4.30.2012

she....



....is here! and is perfect!

Eve Elizabeth Hoyt arrived on Friday, April 27th at 6:35pm.
She weighed 6lbs 8oz and was 19.5 inches long.




We are beyond thrilled she is here and are home from the hospital and settling in to life as a family of four.  

Last night was a little rough - someone seems to have her days and nights confused - but hopefully we'll get that worked out sooner then later.

Big C and little evie also seem to be very interested in each other and it's just about the cutest thing in the world :)

xo


4.27.2012

heading to the hospital....but first - Oly Studio at High Point



Hey all, we are heading to the hospital in a few but as I'm literally sitting here waiting for the contractions to intensify thought I'd share a few photos my friend Nicole {an interior designer in DC} sent me from Oly Studio at the High Point market earlier this week.


I LOVE me some Oly Studio and loved getting another peek at their set up in High Point.



I really like that bed in the first photo and the chandelier in the last one. 

Hope to be back soon with some baby news!

xo

4.24.2012

i'm in love with a chair...and a rug

Hickory Chair via Jamie Meares and High Point Style Spotters on Pinterest

...or rather I'm in love with a pair of chairs!


and also this rug....


Genevieve Gorder for Capel Rugs via Jamie Meares and High Point Style Scouters on Pinterest


Quite a bold print for the chairs but what an impact they would make!

And I love the girly colors of the rug and the pattern. Both of these items debuted at the High Point Market this week - you can see more of the Style Spotters picks from market on Pinterest here http://pinterest.com/StyleSpotSpr12/

and by the way, the black hole/time suck that is usually know as Pinterest can also be a fabulous way to distract yourself from watching the baby clock!

Thank you, Pinterest!

4.23.2012

freezer paper DIY


A friend of ours asked if I would mind sikscreening a custom onesie for a baby shower she was attending. Since silkscreening isn't the best option for making a single onesie, I though it would be a great opportunity to try using freezer paper as a stencil. With silkscreening, the set up can be quite involved as you need to apply emulsion to a screen, burn the image into the emulsion/screen, wash the screen, etc {overall about 5 rather involved steps and a few days worth of drying time} and THEN you are ready to silkscreen the image onto your onesie. For a single, one time use image it just doesn't make sense....it's really more for an image you are going to use multiple times.

So freezer paper seemed  great alternative for a fairly simple image. You basically use the freezer paper to make a stencil, iron it onto your fabric, paint and then peel it off.

I've always wanted to give it a try, but just hadn't gotten around to it. So when this opportunity came up I thought it would be perfect!

Here's how I did it...


Supplies:
- Freezer Paper 
{Can be hard to find, but I picked this up at Wal-Mart in the same aise as wax paper and aluminum foil. NOTE - DO NOT USE WAX PAPER FOR THIS PROJECT}
- An image printed on plain white paper
- Xacto knife
- Piece of cardboard or a craft mat
- Tape
- Iron 
- Fabric paint
- Paint brush


If you're wondering why freezer paper and not wax paper, the freezer paper only has a waxy surface on one side and is a regular, flat white paper on the other side. Whereas wax paper is waxy on both sides. 

I tried to take a good picture to show you in the photo above and you can sort of tell if you look very closely. This is so when you iron onto the paper, the wax side will stick to the fabric and the non-wax side will not stick to your iron. 


1)
Tape your piece of freezer paper with the wax side DOWN over the paper with your image printed on it. This is so when you are cutting out the outlines of your image the paper will not move around. 

Place your image and freezer paper over a piece of cardboard or a craft mat so you do not cut into the table or surface beneath your image.


2) 
Use your Xacto knife and begin cutting out your image


3) 
Keep cutting so you leave an outline of the image. If there are interior portions of your image then you will need to save the pieces of freezer paper you cut out to re-form the inside of your image before you iron it onto your fabric. As you can see, I wanted an outline of the bell image, so I had to carefully cut the freezer paper and save the inside area of the image. Basically, the black area of the original image is what will be painted on your fabric.

If that sounds confusing it should make more sense in the next few photos....


4) 
When you are finished cutting, separate the original image printed on plain white paper from the freezer paper. You no longer need the plain white paper with the original image.

Place the freezer paper with your cut out image  {in my case I started with the outline of the image and added the interior pieces after} WAX SIDE DOWN on your fabric


5)
Iron over the paper with your iron set on a dry setting {no water/steam} until it is secured to the fabric. It should only take a few sweeps of the iron to secure the paper to the fabric.


6)
If you have interior pieces of the image, apply those one by one to the fabric WAX SIDE DOWN and carefully iron them onto your fabric. Once the pieces are ironed on you can not move them, so make sure you have them exactly where you want them.


