toddler boy room

I have been working on this sweet room bit by bit over the past year or so. Knowing that when Theo arrived Hudson would move to his “big boy room,” and Theo would move into the nursery. And now we have all made the transition and it really does feel like his special space.

Because he doesn’t have an opinion about his room yet, I tried to make it feel like a nice bedroom rather than a traditional “kid’s room.” We have a lot of out-of-state family, so I wanted to be able to offer two guest rooms at times if necessary.

I thought once we had Hudson’s bookshelves, tent and stuffed animals in here that it would feel like his space and it definitely does. The only other thing I’ve considered changing is the fan, but this room is a converted attic space so it does need that circulation. The fan works well, so for now it stays!

little boy bedroomblack and white throw pillowdockatot tentghost bookshelvesblack bedside tabledecorative wooden bowlballard designs benchtoddler boys roompottery barn slipcovered chairtoddler piggy bankbig boy room

photos by Allie Murray

bed | comforter | bench | black dressers | lamps | circle art | roman shades | spotted pillows | slipcovered chair | floor lamp | floor baskets | black and gold lamp | tent | cushion | acrylic shelves | sheepskin

You can find more blog post home tour content in the “home tour” category of this site. I’ve shared room by room as they’ve become complete!

Thanks so much for reading – XO –

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garden peonies

– peonies cut from the yard –

baby brezza advanced

– splurging on the Baby Brezza Advanced, not sure if it’s worth it yet… we will see –

bodies are cool book

– a sweet book for the kids recommended by Amy Schumer –

 

black and white gallery wall

– adding the first photo with Theo to the gallery wall –

diamond trellis

We made it to the weekend, my friends. This week was a challenging one, so seeing it come to a close makes me proud that we’ve made it and are on the other side.

I was on my own with the boys for the second time while Christian was traveling, and it happened to be during a week when all the high schools and University were coming to a close. Meaning all my usual helper gals were unavailable. So I was both working and playing single mom. But we can do hard things! And I am always amazed at how much we can accomplish when we know it’s the only route. One thing at a time, and here we are… all still alive, healthy and smiling. I’m going to call that a mom win.

The heat has seriously spiked in Georgia this week. Next week looks better, but yowza. This is our third summer back in the South and each time I’ve forgotten how outrageously hot it gets. Mama needs to start saving for a pool.

Last weekend both Christian and I worked on pressure washing the patio and getting it ready for all of the time we expect/hope to spend outside. I’m on the hunt for a new rug, and when it arrives I plan to share a full patio reveal, which I’ve never done! I will also be sharing Hudson’s big boy room reveal next week. He’s been sleeping in a queen bed for the past few weeks and doing so well! It’s allowed Theo to move into the nursery and we are all sleeping so much better. I am so proud of Hudson. He is a classic oldest child, handling transitions so well.

We enjoyed this lemon chicken pasta salad this week. It was so good – a great summer dinner recipe! I plan on making this spicy vodka pasta recipe this weekend. A house favorite. Has anyone cooked anything lately worth sharing? I’m always on the hunt for some fresh recipes.

Lastly, ever since the website redesign launched, those who are subscribed to receive new content by email haven’t been receiving any emails. That was *hopefully* fixed yesterday, so I’m crossing my fingers and toes that if you are a subscriber you’re seeing this in your inbox! I’m toying with the idea of creating some exclusive content for subscribers. Let me know in the comments if you’d be into that.

Thank you so much for reading and I hope everyone has a beautiful weekend – XO –

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One of the most frequently asked mom questions I’ve received since Theo was born is, “what products or items are you using this time around that you didn’t use with Hudson?” Truthfully, I shared in the May Q&A that there isn’t much.

We haven’t made any big purchases this time and have enjoyed the same items we used with Hudson. But there are a few new things in the mix…

To shop, click directly on the item or find its associated number below the collage.

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A lot of these items you’ll also see in my original newborn favorites post here, but because it is still a frequently asked question, I wanted to share again!

I prefer glass and silicone bottles. I bought these burp cloths for Hudson and they remain a favorite – so, so soft.

This bouncer was a must with Hudson (so lightweight and easy to take places), so this time we added this sweet toy bar. We used the Doona car seat and stroller in one with Hudson and it is a lifesaver. A MUST for our family. I’ve loved this stroller fan for both boys too!

