Janie and Jack Holiday Collection

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Janie and Jack recently released their new holiday Mommy and Me collection and I am in love! The collection is inspired by the special memories created between a mother and her child during the holiday season. As a first time mom due in December, I’m excited about the memories I that will soon create with Lil Bean.

The collection features a range of clothing for women and girls/boys ranging in age from 0-12 years old. The price point is very reasonable, ranging from $7-$169. It includes a wide array of styles in classic red hues and luxe velvets, perfect for a festive holiday get together.

Here are a few of my favorite pieces from the collection:

Embroidered Rosette Socks ($7) – I am a sucker for itty bitty baby socks as I think most people are. There is just something so adorable about their smallness and these socks, with their dainty embroidered rosette, take the cake. Even though these are geared more towards a baby girl, I don’t see why little baby boys couldn’t wear them as well!

Plaid 1-Piece ($42) – This is a wonderfully festive one-piece perfect for dressing your little one in when it’s time to celebrate. Chances are, I’m going to be too tuckered out this year on having just had a baby to really make the effort in dressing our Lil Bean up but I love this for maybe next Christmas. Besides, anyone who knows me knows that I am obsessed with plaid.

Dog Bib ($14) – I only just now noticed how well this adorable dog bib matches the Plaid 1-Piece (above). This is a soft cotton bib, machine washable, that is perfect for wiping up any holiday spittle that might dribble out from your little one partying too hard. The little embroidered dog adds just a touch of festive cuteness.

Faux Fur Sweater Dress ($69) – Even though my eyes tend to gravitate more towards boy items, I couldn’t resist sharing this knit dress with you all. Wouldn’t it be adorable for a little girl and I love the faux fur collar.

Velvet Tie Dress ($148) – This elegant velvet shift dress is not just for moms, but for anyone looking for a festive dress for their holiday party. It even has pockets which is a nice touch for someone like me who really doesn’t carry around a purse all that often.

In honor of the collection, Janie and Jack also released an exclusive video moderated by author/nutritionist/mother Daphne Oz featuring mother-child duos and fans of the brand to talk about their relationships and dress themselves and their mothers in their favorite looks.

Watch the Full J&J Holiday Collection Me and Mommy Video

Do you make it a point to buy a festive holiday outfit for yourself or your little one?

Damned [Review + GIVEAWAY]

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored as part of the Xpresso Book Tours Blog Tour. To check out what other blogs have posted (including excerpts and interviews), please visit their website. I received this product for free in exchange for a honest and unbiased review.

I love reading books that deal with the supernatural. It’s sort of my guilty pleasure. Earlier in the year, I discovered (and devoured) the novel “Blackwell: Prequel to the Magnus Blackwell Series” written by Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor. Simply put, it was a good read. In the back of that novel, there was a teaser for the next novel, “Damned”. I thought that its October release would never get here. But I was finally able to get my hands on a copy, just in time to put me in the Halloween spirit.

So what is “Damned” about?

Over a hundred years after the death of Magnus Blackwell, Altmover Manor sits abandoned.

Lexie Arden and her fiancé, Will Bennet, are determined to rescue the neglected Mount Desert Island landmark. They want to make Altmover Manor their home. But Magnus has other plans.

A spirit bound to his former residence, Magnus finds himself inexplicably drawn to the young woman. She has a supernatural gift; a gift Magnus wants to exploit.

As Lexie and Will settle in, secrets from Magnus’s past begin to surface. Compelled to learn all she can about the former owner, Lexie becomes immersed in a world of voodoo, curses, and the whereabouts of a mysterious dragon cane.

Magnus’s crimes won’t be so easily forgotten, and what Lexie unearths is going to change the future … for everyone.

I enjoyed “Damned”. It contained the same elements of the supernatural as the prequel, but with a likable twist to the main character. In Lexie Arden, I could find a character that I was able to relate to. She was just a bit different and I like that. The second half of this novel also takes us back to New Orleans, which serves as more of a central location (there’s a soft spot in my heart for New Orleans). The story went differently that I thought it would – I love novels that keep me guessing.

Without giving too much away, I liked how the character of Magnus developed over the course of the story and I enjoyed seeing how he interacted with the other characters, including some returning ones from the first novel.

The novel itself was very well written and I appreciate the amount of detail that the authors put into it – not just the characters but in the settings as well. Like its predecessor, it was an easy read that I couldn’t put down until I had finished. I think that I actually stayed up most of the night in order to finish it as soon as I received it.

It is certainly worth a read!

For more about “Damned”, please visit any of the following websites: Goodreads / Website / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

GIVEAWAY!
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Week 31 Update [Baby Shower #1!]

October has already been a busy month and we are only a week or two into it! My mom and I traveled over to Moore County this past weekend where some of Robb’s family were hosting a baby shower for me. It was a whirlwind of a weekend but a great one! It’s about 3 1/2 hours of solid driving from our place to Moore County but it was worth it.

We started out the weekend by stopping to the Carolina Premium Outlets in Smithfield. I picked up a few items for my baby shower this upcoming weekend and my mom purchased a cute, flowy blouse for me from Destination Maternity.