7)
Get out your fabric paint and a brush and mix a color if necessary. You don't need too much - unless you have a particularly large image - so I just mixed some of my blue paint with a bit of white in the cap. I used Jacquard Textile paint in sapphire blue, with a bit of white.


8) 
Paint a thin layer onto your fabric.
I only used one coat because this fabric paint has great coverage, but depending on how you want your final design to look or what paint you are using, you might want to use more coats. The key is to use thin coats of paint or else it will look globby and may crack.


9)
I let the paint dry for about 15 min until it was only still slightly wet and then carefully peeled the outer layer off the fabric. 

If you let the paint dry all the way, it might cause the paper to stick to the fabric and will destroy the edges of the painted image. I found it easiest to let it dry enough so it didn't bleed, but wasn't too dry to cause the paper to stick.


10)
If you have interior pieces, carefully peel them off. I used a set of tweezers to help pick up the edges of the freezer paper


11)
Let the paint dry for a few hours and then iron the reverse side of the fabric to help set the paint and then you're DONE!

Overall, a pretty easy project for a custom image...




4.22.2012

friday evening walk


In an effort to take our minds off waiting for something to happen, we went out to dinner on Friday night and took a walk along the Mount Pleasant pier. 

Boats {big and small}, birds, dolphins and the bridge were a happy change from staring at the clock and googling "signs of labor"

Hope y'all are having a fantastic weekend!

xo

4.19.2012

drooling over non-maternity clothes

Calypso St. Barths Velma Cotton Sequin Dress

Charleston has finally entered the 21st century and is stepping it up big time in the way of stores.

One of my all time favorites, Calypso St. Barths, just opened on King Street and I stopped in last weekend to drool take a look at what I have to look forward to once the basketball attached to my belly is gone. 

The dress above caught my eye and is literally so gorgeous in person I can't stop thinking about it. Totally boho chic meets glam and I just absolutely adore, love and want to marry it.

Here it is on the model...



Obviously I haven't even tried it on, because....well, I don't think it would exactly fit me at the moment. But I can dream, right??!

This one also caught my eye...the detail is so pretty in person.

Calypso St. Barths Chirca Embroidered Dress


As did these pretty jewels....I'm especially really loving the necklace

Calypso St. Barths Ambra Necklace
Calypso St. Barths Glass Bead Teardrop Earrings

4.18.2012

baby girls nursery sneak peak


Alllllmost done....

I'm still searching for the perfect area rug and lighting, plus a few more art pieces to hang on the wall, but overall it's about 80% done. If I don't find them before she arrives, I'm ok with that. I'd rather find something I love and will use in her room for years to come as opposed to something temporary just to finish it. 

Now all we need is the baby girl!

18 days and counting! 

Though, mothers intuition tells me it's going to be MUCH sooner then that....

4.15.2012

37 weeks!


37 weeks baby!

I'm now considered full term so if baby girl decides to arrive from here on out, she should be healthy and fully developed. From this point on, she's really just gaining weight and hanging out until she's ready.

As for how I'm feeling...well, I feel like I'm about 37 weeks pregnant! 
My feet are swollen, I feel like I'm crippled when I try to get up from a sitting or laying down position {I kind of roll to the side and push myself up} and for some reason this little one has been moving around a ton for the past few days, which is much more painful now because she has so little space to move around in. To me it feels like she is trying to escape, but she's still in there so who knows what she's trying to do?? Sometimes it's difficult to tell the difference between her movements and mild contractions, so she's keeping me on my toes for sure.... 

I had a doctors appointment on Friday and am already 2cm dilated....which basically means it could happen at any moment, or it could take a few more weeks. But our bags are packed and now we wait....and wait.

Here are some other shots I took before my photographer {kyle} was ready to step outside....


The light was looking kind of yellow until someone opened the door for a visit....


and here's another side view of the watermelon belly


The last one above is the most accurate depiction of what the paint colors truly look like in person.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

xo



4.12.2012

double stroller reviews - finally!!

AHHHH...my favorite topic - STROLLERS! 

If I thought choosing a single stroller was difficult, well that was small beans in comparison to my new quest for the perfect double stroller!

It doesn't help that I want it do about 15 million different things, including make me dinner. Needless to say, I am very picky about strollers and I know it will drive me crazy if we end up with one that just doesn't work well for our growing family. Now that I have a few years of stroller use under my belt, I am pretty clear about what I do/do not like the features that are important to me. It's not likely that everyone else will feel the same, exact way as me....but here is a quick rundown of what I'm looking for....

