green midi dress

Several of you brought it to my attention that finding nursing-friendly clothes can be a challenge.  So when I saw this green midi dress that is both maternity and nursing friendly, I thought it might come in handy throughout the upcoming months!

I am linking several similar style dresses below that are not maternity/nursing specific for those of you not in this wheelhouse.  Know that I haven’t forgotten about all my girls who are not rocking a bump this fall and winter.  I got you.

And if you don’t have a pair of python booties for this season – girl.  Get onboard!  I snagged these last year as well as a knee-high version from Zara that I had taken in at the calf in San Francisco.  I had no idea that python boots and booties would be all over the interwebs this year!  I’m so glad to see it.  Along with leopard, they really act as such a neutral yet amp up any simple outfit.  Chic!

maternity bodycon dresswelden handbag32 weeks pregnantmarc fisher python bootiesgreen bodycon dresswelden handbagnursing friendly dressgeorgia theaterathens georgia theater

photos by Viva Lux Photography

dress, also love this one and non-maternity versions here and here | booties, also love these | bag (sold out), also love this one and look for less here | sunglasses – under $15 | hoop earrings

Thanks so much for reading, and if you have any nursing-friendly favorites I’d love to hear! XO –

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isabella oliver maternity

shirt (wearing a 1) | denim (ordered my usual size)

I shared all about the first trimester in our baby announcement video here, but now that I’m 31 weeks I wanted to recap the second trimester (week 13-26) with how I felt, what I learned and so on!

How am I feeling?

I’ve felt really great for the majority of this pregnancy and I do not take that for granted.  I didn’t suffer from morning sickness, I slept great until about 29 weeks (this pregnancy pillow and more frequent prenatal pilates has cured that!), and it wasn’t until about 30 weeks that I noticed myself feeling more tired and a little slower than usual.  But overall I still feel pretty good!

How are the body changes?

This has been one of the most interesting parts for me.  So many women love their pregnant bodies and don’t care about the weight gain.  They can happily embrace the changes.

Me?  I just don’t really feel like myself.  Because I’m not!  I’ve been within the same 10 lbs since high school.  I’ve been the same height since I was in the 9th grade, so my body has never fluctuated that much and therefore this is my first experience looking in the mirror and thinking… “who dis?”

Getting dressed is not only usually one of my favorite things but also, it’s my job.  So putting on something that fit two weeks ago and no longer does is bound to be a little frustrating.

BUT I know when I meet this little boy it will be worth everything, and I’ll thank him for being such an easy pregnancy!

Traveling in the Second Trimester

I get why people say to travel in your second trimester.  I was lucky to feel pretty great in my first trimester, but not telling people you’re pregnant and having to come up with reasons you’re not drinking or asking the waiter 47 questions about the way things are cooked is annoying.

Second trimester you have a little bump but nothing too big that feels uncomfortable.  You can openly share you’re pregnant and justify asking about pasteurized cheeses at restaurants, and the back pain hasn’t set in yet.  I am so glad we traveled so much during the second trimester because Christian can’t get me to go anywhere now.  Anytime he suggests going away for the weekend I’m like… no thanks!


Honestly, I’ve been eating the same.  I find that I’m starving in the mornings and I alternate between Greek yogurt, a banana with some peanut butter or a bowl of cereal.  The bananas do seem to help with all the leg and foot cramps I’ve gotten throughout the past few months.

Weight Gain

I found this chart early on that has been really helpful to me.  You type in your height and pre-pregnancy weight and it tells you week by week a range of weight you should be in if you want to gain 25-35 lbs.  I’ve been using it from the beginning and as long as I’m in that window range for my week, I don’t stress!

Biggest Pregnancy Pet Peeve

Ok, I’m going to try to say this in the nicest way possible.  But when someone is pregnant, please never, ever, EVER start a sentence with, “you just wait.”  Because whatever comes after it, I probably don’t want to hear.

“You just wait, a little boy will be climbing those bookshelves in no time!”

“Enjoy that sleep now because you just wait – you’re not getting any once he’s here!”

“Maternity clothes is one thing but you just wait, nursing clothes are even more of a nightmare.”

You can accomplish the same thing in a more positive way by saying something like, “congratulations! Parenthood is such an adventure, I’m so excited for you guys to experience it.”

When someone has a big baby bump, showering them with “you just waits” about how much harder, exhausting and sleepless their future might be isn’t exactly the encouragement they probably need.  Let’s focus on more of the positives!!

Any new journey is going to come with challenges, but it’s also going to bring great rewards.  Most first-time parents are already a little terrified internally, so freaking them out with horror stories is the opposite of what they most likely need to hear.

Maternity Buys 

So far I’m really loving the below:

Maternity Faux Leather Leggings

Pregnancy Pillow

Maternity Jeans 

Maternity Spanx

Maternity Exercise Leggings

Compression Socks

Stretch Mark Cream

Rent the Runway Unlimited – this has been a lifesaver

Baby Buys

We’re partnering with a dream brand of mine for baby Barnes’s nursery and piece are coming in bit by bit.  I will do a full room reveal once we have it all set up and I cannot wait!

