23.5 Week Update

I have been told that during the second trimester, I would suddenly regain some of the energy I lacked during my first trimester.

Well… I’m still waiting for that to happen…

I’m exhausted and it could be that I’m not sleeping well at night or it could be because I’m pulling extra hours at work. I work at a community college that has just started its fall session which means we have been busy. Hopefully things should start getting back to normal though. It doesn’t help that I’ll wake up in the middle of the night, my lips dry, my bladder full.

But I wouldn’t change anything for the world.

I received my first “official” baby gift. This lovely NC State (my alma mater) piggy bank from the generous couple I petsit for on occasion. I’ve already plopped it on one of the shelves in the nursery. Go Wolfpack!

I apologize for the graininess but Robb wanted to snap a quick picture of me on his cellphone after work last week when my baby bump was looking prominent. It’s funny how my bump looks so different under certain article of clothing. I’m actually wearing a maternity top for the first time today and I have to say that my bump doesn’t seem to be nearly as noticeable!

While I was away petsitting, Robb took the opportunity to finish painting our bathroom and to paint the nursery. It’s still a work in progress and this picture does the room no justice, but I am in love with the color of our nursery. We chose “May Apple” from Olympic paint which is this lovely color that works well with our idea of a more rustic/woodland theme. It would also be a great color if we had went with a beach theme as well.

Robb did such a great job while I was gone and he even arranged items on the shelves. He thinks that the color might be a bit too bright so I am going to work on finding wall accents to help tone it down a little for him.

Our Lil Bean will be here before we know it so it’s nice to feel like we have actually started on some sort of preparation!

Surprise!

Why hello first post! First posts can sometimes be a little intimidating but this time around, it isn’t. This seems more like catching up with old friends that I have unfortunately neglected for a little while.

I have a surprise to share that I have been keeping on the down low for quite a few months now. A surprise that has led my blog into a new direction, hence the revitalization of it. I had been wanting to start fresh with my blog for a while and this seemed like the best time to do so. If you want to check out past posts from The Southern Belle Blogs, head over to the other WordPress.

So anyway. That surprise.

Yup! Robb and I are expecting a sweet little BOY in early December! We’ve been holding this secret in for quite a few months now but only found out the gender last Thursday. As soon as the ultrasound technician turned on the machine, she asked us if we wanted to know the sex. Our little bean apparently was showing off everything that he had to her. I was 95% sure before going into that appointment that it was a boy (I had even dreamed it was a boy) and had been telling our bean for weeks that he needed to make sure we got a look at the goods.

At my appointment, I was at 20 weeks, 6 days but our little bean was measuring at 21 weeks, 4 days (14 ounces). His heart rate was 145 and my weight was at 141 pounds – a relief to me because since becoming pregnant, my weight had gone from 141 to 136 pounds. It appears out bean is growing nicely though and I attribute my weight loss to a lack of appetite, changes in diet, and of course, some bleh.

The rest of our appointment went well until the technician commented, “It looks like you are going to have your hands full with this one.” As soon as she woke him, he was tossing and turning and had no interest in getting his picture taken. Just like his dad.

We are ecstatic about our new journey in life and seeing where it takes us. We both wanted kids but were starting to think that it wouldn’t happen for us. Except for some midday nausea the first couple of months and some face-in-the-toilet action (which I was fortunate, as soon as I threw up, I was good to go) I have had a pretty easy pregnancy so far. I have been exhausted with no appetite, but that could also be from working our summer schedule of 10 hour days as well. My heartburn has increased and I feel bloated some but have been making even more changes to my diet to help with that.

Note:

If you’ve visited The Southern Belle Blogs before, then you may notice something missing. A lot of something in fact – mainly every post that I have written since TSBB started back in 2012/2013. But don’t fret, you can still find that content at our site located over on the other WordPress.

The Lowdown on North Carolina’s Brunch Bill

If you are a North Carolinian, you may have heard a lot of buzz in the last few months about the “brunch bill”. But do you really know what’s going on with it?

The “brunch bill”, which is actually Senate Bill 155 and contains a plethora of other changes to North Carolina’s liquor laws, would allow stores and restaurants to begin selling beer and alcohol starting at 10 a.m. on Sundays (it was previously noon). The bill was signed into action by Governor Roy Cooper on June 30 however local municipalities have to approve the bill for their own communities before the law could go into effect.

