Newborn & Family Photos

The sweetest pictures showed up in my inbox yesterday & I’m so excited to share them with you!!

A very special thank you to our photographer, the incredibly talented Johanna McShan. She has captured the last 3+ years of our lives, and despite my diva daughters and our awkwardness in front of the camera, she always delivers such beautiful photos! We love her. If you’re in the Austin area, she’s your gal.

I’m sharing even MORE of our photos over on Instagram. :-)

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Wait…It’s December?!

Happy December, friends!

I blinked and 12 days had flown by since my sweet little Harpy was born. How is that even possible? :-( She is already changing so much, and seriously fattening up. We weighed me holding her, and then without her, and the difference was 7 pounds! I keep telling myself my scale must be inaccurate, because how could my teeny tiny 5 pounder already be weighing in at SEVEN POUNDS! Mama’s making butter, not milk. ;-)

The last (almost) 2 weeks has been so chaotic; hospital, home, thanksgiving, Camryn started back at school yesterday, and adjusting to life with 2 kids. It has been so fun, but I have to be honest, I’m a little anxious about my mom leaving us at the end of the week. She has become Camryn’s person. Her BFF. The one who can play with her for hours without the baby interrupting them for a feeding, diaper change, etc. I’m worried about how Camryn will feel when my mom leaves and she doesn’t have that constant person showering her with attention, which she seems to be craving desperately. She’s definitely feeling a little jealousy towards her new little sister, but is warming up to her the past week. She’s been singing to Harpy lately and always wants to help with diaper changes, so I’m staying hopeful.

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Oh, Harpy had her first bath yesterday too – she wasn’t a fan – but she loved the towel fresh from the dryer.photo 1Geez I love that girl!

XO – Samantha

Hello, Baby!

She’s finally here.

Harper Willow Hawes – 5 pounds, 12 ounces, 19″ long – perfect.

birth announcement photo Harper harper 2 harper 3

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I told my husband Tuesday morning that I thought we would be having a baby that day, and sure enough my contractions started around noon, and became more regular and uncomfortable around 3pm. By 6:30 we were headed to the hospital, and after a very long almost 24 hours Harper was born! She is a teeny tiny 5 pounds of pure joy, and we are completely smitten with her. Her big sister is warming up to her and has been helping with every diaper change, kisses her head, and calls her “baby Harpy”. I have been snapping pics of the two of them and have a special post about them both coming soon. We also had newborn/family photos taken on Monday, so I’ll share those soon too.

We are busy adjusting to becoming a family of 4, and stealing baby kisses every chance we get, so please be patient with me. :-)

My husband surprised me with a new MacBook as a “push present” which means posting more regularly in the coming weeks should be easier, and won’t require I sit in our office on our iMac away from him and our girls – hooray!! (my hubs is a good, good man!)

You can also find more pictures like these over on my Instagram, so come say hi!

XO – Samantha

Ho-Ho-Holiday Pinspiration

Hey, hey hey! Who’s excited for Christmas? *This girl ;-) * Yes, I know the next holiday is actually Thanksgiving, but I’m 9 1/2 months pregnant, and if the tree and holiday decorations don’t go up now, they never will.

I’ve been loving Pinterest this last week (very unlike me) and I thought I’d share some of my favorite holiday pins. If you’re really pinterest-savvy, leave your info in the comments for me so I can come follow you! If you want to follow me, you can find me here.

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Let’s not do any of that “save the best for last” bologna; lets just jump right in with the amazingness that is Kristin’s house, from The Hunted Interior. You can view her full holiday post here. If you’re not following Kristin’s blog you are missing out on life. Seriously. She can do no wrong.

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Who even cares what’s inside this gift? The packaging is so beautiful it could be empty and I would still LOVE it.

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I love how sweet and dainty this space is. This would be darling as a girls playroom, or even in a little girls bedroom. We let Camryn decorate her own mini tree every year and put it on her nightstand, just like this one.

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I’m obsessed with the black, white, gold theme this year for my tree and this one is exactly what I was envisioning. Go check out the full post for details on how to achieve the marbled ornaments and the B&W spotted ornaments.

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Who doesn’t love a good DIY gift?

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This “JOY” garland is next on my DIY/Crafting with Camryn agenda. So easy, and so cute!