We have chosen a carseat, stroller, breast pump, baby monitor and bassinet and those will be shared soon as well.

Other than that, I’m trying to stock up on the practical items like changing pads, wipes, diapers, bibs, burb cloths, bottles and so on.  I’m trying not to overdo it as I don’t know this little man or what he will or won’t like, so I’m sure there will be many Amazon Prime purchases once he’s here but I’d prefer not to go in too hard before he arrives and just stock up on the essentials.

Does he have a name?

We have been between two name this entire time and we will decide and then flip flop.  I am still undecided but Christian is officially leaning toward one so that might be the deciding factor.  I call him both names and love both!

31 weeks pregnant

I can’t think of anything else but I did want to post this little update and will do another one after the third trimester as well!  If you have any questions that I didn’t answer please leave them in the comments below and I can update the post.

Thank you so much for reading and for all of your encouragement! XO –

Pregnancy & Baby Updates

Announcement & First Trimester Recap

Third Trimester Recap

Third Trimester Wardrobe Tips

Pregnancy Essentials

Hospital Packing List

Newborn Essentials

Breastfeeding Update

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citizenry chairs

– my obsession with these two leather chairs from The Citizenry

ottomans | dress | heels | coffee table book | rug

baby boy bib

– the sweetest baby boy surprises from 3 Marthas

mirrored nightstand

– having my parents come in town and my Dad check out our house for the first time! –

adjustable bed base

– the remote that goes to our new adjustable bed frame that I can’t wait to get into later… oh em gee –

white fuzzy sweater

– a few new pieces from Express’s collection with Negin MirsalehiI (sweater | blazer) –

It’s Friday!  After such a wild college game weekend last weekend, I’m excited to have an off game weekend this weekend.  And my parents are in town which is the cherry on top!

This baby is due around Thanksgiving, which is Christian’s favorite holiday.  So we are planning to have not one but two “Fakesgivings” so that he can rest assured he’ll get his turkey lovin’ in.  My parents are bringing a few dishes with them, and I’ll be making the rest this Friday for a September holiday spread.  Christian’s family also will be coming in town late October for another Fakesgiving celebration as we won’t be making it back for holidays this year.  So trust me, no complaints about missing turkey & dressing will be tolerated while I’m in labor.  Christian – I hope you’re reading this!

Speaking of baby, I can’t get over the sweetest and most practical baby gifts from the fabulous ladies behind 3 Marthas.  I think so many baby gifts are sweet and many are practical, but this company manages to tackle both.  Burp cloths, bibs and sleeping gowns that are sweet without being over-the-top. A GREAT spot for gifts for family or friends who are expecting.

I also wanted to chat a little bit more about these chairs from The Citizenry.  I plan to share more about them separately in another blog post, but these chairs were made by hand in Mexico.  Each chair takes 7 days to complete, which I never forget when I look at them.  There’s also a matching stool that is gorgeous.  I just wanted to expand on the uniqueness of these pieces and why they’re so special.  I’m in love!

Now I’m off to make some pies.  We’re going with pecan and classic chocolate.  I wanted to throw in a pumpkin or sweet potato but three pies for four people felt aggressive so surely two is enough.

Hope you guys have a fab Friday – XO –

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amazon fall picks

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20

I loved hearing your own Amazon picks when I shared this post and this post, so I thought I would have a refresher with some of my most recent buys and wish list items!

These hangers were bought for baby Barnes and every time I open his closet it makes me happy.

I can’t WAIT for this pillow to come in as I’ve heard such great things!

We also just got this fancy steamer in and am so excited.  I’ve used this one forever but I knew once I had more space I wanted to get a legit big steamer.

We have this bird feeder in our backyard and I love watching the birdies visit from the kitchen window!

I added this pot colander to my life in San Francisco and love not having to clean an extra colander when I cook pasta.

Christian wanted an indoor doormat by our backyard door because its our most traveled path.  I wasn’t willing to sacrifice decor but loved the way this one looks with our existing interior.

I put this light fixture in our powder bath and love love it.

These slippers add a little bit of fun to my mornings and nights!

This pizza stone was a gift for my birthday after our last one broke, and while heavy it’s made some great pizzas so far.

This ice roller is on my wish list along with this champagne/white wine chiller.

I have metal and glass straws but just recently bought these silicone ones and they are my favorite by a landslide.  Between the silicone straws and this tumbler, I know I’m drinking so much more water because of them.  I wish I had bought them sooner!

We were waiting to buy this vacuum once we moved, and I’ve loved how much lighter weight it is.  We’re now leaving our bulkier one upstairs and using this exclusively downstairs which is so nice.

And that’s what’s on my list lately!  Would love to hear your favorite Amazon buys as of late!  Thanks so much for reading – XO –

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zebra hide rug

dress, also love this one (on sale) and this one | similar mules here and here | necklace 1, 2 | rug c/o Summerhouse, similar style here

I was a slacker in August due to our travels, but I’m back at it with our monthly Q&A!  For all the Q&A’s up to this point, just search “Q&A” in the search bar and four posts should come up.

