Casual Maternity Outfit: Polka Dots and White Jeans

casual maternity look; pregnancy style; simple top knot

This is a casual, comfortable maternity look that I put together a couple of weeks ago.  For those curious, I was between 17-18 weeks pregnant in these shots.  My bump had definitely popped!

I am in love with Asos maternity t-shirts.  I have 3 so far, but I may have to purchase some others.  This polka dot one is a much bolder pattern than I typically wear, but once I put this maternity outfit together, I loved it.

 

maternity style; white jeans outfit

(This is my parents’ beautiful home. All photos are by Andi Perullo).

maternity style; white jeans and polka dots

 

The jeans are not maternity (I’ve been using the hair tie trick), but they are still really comfortable.  They were a J. Crew Factory find.  My mom found these shoes at the Gap outlet recently.  I listed some similar ones (at great prices) below.

casual maternity outfit; white jeans and polka dots

Let’s talk about this backpack… if I find something I love, I tend to use it over and over and over again.  This bag fits into that category!  I think I may have posted the link in a previous post, but I’ve added the link below as well.  Asos for the win! faux leather backpack; maternity look, white jeans and polka dotsfaux leather backpack; maternity white jeans outfit

And the details: Todd and Davis gave me this petite Daniel Wellington watch with rose gold for Mother’s Day, and it is perfect for casual, warm weather looks.  I know I’ve posted this bracelet before, but here is the link to the shop again.  Mine has my son’s birthday and name. My cuff is old from Forever 21, but I found an almost identical one.

daniel wellington watch, engraved name bracelet

A messy top-knot is a must for busy moms, especially in the humidity of the South!

brunette hair updo

 

polka dot maternity t-shirt | white jeans | sunglasses | backpack | shoes (similar, similar, similar) | watch | cuff (similar) | engraved bracelet | nail polish

 

 

 

 

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Friday Favorites

Running a little behind this Friday.  Todd and I hosted a party for some friends last night, and Davis basically had to drag me out of bed at 7 this morning.  Mom of the year.   Anyway, it’s been a big, busy week around here, and I am very much looking forward to a relaxing weekend at home!
Today I am linking up with April, Natasha, and Christina; Karli; Erika, Narci, and Andrea for Five on Friday, Oh Hey Friday!, and Friday Favorites.  I am also linking up with the group from High Five for Friday, Bright on a Budget!

ONE: I have a hair secret weapon!  I like to do my hair in a simple, low updo for special occasions, if my curls aren’t acting right, or if my hair is in need of a wash, but I still need to look presentable.  I have had these corkscrew bobby pin things for at least 6 years and I love them! I did my hair like this for the wedding we attended on Sunday, and we didn’t have a mirror for me to see the back, so I asked Todd to take some pictures so that I could see what I was doing.  I decided since I had the photos, to share one of my go-to hair tools.

the best hair tools for simple updos; simple undo for medium to long hair

I pinned a few of those loose pieces in after this picture. 

style spin bobby pins

To fix my hair this way, I:

  • curl it into waves with a 1 inch curling iron – the curls don’t need to be perfect – then spray it with flexible hold hair spray
  • pin the top half back with 3 or so bobby pins (a parted half up, half down look). Make sure to bump it up a little for some volume.  Don’t worry if this entire style is messy – that is what you want. I left the very front piece of my hair (bangs I guess) out of the half-up pins, and pinned that back last
  • spin your hair into a loose bun or twist
  • spin one of the pins through your hair, then from the opposite side, spin the other pin.  They will twist together and should hold the majority of your hair
  • pin the loose pieces in with bobby pins as needed.

I don’t aim for a perfect bun!  These pins are magic, and sure beat using a million bobby pins!

the best bobby pins for updos

P.S. My robe is Pink Blush Maternity!  Full post about it coming soon.

