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Baby Bump Brooklyn Bridge Edition {wiggles}





David and I are spending our last morning/afternoon in NYC today & have just had a blast!  I will have to say that when we first got here.. and were greeted by the below 40 degree weather, I had second thoughts about a city babymoon and was wondering why we didn't go, um, tropical... but we have seriously had the best time (which is pretty much always guaranteed anytime we are together).

One of the things we loved most was our trip over the brooklyn bridge -- cold and breezy, but way cool (especially since we just finished the best pizza in the world.. more on that next week).  

Magnolia thought it would be the perfect time for an update on how big she (meaning me) was getting.  I'm now 27 weeks!!  Thats basically 6 months.  So crazy.  The more she kicks and spins, the more I realize... I'M GONNA HAVE A BABY!  Holy Cow!


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Thanks to all my guest posters {Olivia, Tiffany, Rebecca, Lindsay, & Nicole} over the last week!  Since the burglary and getting ready for our trip (and being computer/camera-less) it has been a whirlwind!

I didn't want to miss another week of wiggles.. so please check out these AWESOME blogs!

You've Been Wiggled:

New Music:
Listen {HERE}

{If you've been wiggled today or in the past, head to the wiggle page, pick up your badge, and check out the other blogs and music on the list... and as always, leave me a comment with your blog and music suggestions!}

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Travel Bucket List :: Guest Post, La Mia Vita

I have been so lucky to have traveled all over the United States, Mexico, all over Europe (Italy, Czech Republic, Ireland, Austria, France, Croatia, London, Germany, Spain) and the US. Virgin Islands.
{Rome}
{Amsterdam}
{Paris}
{Croatia}
{Hawaii}
{Chicago}
{US Virgin Islands}

While I have traveled a lot, my travel bug never rests and I have made a traveling bucket list. 
A list of things I want to do/see/go to before I kick the bucket!


live in paris or prague and teach english
rent a boat/yacht and ride along the french riveria
get a massage on the beaches of tailand
see all 7 wonders of the world
go on an african safari
zip line through the costa rica rainforest
learn spanish in spain
lay on the beaches of fiji
stay at an all inclusive resort in cancun
float in an eternity pool on the greek islands


thanks for having me Blair and safe travels!

dogs in the city :: guest post, the daily muse



to preface this post you should know that the hubs and i moved from nashville to nyc over 2 years ago (green hills, holla!). how ironic that i'm posting for blair today as she is gallivanting around the city right this very minute.

before nyc, we would let sam wiggins (the movie star) romp in our backyard to do his business like every other dog owner we knew.

oh backyards.... sigh. don't get me wrong. i have a backyard. i just share it with 8 million other new yorkers and we collectively call it central park.

now i do the "hover over your dog with poop bag in hand pose." i may or may not do that pose in pj pants on my block.

it's the law u know. to pick up your dog's poop. classy.

it's also courteous to "curb your dog." which politely means... don't let your dog crap in the middle of the sidewalk.

sam wiggins likes to curb it wherever he pleases. mostly directly in front of luxury doorman buildings. he was born in the south, after all.

i swear a comedian should do a seinfeld-esque skit on this topic. it would dominate.

want to hear more of my ramblings? visit me at the daily muse.

unplug :: Guest post, Aisle to Aloha

Aloha Wild and Precious readers! I'm Lindsay from Aisle to Aloha! I'm excited to be guest posting for Blair today, but oh so sad to hear about the break-in at their house last week.

The break-in at David and Blair's place did make me think though. I'm sure it is stressful, inconvenient and frustrating to be without a computer and camera, but man, I'd imagine it's gotta be freeing too!

I realized the other day when I threw a little tantrum after my computer froze up and the rainbow wheel appeared, that I need a break. A break from the computer, from technology. These days, we are so plugged in-- blogging, tweeting, emailing, facebooking. One of the first things I do when I roll out of bed in the morning is pad over to the computer and check my email, my twitter, my blog comments. I love what I do and I'll be among the first to tell you that the people I have met through my blog and Etsy shop have become real, true friends.

But sometimes, ya just gotta unplug.



So this weekend, I'm unplugging. I mean, I live in Hawaii! And it's been far too long since I've taken my breakfast outside in the warm morning sunshine, or walked through my neighborhood and collected plumeria. Ooh, I may even grab a Starbucks cinnamon dolce latte and read through the magazine rack at Borders. Or catch a movie by myself! (I'd take my husband with me, but he's deployed in the middle of the Pacific somewhere.)


