Monday, April 17, 2017

Oh, Bébé ! (Girl or Boy?!)

Since the moment we found out we were expecting, I had a gut feeling about the gender of our little bébé. Call it mother's intuition, or in my case, a semi-scientific guesstimate of the likelihood of male versus female sperm making it through, given that I knew almost the exact date of the act and conception (is my nerdiness showing yet?). 
But you don't really know until it's confirmed, right? Keep scrolling to find out if my guess was correct. 



I seemed to have guessed correctly because Bébé Back is a...



BOY!



And he's already got his Spartan gear ready to go. ;)


Sweet baby, we can't wait until you're here!

OUTFIT DETAILS >>
NECKLACE [Hello Gorgeous Boutique] // Exact here
BELT [Forever 21]  // Similar here here // Super cute sparkly version 
DRESS [JCPenney] // Similar blue pleated maxi dresses herehere & here
BÉBÉ BACK'S SNEAKERS [BuyBuy Baby] // Exact here

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Five Month Anatomy Scan + Biopsy For Breast Cancer

The last thing that you want to hear from your OB at 5 months pregnant is "It might be cancer or it might be nothing. Let's send you to the radiologist." 
And that about sums up the last week and a half of our lives.
Backtrack to about three weeks ago to a night like any other night,  I sat on the couch marveling at my newly found boobies (which were my first symptom of pregnancy and what prompted me to take a test in the first place) when I felt something. A small node, the size of a lentil sat embedded in my right breast.
For a few days I didn't say anything to anyone. I thought that it was probably my imagination and a normal part of the changes that accompany pregnancy. I did a bit of Googling and diagnosed myself with a possible blocked milk duct. But if I was being totally honest with myself, did I really even know where milk ducts were located? How deep in the breast did they reside? Could they even get blocked this early on? I couldn't really tell from the anatomy pictures and info that came up in my search. 
A few days passed and I could still feel the node. Because of the history of breast cancer in my family, I didn't want to alarm anyone if it was nothing. But I was also to the point where I was growing more concerned by the day. So I asked John to take a look, and yup, he could definitely feel the lump. Damn. It wasn't all in my head.
We decided to bring it up with my OB at our upcoming 18 week anatomy scan. The scan went perfectly. Baby had two arms, two legs, a developing brain, all the chambers of the heart, and the spine looked good. Afterwards we met with the doctor and he asked if we had any additional questions. So I took a deep breath and told him about the lump that I found. 
Let me stop here and say how I saw this appointment playing out in my head: I thought that the doctor would do a breast exam and tell me that it was absolutely nothing and that it was just a normal part of pregnancy. Or even better, I thought that he would tell me that he couldn't even feel the lump.
This is what really happened: The doctor did a breast exam and felt the lump right away. He then asked about the history of breast cancer in my family and because of all of those factors, he immediately referred me to a breast cancer radiologist. He said it may be nothing. Or it may be something, and he didn't want us to miss anything.

So we left that appointment elated that our baby was healthy, but overwhelmed with the fact that I would have to get worked up for possible breast cancer. After everything that we've been through in the last year, this was NOT what we wanted to be thinking about. We wanted to be happy and celebratory about our baby, not worried about possible cancer. 
It took about five days for the radiology referral to go through and for my appointment to be scheduled. Coincidentally, my mom had planned to visit me last week while John was traveling out of the country for work. So our week of shopping for nursery items turned into a week of shopping for nursery items and also going back and forth to the hospital for breast scans and a biopsy. Good times. 

Walking into that biopsy appointment at the cancer center with my pregnant belly was one of the most emotionally wrecking things I've ever gone through. It just all felt wrong. The hospital staff was so kind and accommodating. But being congratulated on your pregnancy and then told to lay down so the radiologist could numb you with a long thick needle and cut out samples of a lump inside your breast was just surreal. 
Because my biopsy appointment was on a Friday, the results took a few days to come back. 
But finally, I received a phone call this morning with good news: My test results came back negative.
The lump was something called Psuedoangiomatous stromal hyperplasia (PASH), a benign mass that can mimic cancer.

Thank God Thank God Thank God. I am so incredibly relieved and so incredibly grateful that we know it's benign and nothing to worry about.

So why am I sharing this? Because I want anyone reading this to be aware of this condition. I want to encourage you to perform self breast exams (even during pregnancy!) and to speak to your doctor if you feel anything different in your breasts. As my doctor and radiologist said, this could have been something. And from everything that I've read, finding lumps during pregnancy is even more concerning because the high levels of hormones could possibly help cancerous cells proliferate even faster. The sooner you know, the sooner you can take action.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Hello, Baby!

