lovely tuesday: 39 weeks

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guess what? our child has proven the doctor wrong— i’m still pregnant! we’re ready, the house is ready, my body is ready, but he’s not ready. i think he wants to surprise us at any given moment. hopefully it will be a drawn-out surprise and not a quick one! his official due date is tomorrow. maybe we should buy one of those “over the hill” or “happy 40th” balloons to encourage him.

michael and i are very excited along with our friends and family but honestly there are moments where i have felt extremely irritated. fielding the same questions over and over, every day (how are you feeling? when are you due again? what did the doctor say? do you feel different from yesterday? are you having contractions? is the baby here yet?) annoy me! i know that these inquiries come out of care or curiosity toward the end, and it’s comforting to have a good network. at the same time i just want everyone to be calm and let us relax.

the weather was overcast during the week and i took advantage of it by wearing skirts and breezy peasant blouses. i packed some short sleeve onesies and a red elf cap for him to sport home. i kind of hope he’ll be born on a rainy day but they are few and far between. he’ll be born on a special day nonetheless. here’s to life, changing forever.


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2014. make + take: felt camp flag. 
materials: dowel rod, assorted felt, burlap, sharp scissors, leather cord, needle, thread
we chose a camping theme for our son’s room because we wanted a room that would grow with him from infancy to boyhood. inspired by vintage campsite badges, i made three felt flags to hang above his bookcase. the fox ended up being my favorite flag— that’s why i’m sharing it with you today!
camp or merit badges usually have an animal or object in the middle and a few words. i used burlap as a background for the badge and sewed a red heart in the center. then i carefully cut a fox out of felt pieces. you definitely need sharp scissors! i embellished him with puffy paint and attached him to the center.
the baby’s flags have three mottos: be kind, be brave, and be true. i cut the letters out of leftover felt and stitched them to each badge. i posted a picture of the trio on my instagram.
find a dowel rod and choose a color for your flag. fold the felt over the rod and sew it at the top. align the badge in the center and pin it down so it doesn’t move while you sew. you can add shapes or lines to the top and bottom of the flag; i cut triangles out of different sizes.
hang your flag with leather cord, twine, or string in your happy camper’s room.

2014. make + take: felt camp flag. 

materials: dowel rod, assorted felt, burlap, sharp scissors, leather cord, needle, thread

we chose a camping theme for our son’s room because we wanted a room that would grow with him from infancy to boyhood. inspired by vintage campsite badges, i made three felt flags to hang above his bookcase. the fox ended up being my favorite flag— that’s why i’m sharing it with you today!

camp or merit badges usually have an animal or object in the middle and a few words. i used burlap as a background for the badge and sewed a red heart in the center. then i carefully cut a fox out of felt pieces. you definitely need sharp scissors! i embellished him with puffy paint and attached him to the center.

the baby’s flags have three mottos: be kind, be brave, and be true. i cut the letters out of leftover felt and stitched them to each badge. i posted a picture of the trio on my instagram.

find a dowel rod and choose a color for your flag. fold the felt over the rod and sew it at the top. align the badge in the center and pin it down so it doesn’t move while you sew. you can add shapes or lines to the top and bottom of the flag; i cut triangles out of different sizes.

hang your flag with leather cord, twine, or string in your happy camper’s room.


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lovely tuesday: 38 weeks

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the baby’s cooking! tomorrow will bring me a week closer to our official due date. my doctor still predicts an early appearance, so we’re on baby watch. i haven’t had any labor pains (maybe they’ve been too mild to notice) but she gave me permission to hightail it to the hospital when i feel consistent contractions. we’re nervous and excited; michael is probably more nervous because he’ll be the one rushing home from work to pick me up!

we had a busy week. on saturday we attended a car seat safety class and learned that we chose wisely with our britax system. the instructors helped us install the seat in my car. on the way home i kept looking back at it and michael said, “he’s not there yet, silly!”

on sunday i assembled our mamaRoo and breeze playard, both gifts from the 4moms team. let me tell you— they were incredibly easy to put together, so easy a pregnant woman at nine months can do it! i understand why jen and indiana love their breezes. we also bought more newborn diapers; they smell so nice. i think we’re ready for this boy. i hope we see his face sometime soon!