TWO: Our gender reveal!  I will post a how-to next week, because paint in squirt guns is basically the most fun ever for a 3 year old boy.  (I posted a video of Davis finding out he’s having a brother on instagram earlier this week). But obviously getting to see our second baby BOY again was a favorite this week.  Todd and I were both a little shocked to find out we are having another boy, but we’re really excited!  It confirmed our decision to move further out into the country to this house last year. :)

older sibling gender reveal

His “Big Brother” t-shirt is Honey Bee Tees and was a gift from Todd’s parents!

Honey Bee Tees big brother t-shirt

THREE: I made these cupcakes for a few different celebrations this week, and I fell in love with their charm.  If only I could eat gluten!  These are pretty tough to resist.  I made a mini version of the absolute best sea salt chocolate chip cookies.  The cupcakes are my classic chocolate cake with my go-to vanilla cream cheese buttercream.  I rolled the sides of the buttercream in sprinkles, then topped with a cookie!

I can’t believe I’ve never shared this cupcake recipe on my blog.  I will fix that soon!

birthday cupcake; chocolate cupcake; cream cheese buttercream with sprinkles, topped with a chocolate chip cookie

rustic baby shower setup; sprinkle cupcakes

FOUR: One of the reasons I made the cookies was for a couples baby shower that we hosted for some of our dearest friends last night.  They are also our Honor Roll Designs partners.  Look for a post with more details of the shower later, but here is a glimpse of the party.

baby boy shower; rustic and gold centerpiece

FIVE: Davis spent last weekend with my parents while Todd and I were in Charleston.  While there, my mom had this fun activity planned!  She bought 4 craft paper mache animals (from Target!) – 2 dinosaurs, a lion, and a rhinoceros – for them to paint.  We left the dinosaurs at their house, and brought home the lion and rhino.  I love them!  I even included them in our living room as decor!

Target craft paper mache animals to paint for kids; kids craft idea

Don’t forget!  If you’d like a chance to win $75 to Pink Blush, you have until NOON today to enter!  All the details are in this post from Wednesday!  You can also enter on instagram.  THANK YOU to everyone who has entered so far!  I will announce the winner early next week!

Pink Blush Maternity; dressing the bump; 17 weeks pregnant bump

Also from this week: my second Charlotte Restaurant Review featuring healthy, casual spots, and a caterer.  And I wrote about our Charleston trip, with some restaurant ideas included.

Enjoy your, everyone!  Thank you so much for reading!

 

 

Dressing the Bump with Pink Blush + A Giveaway!

UPDATE: The winner of the Pink Blush giveaway is Stacie Meiburg! Congratulations, Stacie! A gift card will be emailed to you!!! Thank you all for commenting and participating! 

All of you mamas and soon-to-be mamas know how difficult it can be to stay stylish during pregnancy.  I have had my emotional moments, standing in our closet, without a clue what to wear – or what will even fit!  (Literally shedding tears…isn’t that absolutely ridiculous?!  I should just be thankful, but some days I am a hormonal mess!  Keeping it real around here.) Anyway…I am currently 18 weeks, but since this is my second, my bump is out!
Pink Blush Maternity; dressing the bump; 17 weeks pregnant bumpHeadshot

It was a relief to find Pink Blush Maternity, because they offer cute, chic, comfortable, stylish maternity AND nursing clothing that won’t break the bank.  For example, this ivory cutout tunic is swoon-worthy!  They also have non-maternity clothes that are really cute.  And I have some really great news…Pink Blush is offering one of my readers a $75 gift card!  I posted the giveaway details at the bottom of this post, as well as on instagram.

red maternity dress outfit; pregnancy style; 17 weeks pregnant bump
dressing the bump; red maternity dress; 17 weeks pregnant bumpred maternity dress outfit

The red is unexpected, but it immediately stood out to me!  As soon as I tried it on, I felt a confidence boost.  I will be able to wear it comfortably for months to come.  If you’re not a red person, it comes in 5 other colors.