Any maternity jean recommendations?

So I have not ventured into much maternity clothing at (almost) 30 weeks pregnant, but I do have and love these maternity spanx, these jeans and these leggings + jeans.  I really like them!

I’ve read to order your usual size in maternity clothing, and that’s what I’ve done.  It hasn’t led me astray yet!

Baby bag picks?

For now I bought this insert and hope to use it in my Goyard or Louis Vuitton Neverfull and see how that works out.

What are you registering for?

I didn’t make a registry until last week and I only put some really practical things on it.  We do have our nursery items, stroller, car seat and bassinet chosen and ordered so now we just need the little things (swaddles, bottles, diapers, wipes, etc.) that we are working on in the upcoming weeks!

I’ve had people recemmoned Lucie’s List to me.  It might be helpful to those of you trying to compile your own registry.

Any morning sickness first trimester?

I talked all about the first trimester, how I was feeling, symptoms, etc. in this post and video!

Sum of it: I was really fortunate to feel great and did not struggle with morning sickness.

What’s your nursery theme?

Super neutral with a few pops of “boy” in art and the rug.  We are hoping our nursery will remain the nursery for all of our babies and therefore want the majority of it to work for any gender.

What baby books have you read so far?

I bought Expecting Better and have read about 30 pages.  Not because it’s not great, but because we have been so busy during this pregnancy!  I also intent to purchase Moms On Call after receiving so much positive feedback about it.

I’m not stressed about reading all the books and having all the things before he is here.  I want to enjoy how mellow this pregnancy has been, and enjoy the time I have left in our quiet house just C + myself and the pets.

I know when he is here that maternal instincts will kick in and we will figure it out one day at a time!

Do you have a birth plan?

My birth plan is to have the baby as peacefully as possible with the help of an epidural and doctors and nurses.  I will do whatever they tell me to do!  And I’m really thankful to have Dr. Barnes by my side.  As well as Dr. Williams, another Dr. Williams and Dr. Adcock (and he’s a pediatrician!) a phone call away should we need them.

I will admit it makes me feel so much more relaxed as I know we have so many doctors in the family who will double check things for us in the instance we needed them to.

Where would you look for dresses for engagement photos?

It’s been a long time since I was an engaged gal but I’d recommend sorting by color at Nordstrom, Revolve, Bloomingdale’s, Shopbop, Neiman Marcus, ASOS and Rent the Runway.

And best wishes! 🙂

What’s a quote you live by?

“Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.”  Henry Van Dyke

What is something you do everyday that you think helps you be a better person?

WOW!  What a great question!  I try to keep up with a gratitude journal or sharing 3 peaks of every day over dinner with Christian.  Practicing an attitude of gratitude helps me to be a more understanding, patient and appreciative person.

I’d love to hear what you guys do!  This is such an inspiring question, right?

How did you train Bailey not to get on your furniture?

Christian started this when she was a puppy, and through disciplining her at a young age she learned that she isn’t allowed on furniture, upstairs, in or outside without being invited.  She waits for the correct command before making her move.  When you have an 85 lb. dog living in the house, they have to be disciplined.  We remind her that this is our house and Bailey and Lula live in it.  Not the other way around!

Favorite budget-friendly handbag brand?

PoleneRebecca MinkoffZac Zac PosenGigi New YorkLeatherologyParker Thatch.

What’s your home inspo?  When will we get a full house tour?

We are in our first home that really feels like an “adult” home, so I have been intentional to style it and fill it with grown-up pieces that are both beautiful and functional.

A full house tour may not come for quite a while because there are a lot more rooms in this house than we’ve ever had before (!!), but I do plan on revealing room by room in both photos and video as they are complete.

So far the closet has been shared here, and I think the breakfast room, den, nursery and dining room will be revealed in 2019.  Living room, guest bedrooms, office and master bedroom will hopefully be coming in 2020!

Do you ever feel resentful you put your career on hold to go with Christian for his job/school?

I actually feel really fortunate because I’ve never really felt this way.  Have we put other life goals and decisions on hold for his career?  Definitely.  But not neccessarily my career.

Every move was actually a positive change for my ambitions.  Moving from Mississippi to California changed the entire trejectory of my path for the better.  San Francisco was tough, but it was a time to open up more and connect with so many of you about struggles, therapy, and getting through challenges.

And now we are in Georgia in our first real “home,” and I’m able to really settle in and take on decor and renovation projects I’ve dreamt of for years.  We have really been blessed to always be able to reach for the stars while still supporting each other’s dreams.  And I know not to take that for granted!

How has your relationship changed since Christian is done with med school/residency/fellowship?

It’s amazing.  Everything people say is true – life on the other side is a dream!  He is home everyday by 6PM.  He loves his office, coworkers and staff.  He is treated with respect and he respects them.  He feels appreciated, rested and excited about his job and that happiness pours into our relationship and home.

It’s night and day.  If you’re in medical training or your s/o is, what those ahead of you say is true:  IT GETS SO MUCH BETTER.  Your life will completely change for the better in time!

Is it an odd feeling to know you’re done moving constantly and can establish roots?