Have you busted out your holiday decor, and started stuffing stockings or decorating the tree? Camryn wants a pink Care Bear for Christmas, B-A-D!! Everything else that she adds to her wishlist is second in line…”I wish I had —— and a pink Care Bear!” Of course I bought one, which by the way was a lot harder than I had anticipated. They are sold out everywhere!! My husband and I decided we’ll take it to the hospital with us when Harper arrives and give it to Camryn as Harpers gift to her big sister. Yes, we are basically bribing Camryn into loving her new sister with a Care Bear. Go ahead, judge us. :-)

XO – Samantha

Shelley: DIY Wreath / “Swag”

Happy Monday Friends!
I’m so excited to introduce you to Shelley, from Crazy Wonderful, who has joined Playdates + Pearls as our DIY & Design contributor! You probably remember her from last weeks guest post where I spilled the contents of my bag over on her blog. If you want to read more about Shelley and the other P+P contributors you can check them out here. They have so much good stuff in store for you!!
She brought her A-Game today with a super simple, and gorgeous, DIY “swag” which I now NEED. Hope you love her as much as I do!
CW collage
I’m struggling with how quickly Christmas is approaching this year.  With all the Halloween candy still around (actually, I’m shocked we still have any with all that I’ve been eating) I feel like it should still be October.  But, ready or not, it’s coming!
This year I wanted to do something other than the traditional wreath for our front door.  The windows along the front of our house will each have a wreath so putting another on the front door seemed overkill.  I decided to go with a swag instead.
If you want to make your own, here’s how I did it!
I found my swag at Hobby Lobby (50% off!).  I believe these are meant to be pulled open and draped over a door/entry, but I just kept the long pieces bent down and later bent the wire even more so the long pieces would be closer together.
I tied a large burlap ribbon and attached it to the top with floral wire.  Leave yourself extra length for the ribbon tails for the next step.
I wanted the ribbon tails to be pinned in place so I wrapped floral wire around different sections of the ribbon and then attached the ribbon to the swag with the remaining length of floral wire.  Ignore the white ribbon.  I ended up switching it out for the striped ribbon later.

 

I then stuck in some glittery floral sprays behind the bow and attached some large plastic ornaments to the front.  All using more of that floral wire to keep everything in place.
Hang that bad boy up and enjoy!
Once I get all of our Christmas decorations out I’ll run some lit garland around the door to dress it up more.
Here are some other images of swags I’m loving.  Most of which make me want to completely do a redo of my own :D  This first one in particular I can’t get enough of.  They’re HUGE!!!
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These would be simple to put together using cuttings off the bottom of a fresh cut Christmas tree.
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Definitely check out the entire outdoor decor from this house.  She even shows you how she did it.  I think I’m going to add a strip of ribbon to hang my swag from after seeing this.
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Absolutely adore the simplicity of the pine cones hanging from simple ribbon.
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And this one won me over with it’s stripe ribbon (can’t. get. enough!).
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So what do ya think.  Are you going to get your “swag”ger on this year???  I know, lame attempt at a joke but I couldn’t help myself!

Winter Wonderland Room Design

Hello Beautiful People!

I have such a fun E-Design for you today from two of the sweetest ladies you will ever meet. They have been sourcing this gorgeous Winter Wonderland space that will make you want to A.) Have more babies and have this as the nursery, B.) Redecorate your child’s room, and C.) Pull out all your holiday decor and redecorate your entire house. I might have purchased two of the Mongolian Fur Pillows and a 9ft Christmas tree yesterday after spending hours drooling over this room. Do you think my husband would mind if I put all of Harper’s current nursery decor into storage and started over based on this room? Ok, you’re right, divorced and 9 months pregnant doesn’t look good on me… ;-)

P.S…There may or may not be a giveaway (valued at $150 – woot woot) AND a coupon code to SHOP Arrow House at the end of this post, so be sure to keep scrolling for all the details.

SHOP Arrow House :: Lily + Spice

Shop this room:

 MONGOLIAN WHITE FUR PILLOW // EVERGREEN TREE PILLOW // “BABY ITS COLD OUTSIDE” PILLOW //LIGHT // WOODEN STUDIO // BED // “YOU ARE SO LOVED” PRINT // ANIMAL TRACKS PRINT // MIRROR // WARDROBE SNAKE // STORAGE MODULE // STORAGE BASKET // HANGING CHAIR // DUVET COVER // SLIPPERS // RUG

My favorite element in this room is, hands down, the By Nord Duvet Cover which adds the perfect touch of modern whimsy and pulls together all the other elements of the space. Check out some of the other By Nord bedding options available – I’m obsessed with the baby deer duvet + pillow set.