Must Haves
- 2 reasonably sized seats
- Rubber wheels for frequent use on grass and sand 
- Ability to take it jogging/walking/etc
- Large sun shade
- Smooth ride
- Compatibility with infant car seat
- Easy to fold
- Relatively lightweight
- Ability to maneuver easily in stores and around town

Nice, but not essential
- Cupholders
- Large storage basket
- Extremely lightweight

To give you some background, we have a single BOB revolution stroller that we love and a single Peg Perego Si travel stroller that we also like {not love}. We are planning to keep both of those because there are times when I'll only have one child with me, or C can walk and won't need to be sitting in the stroller, etc....

So, because we are planning to keep both of those strollers, I'm figuring that this double stroller will be mainly for general home based {non-travel} use such as when I want to take both kids out on a run with me, to the beach, to the pool/playground, and to general outdoor events. We go to the beach quite often between May-October, so rubber wheels that are good on sand are essential to me. As are large sun shades because it is sunny and HOT for a significant amount of the year here. I run {as in jogging} pretty frequently so I also need something that is safe, comfortable and smooth to load both kids into for a 1-3 mile run. Any longer runs will probably be kid-free as I find running with a stroller kind of awkward after awhile.

Realistically I'll probably also need it to take with me while running errands/shopping, but I don't see that as being the primary function of the stroller. If I have both kids with me, what's the likelihood I'll really be able to shop around all that much, anyway? Plus, as baby #2 gets a bit larger we're probably going to need a double, lightweight travel stroller anyway, so I'd rather just use that if I do have both kids with me and am trying to navigate through stores and tighter spaces. That will be a future purchase, however, we're just focusing on a general, double stroller for everyday use right now.

We'll probably store the double stroller in the garage or in the back of one of our cars, so although I would like it to be easy to fold and lightweight, those qualities aren't as essential to me as some of the others I listed. I would imagine that if you lived in a bigger city, were frequently going up or down stairs, or had to fold it up to store it, this would be a major difference in what you'd need out of a double stroller versus what I'm looking for.

Now that I've narrowed down the field, here are the contenders:




Pros:
- Front and back seat design, so it can easily be maneuvered though smaller spaces
- Rubber wheels
- Rumble (back) seat can be removed as needed so it's also a single stroller
- Easy to fold
- Compatible with our Peg Perego car seat

Cons:
- Awful reviews on Amazon about the wheels breaking???
- Small-ish sun shade
- C-man loves to sit up in the seat, with his hands on the front bar so I'm not sure he'll like being stuck in the back seat
- Have heard it's difficult to maneuver

Weight:
29 lbs

Price:
$600



Pros:
- Smooth ride on almost all surfaces
- Very large sunshade
- Side by side design allows both kids to face out and look around
- Plenty of leg room for both seats
- Easy to push while jogging - literally feels like it's gliding on air
- Big, rubber wheel great for the beach/sand
- Excellent ride on all terrains

Cons:
- Side-by-side design takes up a lot of space and is difficult to maneuver in stores and crowds
- Feels like you are pushing a wide bus
- No alternative configuration for seats
- Takes up a lot of trunk space
- NOT compatible with our Peg Perego car seat {the single BOB is, but the double is not!}

Weight:
32 lbs

Price:
$500-600 (depending on color)



Pros:
- Both seats can be front facing and can configure a number of ways
- Front and back seat design, so it can easily be maneuvered though smaller spaces
- Quick and easy to fold {or so I've been told....}
- Front seat can be removed as needed so can also be used as a single stroller
- Compatible with our Peg Perego car seat

Cons:
- Back seat seems pretty tight on leg room - two toddlers would definitely have a hard time fitting comfortably
- Overall felt very long to me 
- Not as easy to maneuver or effortless to push as other double strollers {such as the BOB}
- Car seat adaptor must be removed before folding - and I might be wrong, but think you need to remove both seats before folding???


Price:
$670

Weight:
?? Couldn't find - but seems heavy ??



Pros:
- Can configure the front seat a number of way
- Added bassinet is great for infants 
- Very smooth ride on almost all surfaces
- Large sunshade in front
- East to fold with seats attached 
- Adjustable handle height
- Compatible with our Peg Perego car seat

Cons:
- C-man loves to sit up in the seat, with his hands on the front bar so I'm not sure he'll like being stuck in the back seat
- Sunshade in back isn't as large


Price:
$830

Weight:
34 lbs


Ok....think that's covers most of my essential pros and cons....

...and now for what we decided to purchase.....


Overall, I really haven't had too many opportunities to try out the Phil & Ted's because it's not sold in any stores in the Charleston area. So most of my experience with it is when I happen to see one and ask about it and then just from what I've seen and heard online. When I have seen one in person and tried it, I definitely noticed it doesn't move as smoothly as the BOB. It also feels more "plastic" to me, if that makes any sense....and then, of course, although the front and back configuration is helpful when maneuvering in crowds and stores, I'm just not sure it's the best option for C-man and if he isn't happy riding back there, then will he even use it all that much or will I end up pushing a stroller while carrying him when he's tired or we are out??