My friend encouraged me to buy this swaddle after I shared Theo was too long for most small baby swaddles. It’s been great! I don’t know why it’s as expensive as it is… but it’s now the only swaddle he sleeps in, so fine. I also bought this pillow this time around. At night time Theo sleeps swaddled and flat, but for naps, we use this little pillow and he seems to like it.

We got a second Miku monitor and now have one in each boy’s room. I love being able to check on them from wherever I am. Even when we’re traveling, we’ll creep on the Miku to watch them be put down at night. We also have this monitor so babysitters can easily watch both kids.

I love this 2-in-1 body wash and shampoo for Hudson (we still use it on him), as well as the lotion. I’ve also used Necessaire lotion for both boys and it’s great too. A new item is this inflatable cloth newborn and infant bath float. Theo loves baths and is so content floating around on this thing. I always laugh because he looks like he’s floating along a lazy river. It will be great to bring on vacation and trips as well because it can pack so small.

We use this play gym daily for tummy time. Hudson loves it too!

That’s it for now. If you had a newborn item you really loved, I’d love to hear it! Thanks so much for reading and you can find more family content in the menu under “family.” XO –

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black sconce

sconce | scarf frame | console – no longer available | record boxes – vintage, similar style here | ottoman | similar bowl | similar beads | art easel | art c/o Barrett Ervin

Any recommendations for a black maxi dress? Oddly hard to find one.

Loving this one, this one and this one.

What do you ask for when you cut your hair?

I usually ask for a blunt cut with some minimal face-framing layers. This time she added some other long layers around to try to get it to hold waves more easily. We’ll see how it goes!

What are you loving for summer fashion this year?

I’m considering splurging on this dupe bag (original here). It’s genuine leather and the reviews are amazing. I think the bright green would be so fun – I’m trying to bring in some bright color for summer.

I don’t know if the neon trend is for me… but I do love some color in the warm months.

Favorite self-tanner for body and face?

Lately I’ve been mostly using Tan Luxe and Trish McEvoy drops. Love how easy they are (and don’t have as strong of a smell as other self-tanners).

Favorite undergarments?

I shared an undergarment-themed post here, but as of lately…

Favorite bras: Tommy John, Third Love and True & Co

Favorite underwear: Hanky Panky, Tommy John and Chantelle

Favorite shapewear: Spanx

Any recommendations for a strapless bra or backless bra?

My favorite strapless bra is this one (currently sold out in nude, I hope they’ll restock!) and I use these nipple covers.

Favorite sunscreen?

I love Supergoop!

Favorite ponytail holders? 

I use thin velvet ones like this.

It’s hot in the South but I want to look cute all summer. Help!

I try to stick to cotton and linen – whether that’s dresses, loose linen pants, etc. Focus on the fabrics and wearing loose materials.

I have this linen dress and love it. This linen dress is a splurge but gorgeous in person. You can see it styled here!

I also have these pants (I sized up one size for a looser fit), and they’re great.

Favorite accessory for spring/summer?

I’m really looking forward to wearing this dupe bag this summer and I splurged on these chunky heels. Can’t wait to wear them!

Any makeup favorites you’re loving right now?

I’m very into Bobbi Brown foundation, loving this undereye concealer and Lawless blush.

Any recommendations for high-waisted, wide leg, off white pants for this summer?

I love these pants and these jeans – have both and they’re great.

What’s your #1 beauty product you can’t live without?

This is tough! I’m tempted to say this chapstick or this balm, but I might also say a great facial oil like this one. You can use it for your body or face and it’s super versatile.

Everyday summer sandal?

I recently got these and love them. I also love these and these.

decorative beads

BABY/MOM QUESTIONS:

Gift idea for a second time mom?

My favorite gifts I’ve received for Theo are personalized pouch bags (like this or this), personalized hooded bath towels and a family friend always gives us a tree from Seeds of Life. With Hudson we recieved a magnolia tree that’s now at least six feet tall and for Theo we received an oak tree!

What are your favorite baby bottles?

I try to only use glass and silicone bottles. My favorite glass bottles are these and these are my favorite silicone ones!

What are some changes you’ve made in terms of approach, gear, etc. from baby #1 to #2?

Not much. We are using all of the same gear (this car seat/stroller as well as this one), no new purchases thus far. Theo is in the same nursery with very few changes. Same baby carriers (this one and this one). Same baby monitor. Still operating by the Moms on Call books and schedules… I don’t personally feel the need to reinvent the wheel!