Lets meet the amazing ladies behind this beautiful design:

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AMANDA |  Founder & Freelance Stylist |  Lily + Spice Interiors

Mommy of two amazing little boys, Amanda has always found herself lost in décor and decorating, from paint colours to wallpaper to show homes for fun on a Sunday afternoon it has been her passion from a very young age. Amanda remembers rearranging her room on a regular just to get that clean and crisp feel, asking her Mom to wash her bedding way more often than it needed to be whilst fluffing her pillows before they had a chance to go flat. Amanda really discovered her love for decorating when she moved into her current home, while waiting patiently to move in she was bustling around measuring, planning and shopping for months on end to find just the right pieces. Her taste and style have come popular within friends and family and she is often found out on the hunt for those in need of a room makeover or the perfect finishing touch. Amanda had a dream of working as an Interior Decorator always, then suddenly stars were aligning and all of the people were right in front of her…..together, at the right time. ‘It was like someone was jumping up and down on a mountain top screaming GO FOR IT’….so she did and hasn’t looked back. Each day brings new and exciting opportunities to L+S and Amanda is looking forward to growing with her business and creating amazing spaces worldwide as her E-design has no boundaries thanks to today’s technology.

*GIVEAWAY item #1* – Amanda is offering $100 credit to Lily + Spice Interiors!! You can work alongside Amanda to create a beautiful space (she specializes in children’s spaces, but can meet the needs of any room in your home) that works within your budget, functional needs, and style. Her E-Design services provide you with:

  • Your Customized Design Board  {like the one above} 
  • Room Overview & Shopping List
  • Room Layout
  • One Round of  Design Board revisions.

You can read more about her services here.

Entry will be done via Instagram - I will post the above E-Design Image with all the entry details at 9:30am PST.

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KELLY SCHMIDT | Principal Designer + Owner |  SHOP Arrow House

Kelly is a West-Coast based interior designer and owner of the award winning boutique design firm Arrow House Design Studio. Most recently Kelly has followed her passion for Scandinavian and modern inspired lifestyle and interiors with an exciting new venture. By curating carefully selected items and working with some incredible design houses and vendors from Copenhagen to Paris she has brought her signature style finds to North America with a selection of affordable items now available on line through the recently launched SHOP Arrow House. When Kelly is not immersed in all things design she can be found enjoying all the wonderments of West Coast life alongside her husband Mikel with their two little dudes Dane & Kobyn.

*GIVEAWAY item #2* – Kelly  is giving one of you a $50 credit to her incredible online boutique where you can purchase the above featured By Nord bedding, or other item of your choice. I just purchased 2 of the ever-so-popular Stendig Calendars from Kelly (one for home, and one for my husbands office). Entry will be done via Instagram - I will post the above E-Design Image with all the entry details at 9:30am PST.

*COUPON CODE* – Kelly has also very generously offered a 10% coupon code for all of you (Effective now – 11/6 at midnight). Use coupon: WINTERWONDERLAND

A very special THANK YOU to both Amanda & Kelly for creating this beautiful design, and offering such awesome coupons and giveaway items for my P+P peeps!! It’s always such a joy for me to share my little corner of the blogosphere with such talented, hardworking, boss ladies!!

XO – Samantha

Guest Post: What’s In My Bag?

Bag Exterior Edited

Wanna know what’s in my bag? My Crazy Wonderful friend Shelley has so kindly opened her blog to me today and invited me to share my secret hoarding habits, AKA the contents of my purse, with all her readers as part of her Inside My Bag Series. Come visit me here. Let me be honest for a moment…I may have cleaned out the old goldfish scattered at the bottom, and the eighteen thousand Target receipts first, but everything of importance – including a ticket – are yours for the gawking. Don’t judge me, or my 11 lipglosses. ;-)

If you’re new to Shelley’s blog (have you been living under a rock? She’s kinda a big deal, and was even published in a magazine this month!!) then you can look forward to laughing a LOT, wishing you could move into her house, and wanting to become Martha Stewart just like her. Check out some of her DIY’ing mad skills. Even her kids are adorable.

For more of her amazingness, follow her on Instagram.

XO – Samantha

I Caved…

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Mama needed her coffee, folks. Someone was going to get hurt today otherwise…so I caved and I did exactly what the Whole30 gods say not to do…I made the Paleo coffee creamer that turns boring, black, bitter coffee into a sweet, dreamy, cup of “oh hells yes!”

Go ahead. Judge me. I was judging myself while cooking up this coffee creamer concoction, but once it hit my lips there was no turning back. Some of us have more self control than others; I have none.