You guys, I had mad plans for our pregnancy announcement. I pinned so many cute photo shoot ideas and spent hours daydreaming about how we would perfectly announce that after many months of prayer and waiting, John and I are happily expecting our rainbow baby. 

But today while trying to find a shirt that fits and finding this hilarious one that my mother-in-law bought for me before our Italy trip this past summer, it came to me that this is the perfect way to announce our perfectly imperfect reality. Our half-opened moving boxes, the ladder in the background, my lack of makeup and our general lack of bathroom items in our new house (hence the very trendy blue solo cup/toothbrush holder), and of course my baby bump. 

So here I am, and here we are. Baby Back is due this August and we are absolutely over the moon!

P.S. #BumpStyle, here I come!! ;)

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

LOUNGING IN STYLE & LEATHER BAG GIVEAWAY

Hello from Charlotte! Today I'm writing from our cramped, yet cozy, temporary living quarters close to John's workplace. Our drive down from Michigan last weekend was easy enough and the pets all handled the trip much better than we thought they would, which was a huge relief. The past week John has been at work and I have been busy filling boutique orders and setting up all of the minute little things you have to re-do when you move. Finding a good grocery store, new doctors, a new gym, the nearest Target... you know, the essentials. ;)

But in even bigger news, we bought a house!! It's a Charleston style home that has a charming front porch with double fans and a red door. TWO FANS, you guys. AND A RED DOOR. Is this real life?! It's everything that I would picture a southern home to be and I can't wait to 1. Learn how to make a mean sweet tea. 2. Drink it while sitting on the front porch. I'm so excited to show you guys pictures once we close and settle in.

One of the benefits of the past week is that I've gotten to hang out at home a lot and wear comfy clothes. No bras, messy hair, you catch my drift. It has been GLORIOUS. The best part is that the loungewear that I've been wearing are super cute and have amazing quality-- great for multi-day wear. Let me introduce you to The Bulldog Factory: cute and comfy casual clothing for weekend and everyday wear. Some of their pieces even have a little bulldog on them. How cute is that?! 


But seriously, the fabric for their sweatpants and sweatshirts is so thick and luxurious, and in my opinion, the pieces feel like they cost way more than their prices. I ordered this t-shirt, this sweatshirt, these sweatpants, and also their gorgeous Otto leather bag, which I'll get to shortly. I ordered all the clothing in a size small and like how everything is fitted. The clothing is super comfy and stylish-- an absolute must for loungewear. Although I think if I were to re-order, I might choose a medium in the sweatshirt, just because it is so fitted and I prefer my lounging sweatshirts to be a bit on the loose side. But let's talk about the bag. The bag is absolutely diiiivine.  The leather is supple and the size makes it perfect for a work bag or a gym bag. I've been using it as an everything bag this past week and it has catered to my needs beautifully. It even has little openings for pens and slits for credit cards. 
All of that being said, I'm thrilled to team up with The Bulldog Factory to offer you a 15% discount when you use code 'GORGEOUS' at checkout. PLUS, we are giving away a black leather Otto bag to ONE LUCKY WINNER! All you have to do is register for The Bulldog Factory newsletter at www.thebulldogfactory.com. The newsletter registration should pop up when you click on the linkThe winner will be announced on Valentine's Day (2/14). 

GOOD LUCK, ladies! May the odds be ever in your favor. :)


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

MY FAVE FLATS + 20% OFF COUPON CODE

If you've ever caught a sneak peak of my closet on my Instagram or other social media accounts you know that I LOVE shoes- especially stylish, unique flats. (Hence having an entire shoe shelf dedicated to ballet flats. I won't judge if you don't. ;) Now don't get me wrong, I still love a great pair of pumps, but flat shoes have become much more practical for my lifestyle. And if there's something that makes this blog different, it's that I post outfits that I actually wear every day. There's no pretending here... give me a pretty pair of functional flats and I'm yours.

That's where Ann Blanche flats come in. I've talked about my love for these gorgeous (and SUPER comfortable) flats many times before. But what I love even more is that they continue to come out with more unique styles, textures, and color combinations for me to add to my ever-growing collection. Well, please keep 'em coming, because this girl can't get enough. 

