finalizing a punch list for the new house. Then we watch a YouTube video about a baby cheetah and a puppy who are best friends at the San Diego zoo. 

10:30 p.m. – S goes to bed to watch ESPN highlights and I finish up typing some emails and a quick blog post for the next day before joining him.

Now, if that isn't riveting content, then I...okay, yeah. It's pretty boring. But awesome, at least to me. It's full of love and happy stuff and laughter. And chips and salsa. Just the way I like it.

Your turn, chicas!


Salsa So Good You'll Want to Bathe in It

First off, don't forget that tomorrow's Confessional Friday topic is "A Day in the Life". Link up and share with us what it's like to spend a typical day in your shoes!

Remember Monday when I said that I'd been craving all things spicy and salty with Ainsley? Well, one of those food items is salsa: peppery, tomato-y, lime-y salsa.

Frankly, I'm not a fan of salsa out of the jar - blech. It doesn't pack the flavor punch like the homemade stuff at some of my favorite Mexican restaurants. But what chica in her right mind wants to drive down the street (or across town, if you live in a spread-out area like we do), to the nearest Mexican eatery every time she wants a bowl of fresh, cold salsa?

Not this girl.

Not my photo by a landslide. Mine was not this pretty. This one comes from Cooking Classy - a fantastic cooking blog. 

So, I made my own by combining about three different recipes and substituting my own measurements of the ingredients to perfect it to my liking.

I'm pretty proud of how it turned out, but don't take my word for it. Grab yourself some veggies, spices and a food processor and get 'ta blending!

Warning: This stuff packs a little heat. Not so hot that you can't eat it, but I do like spice. If you're a weenie person with a more sensitive palate, use only one serrano pepper instead of two. 

Leslie's Barefoot and Pregnant Salsa

2 serrano peppers, finely chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped finely (DO NOT USE ONION POWDER)
1/2 cup cilantro...you guessed it - chopped (!!)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (or cut two limes in half and squeeze them to death over the food processor)
1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1.5 pounds Roma tomatoes or large cocktail tomatoes (approximately 10), chopped
Sea salt to taste (I like mine salty, so I started with 1 Tbsp. of sea salt and added to it, tasting along the way, until I got it where I wanted it.)

1. Combine chopped peppers, onion, cilantro, lime juice, lemon juice and garlic powder in a food processor and pulse for 8-10 seconds.

2. Add in chopped tomatoes a little at time, pulsing twice or three times each time you add some in. You don't want to over-process your ingredients, but you do want to make sure they're blended nicely.

3. Lastly, add in your sea salt a bit at a time, stopping the food processor every few seconds to taste. Make it as salty (or not) as you like.

4. Chill in fridge for a minimum of one hour.

5. Get a bag of chips and your salsa -- we prefer the On the Border Cantina chips since they're thin and crispy like the restaurant variety -- kick off your shoes,  crack open an ice cold Coke (or a cerveza, if you are not with child), and throw a party for your tastebuds.



A Day in the Life: I want to hear about yours!

I thought it might be kind of fun to share what a typical day in each of our lives is like for this week’s edition of Confessional Friday. One thing I’ve always liked about this blog is the audience it has drawn in. I love that, in one post, you can find comments from young moms, girls in college and women in their forties or fifties. Some are married, some are not. All come from different backgrounds, cultures, places around the U.S. (and the WORLD), and completely different life experiences.


I’d like for each of us to confess what it’s like to spend a day in our shoes. Describe your routine, where you go, what you do, emotions you deal with throughout the day, things you struggle with on a day-to-day basis, your favorite part of the day…you get the drift.

For instance, I have a friend who, at one time, spent time in Somaliland, (bordered by Ethiopia and Djibouti on the continent of Africa), teaching English to a group of amazing kiddos. (You can read her story here.) I remember when she was teaching there I would think, “What’s it like for her to wake up every morning and go through her day?”

Now I realize we aren’t all globe-hopping English instructors, but I do know that there’s a lot of diversity in jobs, places we live, day-to-day experiences, etc. And I’d love to get to know you all better.

My only rule: you MUST keep it real. I want to see the dirty dishes, the second-day hair, the outfit for work that got thrown together at the last minute, pics of the graham-cracker-covered little baby that makes your heart go pitter-patter. A photo of the alarm clock after hitting the snooze button for the fifteenth time.

The McDonalds dinner you ate. (Come on...we all do it...) The gym session you canceled in order to watch The Bachelorette. 

Maybe you have a special needs child. Maybe your spouse or partner is overseas serving the country in a dangerous part of the world. Maybe you have a high-stress, high-risk job, yourself. 

Or maybe the way you choose to live your life is viewed as taboo or strange where you live. 

I want to see all of it.

Unless, of course, your day is seamlessly smooth all the time like mine. (Insert tongue in cheek.)

The Rules
1. Be nice to other link-up participants. The way you live may seem strange to them, too. But let's all be respectful of the way in which we choose to run our day-to-day lives, okay? Any rudeness to other commenters or link-up participants will absolutely not be tolerated. And yes, I'll be policing.

2. Keep it clean. I want y'all to give us a peek into your lives, but not, um, into your bedrooms, okay? ; ) (You would be AMAZED at the crap some people have tried to share through Confessional Friday before...yikes!)

If you want to link up with this special edition topic, “Confessional Friday: A Day in the Life”, just write your post as usual and come back here Friday to link up. 

I really, really hope you’ll all play along. Let’s take a glimpse into each others’ lives for a day!