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2014. baby boom. 
lush maxidress. braided sightseer sandals by madewell.
wow, look at that bump! i feel like he has grown over the past two weeks, and it’s very apparent from a side view. lately i’ve been wearing sundresses and maxi dresses; they’re the most comfortable things in the texas heat. this basic black dress is one of my favorites because it’s pleated in the front at the waist and it has a cute crisscross detail in the back.
i hope y’all have a great weekend! we’re installing our car seat and running errands as usual. no labor pains… yet!
p.s. last friday tumblr blocked bloglovin’ from having access to blog feeds (read more here) and they haven’t reached an agreement. as always you may visit littletinsoldier.com directly or watch for post updates via twitter.
the look | similar dress | shoes

2014. baby boom. 

lush maxidress. braided sightseer sandals by madewell.

wow, look at that bump! i feel like he has grown over the past two weeks, and it’s very apparent from a side view. lately i’ve been wearing sundresses and maxi dresses; they’re the most comfortable things in the texas heat. this basic black dress is one of my favorites because it’s pleated in the front at the waist and it has a cute crisscross detail in the back.

i hope y’all have a great weekend! we’re installing our car seat and running errands as usual. no labor pains… yet!

p.s. last friday tumblr blocked bloglovin’ from having access to blog feeds (read more here) and they haven’t reached an agreement. as always you may visit littletinsoldier.com directly or watch for post updates via twitter.

the look | similar dress | shoes


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lovely tuesday: 37 weeks

this week was very relaxing with a few tiny hiccups. the baby’s nursery is almost done except for the twin/guest bed. the headboard won’t connect to the frame, and the mattress needs wooden slats. so we’ll be making a trip to lowes for different hardware and wood. i was hoping to share some photos of his room with you today— c’est la vie!

on saturday and sunday we went swimming. i was more nervous about getting in and out of the water than putting on a bathing suit; i’m not embarrassed to wear a two-piece with a big belly (though i did receive a questionable look or two). the water wasn’t too cold and we had a lot of fun swimming with super noodles. it amazes me how noodles keep people afloat. i wish we had gone to the pool more often this summer.

maybe it was all that swimming— i had a check-up today and the doctor thinks the baby will be here in a week and a half (or less). A WEEK AND A HALF! she told me to look out for contractions or water breaking. oh my goodness. we are extremely excited and nervous. my hospital bag is ready to go and i promise it’s not half-full of gummy bears (i wish it was).

in other news, i haven’t dreamt much lately. a couple of weeks ago i had a dream i left my purse in the rain, and last night the carters asked me to illustrate them. of course i said yes. who turns down beyoncé?


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dearest thursday: double duty

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although diaper bags come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, the majority tend to be black nylon. why black and why nylon? black is a popular clothing color and nylon is easy to clean. unfortunately black is not one of my favorite colors.

for our little one, i plan to use my rebecca minkoff original MAB bag with a polka dot pocket insert. it’s a huge red leather bag that’s been sitting in my closet for the last two years, and now it will get a second life as a baby bag. i recommend buying an insert if you have a large purse (or if you’re like me, you own several of them). you can pull the insert out and switch bags with no problem.

if you don’t have a giant handbag, a plus to buying a “real” diaper bag is that it comes with built-in compartments. check out these four darling options— i love these bags because they are wonderful for mamas who like prints and colors. to the undiscerning eye, they resemble regular purses.  i won’t tell anyone you have a nose frida inside yours if you won’t tell anyone i have one in mine.

  1. rebecca minkoff marissa bag: this cute tote flips to a blue and yellow pattern on the back, making it a perfect present for mamas who will be surprised by baby’s gender. if i didn’t reuse my own purse, i’d get this one in a heartbeat.
  2. kate spade francis bag: put a bird on it! the toucans give the purse a whimsical touch. the print reminds me of a fun beach bag and it would also work for boys and girls.
  3. timi & leslie charlie bag: the charlie style resembles a posh italian handbag, and it’s totally wipeable. i like the blue and grey combination; it comes in other colors, too.
  4. lesportsac zoo bag: the little animals may garner as many oohs and aaahs as your baby! the navy blue color and messenger bag style also anchor it as a good “daddy” bag.

collage by me. images via nordstrom, shopbop, and amazon.