On the bright side, it’s still dairy free, sugar free, and isn’t laced with chemicals like the bottles of stuff I hoarded before.

I followed this recipe, with a few changes.

8 dates (pitted & chopped) – boil in 1/2 cup of water for 10 minutes.

1 can Organic Coconut Milk

Dash of Cinnamon

1 Egg

Combine in a blender or food processor until smooth. Store in a mason jar or other airtight container for up to 4 days in the fridge.

If you’re like me you’ll be a little skeptical when you start handling the dates, which resemble boogery raisins, but I promise you it’s worth it!!

XO – Samantha

Jumping On The Whole30 Bandwagon

Hello, and happy Tuesday!

Guess what crazy idea my husband and I had last week? Oh, no big deal, just that we should jump on the Whole30 bandwagon and test our self control…in my last few weeks of pregnancy…when I should be doing nothing but binge eating chocolate. Why do I do this to myself?! Well, here’s why – my body is nearly 90. Yes, 90 years old, and trying to fall apart on me every single day. Bored yet? No? Ok, then let me continue my rant about my old ass in much greater detail…don’t get too excited…

When I was in my early teens I started having some very unusual lady issues. Bet you’re really excited about this post now, aren’t ya?! ;-) Unlike most people, I would go months without my cycle, which concerned my mom. We visited my gyno (sooooo many horror stories about me at the gyno/OB, we’ll have to save those gems for another day) and he decided to draw blood and test all my hormone levels. One came back very elevated, which resulted in an MRI of my brain, which resulted in the diagnosis that I have a very small (we’re talking pea sized) tumor in my pituitary gland. Are you hearing Arnold Schwarzenegger’s voice saying the word “tumor” in your head right now? Very few people know all this weird stuff about me, but almost every single one who does has made the Arnold “tumor” joke…welcome to the club.

Ok, so I’m a bit of a teenage freakshow, right? It’s actually not a big deal AT ALL, and requires nothing more than a daily pill to reduce that imbalanced hormone level. No tumor removal, or anything crazy like that. It just sits there, throwing levels out of whack, and is harmless. Easy peasy.

Fast forward a few more years to age 16. I start having swollen, painful joints, and find that daily activities are unusually challenging for me. Like brushing my teeth or hair are a very serious task, and take me 20 minutes. I go to my family physician, who pretty much blows me off, and suggests I have what most “dramatic teenagers” have – anxiety and depression. Um, nope, I was dramatic at that age for sure, but not depressed. So I kept going back…and back…and back. Finally I was referred to a rheumatologist for testing of my joints (why I wasn’t referred after appointment #1 is still a mystery to me). After a single appointment it was very clear that I had juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, which is quite rare, and really shitty. Basically it means my body is producing antibodies that attack my joints, causing pain, swelling, and over time permanent damage to my joints. Over the following 10+ years I’ve tried a little bit of everything to “treat” my auto-immune disease – pain killers, immune-suppressors, injections, etc. If it’s on the market, especially if it comes with a fancy commercial (humira ring any bells?) then I’ve tried it.

Since both of those completely random diseases weren’t enough, I was diagnosed with another autoimmune disease 2 years ago called Sjogrens. I don’t have a whole lot to say about this one, other than it causes me to have dry eyes and dry mouth, but in the grand scheme of things it’s just annoying.

Now let me tell you something really awesome…

When I’m pregnant, everything stops. Literally, it just stops. It’s amazing. My joints slowly stop hurting, I get off of all medications, and I live a completely normal life. It’s magic. The downside? As soon as I deliver this sweet little babe, all my symptoms will start to return, namely my arthritis, and it comes back with a vengeance! Within a week of delivering Camryn I was miserable with pain from my joints. It can feel almost debilitating. For someone who’s never experienced it, I don’t know how to put it in words…imagine how sore you felt the day after a really, really, really intense workout – that’s almost relatable. The obvious answer is always “take medicine”, but I enjoy nursing my babies, and introducing such harsh drugs into their milk supply is just not an option for me, but changing my diet to reduce inflammation is!

Yes, this post has a point, I’m just taking the incredibly long and round about way of getting to it.

