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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Catching Up

Since I haven’t kept up with blogging very well lately, I thought I’d post a few recent happenings…

We’ve spent a ton of time outdoors!

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Green for St. Patrick’s Day at school!

St. Patrick's Day 2016

St. Patrick's Day

Last Friday at the start of March Madness, Todd had a bunch of guys over to watch the games and hang out.  10+ guys, 2 flat screen TVs, pizza, beer, and chips.  I didn’t take any pictures of them, but I did get a picture of these cuties.  One of the wives I am friends with came over and we took our kids to get frozen yogurt. :)  Emerson and Davis make quite a cute pair!

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This past weekend my cousins and aunt threw a baby shower for Caroline, one of the four sisters.  I was able to help a little, and I truly enjoyed all of the time with family!  They did an amazing job with the shower – it was beautiful.  All of the guys hung out during the shower, then we all spent some time together after.

Caroline's baby shower food buffetCaroline's baby shower gold balloonsCaroline's baby showerCaroline's baby shower food buffet

family time after Caroline's showerCaroline's baby shower; family picture with grandparents

I got dressed on Monday and realized I looked like my mom’s twin. She would definitely wear this exact outfit!

cardigan, striped shirt outfit

We spent a morning showing Davis around Bass Pro Shops (he loved it), visiting the Lego store, and eating Mexican food for lunch.  I really love times like these with my boys.

family day in March at Bass Pro Shopsfamily lunch

 

That’s all for now!  But I will be back to post on Friday…2 posts in 1 week is basically a record around here lately.  Thank you for sticking with me!!

Erin’s Baby Shower

One of my dear friends, Erin, has been trying for a baby for many years.  She and her husband love the Lord, and are truly wonderful people.  They made the decision to adopt last year, and this summer, they were able to bring their BABY GIRL home!!!  Her name is Izzy (Isabel), and she is precious!

Three of us, Moira, Kate, and I, threw Erin a baby shower at my house a few weeks ago.   Erin loves Fall and cooler weather, so we wanted to incorporate some Fall details into her girly shower.  We did this with the natural-colored pumpkins and fresh flowers.  Here are some of the pictures and details from the day…

banner from torn fabric and burlap for baby girl shower

The prints above the mantle were a gift from us to Erin.  The first one has 1 Samuel 1:27 “For this child I have prayed…” and the other print has an “I” and says her name under it.  The banner was made by Moira, and is all torn fabric to match Izzy’s nursery!  She bought the burlap banner from Hobby Lobby (I think) and wrote her name on it with chalk. baby girl shower flower arrangements

My mom and I arranged the flowers at her house before the shower.  I bought some from Trader Joe’s, and then we went around her yard and cut plenty of branches, greenery, and flowers.

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Erin with Izzy, and Sarah with Ezra!  IMG_2513

Me with Kate, Erin/Izzy, and Moira.  I had such a wonderful time hosting with Kate and Moira, and we were honored to do this for Erin. IMG_2495

We have a chalkboard wall right outside of our dining room.  I do not have the greatest handwriting, but I LOVE the words in this verse.
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This was set up in my foyer.  Kate put together the print of a tree, and had all of the shower guests place their fingerprints on the tree.  Many people have prayed for Erin and Jason’s journey to be parents, and this tree shows her “framily.”  We also had bins to place addressed envelopes for Erin to use for thank you notes. IMG_2490

Menu:

  • Mimosa Bar (champagne and sparkling apple cider + mixers, including mango nectar; apple cider; blood orange juice; berry juice)
  • Coffee Bar (with chocolate-dipped spoons; pumpkin spice creamer + a special coffee mug for Erin that says “Mom est. 2015”)
  • Bagel Bar (everything bagels + plain bagels with smoked salmon, capers, homemade herb/garlic/lemon cream cheese, cucumbers, red onion, dill, parsley, lemon; cinnamon crunch bagels with homemade honey walnut cream cheese)
  • Pumpkin Spice Donuts
  • Yogurt + Granola + Fruit
  • Chicken and Waffle Bites

mimosa bar for baby shower

 

fruit water for baby girl shower mimosa bar Fall baby girl shower coffee bar

bagel bar for brunch

chicken and waffles for brunch baby shower brunch baby shower food pumpkin spice donuts for baby shower brunch food for baby shower

 

Sarah’s Baby Sprinkle + Ezra is Here!

The baby sprinkle portion of this post is quite belated!  Along with several other girls, I hosted a baby sprinkle for Sarah earlier this Summer.  At the time she was expecting, and now her new son, Ezra Patrick, is here!  He was born last week!  I don’t want to steal her thunder, because I know she will want to post about his birthday, but I did include a couple of pictures of that sweet baby boy in Monday’s post.

I did still want to post about her sprinkle, so even though it is quite after-the-fact, here are the party details.

baby boy shower

Bryleigh (her oldest) and Sarah.  Didn’t she look beautiful in that Free People dress?!

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LOVE these sweet girls: Bryleigh and Mary Elliott.  (Our family has some adorable little ones, just saying ;)). And the flowers that Lauren picked and arranged are so lovely!  Oh, and that is April’s cute daughter, Mills, peeking in from the background!

We had brunch food, mimosas (virgin and regular), and relatively simple decor.

I hosted it at my house, along with Sarah’s older sister, my cousin Lauren, and several of Sarah’s close friends, Brittany, April, another Lindsay, and another Lauren. :)

baby boy sprinkle food

For the brunch, we took some of Sarah’s favorite things, plus foods she had been craving, and worked on making it a cohesive menu:

  • Cheese Tray
  • Donuts
  • Pimento Cheese
  • Green Salad with Blueberries, Mandarin Oranges, Feta, Candied Almonds
  • Chicken Salad – 2 Kinds from MayoBird in Charlotte
  • Mini Peach Crisps in Mason Jars

brunch on dining room table for a baby shower

baby boy shower food

brunch menu and table set up for a baby shower IMG_1026 IMG_1043 IMG_1034

IMG_1049 baby boy sprinkle flowers

The leftover flowers, plus some hostess gifts (flowers and pitchers) from Sarah.