For this outfit I wanted something that could work for spring, cooler summer nights, and even into fall.  This dress would be appropriate for church, as a wedding guest, for your baby shower, a night out with the girls, or a date night!  Every couple should go on a fancy date before the baby comes, in my humble opinion. Babymoon, anyone?!

I paired the red dress with a wooden bead necklace (similar), my favorite heeled sandals (similar, too), and an embroidered clutch that I borrowed from my mom’s closet (similar). My nails are my current favorite OPI polish.

maternity outfit; red maternity dress; embroidered clutchmaternity dress outfit; maternity style; 17 weeks pregnant

This post was brought to you in partnership with Pink Blush.  All opinions are my own. 

Giveaway details:

  • Follow me on instagram (you can also enter the giveaway there!) or follow Seven Layer Charlotte here or through bloglovin’
  • Leave a comment on my blog or instagram, and tag friends if you’d like
  • I will include everyone who comments and follows and will randomly choose a winner this Friday! Giveaway will close at noon on Friday. Stay tuned early next week for the news.
  • Those who have won a Pink Blush giveaway in the last 3 months are not eligible to win.

Thank you, everyone!!! I am excited to host this contest!

 

 

 

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Charlotte Restaurants: Healthy, Casual, Lunch, Juice Bars, Caterer

I haven’t had time to post many new recipes lately, but I am providing more restaurant reviews and ideas around Charlotte!  All opinions are my own, and nothing is sponsored.  Because I record almost everything I eat, including when we go to restaurants, I want to share my eating-out recommendations.  I posted some fancier, foodie options last week.  Today, however, I am switching gears and giving a list of healthy, casual places.  And I am also including a catering company that I have worked with and personally recommend.

best restaurants in Charlotte

Luna’s Living Kitchen.  Todd took me here for my birthday lunch last year.  It is plant-based, organic, local, mostly raw food in a bright and pretty setting.  The atmosphere and food were both great.  I had an almond milk chai latte that was really really tasty.  It has been awhile since eating there, and I’m ready to go back soon!

best restaurants in Charlotte; Luna's Living Kitchen

Juice Bar.  Charlotte has 2 locations, one on Providence and one in Park Rd shopping center.  I have personally only been to the one on Park Rd, but I am sure they are both equally great!  I am a healthy eater, but for some reason I was scared to try fresh green juice.  But now I wish I had tried it sooner!  And I especially wish one of those locations was right down the street from my house!  I have had the Sweet Greens, the Orange You Glad, and the Sniffle Stopper shot – all fantastic. They also offer spring rolls, salads, smoothies, and other snacks.

best green juice in Charlotte

Juice Bar; Orange You Glad

Viva Chicken.  Unfortunately I always forget to snap a picture when we eat Viva Chicken!  We all love this restaurant, which is a huge bonus as a parent.  We typically order the Peruvian rotisserie chicken with sides (their green beans are my favorite) and get plenty of the dipping sauces.  If you only need one reason to try this place, let that reason be the sauces!  We also love the Quinoa Stuffed Avocado.  And most recently we tried their salads.  The Andina Quinoa Salad was amazing.  The Herbal Limeade was another hit – it is fresh and has lime, mint, rosemary, and basil!

Chop’t.  Todd and I ate lunch at Chop’t in New York when we were there a couple of years ago.  One just recently opened very close to our house and we couldn’t wait to go!  On a recent day when we were having a bunch of work done on our house, and Davis was in school, we took a little salad lunch break to get away from the chaos.  We were very impressed by the service and the food.  I love their salad concept – they toss all of the ingredients together, then chop them up as finely as you prefer.  Everything is evenly mixed and you don’t have huge pieces of lettuce hanging from your fork!  Todd tried one of their Hot-Top Salads, the Braised Greek (spicy Greek chicken and quinoa, millet, lentils; served hot over feta, olives, pita chips, kale, spinach, and cabbage). I made my own salad and included kale/leafy greens/cabbage mix, broccoli, tomato, cucumber, dried cranberries, blue cheese, chicken, and some kind of nuts.  So good!  Oh, and don’t forget to check out their creative wallpaper!