Here’s where Whole30 comes in – by cutting out dairy, sugar, and grains I can significantly reduce the amount of swelling in my joints. Some people have claimed to heal their bodies naturally through their diet! Now, you know how much I love me some desserts, coffee creamer with a side of coffee, and bread layered with cheese layered with more bread and cheese. Those are my love languages people, especially the last 9 months. But with my due date quickly approaching I decided that I needed to at least try to take control of my body and it’s craziness and do my part as a patient until my doctors can do their part when I finish nursing. So we started Whole30. If you live on Mars and have never heard of Whole30 or it’s very similar sister, Paleo, then you can read more about it here. I am using the next 30 days as a jumpstarter into a cleaner, healthier, more simplistic way of eating. Not a diet. Not at all a diet – I have no goals of losing any weight, and am eating tons and tons of food (without the snack restrictions that typical Whole30 followers adhere to). I am simply eating foods that fall within the Whole30 shopping list.

My meals for today:

Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs, organic ham, blackberries, and black coffee. The coffee was the only thing that sucked, but I’ll get over it.

Snack: Plum & a handful of pistachios

lunch

Lunch: Giant sized chicken salad (my eyes are bigger than my stomach!) with tomatoes, olives, avocado, and mixed greens (kale, spinach, chard). I also shared a small side of sweet potato with the hubs – I could live off sweet potatoes, they are my jam!!

dinner

I forgot to snap a pic at first, so excuse the half eaten steak. My husband makes the best steaks ever!!!

Dinner: A steak the size of my head (again, my portion control could use a little work…I’ll address that after little lady arrives and I actually care) steamed broccoli with garlic, little peppers (I could eat these all day!!), and the hubs and I shared a slice of watermelon and a side of sweet potatoes.

As you can imagine, based off my serving sizes, I never once felt hungry. I think whenever you start a new “diet” (again, I am not trying to lose weight, I just want to be really clear before anyone jumps down my throat and accuses me of malnutrition while preggo) you automatically think of nothing but eating, as if you’re going to be deprived, so instead you binge. Kinda like when you think about the gym, or exercising, you automatically think how much you want to eat a big slice of chocolate cake…wait, is that just me?!

So there you have it, day 1 of my whole30 journey. Pretty easy and delicious, and honestly I’m looking forward to the next 29 days. Are any of you Whole30 peeps? Have any good recipes for me? One of my BFF’s, Jenn (she has the cutest little family, you should definitely check her out), introduced me to whole30 and has shared some yummy recipes on Pinterest which I’ve added to my Food board if you want to check those out! Thanks Jenn!! :-) Oh, and if you want to follow her on Pinterest (she’s a better pinner than I am, to be honest…she also has great taste in pretty much everything else too) than you can find her here.

Phew! Longest post ever! I’ll keep sharing my food journey with you, and let you know how my body responds to less pizza and take-out, and more apples and kale. I’ll definitely share any of my favorite recipes with y’all too – share any you have with me too!!

XO – Samantha

Oh-So-Preggo

Hello Lovelies! I thought that my slackerness this week (sorry if you visited tuesday- thursday and found a whole lotta nothin’) should end on a bump update, because honestly, that’s all I’ve got going on in life these days! :-) I am slowly approaching week 35 and feeling more large and in charge than I ever remember feeling with Camryn. The biggest (other than my actual size) pregnancy symptom I seem to be battling is the hormonal roller coaster…I am up & down so fast it gives me whiplash. I had my hair done yesterday, and it seriously looks fine, but it wasn’t exactly how I had envisioned it so I came home and cried. Yes, I actually cried, over my hair, which looked fine, and can be easily changed without any fuss at all so I had no real reason to be upset. I’ve lost my damn mind. I had the ultimate bad day on Wednesday and ended up with tea in bed and read Gone Girl for about 3 hours. It was exactly what I needed!

Here are a few recent bump pics (in case you aren’t stalking my Instagram and aren’t already sick of seeing my belly over and over and over again already.)

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“Hey Girl” tee is from Asos, and the heart glasses are River Island (also purchased from Asos but no longer available). And my 3 year old takes the best pics!!!preggo2 preggo3

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B&W dress & bow belt are from Target.
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preggo6Whenever I post bare belly pictures on IG I get comments from strangers, usually tagging one of their friends, and saying “Dude, what happened to her belly button?!” First of all, BAHAHAHAHA!! I pee my pants laughing every single time. Second, it disappeared around week 30. ;-)

The nursery is still in shambles, we haven’t put her carseat in my car yet, and I don’t have anything packed for the hospital, but when this tiny lady is ready to come out we’ll be more than ready to greet her – prepared or not! You hear that Harper?! Mommy says “GET OUT!!!”

XO – Samantha + Bump

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