It was such a privilege to celebrate one of my best friends!  She is a terrific mom, and I am thrilled for their family.  Plus I am an ‘aunt’ again!!!

Thank you for reading!

Baby Girl Sprinkle

One of my roommates from Chapel Hill, and dear friend, Margaret, is having her second baby within the week (hopefully!).  She has a son, and is now having a baby girl, and I cannot wait to meet her.  I know Margaret feels the same way – the very end of a pregnancy is tough!

I wanted to do something to celebrate this special baby girl, so one of Margaret’s friends from work and I co-hosted this baby sprinkle.  Her nursery is turquoise/teal, gold, and white.  It is perfectly feminine and classic!  We started with the inspiration for this sprinkle of turquoise and gold, and I knew I wanted to have plenty of fresh flowers. If you follow me on instagram, you’ve seen how happy those blooms made me!

On to the baby sprinkle details:

evite for a baby girl shower; turquoise, gold, floral

We just used an online invitation from evite…simply done!

white pom pom trim pillow with gold monogram for baby girl's nursery

My gift to Margaret was not practical at all, but I had to give her this pillow for baby girl’s nursery. This white pillow with pom pom trim (from Marshall’s!!) was begging for a gold monogram.

welcome table for a baby shower

floral arrangement: hydrangea, tulips, roses, eucalyptus

We always move our kitchen island into the open French doors of Todd’s office for parties at our house.  This time at served as a welcome table and a place for the guests to address thank-you note envelopes so that Margaret won’t have to worry about it.

All of the flowers were from Trader Joe’s and Costco.

turquoise, teal, gold, white baby girl shower; tassel garland; brunch

Brunch table with plentiful flowers and the tassel garland

gold, turquoise and pink cupcakes for a baby shower

I made mini strawberry cupcakes with turquoise colored buttercream and gold sprinkles.

juice bar for baby shower

We decided to have simple juice, pink lemonade, and water for drinks.  We also had a coffee bar.

turquoise, gold, white, pink tassel garland for a baby shower

My mantle is always a work in progress.  My mom helped me with the latest styling, and I added flowers and the tassel garland for the baby sprinkle.

flower arrangement with hydrangea, tulips, roses, eucalyptus

rustic wooden box with flowers

floral arrangement in rustic wooden box

pink florals in rustic wooden box

All the flowers.  These all made me so happy, and brought a lot of life to the look of the baby sprinkle!  (And hopefully Margaret enjoyed them, too).

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Me, Margaret, Jennifer

I regret not taking more pictures of Margaret and her friends and family during the sprinkle.  This is the only one I got!

Five on Friday

Oh Friday, how I love you!  Is it not just the greatest feeling in the world to know that the weekend will be here in a matter of hours?!  Todd and I rarely make plans for Friday nights, but instead try to unwind and relax, and also talk and catch up.  It really is the best!

Tonight I will probably be finishing getting my house ready for a baby shower here tomorrow, but event prep is relaxing to me too.

Today I have some favorites to show you – a DIY project, a song, and several items for your wardrobe.  I’m linking up with the girls from Five on Friday, Oh Hey Friday!, and Friday Favorites.

 April Christina Natasha Darci

Karli

fridayfavorites

Andrea Narci Erika

ONE: Even though I’m rarely very crafty, I finished a DIY project!  This tassel garland is for a baby shower I’m hosting for one my best friends/roommates from Chapel Hill tomorrow.  She is having a baby girl very soon, and I can’t wait to decorate with these and celebrate this mom-to-be!  I followed the instructions from this tutorial, and because it is made with streamers rather than tissue paper, it was really quite easy.

diy tassel garland and tutorial link DIY tassel garland and tutorial link

TWO: As I’m sure many of you are, I am already thinking about Spring and Summer fashion (well really dreaming of warm weather).  I have a feeling I’ll be pinning a lot of looks on my summer inspiration board soon.  Something that I’d love to add to my closet for the warmer months are casual bracelets that can be stacked.  I love beads, tassels, and wrapped bracelets.  I’m pretty obsessed with this one from J.Crew, and I’m just waiting for it to go on sale!

J Crew raffia wrapped bracelet for summer

THREE: This may be just what I’ve been looking for for layering under sweaters and wearing alone in higher temperatures.  I love the feel of a boyfriend undershirt style t-shirt, but they’re really hard to find.  Madewell has one with rave reviews.  I think I need several!

madewell boyfriend v-neck t-shirt

FOUR: Speaking of t-shirts…I took this selfie (ugh, I need to at least let my husband take pictures of me if I want to record an outfit. ;)) last week thinking I’d wear it for the Superbowl.  This baseball tee outfit has been the most viewed posts on my blog (Thank you, Pinterest!), and it is perfect for a sporting event.  I ended up wearing something else for the game, but I was reminded how much I love this shirt.  I’m all about casual clothes, and I’m thinking I need to buy a couple more of these!

baseball t shirt outfit; raglan top

fall fashion; baseball tee with ankle boots and boyfriend jeans; Zara scarf

FIVE: Have you heard “How Can It Be?” by Lauren Daigle?  Please click on that link and listen.  The words will speak to your soul, I promise.  The song puts into words how undeserving we are of God’s endless grace, yet He reaches down to us again and again.  Grace upon grace.

 

Happy weekend!  Thank you for stopping by!