It’s really the best feeling.  I’ve never been someone who enjoys constant change, and I’ve looked forward to this moment since we graduated college!  We have both worked so hard to get to the place we are now, and we are so thankful… and relieved.  So, so appreciative to be on the other side after so many years of the grind.

cognac mules

Thank you so much to everyone who submitted a question for this month’s Q&A!  You can check out March here, April here, May here and July here.

A fun video is coming tomorrow to this blog, so I hope you guys will come back and check it out!  Thanks so much for reading – XO –

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paris guide

I’ve shared blog posts from our August visit to Budapest, Vienna and Geneva, but Paris has taken me a little big longer and I apologize!

I have a much more comprehensive Paris Guide from a trip a few years ago, so while I’ll be sharing details of our trip, I also want to share some overall babymoon + Europe tips!


Hotel Regina Louvre | Christian picked this hotel because it was his first visit to Paris and he wanted a view of the Eiffel Tower from our room.  This was my third visit, but I’ve never been able to see the Eiffel from the room, so it was really special to have one of these little corner suites!

The location was fantastic, the room was beautiful (very Paris chic!), and the European buffet breakfast each morning was one of our favorites.  However I will share that for the high price tag, the bathroom was pretty outdated, the wifi was terrible and the mattress was extremely firm.  We were exhausted from walking 8+ miles everyday and Christian prefers a firm mattress anyway, so we passed out regardless.  BUT if you are a delicate sleeper or soft bedding person – it might be a dealbreaker!

Because I was still working during our two weeks in Europe, the incredibly slow wifi was really challenging.  I was still on email and had deadlines throughout the time we were there, so if you need the Internet and can’t completely disconnect… this is definitely something to note.


Girafe | This was a recommendation from you guys and did it deliver!  Definitely the most memorable and special meal of our time in Paris.  We took the Eiffel Tower photos below and then walked over for dinner (Tony Hawk was also there).  We had dinner, watched the sun go down and then saw the lights on the tower light up and sparkle… it was magical.  Plus – the food was fabulous!

They only take reservations by phone (not email or online), so I’d recommend having your concierge call on your behalf.  Request a table outside!

Cafe Angelina | A Paris must.  We had lunch here and even Christian was impressed (he’s pretty particular #surgeon).  They take recommendations and I would suggest making one so you don’t have a long wait!  They also have a mini pop-up version closet to Jardin du Luxembourg which will have a much shorter wait.

Les Antiquaires | This restaurant has such great reviews, so we walked across the river and had our last meal here.  It was fabulous and really great service.  We sat outside under little heat lamps – it was darling.

chartreuse dresswhere to stay in parisfrench fries and chocolatewhite gigi ny belt baglevis denim jacket

dress, also love this one and this one | denim jacket | belt bag | sandals | neckerchief, also love this one and this one | similar earrings here | bangles | similar sunglasses here and here

paris blue doorsbasket bucket bagpalais royal

barrette | similar sunglasses here and here | similar tee | similar skirt | sandals | bag available here (25% off)

floral storefrontcashmere wrapeiffel towersix months pregnanteiffel towerred floral maxi dress

dress, also love this one, this one (50% off) and this one | similar earrings | lip in Control

angelinas hot chocolatewhat to do in parishm maxi dress

similar dress here and here | sandals | luggage (no longer available), but love this style | belt bag | necklace


Palais Royal | We actually had so much fun hopping around the little columns and a lot of laughs.  Such an easy pop-in I always visit!

Jardin du Luxembourg | This was one of Christian’s favorite stops!  Such a gorgeous garden to stroll through, take a seat by the fountain and rest your legs.  Absolutely beautiful.

The Louvre | Ok… I have a lot of feelings about this experience.  I shared it on stories, but I’ve been to the Louvre twice before and had a lovely experience.  This experience!?  A 180.  It was hot, they significantly oversell tickets to the museum, and the staff was alarmingly rude, herding sightseeing guests like we were farm animals.  We even paid extra for a fast pass situation and it was still a hot mess.  The line for the Mona Lisa?  A scene.  Then you get to see it with a group of about 30 before being physically escorted by staff.  It was bizarre.

At least a quarter, if not more, of the exhibits were closed.  There was hardly any staff around to ask questions.  Other than the luggage drama detailed below, this was the second most mindblowing experience of the trip.

It was my third and last visit to the Louvre.  I can say that my experiences at Musée de l’Orangerie and Musée d’Orsay were lovely.  And normal.

Shops along the Seine River + Markets | I always love doing this in Paris, you can find some of the sweetest little gems!  I purchased a map of Paris and some original Babar prints for our little boy at these shops.  I can’t wait to have them framed for his nursery.

Visiting the Eiffel Tower at Night | Once the sun has gone down, be sure to stay up to watch it twinkle for the five minutes on the hour  until 1AM!


Flight Drama | We had a dramatic flight journey to Europe that spanned 26 hours from Atlanta and included losing our checked luggage for four days.  We had carryon bags, but you can only fit so much in a carryon when you’re traveling for 14+ days.  So that curveball did eat some of our exploring time.  The only reason that we even got it back is because we relentlessly worked on getting it back via the steps below.