I did buy this swaddle this time because Theo is too long for most swaddles. And we bought a toddler riding board for our stroller.

You can find my favorite newborn products and why here. I still stand by these items!

black art easel

Thank you so much for reading and for submitting your questions! June’s Q&A might be entirely shopping-related because there were a lot of those this time. Love it! XO –

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Boy oh boy – is it really already swimsuit season? I remember summer of 2020 I wasn’t super comfortable in my skin being in swimwear post-November 2019 birth of Hudson. So now 2022, two months after having Theo? I’m going to have to find the courage within to throw self-doubt out the window and remind myself that every body is a swimsuit body.

And I made two humans in less than 2.5 years. So I need to cut myself a break.

ANYWHO, let’s get into some swim-themed favorites this week! To shop, click directly on the item or find its associated number below the collage.

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Over the years I’ve realized that investing in coverups you love is KEY. I used to pay more attention to the swimsuit than the coverup but truthfully, I live with a sarong around my waist or a loose dress over the swimsuit. Even more so now that I’m leaning over and bending down all the time with these babies.

So I am loving this dress and this one. I also think this caftan is super versatile. A coverup doesn’t have to be advertised as a “coverup.” You can just layer a cute dress over and maximize the piece by being able to wear it during non-swim days also.

I love a chic one-piece and this one has become a classic. I love the bust line of this one, and the ruching on this one makes it a flattering pick. This Amazon suit is a major hit – I have two colors!

I love a visor. I have this hat and love it. Also lusting after these sunglasses and this fun pair!

If you have any swim favorites for this summer, do share them with the class. Especially coverups and sandals! Thanks so much for reading – XO –

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black and white ottoman

This post has been a long time coming! We went live with the new site design a little over a month ago but I wanted to wait to share this post until it felt really finished. Now that we are finally there, I wanted to point out a few of my favorite features of the refreshed website.

Shop Instagram | You can find the most recent six shoppable Instagram underneath the main slider hero posts at the top of the site. You can find ALL shoppable Instagram posts by clicking the three horizontal lines at the top of this site. You’ll see “Shop Around,” with Instagram links, the Amazon Storefront, as well as themed wish lists posts, etc.

Categories | The same menu as above will show you the different categorized content. Fashion, Food, Home and more.

On the homepage, you’ll find a few new sections: What I’m Loving and CBL Picks. In these sections, I’ll be highlighting both posts as well as products that are standing out to me. It will change and update throughout the weeks!

Search the Blog | You can search anything on the entire site at the top right corner of this site under “search the blog,” as well as at the bottom left of the menu.

SUBSCRIBE | You can subscribe to get new content to your inbox at the bottom of the site.

 

Other than that, you’ll always find the newest posts in chronological order. The first images you see at the top of the site only highlight three blog posts (this will change as content changes). But if you continue to scroll, past the ltk posts and “what I’m loving,” THAT is where you’ll see the most recent posts.

If there is anything I missed or more questions, please let me know! Thank you so much for sticking around. My hope is that this site is even easier to navigate with additional features that are helpful. Appreciate you guys so much – XO –

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pink katrina rose

– our Katrina Roses blooming –

long white flower

– after being pruned back too far, this Virginia Sweetspire finally coming back to life –

blackberry shrub

– the beginning of this summer’s blackberries –

water lettuce

– waiting on this teeny tiny water lettuce to spread –

bugaboo toddler riding board

– splurging on this toddler riding board (H LOVES it) –

If you can’t tell by the above, we have been spending a lot of time outside. The backyard is really starting to show off, and I am so satisfied seeing what is blooming! However, on Instagram stories, I shared a video of a HUGE black rat snake that was slithering about 8 inches from my foot (now saved in the “garden” saved stories). I was shaking head-to-toe. Apparently, snakes like fresh pine straw? Watering plants is a little less therapeutic these days…

This was one of the busiest weeks I’ve had since Theo was born. Which is only relevant because he is always with me. It’s been a while since I’ve been back at work and managing a busy schedule with a baby on board. But I’m happy to report, as I’ve said before, we can do hard things! With the help of finally leaving Theo with a sitter for the first time (other than the dear night nurse a few times a week so I can sleep longer stretches), it went pretty smoothly and I am truly relieved to say that. He is plumping up and starting to smile and engage more and more. Looking forward to eventually seeing some of his little personality.