best salad place in Charlotte; lunch restaurants in Charlotte; healthy food in Charlotte

Reid’s.  Changing gears a bit and discussing a wonderful catering option in Charlotte!  Reid’s Fine Foods has been around Charlotte for years, but they have expanded their brand.  I have worked with their catering division on two events recently, and I was very pleased both times!  The food, service, and presentation were all wonderful.  I wanted to post it here in case anyone needs a suggestion for an upcoming event, work function, or wedding.  If you’d like my contact person, I will be happy to share!  Here are a couple of the photos of food they did for the recent CURATEclt gathering.

Reid's Fine Foods Catering, Charlotte NC; catering companies in Charlotte, NC

Reid's Fine Foods Catering in Charlotte, NCReid's Fine Foods Catering in Charlotte, NC

Charleston Trip and Restaurant Recommendations

Thanks to my parents who kept Davis and Kenan, and our sweet friends and hosts, Patrick and Maureen, we were able to spend a wonderful weekend in Charleston!  Todd had been traveling for work since last Sunday.  First he went to Arizona, then to Charleston. I met him there on Friday, and we spent some time with our friends who we hadn’t seen in a while.  Todd’s co-worker’s wedding was there on Sunday, so it was a perfect weekend to combine that with a getaway.

On Friday our friends took us to dinner at Red Drum in Mt. Pleasant.  We each had fish dishes, and they were delicious!  Maureen and I are both 18-19 weeks pregnant, so we called it an early night. :)

Patrick took us kayaking and paddle boarding on Saturday morning.  Those are some of mine and Todd’s favorite activities, so we were in heaven!  The weather and conditions were beautiful, and it was such a relaxing time.  I spent a few minutes silently talking to God and thanking Him for allowing us this life that we love so much.

kayaking in Charleston, SC

So far, bikinis are more comfortable than one-piece bathing suits, so I’m just rocking the bump! 

Later that day we grabbed lunch and headed to the beach!  It was plenty hot to sit on the beach, and we even swam in the water.

weekend trip to Charleston, SC

He may not appreciate me posting this, but it’s too good not to. ;) 

That night Todd and I went on a date to The Obstinate Daughter on Sullivan’s Island, and then out on King St for ice cream at Jeni’s (our first time) and a cocktail (water for me) at Macintosh.  I will never ever be bored with dating my husband!

Flash-Fried Shishito Peppers with Chipotle Dip; Brussels with Farro (I skipped the farro); (gluten free) Short Rib Pasta – all so delicious!

Jeni's Ice Cream

From left-right: Salty Caramel; Brown Butter Almond Brittle; Bourbon Salted Pecan; Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk

Sunday morning involved brunch at Poogan’s Porch, and a walk around downtown Charleston and the Battery.  It was our first time eating at Poogan’s Porch, and it was a fun experience.  The restaurant is charming, and overall the food and drinks were yummy!  I had a vegetable frittata with fennel topped with a baby kale salad, with a side of grits.  Todd had the chicken and waffles, which looked amazing.

18 weeks pregnant bump picture; brunch in Charleston

18 weeks pregnant; Charleston trip

We couldn’t stop mentioning how perfect the weather felt!

Todd’s co-worker was getting married that afternoon, which is one of the main reasons we made the trip.  Her wedding was outside beside the water, and it was very picturesque.  If you’re looking for a wedding or event venue around Charleston, it was the Creek Club at I’On in Mt. Pleasant.

wedding attire for wedding; 18 weeks pregnant

my dress (only $52, and also comes in patterns and a creamy white)

9caa857f9f983c2080f945077e16233b_best

I also wore this ring from Asos all weekend – I’m kind of obsessed

wedding at Cross Creek Club in Charleston, SC

wedding at Cross Creek Club in Charleston

We arrived back home around midnight last night, and finally got to see our favorite boy bright and early this morning!  As much as we loved the time away together, we truly missed Davis!