During this process, I learned a few things:

  1. Delta International is rough.  They have it together for domestic flights, but really, really fall behind when it comes to being helpful in the International arena.  They have tons of partners and just use the “it’s not in our control” as soon as things go offtrack.  Our luggage was only lost for as long as it was because it sat with the Delta luggage office in Boston for three days and no one over there would answer the phone.  Then they sent both our bags to us… via different flights and countries.  This is my third major snafu flying internationally with them.  Even being Delta Amex cardholders and having status within the airline, it didn’t help.  Let’s just say I’ve officially learned my lesson on flying internationally with Delta.
  2. Call, call, tweet, call, tweet.  Ultimately it’s not going to move along if you don’t stay on top of it.  We spent so much of our time in Budapest on the phone, but knew if we didn’t no one would.  I’ve heard of people losing their luggage for weeks upon weeks. 
  3. Save receipts.  They’ll reimburse the items you had to purchase because of your lost luggage up to $50-$100 per person per day.  It’s annoying that you have to spend your vacation time looking for underwear and toothpaste… but it is what it is.
  4. Use AirHelp.  I have yet to use this but I plan to!  You can claim compensation for a flight delay or cancellation and see what amount of money you might be able to get back.
  5. Take a photo of your suitcases before you check your bags.  I’ve had enough lost luggage to know to do this, and it’s extremely helpful when showing people what exactly your bag looked like when it was checked in!

I nearly cried when I saw our bags – not even joking! Being both pregnant and traveling for work, the thought of spending our babymoon time in Europe trying to replace everything we needed was daunting. I don’t even know what size I was at that time, six months pregnant.  I wanted to be comfortable and I had prepared all of these pieces that I knew were available and in stock to share with you guys… but alas, we got our bags.  We made the train to our next country by six minutes thanks to an incredible driver who literally guided us all the way to our train.  And we set off for some babymoon bliss. A completely different tone for the trip once I had my own undergarments, shoes, toiletries… you ladies know how it is!

Think about your feet. | I tried not to wear the exact same pair of shoes two days in a row, and it definitely made a difference.

Ask for a non-connecting room. | I almost always remember to ask for a non-connecting room at check-in, but ask for this!  You can always hear your neighbors when the room is connecting, and it’s so much quieter when it’s not.  Honestly, those rooms should be reserved for families or larger groups anyway!

Take advantage of the concierge. | When there is a language barrier, the concierge can help you.  Especially with dinner reservations!  It also helps if you’re splurging a little bit to stay at hotel that is going to have these kinds of connections.

GoogleMaps works without Wifi. | We actually got away without using an international data plan everyday because Christian figured out within the app you can download areas of the map.  Take advantage of this!

Europeans take summer seriously. | I’ve been to Europe in summer, fall and winter, and I forgot that Europeans don’t play when it comes to summering.  Shops are closed, some areas feel super quiet and desolate – they are outta there!  We just wandered and explored so it was fine.  However, if you are going to want to do some big shopping or have your heart set on all the little boutiques, just keep this in mind.

Check your credit cards for exchange fees. | We put pretty much everything on the same credit card because it didn’t have exchange rate fees.  Those little added charges for every transaction add up and fast.

Take advantage of the European breakfasts. | Our breakfasts were included at each hotel we stayed at.  And they were such great breakfasts, often our favorite meal of the whole day!  In my experience, a complimentary breaskfast is pretty standard at most Paris hotels.  We always had a big breakfast around 9/10AM, and would grab a snack in the afternoon before sitting down again for a meal in the evening.  We love great food, but when I’m traveling, I prefer to spend my time exploring vs. sitting at a restaurant for hours. We all know Europeans do take their time.  It can be so hard to chase down a server for the check because tipping isn’t standard there!

Of course, if you prefer to linger over meals – you do you.  Just a tip for those who get ants in their pants to get going… like we do.

I hope some of these tips helped with those of you planning trips to Paris or even a babymoon in Europe!  Again, I have more things listed in this Guide to Paris I shared a few years ago.  If you have any Paris favorites, I’d love to hear in the comments so everyone can enjoy them!  You can see all of our Europe travel posts and recommendations in the “travel” category of this blog.

Thank you so much for reading and sharing – XO –

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gender reveal sign

Christian and I found out the gender of this little baby, and we were holding onto the information until we could tell our family and close friends.  SO, I’ve just been waiting to take some photos to share with you guys, and we just snapped these the other day so I could finally spill the beans!

I had a hunch around 11 weeks what the gender might be from an ultrasound in San Francisco… and I’m certainly not a sonogram expert but I actually turned out to be right!

Without further chatter, baby Barnes is a…

zebra hide rugrococo sands dressbaby announcementbig teddy beargiant stuffed bear

earrings | dress (sold out) – love this one, this one and this one | clover necklace | coin necklace | giraffe | bangles

We are having a precious little boy!  I have some videos I’ve taken and saved along the way talking about our little fellow that I’ll be sharing today on Instagram.  I think it will be really special for our oldest to be our son, hopefully being a protective big brother of his future sibling(s).