I’m hoping to take it easy this weekend. Last weekend we had Theo’s newborn shoot and I had the boys for the first time solo as Christian was out of town. I am still recovering!

Thanks so much for reading and if anything is blooming in your yard, do share! XO –

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This week’s wish list is full of spring things I’m loving. Tees, jewelry, dresses, heels. Even a swimsuit for those already indulging. I had a kids pool day Saturday with a big $30 blowup pool. Whatever you need!

To shop, click directly on the item or find it’s associated number below the collage.

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Loving these glam statement earrings and this lightweight colorful pair. I have these in red and they really are so fun.

This swimsuit has the best range of colors. I also have this one, but the one-shoulder can create an interesting tan line.

I think this chunky statement necklace looks way more expensive than it is. Would be so fun with a spaghetti strap or strapless top!

I have this hat and love it. Also just snagged this one. Will be wearing them all spring and summer.

I just got these canvas overalls (sized up one size for a looser fit) and really love them. Also love this and this bold midi dress for summer.

I saw someone share these heels online and couldn’t believe they were under $50. So pretty and so many colors!

Hoping to share Theo’s newborn session and Hudson’s big boy room reveal soon. We photographed them Saturday and I am so thrilled with how they turned out!

Thanks so much for reading – XO –

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braided platform sandals

summer sandals that make me wildly tall –

assorted candy board

– prettiest candy spread from friends at Cle de Peau

little boy shorts

cutest shorts for Hudson from Sun House Children’s

oversized candle

– burning a new gigantic candle

black table lamp

– buying these candle holders after continuing to think about them for months –

It’s been a calm week, but even with that, the days have seemed to fly by. Something about being on this newborn three-hour window schedule… I told Christian I feel like someone is following me around with a timer in their hand, “you have 20 minutes remaining. You now have 12 minutes remaining… and stop.”

I took six weeks off work for maternity leave and it technically ends next week. I’ll be part-time in May and then hopefully back to full-time in June. Of course, I’ve spent the past three weeks working on a website redesign and on email as much as I can so… that’s on me. It was a much lighter workload at least! I’m excited to slowly get back into the swing of things. I know it will be good for my headspace and helps me to feel like “me” again. I love being Hudson and Theo’s mom and trust me, it is a JOB. The best and hardest one I have. But working is what I do for me. And I need it for a million reasons!

I thought I would take so many walks in the neighborhood during this work break but I’ve taken two… and both times Theo hated it. We are going to try again because I’m really excited to start moving my body more. Here’s to hoping!

We’ll be snapping some photos tomorrow of our new family of four… should be interesting. I’m going into it with no expectations and hoping that will help. I’m sure I’ll be sharing them here soon, God bless.

I hope you guys have a beautiful weekend and enjoy this gorgeous spring weather! XO –

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kathleen barnes family

It’s taken me a while to write this out, but I didn’t want to miss the chance to share Theo’s birth story after sharing Hudson’s here. I love reading other women’s experiences of how their children entered the world, so it feels both tender and therapeutic to write it out.

Theo’s due date was 3/19. Hudson arrived on his own 4 days early, so I was hopeful that baby #2 might do the same. However, I am usually on board to house babies until I’m 40 weeks on the nose. After that, I refuse to put in any additional time because a) I’m so uncomfortable and b) I get anxious about delivering a really big baby.

Based on that, we decided it would be most practical to schedule an induction on 3/16 (my brother’s birthday!). I thought it was close enough to the due date that we would give the baby a little more time to possibly come on their own. My brother was very excited to have a birthday buddy, and it felt realistic to try to arrange things around Christian’s schedule and childcare for Hudson.

On the morning of 3/15, I woke up around 6AM with some light cramping. Nothing too painful, but short, small cramps. I didn’t feel like I was in labor, but the first time around my contractions escalated incredibly quickly. I was determined not to have a baby in the parking lot.

I talked with Christian about what I should do, and while he offered to call his office and cancel his patients, I didn’t want him to do that. What if it was a false alarm? I told him to go to work and I’d call him if it was really time. So he headed to work at 7AM. I remember seeing him walk down the sidewalk of our home to his car, and I felt this nervous/scared wave of feelings knowing I was about to have to get Hudson ready and get my stuff in the car alone while *possibly* in labor. But as I recite to myself regularly, “I can do hard things.” Millions of women before me have done the same. I can do it too.