The black and white style that I'm wearing in the outfit below is their "YASI" style. (Thank you for the name love, AB!) They are so comfortable that the first time I put them on, I felt like I was walking in tennis shoes. The entire bottom is cushioned, as is the heel and the part that wraps around your ankles (A.K.A. no more blisters!). Your feet feel like they are enveloped in a snug cushioned hug. And the other great thing about these flats is that they are treaded for traction, without looking like they are meant for hiking. They look delicate and classy and come in two additional colors, The Lorrayne (pewter), and The Rachel (burgundy). As far as sizing, I usually wear a size 7 and I ordered a 7. So if you are in between sizes, I would recommend sizing up to be extra comfy.

At only $34.99 they are already a steal, but you can also GET AN ADDITIONAL 20% OFF by using coupon code YASI20 at checkout. Happy shopping, friends!

OUTFIT DETAILS below //

BALLET FLATS [c/o ANN BLANCHE] // Exact here
BLOUSE // Love these versions herehere, & here
RED ANKLE PANTS [The Limited] // Similar here, here& here
BRACELETS/CUFFS [Hello Gorgeous Boutique] // Exact here & here
EARRINGS [Hello Gorgeous Boutique] // Exact here


Monday, January 16, 2017

SEQUINS & PLAID

HEY Y'ALL! It's been a minute. Since I'm moving to the South I can start saying "y'all" and "bless your heart", right? ;) So much has happened the last few weeks that I haven't had much time to write. But everything seems to be falling into place and we are so thankful.

First piece of big news, we sold our house!! It was such a relief to have the showings over with. Honestly, being on the other side of the house buying/selling situation, it really makes you appreciate everything the seller has to go through to keep the house looking tidy at the whim of buyers who need you to drop everything and leave the house.

Second piece of big news, we bought a house in Charlotte! Since our plans for renting fell through a few times, we decided to entertain the idea of buying instead. And while visiting Charlotte a couple of weeks ago, we found a house that we fell in love with. It's Charleston style, has a big red front door, and a porch with two gorgeous fans. Be still, my heart. We close in the middle of February and we couldn't be more excited. The house is pretty much ready to go, all we really have to do is install a fence for the dogs and move our furniture in.  I can't believe this is really happening!

OUTFIT DETAILS below //

NECKLACE [Hello Gorgeous Boutique] // Exact here
SEQUIN TOP // Similar hereherehere
PLAID BUTTON-UP [Old Navy] // Similar herehereherehere, & here
RED ANKLE PANTS [The Limited] // Similar here, hereherehere, & here
NAVY BLAZER [UNIQLO] // Almost exact here & here / Similar here, here, & here
NAVY PUMPS [Target] // Similar herehere, & here / Love this ankle strap pair & this chunky heel pair

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

COLD SHOULDER SWEATER

Moving is a piece of cake, said no one ever. As you can probably tell, life has been a little crazy for us the past few weeks. Our moving plans have changed approximately 572 times and we've had enough back and forths to last us all the way through 2017.

Even so, we've been trying to stay positive about all the changes. But I will admit it was a little tough after the second rental home fell through. Who knew the rental home market in Charlotte was so hot?!
Since John starts his new position in the beginning of January, we are trying our hardest to set a plan that we think will stick. The new-new plan is to stay in a furnished temporary apartment (NOT ideal with two dogs and a cat!) outside of Charlotte and put most of our things in storage for a couple of months until we buy a home down there. So friends, if you have any extra prayers and good joojoo in you, please send them our way in hopes that we quickly find a home that we like near John's workplace. Apparently traffic in Charlotte is awful, so finding a home that we like close to his work is key.

But onto the good stuff... the outfit below! Confession: I wore this outfit on Thanksgiving Day and a few times after that too. Hey, when you find a sweater that you absolutely love, you gotta get the most out of it, right?! And when I say that this sweater is EVERYTHING, it really is. I love the peekaboo shoulders, the vibrant color, and I especially love the way that it hangs. Love love LOVE. If you want to check it out, you can shop it directly on Catch Bliss's website. For reference, I'm wearing a small. But it comes in small, medium, and large. Happy shopping! <3

OUTFIT DETAILS below //

SWEATER c/o Catch Bliss Boutique [Exact]
JEANS [Forever 21] // Similar here / Great pairs here & here (Both on sale!)
BOOTS [Etienne Aigner] // Similar herehere, & here / OTK versions here & here / LOVE this bootie here
EARRINGS + CUFF [Hello Gorgeous Boutique] // Exact earrings here / Exact cuff here