We have narrowed it down to two names and still can’t commit to one, but I’m hoping we will soon!  I have big plans for his nursery and bought him his first few pieces of clothing (other than all the hand-me-downs from his many cousins) in Paris.  Something about actually choosing and purchasing knit cardigans and pants for this little boy made it just feel all the more real.

He’s moving around every day and thankfully I’m still feeling great around the corner from the third trimester.  Most days I forget I’m even pregnant which is kind of a problem because I need to kick it into gear to prepare for his November arrival!

Thank you so much for sharing in this joy with us.  You can check out our first baby announcement here and my results to old wives tales relating to gender here.  Thank you for reading and for being a part of this incredibly special journey.  I always learn so much from you guys and am so appreciative that you choose to connect with me here on this site!  Big hugs and lots of love – XO –

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black ribbed bodycon dress

dress – sold out, similar styles here, here and here | earrings, also love these (on sale) | tea kettle

I thought it would be fun to share my results of some of these gender predictions!  These things can be so fun when you’re waiting to find out… although I had a feeling what I was having pretty early on and it turned out to be correct.

Dry or Soft Hands?

Dry (boy).


Yes – it’s awful (girl).

Carrying high or low?

Low (boy).

Major nausea?

Nope – feel lucky there (boy)!

Ring test over stomach?

Circles (girl).

Chinese calendar?


Y or U shaped vein in one of your eyes?

Left eye (girl).

Heartbeat rate?

Always fast (girl).

Mood changes?

Thankfully not so much (boy).

Mixing baking soda with urine (I know… so gross)?

No bubbles (girl).

I also did this inexpensive guesstimate Amazon test and it said girl.

SO… that leaves us at 6 to 5 girl to boy.  But none of these are 100% accurate so… what’s your guess?  I shared in last week’s Q&A that we already know and will be revealing soon!  We just told our families in July and have some friends to fill in first.

Thanks so much for reading and tell me if you did any of these tests with your pregnancy and if it was accurate for you! XO –

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alys beach

similar earrings here and here | dress (runs TTS) | bag | similar sandals (over 30% off) | lipstick in rouge muse

What are you most excited about for baby?

Seeing Christian in this person.  I think to see the love of your life in a tiny person your body created… it’s just indescribable I’m sure.

Favorite part of pregnancy?

Feeling the baby move every night – it reminds me that there really is a little person growing every day in there.  It’s crazy.

Are you finding out gender?

Yes we found out!  We recently told our families and have some close friends to tell before announcing it to the world… and I have to think of how to do it!

Do you have names picked out?

Almost! We are between two names for the first name but haven’t settled on a middle name.

Will you be rounding up your best pregnancy-safe products?

Not exactly.  And here’s why – everything is relative.  When I found out I was pregnant, I went through my entire medicine cabinet and read the ingredients on every single skincare product I was using.  Almost half I couldn’t use anymore based on the google research I did.

I am nervous to share what I am or am not using because pregnancy can be such a delicate/opinionated topic and even my SF and GA OBGYN’s have felt differently about some ingredients.  Therefore I really recommend you read on what you’re comfortable with and consult your doctor to find what’s right for you.

What are you most excited about and most nervous about becoming a mom?

Excited:  I am deeply invested in the happiness and comfort of our 12+ yr old pets.  I think about them all the time, helicopter any sitters we have for them and ask the vet more questions than I ever ask my own doctor.  I am genuinely concerned I might love our baby too much.  Is that normal?  Probably not.

Nervous: That my interests or hobbies will change.  We want to have children to add richness to our life but not completely change our life… you know?  It’s important to me we have other joys and things to talk about other than our kid(s).

Biggest cravings/food aversions?

Honestly, none.  There was one Peruvian restaurant in SF that I swore smelled like a dirty dishwasher and I nearly had to leave… but other than that the only time I’ve been nauseas is in Prius Ubers.  Thankfully I haven’t had to take any lately!  This pregnancy has been pretty breezy… that or I’ve been too busy to notice that many changes.  Who knows!

TTC (trying to conceive) journey?

I mentioned in our announcement post that this baby was not a surprise and was something we wanted in 2019.  I had no idea if it would take one month or a year, and we were surprised that it didn’t take very long.  Therefore I didn’t get too deep into apps or products as I was going to give myself a six month grace period before getting too technical… but who knows what the next time will be like.

How many kids do you want?

We both came from families of 5 and joke that we are going to see how much we like the first two before deciding if we want a bigger family. Ha!  We both love working, so having three kids along with careers we are deeply invested in feels like a lot.  However, people do it all the time, so it really just comes down to what we personally think we can handle while still feeling fulfilled professionally.

Are you going to transition your blog to mommy things?

I hope not… and I hope that doesn’t sound bad!  I share my life – fashion, travel, home, food, marriage, all of it.  Motherhood moments of course will be shared but fashion, home and travel will always the main focus of this blog.

What are you renovating in your new home?