Surprisingly not everyone has been on board with this bill and some communities (such as Kure Beach, Nags Head, and New Bern) did not reach the 2/3 majority of votes needed to pass it. From my reading, it seems like the biggest reason the bill did not pass was because of morality reasons – people fear that by selling alcohol earlier on a Sunday, it would deter individuals from going to church or that it would ruin the “family” atmosphere of a tourist area.

Seriously? The beaches are already covered with cigarette butts, beer cans, and other less than savory items in these “family” areas. You walk an extra block in some cute little historic town and may find yourself in a crime ridden neighborhood where heroin needles linger in the gutters. I think our communities need to focus a bit more on fixing their already existing issues than trying to blame those issues on something that hasn’t even come to fruition yet.

But I digress.

I’m not a big drinker myself. I might have one Corona on occasion or a pumpkin beer during the season, but that’s about the extent of it. Does it matter to me about picking up a 6-pack from the grocery store at 11:30 a.m.? Not really. Even though I rarely consume alcohol, I still see the need for North Carolina’s Brunch Bill to pass.

Why?

Revenue.

Living off the cuff of North Carolina’s coast, we receive a lot of tourists to this area. A lot of tourists who support our local businesses and would more than likely not attend church in the area anyway. These are typically families who aren’t going to go wild and crazy and turn into lushes at 10 a.m. on a Sunday morning. They are the ones who are going to want to go out, have someone else prepare their breakfast, and enjoy a mimosa or two with their family.

This is the opportunity to drive additional business to our areas. Instead of staying home and fixing their own drinks, people could spend the money out in the community. They could support our local restaurants and shops. The price of one bloody mary may not seem like it would make much difference, but if that person then decides to wander into the shop next door, then multiple people benefit.

The majority of restaurants seem to be in favor of the “brunch bill” but as the communities in North Carolina continue to vote, it’ll be interesting to see the overall outcome.

What do you think about the “brunch bill”? If you aren’t in North Carolina, what time does alcohol sales start on Sunday in your area?

The Flour Girls Cafe and Bakery [Elizabeth City]

I think that I have found my new favorite lunch destination.

The Flour Girls Cafe and Bakery is another one of those newly opened places to eat at in Elizabeth City that I’ve been wanting to try out but haven’t gotten around to. Okay, so really they opened back in mid-2016 and they aren’t that new but new enough that I don’t feel bad about taking so long to try them out.

The Flour Girls Cafe and Bakery serves breakfast and lunch along with a delicious looking assortment of baked goods – they also cater and can do special order cakes/cookies. On top of everything else, they host cookie/cake decorating classes! The owners were winners of the 2016 Jump-Start Elizabeth City Downtown Business Plan Competition which works to bring new businesses to the downtown area.

For lunch I order the half of the Pilgrim sandwich [turkey, provolone cheese, pesto, cranberry sauce, and maybe on homemade bread]. It’s served with house pickles and your choice of sides – I went with chips.

Let’s start with the pickles. I cannot say enough about their house pickles. Those suckers are delicious. I could eat a whole jar full. After eating a couple, I knew that I needed to share some with my boyfriend (he loves pickles) but the thought of those tasty little nuggets sitting just feet away from me right now is torture. The pickles are a perfectly balanced blend of sweetness and crunch. I’m not a pickle aficionado (other than the sweet pickles that my mom makes) but these may be bread and butter type pickles?

Ordering the half size of a sandwich gives you plenty of food in my mind. My sandwich was delicious and in each bite I was able to snag a little turkey, a little pesto, a little cheese and cranberry sauce. The bread is crisp and serves as a great vehicle to transport everything into the mouth.

Being in a bakery, I of course had to order dessert so I went with one of their daily cupcakes – this one had a delicious lemon frosting (with lemon zest flecked throughout it) and coconut flakes. The cupcake itself wasn’t dry or crumbly, the frosting wasn’t too sweet and even better, they added a logical (i.e. proportionate) amount of frosting on top!

Since I only had the opportunity to run down there on my lunch break, I called in my order ahead of time. There is plenty of seating available in the cafe however and the service was quick. Everything was nice and clean and if I were to find out that they had free WiFi, I would make this my morning place to bring my laptop on the weekends (note to self: look into that update: they do!).

Located in downtown Elizabeth City, right on the waterfront, this is a great place to stop, grab a bite to eat, and mosey around some of the little shops in town. You should definitely give it a shot!

The Flour Girls Cafe and Bakery
102 Water St.

Elizabeth City, NC 27909
Monday 7:30 am to 5:00 pm
Tuesday – Friday 7:30 am to 3:30 pm
Saturday 8:00 am to 2:00 pm