How will you unplug this weekend?

The Big Apple!


{photo by Hernan Seoane}

A quick hello from me.  Thank you SO much for everyone's kind words and support over the break in we had this past Sunday.  An especially huge thank you to Oliva and Tiffany for posting earlier this week!  I've still got a couple more gracious guest posters coming up over the next few days (since I have not been able to prepare posts for while i'm in the big apple next week).  I've definitely missed having my computer and personal time at home to be able to visit all y'alls sweet blogs -- but know that I am so thankful for each of you and hope to get caught up on your worlds soon!

Even with all the mess around me right now, David and I are still super SUPER excited to be headed to NYC for our 4th Anniversary/Babymoon trip!  We'll be staying in my sweet cousin's condo on Broadway (thank you Leslie!!) and have lots of fun things planned -- the met, central park, the guggenheim, regis & kelly, jimmy fallon, ground zero, magnolia cafe... we haven't had time to really "plan" let alone think about things, but we are hopeful to make it all work once we get there.  Also hoping to catch a broadway show!

I'm bringing a little onesie with me in the hopes of getting it signed by Regis, Kelly, Jimmy, and their guests.  I'm realizing it may be a long shot, but it's worth trying!

Although I'll miss my little canon s90 on the trip, we do have David's work camera and a borrowed lens, so I am  excited about hopefully catching some sweet shots -- i'll be sure to share them upon our return.

lots of questions for y'all today:
Are there any tips I should know about flying at 6 months pregnant?  
Any special travel secrets I should know about the big apple?
Any good gossip magazines you suggest I read on the plane?
Tips for eating on the cheap in NYC?

We're headed out EARLY tomorrow morning! Can't wait!
(hopefully the robbers don't return!)
xo,
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Me & my Bike :: Guest Post, Dancing Branflakes

Me and my bike have gone through a lot.  Balmy Summer nights, crisp Autumn mornings and rainy Winter afternoons (thank goodness for my chic vendors to prevent splash up). What we have yet to experience is the beautiful Spring that paints my neighborhood in pinks, whites, purples, and greens. 


This is my bike, sans basket.  All bikes deserve a basket.

Tomorrow we will ride together with my camera.  We will take photos of all the wonderful flowers then pick those flowers and place them in my basket.  We will inhale the sweet fragrance of Magnolias and Cherry Blossoms and stealthily, quietly, and quickly watch as the world around us experiences another rebirth.



Just me and my bike.
I have a feeling that Spring is the perfect season for bikes.


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visit me over at Dancing Branflakes


What Life is Waiting for You? :: Guest Post, For Me

hi friends! olivia here from For Me.  i'm visiting for the day while Blair's computer is MIA :( {although that sounds like a nightmare I bet we could all admit that it also may be very freeing!!}

i've seen this print (as I am sure many of you have) floating around the blogosphere:



I have been thinking a lot about this lately and feel like God has taught me just this regarding His plans for our life. I'm one of those girls who always has a plan. I always know what my next move, I always have my Saturday planned out by Thursday. While this can be great in some ways, it doesn't leave a ton of room for the unplanned.

This same struggle has been apparent in my relationship with the Lord. My favorite verse when I was in high school was Proverbs 3:5-6

"Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight"

I always loved it and lived by pieces of it but it wasn't until this past December that I truly understood what it meant. I had to learn that if I kept planning my next move I was not leaving any room for God to work in my life or to make my plans for me. What I was really faced with is that I wasn't fully trusting in the Lord. I was scared of letting go, and what I learned was that if I kept on planning my own life, God's BETTER plan for my life would never get to flourish.


In December I quit my job. Straight up quit (although I was very unhappy in it, this is the most UNLIKE me thing for those who know me). I am so blessed to have a very supportive husband who helped encourage me to chase my dreams. We both knew that if I didn't quit I would never have forced myself to follow those dreams.

I am now in the process of starting my own business and I've NEVER been happier. I am so glad that I decided to let go of my plans and allow the room for better and new ones to come in!

what do you feel like you could let go right now in your life? maybe there is something greater waiting for you if you do :)

Cops & Robbers

W to the H to the A to the T!!!  WHAT???  Seriously, what's with robbing someone on the most beautiful day of the year thus far at 2:00 on a Sunday afternoon??