Besides painting and doing some exterior work, we only want to revamp the bathrooms and then we we will be done!  The previous owners thankfully had fantastic taste and we love all the updates they made.

I want to purchase my first luxury handbag.  Tips in what brand is worth investing in?

Absolutely!  The below blog posts are a great starting point –

Most & Least Worn Luxury Accessories (& Why!)

5 Designer Pieces Worth the Splurge

Favorite Sites for Gently Used Designer Goods

How or did you deal with feeling that you weren’t at the right point in your life as others?

LOVE this question.  I absolutely have dealt with this and addressed how I stop the comparison game in this blog post.

How come Barnez is around more lately?  He was working so much in SF!

Christian has now passed both his ENT and Facial Plastics board exams (four exams total – so proud of him) to become double board certified and is waiting to get his Georgia medical license.  We took July + August to move, get settled and travel before he starts work in September.

Did Barnez go straight from undergrad to med school or take time off/work in between?

Smarty pants Dr. Barnes was on full scholarship for both college and medical school and went straight from school to school without breaks.  He’s 32 and just now finished with school and training, getting his big boy job.  God bless.

Thoughts on when to start a family while on the medical training journey?

Many people start families while in training, and it absolutely can be done.  Personally, I feel it really depends on the speciality and where you live/how far you are from support.  My brother and brother-in-law are in radiation oncology and pediatrics.  Both have more manageable training schedules and they both had multiple kids in training and were able to make it work.

Christian was in head & neck surgery and then facial plastics.  His schedule was truly insane.  If we had chosen to start a family in training, living across the country from both of our families, it would have led to a significant increase in stress and struggle, which is why we knew we had to wait.  It’s completely personal to your life and what you think you can handle!

Will Christian’s schedule be more stable now that you are in Georgia?

YES.  Which is one of the biggest pulls that brought us to Georgia – the day-to-day quality of life.

What other cities were in the running before you moved?

It was Georgia or two different positions in Orange County.

What advice would you or your husband give for someone just starting med school?

Kat:  Buckle up.  It is a long road filled with a lot of sacrifice for not only you but also your partner.  More tips here!

Christian:  Do your best to try to enjoy each phase of it and take one year at a time because if you’re just holding your breath until you’re done… it can be overwhelming.

What is the best 5 year jewelry gift to request for an anniversary?

Diamond stud earrings (on sale here!), Cartier Love bracelet, Michele watch or anything Monica Vinader.

Where did you get your pet bowls?

Love this question. 🙂  I love our pet bowls and they’re both from MacKenzie-Childs!

How do you make friends as an adult?

I shared my tips in this blog post.

What are some of your favorite Athens discoveries so far?

I am embarrassed to say that we have been in town for about a total of three weeks, most of that time being spent working on unpacking and settling in.  So we definitely are very behind in exploring the area, but I know we have plenty of time to do that ahead of us and we are definitely excited about it.

Do you have any Georgia triggers?  You seem so happy!

Girlfriend… we are so happy.  I don’t recall having many Orange County triggers either – we were also very happy there.  If you have followed CBL here or on Instagram, I was open about our year in San Francisco and tried to share comically without being completely disrespectful to those who live there and love it.  It was a difficult year financially, emotionally, physically, mentally… BUT it did make me over-the-top grateful for every single thing once we left.

Things like easily taking out the trash, easily letting the dog out, having a guaranteed parking spot, being able to go to a restaurant without a reservation, no one breaking into my car for an iPhone charger, not hearing my neighbors stomping around above me or waking up to someone ELSE’s alarm clock, easy outdoor access, more space, having ice that isn’t in trays, having my own w/d… while paying significantly less for all of those things.

I could literally list 100 basic things that have increased our quality of life significantly.  It’s just a completely different life.  We’ve been up to our ears in settling in and investing in our new home, but it’s still easier than our life this time last year.

How do you handle criticism?  You seem to have an easy confidence about you.

Thank you so much for this!  I competed in Miss Teen USA when I was a teenager and experienced criticism, both surface-level and constructive, from an early age.  I’d try out for cheerleader and all-star cheerleader all throughout jr. high and high school, played sports as well as ran for class office every year – so I was forced to become comfortable with criticism at an early age.

My thought has always been this – consider all of the people you admire.  People you know, celebrities, entrepreneurs – there’s no way they could have gotten to where they are without criticism and “haters.”  Everyone I admire receives way more shade than I do, so if I can’t handle a little bit than I need to find a new career!

Do you have any tips for feeling close to family or friends when you live far away?

Phone and text is honestly how I’ve felt most connected throughout the past six years. My mom and brother live in Mississippi and California and they have a scheduled Sunday FaceTime. My brother is a doctor and they don’t really talk during the week between his schedule and the time difference, but they’ll save up things to share on their Sunday chats.

What’s your take on getting a yellow lab puppy and living in an apartment?

Personally – I couldn’t do it.  They are great dogs but shed like crazy and have TONS of energy… which means a backyard for an energetic puppy is crucial… or at least it was for Bailey.

Do you get lip fillers?