As for the Baby Jogger, I am not a fan of removing the seats before folding. That seems like a pain to me and difficult to juggle with two kids. I also do not find it as easy to push as the BOB and found it to be clunky. Overall I simply didn't like it all that much when I was trying it out - but that's just personal preference.....

I've aways loved the UPPABaby Vista and it was a serious contender when we were buying our first stroller over two years ago {see previous posts here and here}. I still love it but as with the Phil & Ted's, I think the rumble seat in the back just isn't not the best option for C-man.

And lastly...a few people have suggested the Bumbleride Indie Twin {that means you, Patricia!!}


While it could be a contender on my list, there aren't any stores in Charleston that sell it nor have I ever seen it in person to try it out. Plus, it doesn't seem like jogging is its primary function, so for those reasons I haven't given it too much serious thought. If you have some feedback, I'd be happy to hear though!

And I didn't include any Bugaboo strollers {such as the Bugaboo Donkey} because I felt like I had a good line up to choose from without adding another to the mix. And at $1200 I don't feel like it merits paying almost double what we could purchase any of these other strollers for...it does look lovely though. 

SOOOO.....after all that - if you are still reading - then you will see that brings us to the BOB. 

Oh....mister BOB. How I love you and get frustrated by your double wide size all at the same time!

Although there are a few things I'm NOT happy with - such as it not being compatible with our car seat and how large the width is - what it comes down to is that the BOB is by far the most comfortable ride for the kids, both are able to face out, they will be protected from the sun, and it feels like you are pushing air.....

Plus, a woman showed me an infant insert you can pace in the BOB seat once they are 8 weeks old so that helped calm my frustrations about not being able to use the car seat. 

So there you have it...the BOB it is. And I'm very happy with the decision and hope it will inspire me to get out and go for a run as often as possible....

If you've read through all of this and have any questions, please feel free to ask....clearly I LOVE this stuff!

post baby workout inspiration





I am in dire need of a good workout. Right now I can't wait to get back to yoga, running and the gym after the baby is born....but as soon as she is here and sleepless nights take over, I'm sure it will be the last thing I feel like doing. 

So, here is a little "post-baby GET MY BOOTY TO YOGA & THE GYM inspiration".
Hopefully my pre-second baby self can somehow inspire my post-baby with two kids to manage self. 

I especially like how the tops are a little loose so your mid-section isn't on display the entire time.... 

And my apologies for the images being skewed to the right. I uploaded the jpeg a few times and blogger keeps moving it over.... 


4.11.2012

whew! breathing a HUGE sigh of relief



I am thanking my lucky stars tonight that Kyle is home from a business trip and *NO* baby arrived in the last 48 hrs. 

WHEW!

At the last minute {well, as of last Thursday} he suddenly had to go to Indiana for a big, new project his company just began working on. We knew it had been a possibility for awhile and even set a cut off date as to when he simply wouldn't be able to travel for a few weeks - you know....just in case something happened early. 

Well, of course the trip came at the very last possible time he could have left. Needless to say, I understand he had to go but was a complete nervous wreck the entire time he was gone. 

All I could think of was Murphy's Law....whenever you do not want something to happen, the universe seems to find a way to make it happen on that very day....

So, anyway. Enough blabbing....I'm just happy and relieved he's home.

Ok, baby girl...you are now welcome to make your grand appearance whenever you please from here on out! and we can't wait to meet you!

xo

NARS heat wave lipstick

NARS Heat Wave


In general I'm really not too into beauty products. I tend to find products I like and stick with them. I've literally been using MAC Studio Fix powder since high school and don't see myself changing anytime in the near future....

However, one item I've never had good luck with is lipstick. I've never found a color that looks right with my skin tone and overall whenever I do try to apply it, I just feel like a clown and end up wiping it off anyway. 

So, you can imagine my skepticism when I was buying some shampoo and conditioner today and the woman at Stella Nova {a beauty store and salon here in Charleston} suggested I give a specific shade of NARS lipstick a try. 

Little did she know that I'd seen that very shade of lipstick all over the blog-a-sphere recently and was actually interested to give it a try. 
RED! But such a good red....promise!


Enter, NARS Heat Wave.....maybe you've seen it, too?



It's RED - but the best shade of red I've ever come across. I personally think NARS has the best make-up colors out there and I've been using their eye shadow, blush and bronzer for years. Well after one application I was hooked and now I'm very happy walking around with rouge lips. I feel like it brightens my whole face up, isn't too heavy and is a completely different look for me. 

Just a little thing I like to call fate....




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