I was excited to share pictures of the weekend with 3 of my college bffs -- including pics from my first (surprise) baby shower... but alas, the robber is now enjoying them (hopefully not too much).

Things are gone -- really frustrating.  But - God is good and they are just things.  He has and will provide.  However, please still pray for wisdom and peace of mind for us as well as for David's work as all his stuff was on the computer we lost.


Photo uploaded from my phone since the thief is now enjoying my cannon... CSI seriously came to my house... made a MESS fingerprinting and everything... more stories to come I guess, but I think I've hijacked my neighbor's computer long enough.

Gonna go sleep.

If anyone is up for guest posting this week while I'm computer-less... shoot me an email.  I know it's way last minute, but would love the help.

xo,
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For Japan, With Love


Apathy only prolongs disaster.  Take Action.  Sometimes it can feel like we have nothing to offer.  But we always have something -- even as simple as offering a glass of water can lead a person to prosperity.



Tomorrow I am participating in the blogger day of silence For Japan, with Love (organized by utterly engaged & ever ours).  Uniting together, bloggers all over are raising money for Japan through Shelter Box USA which gives families a large, green ShelterBox containing a disaster relief tent for an extended family, blankets, water storage and purification equipment, cooking utensils, a stove, a basic tool kit, a children’s activity pack and other vital items tailored to this disaster.

There is no minimum donation amount.  Every $ counts.  Do what you can, with love, for Japan.

Donate HERE.

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Wiggles {I'm not Irish}





 {1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8}

I'm not Irish... (hey, neither was St. Patrick!) and I've never been to Ireland, but I can still love me some green.  It's not my favorite of all colors, but for some reason, I feel like my closet is full of it (maybe that means it is my favorite color?).  While my closet is not full of these items, I drooled a little bit while pretend shopping in my magical online anthropolgie store that makes everything I click on appear before me free of charge...  

Speaking of St. Patrick - what's the deal with green beer?  I'm quite unclear how the holiday became what it is today... I mean, do you know the real story of St. Patrick? (however, as a banned beverage, I would really like a beer right now, even if it is unnecessarily tinted green).

anywhoo...  some "Wednesday" Wiggles for you (sorry my hormones got in the way yesterday):

New Music:
(can't believe i haven't wiggled this nashville boy yet!)
Listen {HERE}

Blogs You'll Love:
You've been Wiggled!

{If you've been wiggled today or in the past, head to the wiggle page, pick up your badge, and check out the other blogs and music on the list... and as always, keep sending me your blog and music suggestions!}
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Tips for New (and maybe even old) Bloggers

While I don't consider myself an expert blogger, I have been around the block or two.  This little blog has gone through many many changes.  Some for the good.  Some for the worse.  And even more than the physical appearance of this blog has morphed, my blogging style has changed all the more -- from what I blog about, how often, my commenting consistency, my tastes, frequency, opinions... it's all always changing.  Anywhoo, with all that, I thought I would do a little follow up to Rhi's (heygorg.com) "How to be a better blogger" post by sharing some tips/secrets to fueling your blog and keeping smiles on faces...

portlandbrew
{what this blog looked like circa july 2010}
{1} On Giveaways...

These are not a necessity, obviously, but they are a fun way to display your style and the things you enjoy while at the same time helping small business owners and the handmade world.  With giveaways, start small -- don't bite off more than you can chew.  Take time to talk with the giveaway partner to make sure the giveaway is mutually beneficial.  Don't do giveaways for the sole purpose of gaining more followers.  The point is to highlight the artist/company.  However, don't get me wrong -- giveaways are a great way to thank your followers for, well, following... so it's okay to make being a follower a requirement.  But don't forget to switch things up from time to time and leave things open to everyone.  

Helpful tips:  
* Add numbering to your comments (find out how here) and then use random.org to select the winner.
* Index your giveaway!  There are several sites and other blogs that exist for the sole purpose of spreading the news about giveaways and thus help drive traffic to both your blog and the creative person you are showcasing.  A few of my favorites are:


{2} On Photos...