Friday Favorites

Working for the weekend – and it’s finally here!  Todd has been traveling the entire week, and we have missed him like crazy.

Today I am linking up with April, Natasha, and Christina; Karli; Erika, Narci, and Andrea for Five on Friday, Oh Hey Friday!, and Friday Favorites.  I am also linking up with the group from High Five for Friday, Bright on a Budget!

ONE: Peonies! Always a favorite.  My sweet husband gave me a beautiful bouquet including some for Mother’s Day, my mother-in-law brought me a mason jar of them from her yard (they smell amazing!) and my mom’s gift to me for Mother’s Day is to help me plant a peony garden in my yard!  Good things.  And I feel so loved by those 3 people.

peonies flowers from the garden

The now-everywhere OPI polish on my nails (loveitsomuch!)

IMG_7176

TWO: Sneak peek for next week!  I am working on a collaboration with Pink Blush Maternity, with a giveaway…coming soon!!  If you are expecting, stay tuned for that, plus 3 other looks and outfit ideas.  Photo credit goes to Andi Perullo.

headshot in Pink Blush Maternity

THREE: Roasted Carrot Hummus.  If you are eating paleo or Whole 30, or avoiding legumes in general, I want to share this wonderful diet-friendly hummus with you!  It is made with a base of roasted carrots and roasted cauliflower, rather than chickpeas.  I added extra lemon juice, a little extra cauliflower, and some extra of the seasonings. The 3 of us really enjoyed this, and it was a great way to add more vegetable servings to Davis’ meals. We served ours with paleo BLT wraps and veggies.

paleo hummus recipeCarrot hummus recipe; paleo hummus recipe

FOUR: Some outfit details.  This light wash chambray shirt dress from Old Navy is a current favorite.  And on sale!  I wore it on Mother’s Day and I’m wearing it again today. I bought a size up to fit my bump, but it would be super cute in your normal size if you’re able to wear regular clothes.  The t-shirt in the casual outfit below is from Asos, and it is maternity.  I wore it two full days in a row this week!  I am also loving this nail polish on my toes (a really pretty dark green), and this watch from my boys for Mother’s Day!

IMG_1106

maternity t-shirt from asos

simple details

This watch has rose gold, which makes it so pretty and feminine.  And the bracelet from Etsy is one I’ve had since the month my son was born.  I wear it daily. It says DAVIS with his birthday.   I hope to add another when baby #2 comes!

FIVE: If you missed it earlier this week, I posted a Charlotte Restaurant Review.  The list includes some awesome restaurants in and around our city that are perfect for date nights and foodies! I will have another post with some more casual spots next week.

best restaurants in Charlotte

Five on Friday linkup graphich54f2_zpsc7e1f4e7Friday Favorites graphic

 

 

 

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Recipe Swap with Stephanie Spring

I am, admittedly, not the greatest with networking with other bloggers.  But becoming blog friends with Stephanie was just easy.  She is sweet, organized, and thoughtful.  And though her blog is still relatively new, it doesn’t appear that way.  She brings great content, lovely photos, and some wonderful recipes!

Her cooking style is fresh and healthy, but simple.  You can go through her recipes by clicking the FOOD tab on her site.  Today she and I are doing a recipe swap, and I am featuring two of her recipes that are on my list to cook as soon as possible!

Tomato Soup.  I used to not be a big fan of tomato soup – the canned kind at least – but her recipe seems right up my alley!  Creamy, dairy-free, healthy and fresh!!  I am planning to try this once we have more NC tomatoes this summer.

Tomato Soup Stephanie Spring

Energy Bites.  My boys would love these!  And they’d be the chocolate fix I’ve been craving, while still being a cleaner option.  I am planning to make these soon as well.

Energy Bites Recipe Stephanie Spring

Thank you for swapping, Stephanie!