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lovely tuesday: 36 weeks

the next month will be a waiting game! many doctors consider 37 weeks a “safe” time for a baby’s arrival; of course reaching full-term is preferred. i had a check-up today and he’s not ready to say hello yet. grow, baby, grow! the doctor was concerned about his fast heartbeat and they hooked me up to a non-stress test monitor (which probably made my heart go crazy). but he was just moving around and his heartbeat slowed down as he calmed down.

we took a childbirth class at the hospital. i expected it to be a lamaze kind of class, but the nurse thoroughly covered labor, relaxation and pain management techniques, delivery, and postpartum care. we watched five families’ birth stories and i realized that everyone’s experience is astonishingly different. sometimes you go in with a birth plan and it can fly out the window; sometimes everything happens just as you imagined. i learned that the most important thing about labor is meeting your little one in the safest manner for both of you, but his or her needs always come first.

today a huge box arrived at our house with a car seat and stroller. i’m twiddling my thumbs waiting for michael to get home and unpack them. we bought the britax travel system; it had good reviews and several coworkers recommended britax. i also found out jesse (of jesse coulter and austin moms blog) has the same system for her son turner, so if turner approves, our boy will be just fine. our wishlist continues to dwindle, and baby’s room is almost done. here’s to the last few weeks!

p.s. thanks to all of you who shared kind words or advice last week. i appreciate you ladies!


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2014. a boy, a girl, a dog. 
cotton sundress from forever 21. vintage coach belt (thrifted). braided sightseer sandals by madewell.
i wore the dress back in june for the first time and i didn’t belt it, going for a carefree and bohemian attitude (in my head anyway). it’s a tent dress i.e. i could probably cover an armchair with it. i styled the dress the other day with a belt and realized it was so much better! i look like a pregnant woman versus someone who is shoplifting the entire potato chip aisle.
in pre-baby times i could wear the belt with jeans. now it fits just under my ribcage. how things have changed for the bigger… and better. soon sophie will transition from being our dog to being a little boy’s dog. she’ll sniff him and love him, i’m sure of it.
the look | dress | similar belt | shoes

2014. a boy, a girl, a dog. 

cotton sundress from forever 21. vintage coach belt (thrifted). braided sightseer sandals by madewell.

i wore the dress back in june for the first time and i didn’t belt it, going for a carefree and bohemian attitude (in my head anyway). it’s a tent dress i.e. i could probably cover an armchair with it. i styled the dress the other day with a belt and realized it was so much better! i look like a pregnant woman versus someone who is shoplifting the entire potato chip aisle.

in pre-baby times i could wear the belt with jeans. now it fits just under my ribcage. how things have changed for the bigger… and better. soon sophie will transition from being our dog to being a little boy’s dog. she’ll sniff him and love him, i’m sure of it.

the look | dress | similar belt | shoes


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2014. summer tan. 
linen sandwave dress and braided sightseer sandals by madewell. cold picnic tote.
pregnancy can make you emotional! yesterday morning i saw this photo and our other snaps and i cried and cried, not taking into account it’s my go-to outfit lately and i feel very cute in it. instead i saw a huge tummy and bigger legs and wondered why i asked michael to take a few pictures. today i look at the photo and think it’s just fine. there’s a little boy in that belly happily kicking away.
i bought the dress a few weeks ago during a madewell sale i.e. me and kelsey’s favorite time to shop. it’s a true babydoll dress; i’m wearing a small and i’m eight months along so size down. i like it because it keeps me cool and it fits (probably the most important thing).
the lesson of the day is don’t delete any blog photos when you don’t feel like yourself. unless you have pizza stains on your clothes— that can be one of the few exceptions.
the look | dress | shoes | bag

2014. summer tan. 

linen sandwave dress and braided sightseer sandals by madewell. cold picnic tote.

pregnancy can make you emotional! yesterday morning i saw this photo and our other snaps and i cried and cried, not taking into account it’s my go-to outfit lately and i feel very cute in it. instead i saw a huge tummy and bigger legs and wondered why i asked michael to take a few pictures. today i look at the photo and think it’s just fine. there’s a little boy in that belly happily kicking away.