Photos are great and help catch the eye and set the tone for a post -- but don't feel pressured to pick the perfect one, or even one at all.  Variety is the spice of life and sometimes, variety includes using no picture at all!  However, when you do use a picture that is not your own, always ALWAYS source it.  Unless it is a stock photo from google, it usually means it has come copyright attached.  Even pictures used from popular sites like tumblr or weheartit.com... those pictures all came from someone who may or may not have given permission for them to be shared.  If you find a picture you like on one of those sites, try to source it back to the original artist.  At the very least, acknowledge that it isn't yours and where you found it.  I for one enjoy a picture much more if I can follow a link to it's origin.  If taking pictures from flickr -- ALWAYS ask permission before using.  Not only does flickr require it in it's terms of use, but the artist will appreciate it.  Don't be stuck up like I was once and think you are flattering the person by using their photo, it is still their right to decide where it can go.  Also, don't think they will never find out -- that is selfish, and... they can tell where their photos show up (gotta love technology)... I am calling the kettle black here - I've been "that girl" and I've learned my lesson.

{3}  On Making Friends...

Imitation may be the "greatest form of flattery," but only if you ask first!  If you like someone's post or layout and want to adopt something similar for your own, take a couple of seconds to ask first.  For example, I asked Rhi if she minded that I did a follow up to her post (she of course is super cool and was totally fine with it).  If you are about to do something "new" on your blog, take a couple minutes to make sure it is an original idea.  Sometimes I know imitation can honestly be by mistake (you know like that brady bunch episode where bobby heard greg singing a new song as he was falling asleep and when he woke up he thought he wrote it...) or that sometimes great minds really do just think alike.  There are a lot of things/ideas out there that don't technically belong to anyone... Wordless Wednesday for example.  But I think we all know when we are pushing the limits of infringing on someone else's originality.  There are a lot of blogs out there, why be like everyone else?

* Be a guest!  Guest posting is fun and can be mutually beneficial and enjoyable for you, the blog host, and both sets of readers.  Don't over ask, but don't be afraid to ask either.  Always remember that if someone is guest posting for you, that is your honor and their favor -- not the other way around.  If someone has asked you to guest post, chances are that they like your style... you don't have to conform to their blog style, just be yourself and ask the same for people posting for you.  If you are the host, make sure to give plenty of link backs to the guest's blog.

* Read Rhi's post -- these tips will help keep things friendly.

{4} On keeping a blog...

This is the most important thing I think I can share with you.  Check in with your self from time to time.  How much time are you spending in front of the computer screen?  How much time are you spending commenting on other people's blogs just so they will come back and comment on yours?  Are your posts displaying your personal style/interest/opinions, or are they displaying only what you believe your readers would rather see?

Growing a blog is so much fun -- and even you who are new to blogging already know how addicting it can be.  It is so easy to get lost in this fanciful world.  Determine what you are willing to sacrifice to make your blog what you think it needs to be.  Set reasonable goals.  Don't be a slave to the numbers.  Maybe even take the time to write yourself a little mission statement that includes why you blog and how you intend to carry that reason out.  Make it and then hold yourself accountable.  Ask another person to help keep you accountable.  Live your life for you, don't live your life for the next blog post.  I learned all this the hard way (read my "true confession of a blogaholic" here).

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Thats all this girl has for today folks... although, let me (and/or Rhi) know if there are other things you wonder about... I'd be happy to give my opinion... but just remember that anything I say is merely that -- an opinion... there are in fact no real rules to blogging.  Find your way and just do it & enjoy it!

xo,

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Uncle John goes to the zoo...


I'm sorry, but um... how cute is he?!  That's David's Uncle John and I love him to pieces!  Such a joy, so full of life, such a dear sweet one!  We had so much fun at the zoo... (please excuse the Lemur's crudeness in the last picture... mooning the camera)!

Next time I go to the zoo... crazy to think -- I'll be pushing a stroller!!  Can't wait to take Magnolia!

What kind of fun did y'all get into this weekend?
Are you a zoo goer?  Favorite zoo animal?
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this and that

Friday Flowers
{via}

a few bits of random for you this friday...

*  Excited to be partnering with CSN (the store with everything for your home from decorative lighting to baby furniture)  for another fun review... I'll keep you posted!

*  So excited for David's family to be coming up tomorrow, including Uncle John -- this handsome young fella!  Can't wait!  

*  In case you missed it, you've GOT to read this post by my sweet friend Rhi over at Heygorg.com - How to be a better blogger.  Everything she says -- I full heartily agree with!  Great tips for all bloggers to keep in mind! (although, we all break them from time to time, I'll be the first to admit)

*  Praying for all you living on the coasts out there, domestic and abroad.  If you have specific prayer requests - send them over!