I have never gotten filler, only Botox (shared here), always administered by Christian.  There was a kid in my elementary school class who called me “big lips” once, and I complained to my mom.  She said, “honey, people pay a lot of money for full lips, you’ll see.”  Per usual, Karen was right.  But I have no judgement on lip filler, if I wasn’t happy with mine, I would have no problem pursuing it!

I need Lula’s story.  Is it somewhere I can read?

Love those of you who want more info on Lu!  I wrote about her story more in the beginning of CBL days, but I’d be happy to share again.

In 2011 I grabbed dinner and margaritas with my roommate.  We saw this little black cat in the parking lot on our way out and she came right up to me because she thought I might have food.  She let me pick her up, and then I didn’t feel like I could leave her.

I took her to our apartment, called the restaurant and asked if she was their restaurant cat or something.  The manager said, “no ma’am, but there’s an employee who feeds her sometimes but she doesn’t work everyday.  You’re welcome to try to come capture her.”  I said, uh… there was no capturing, she hopped in my car.

She was already fixed and just had a really bad ear infection that took two months to fix.  I told all of the local shelters I’d found this cat and if anyone called about her to call me.  No one did.  Christian wanted me to find her a home and I did… but at that point I’d fallen in love with her and couldn’t let her go!

In 2013 we felt a tumor on her leg in California.  I took her to the vet and they told me they’d have to amputate her front left leg to see if the tumor was cancerous or not.  Devastated but wanting to give this sweet cat a chance, we opted for the surgery.  The tumor was in fact cancer and they estimated she would have around six months.  Six months passed and she was doing great.  A year passed and she was great.  We have done two rounds of follow-up x-rays since 2013 and the cancer is not growing.  Lula is on her 9th life!

That’s it for this month’s Q&A!! Thank you SO much to everyone who submitted these fabulous questions.  Other Q&A’s can be found here – March, April, May.

I love hearing from you!  Have a fabulous week – XO –

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black and white modern art

So when we shared our big moving announcement a few weeks ago, there may have been one more little secret we’ve been keeping…

We’re expecting our first baby in November!  I’m 20 weeks along with this little one, and it’s the best San Francisco souvenir we could have been blessed with.

Because I’ve been keeping this secret from you guys since March (!!), I wanted to share a little video recapping the first trimester.  From finding out we were expecting to our first ultrasound, how we told our families over Mother’s Day weekend, the first item we bought for baby and how I’ve been feeling along the way – everything is covered in a quick 5.5 minute recap below!

pregnancy announcementgreen sweater dresscarrie bradshaw lied homejudy bustblack tripawd catcarrie bradshaw lied homebaby announcement

dress (old), similar style here and here | earrings (old) – similar here and here | abstract art | golden gate print | silhouette print | black planter, out of stock, also love this one and this one | bust | ottoman

So all of this to say, moving across the country, starting over in a new city, Christian starting a new job, buying our first home, and having our first baby… we are clearly just taking it all on at the same time.  Just trying to see what else we can tack on while we’re at it!  But they are all such exciting and happy moments that I feel really lucky to be experiencing so many of them at once.

And of course, I am so excited to finally share this news with all of my CBL girls!  In the first few months I was trying to think of creative ways to share the news and so I thought the video would be a great way to catch you up to speed.  Christian and I figured we would keep it a little inside secret until I was showing, and around 18 weeks there was no more hiding this bump.  I’m still wearing most of the same clothes (the forgiving ones, at least),  but I can tell that once we hit the third trimester I’ll be needing to dip into maternity.  With so many things on our plate right now, “we’ll get there when we get there” has been my mantra.  One day at a time!

I would love to hear if you guys have any more questions or if there is anything else you’d want me to fill you in on.  We can do a baby version of the monthly blog FAQ if you prefer?  Please leave any questions below in the comments!

As for how baby will affect CBL… I don’t really know just yet.  Probably as frequently as Christian pops in or out, but I think it will depend on how much you guys want to know, what is relevant/helpful to those of you who take the time to read this blog, etc.  I know there are so many amazing motherhood blogs out there and CBL will always remain focused on fashion, with emphasis on other lifestyle categories including marriage and now family.  I would love to hear if pregnancy/postpartum/baby content is helpful to you or if you prefer the existing lifestyle categories as is.

Thank you so much for being a part of this joyous time with us.  This baby was not a surprise, it was what we had been hoping for this year and we feel so overwhelmed with gratitude that we have been chosen to take care of and raise this little boy or girl.  Christian keeps saying how excited he is to meet this baby!  He’s been so protective and wonderful, making sure I don’t lift heavy boxes and that I’m eating healthy and drinking enough water.  I think he called me every hour on the hour when I drove across the country with Lula.  It’s been really sweet.

You can check out more video content by subscribing to my YouTube channel here or checking out the “video” category of this site!  Thank you so much for being a part of our journey.  Your support and encouragement always means so so so much to us.  Love y’all! XO –

Pregnancy recaps

Second Trimester

Third Trimester

Third Trimester Wardrobe Tips

Pregnancy Essentials

Hospital Packing List

Birth Story

Newborn Essentials

Breastfeeding Update

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