i bought the dress a few weeks ago during a madewell sale i.e. me and kelsey’s favorite time to shop. it’s a true babydoll dress; i’m wearing a small and i’m eight months along so size down. i like it because it keeps me cool and it fits (probably the most important thing).

the lesson of the day is don’t delete any blog photos when you don’t feel like yourself. unless you have pizza stains on your clothes— that can be one of the few exceptions.

the look | dress | shoes | bag


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lovely tuesday: 35 weeks

common things i hear at this stage are “it’s almost time!” “the baby’s ready!” “soon you will be a mom!” and it takes all my willpower not to shake my head furiously like a child in denial. i am increasingly anxious and on occasion, scared out of my mind. we have a childbirth class later in the week that will hopefully calm my nerves.

the third trimester has brought a sense of hyper-awareness. i pay close attention to his movements and with my skin issues i am realizing how much my body has changed. i walk slowly and quite often sophie impatiently pulls me home. the belly grows along with my waistline and legs. i feel self-conscious and innocent comments like “you’ve gotten big since the last time i saw you!” and “are you hungry?” sting in a way they didn’t before.

i remind myself that every day and week is different. yes, some weeks i’ve felt happy and glowing. other weeks i’ve felt tired and down. some days i’ve felt beautiful and other days anything but. all these emotions are part of being pregnant, being a mom, and being a human.

i know deep in my heart that none of this will matter once we see his tiny face and wrinkly hands. oh, i cannot wait to look at you, but be a good boy and keep on baking.


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delicious monday: stoplight salad

some of my favorite summertime fruits and vegetables are bite-size tomatoes, pretty pink watermelons, blueberries, and sweet corn. all together they’d make a strange salad, but luckily today’s recipe only uses two of them.

i call this side dish stoplight salad because it includes the colors red, yellow, and green. it’s an easy yet elegant salad that pairs well with anything from grilled eggplant or steak to fried chicken. plus you can assemble it in less than five minutes if you use thawed frozen corn!

MATERIALS

  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
  • 4 ears of sweet corn, cleaned and lightly blanched
  • 1/4 of a sweet or red onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped basil
  • 1/2 cup of feta cheese
  • olive oil and balsamic vinegar
  • kosher salt and pepper for seasoning

MODIFICATIONS

  • substitute 3 cups of thawed frozen corn instead of fresh corn.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. blanche the ears of corn for 3-4 minutes in boiling water. allow them to cool completely before shaving the kernels off with a sharp knife.
  2. in a bowl, combine the corn, tomatoes, onion, and basil. add a splash of olive oil and balsamic for a quick dressing. season with salt and pepper.
  3. serve cold with crumbled feta on top.

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dearest thursday: shower time

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michael and i had an “early” baby shower in may; friends and family typically fête the happy couple closer to their due date. our may shower allowed my coworkers to attend because teachers don’t always see each other in the summer (two words: it’s vacay). i felt weird asking people for presents so we created a basic wishlist (diapers, wipes, onesies, bottles, swaddles, etc.) and guests could choose from the list or share their own gifts.

we received many helpful and fun presents, some of which inspired my shopping picks for today. all of these items are under $30 at the nordstrom anniversary sale, and i think they would please any experienced or expecting mama out there. scoop them up soon because i may not be able to talk myself out of buying another cute blanket!

  1. stem baby cardigan: this cozy sweater would look great on a boy or girl. i like the oversized buttons and the “elf” style hood. on sale for $25.
  2. stem baby triangle blanket: oh my. this blanket would be perfect in our little boy’s camp-themed room. the orange, turquoise, and grey stand out as a cheerful yet gender neutral color combo. on sale for $30.
  3. tiny toms: toms shoes get even cuter as they get smaller. these crochet lace ones would be lovely on a little girl. on sale for $30.
  4. wooden porcupine: i worked at a children’s toy store in college, and we sold tons of wooden toys. they’re durable and families tend to use them for years and hand them down to younger siblings. on sale for $17.
  5. baby age blocks: it’s popular for moms to document their babies’ ages with stickers or patches. these wooden blocks are a cute alternative! on sale for $26.

collage by me. images via nordstrom.


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