Front Pocket Maternity Shirt- Dot Print | Destination Maternity

After arriving in Moore County, we walked around for a little bit in Southern Pines but a lot of shops had already closed for the evening so we skipped over to Pinehurst so I could show my mom around Bump & Baby – one of my favorite baby boutiques. We were tuckered out after that so we decided not to go to Southern Pines’ First Friday and headed on to my boyfriend’s grandma’s for the evening to relax.

The next morning, we got up and headed down to AutumnFest to check out the vendors and to listen to my Robb’s dad’s bluegrass band – South Ridge Bluegrass. You should definitely check them out – they are fabulous and even Lil Bean started to boogy some!

Then it was baby shower time!

Mom and I | 30 Weeks + 6 Days Baby Bump Picture

Robb’s family did a fabulous job with everything. There were pictures of us as babies everywhere and his mom had a game where people cast their vote with a checker whether or not Lil Bean would have red hair or black hair. I don’t get to see the result until after Lil Bean gets here but I know which way I’m leaning! Let’s just say that I think Lil Bean may be a spitting image of his daddy.

To eat, we had a fruit tray, a vegetable tray, jello salad, chicken salad sandwiches, turkey and cheese sandwiches and more. We also had cake and punch – I LOVE baby/wedding/shower punch.

I absolutely adore my dress (from PinkBlush Maternity, of course). In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ll wear it again for my second baby shower. It’s comfortable and I love the print. I think that it’s a very flattering dress.

Navy Blue Watercolor Floral Fitted Maternity Dress | PinkBlush Maternity

Our Lil Bean is blessed to have so many that love him already. We received a lot of great gifts that will certainly help us out when Lil Bean gets here. One of my favorites has to be the handmade hat and booties knit by his grandmother. I also loved the little Smokey the Bear t-shirt as well. Both of those items are ones that will certainly be placed in Lil Bean’s hope chest one day (do boys even have hope chests?).

Opening gifts with my handy dandy note-taker by my side.

In this picture are two great-grandmothers-to-be, three grandmothers-to-be, and ME!

The bottom dropped out of the sky when it came time to load up my gifts and my poor mom got soaking wet. It ended up raining pretty much all the way home but that didn’t put a damper on our day!

This super blurry picture is the one I sent to Robb on our way home. The back of the truck was full as well. His response? “Awwww…. shit….”

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today I rolled out of bed as a 30-year old. Literally, rolled. Robb laughs at me because I usually need a little momentum to get myself out of bed now, so I have to kick my legs or I’ll swing them over the edge of the bed and slide. Once I get bigger and start needing help, I know that he’ll be right there to pull me up.

So yeah. I rolled out of bed as a 30-year old, 31 weeks pregnant. I’ve been so fortunate to have the life that I have. I know that every life is filled with its ups and downs but I’m blessed that as of today, I have had so many more ups than anything else. I can only hope that with all the changes that are coming soon, the ups keep on coming.

How could I resist a 30th birthday bump picture – even if it’s a dreary day and the lighting is off?

My mom called as I was fixing myself breakfast. For as long as I can remember, she’s played this special birthday song for me from “Captain Zoom”. We both know all the words (and for the most part, it’s the first words that pop into my bed come the morning of October 12th). She purchased it as a cassette many, many years ago but as cassette players started to fade away, she started to panic about finding a way to play it so I surprised her one year with a CD.

I love traditions. We don’t have very many in our family really, other than “Captain Zoom” and my mom giving us pajamas or something similar on Christmas Eve. But all it takes to start a tradition is for someone to make that first move. With Lil Bean joining us, I look forward to starting even more traditions.

What are some of your favorite family traditions?

Week 30 Update

Oops. I forgot to post my 30 week update last week. That’s okay. This will be a short post!

My mom’s dog, Cody, stayed with us recently so we took the dogs down to the pond to enjoy the gorgeous fall day. It was great exercise for all of us. I’ve been trying to make it a habit to walk more, even if it’s just a little bit, because I have heard that it will make the rest of my pregnancy (and hopefully labor) go by a bit easier.

Fingers crossed.

Robb and I took a short trip down to Edenton last Saturday. I wanted to stop to the farmer’s market to say hello to some of my fellow sellers and to show off my baby bump since I haven’t seen them at all this market season. I decided early on in my pregnancy to cut down on any vendor events and shows this year to give my body the opportunity to rest on the weekends.

I also wanted to snag a couple of pictures of myself at the waterfront. 🙂

30 Weeks | And I STILL can get up and down by myself!

I also had my 30 week doctor’s appointment last week. Everything went well. Lil Bean’s heart-rate had slowed but that seems to be normal for the third trimester. I hadn’t gained any weight since my previous appointment – two week’s prior – but that didn’t seem to alarm my doctor as I told her that I have made some diet changes. My glucose test was a little on the high side so I’ve cut out a lot of the sugary items that I usually consume. It made grocery shopping yesterday take forever as I took the time to read the labels on any processed items I purchased to see how much sugar the items contained.

Lil Bean has still been nice and active though and he is measuring right where he needs to be. My blood pressure checked out great and I am so thankful that I have been having a moderately healthy pregnancy.