I called my doctor’s office around 7:30AM. Personally, I would rather be sent home than risk not being able to get the epidural before it was time to push. My birth plan has always only been: have the baby in a hospital and get the epidural. I rolled into the hospital between 8-9cm dilated when I had Hudson and it was chaotic with so many nurses and doctors around me trying to get everything ready to go asap. So I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again.

I called and spoke with a nurse. Because my cramping wasn’t consistent, they initially told me to wait. But I shared that my first came incredibly quickly so this is kind of a better safe than sorry situation. She told me to go ahead and come in and they’d check me.

barnes boys

In the next hour, my plan was to get Hudson ready for school and then drive myself to the hospital. But in that next hour, the cramping turned into what I knew were definitely contractions… so time was of the essence.

I got Hudson ready for school, stopping between putting on his socks and brushing his teeth to breathe through a contraction. I remember styling his hair while having a very painful contraction… but even on his sibling’s birthday, we had to show up coifed! As we do!

I was expecting to be induced the next day so my bags were already 90% packed, thank God. But I still had to load them all into the car while waddling, breathing through contractions and asking Hudson to be a good listener because we today we were in a hurry. I dropped him at school and the teacher asked me, “no baby yet?” to which I replied, “I’m actually about to drive to the hospital now.” She nodded, wide-eyed, and let me waddle back to the car. I was so grateful no one stopped me to ask me a question because I was laser-focused.

I parked at the hospital, left my bags in the car, and entered the hospital with my purse and lots of heavy breathing. Christian had pre-registered me (again, thank God), so I had limited paperwork to sign before going in to see if it was really go time.

She checked me and told me I was 6cm dilated (hooray!!), so I texted Christian and within 10 minutes he was by my side (a photo of us from this moment below). Both of our children have arrived four days before their due date, speedily and on their own. Little did I know that when I walked into the hospital, I was only three hours away from meeting our second son, Theodore Thorne.

newborn baby boy

Each time I’ve gotten an epidural it’s taken several tries to get it right (ouch), so I was finally able to get the medicine working around 9cm. Theo was good to me because with 10-12 pushes he was in my arms. This 7 lb. 15 oz. miracle of a human, existing only because Christian and I love each other. Speechless. The moments I’ve met our babies are some of the most surreal, incredible, miraculous, and faith-confirming moments of my life.

Because I didn’t even push for 10 minutes, my recovery was a lot easier than the first time and we chose to stay one night in the hospital before coming home. My parents had always planned on coming to Georgia the day before the induction, so thankfully they were able to arrive in time to pick up Hudson from school and keep him for us until we got home.

My mom stayed for a week and a half which was really nice as Christian went back to work the following week. As I now type this, a little over a month in, I can say that I currently think the adjustment to two hasn’t been as tough as I thought it might be. Theo is an easier baby than Hudson was, and Hudson has adjusted to him quite well. I’ve even caught him handing stuffed animals to the baby “here you go, baby” while sneaking in a little kiss.

I have to close this out by sharing the Bible verse I have prayed over Theo for months before he joined us on the outside. Psalm 139: 13-18:

“You shaped me first inside, then out; You formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God – You’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration – what a creation! You know me inside and out, You know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, You watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before You. The days of my life prepared before I’d even lived one day.”

Thank you for taking the time to read this story. I am so grateful to be on the other side of pregnancy! I sure do look forward to watching these boys become playful and loyal brothers who love and look out for each other. We are getting to know little Theo more and more each day and can’t wait to see who he is.

As so many have said, when adding to your family, your love doesn’t divide, it multiplies. XO –

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This week’s roundup is what I’ve been buying and contemplating buying… maternity leave has left me a little more time to peruse online. I’ve got to reel it in!

To shop, click directly on the item or find its associated number below the collage.

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I bought these sneakers for Hudson and they’re super easy for him to put on. Love them. I also can’t wait to get this personalized toddler robe in the mail, and we ordered this coverup for this summer.

I have two of these jumpsuits and love them. This hat is going to be my favorite this summer (and I always love this one I have). This lipstick/blush combo stick is also going to be a win for this summer.

I recently added the small and medium of these baskets for H’s big boy room, and I ordered four of these candlesticks​.

This tank just came in for summer and I think it would be so cute with a blazer like this and these sandals (worn here – I love them!). And eggshell overalls? Come on. Gimme!

Thank you so much for reading – XO –

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