Happy weekend everyone!  What are your plans?
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Wiggles {duckies}



Found these while looking through some old photos and they made me so happy (centennial park duck feeding circa May 2008).  Can't waited to be greeted by the sweet gift spring brings of new life!
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Wednesday Wiggles

new music:
listen {HERE}

you've been wiggled:

{If you've been wiggled today or in the past, head to the wiggle page, pick up your badge, and check out the other blogs and music on the list... and as always, keep sending me your blog and music suggestions!}
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Fat Tuesday King Cake {guest post :: Elleinad Spir}

Today is Fat Tuesday, thereby marking the beginning of Mardi Gras. Although I am not in New Orleans, I still wanted to get in on the fun. When Blair asked me (hi...Danielle from Elleinad Spir) to guest post here on her amazing site, I thought that today was the perfect time. Mardi Gras is all about celebration. For me, Blair's blog is a celebratory place. We come here to enjoy her words, get lost in her stories and experience her joy.

The traditional cake for Mardi Gras is a King Cake....but that wasn't what I made. Sorry to all those traditionalist out there. I wanted to work with colored cake batter and, well...just have some fun.


Yes..those are Christmas Monkey PJs and it's March. Please don't judge.

Bonham and I mixed up some store bought white cake, then split it into three bowls. We died one green, one yellow/gold and one purple. These are the traditional Mardi Gras colors...purple to represent justice, green for faith and gold for power. These would have made great layered cupcakes, but I thought a cake was more fitting. I filled my very well greased bunt pan with each layer.

Once cooled I drizzled thinned out vanilla cake frosting over the top. I went store bought here too. I wanted it to be thicker than a glaze, but not a true frosting. I added water a few tablespoons at a time until I reached the consistency I wanted. In hindsight, the frosting was too thin and the cake was still too warm when I frosted it. I wanted it to stay white and it didn't, it soaked into the cake more than I wanted. I tried for a second layer that helped some, but next time I'll know better. Remember please...I am an at home baker! Not a professional by any means!!



A few sprinkles on top...Bonham's favorite part. I skipped the plastic baby...well, because it's kind of creepy to add a plastic baby to a cake right? Actually, it's all in good fun, I just didn't have one. I should have found some beads and doubloons though. Thanks to the new Disney Junior show, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Bonham thinks gold doubloons are way cool.

As they say in NOLA...
Laissez les bon temps rouler



Thank you Blair for having me here today. I hope a few years from now you and baby girl will make this fun cake and think of us.

Justin Beiber made me cry

Friday afternoon David and I were tackling a rather larger pile of dishes and I decided I needed a little music to help get the job done.  What did I pick?... Justin Beiber, "Baby."  Feel free to laugh -- but just remember that I have a pre-pre-pre-pre-pre-teen inside of me and she is the one that picked the song.  Well before I knew it, dishes were not being done, but instead a ridiculous mom & belly dance incurred.  Please take a minute here to picture me in my kitchen, hands on my belly, swaying side to side, shaking my booty, and doing all sorts of crazy awesome dance moves.  I actually worked up a pretty good aerobic heart rate!  Well sometime between my jazz moves and my disco moves, my eyes began to well up a bit as I imagined dancing with Magnolia in a couple years -- instead of holding my belly, holding both her little hands and just jumping and swinging around together to the newest teeny-bopper song (or by that time, maybe a retro-beiber song).

When we first got pregnant, this was one of the first visions/daydreams I had about our little baby -- and why I really think deep down I knew what I would be having.  I'm so excited to meet our little one face to face, to hold her hands in mine, to dance and be silly together, kiss her little nose...  4 months seems so far away (and yet not long enough).



My belly is definitely a noticeable pregnancy bump now.  People are no longer shy about it (as in, "Is it a baby or have you just gained weight?") they just come right out and ask when I'm due.  Or, even better -- I got my first free cup of yogurt goodness at Sweet CiCi's on Saturday... I didn't even have to say, "hey i'm with child," they just gave it to me!  (p.s. if you didn't know -- buy one get one free at Sweet CeCe's if you are preggers!)  Also this weekend, Magnolia has really begun to kick.  All day yesterday she was just dancing around in there.  Hubby got to feel her a lot plus my high school bible study girls all got to feel her too.  Loving it!

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