It’s been awhile…

Yippee! I’m back! After nearly a solid month of travelling, I’m finally home and it feel so damn good! I started this post saying “Sorry I’ve been MIA for 2 weeks…” but honestly, I’m not sorry. I had such great trips, spent quality time with my husband and Camryn, and was really present. My blog is a priority to me, but sometimes I need to step away and enjoy my life a little without feeling guilty when I don’t snap that picture, or document every moment. With Harper on her way I’m trying to really soak up these last few months as a family of 3. So no, I’m not sorry, but I am very grateful to all of you who stuck around while I was gone.

Where to start? My first stop was in Washington State where a large portion of our family and friends live. My husband and I both grew up there, so going back is always fun and full of catching up with old friends. It never feels like we have enough time there to see everyone, and our trips are always so chaotic and rushed, but two weeks was perfect this time. Following WA we headed to New York for a week. My husband had a work conference to attend and Camryn and I tagged along for fun. I love NY. Camryn learned to walk in Central Park, I think it’s a beautiful city, and I absolutely love going there…with that said, I H-A-T-E Times Square. Lucky me, our hotel was in the heart of Times Square. If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw this photo…

NY4This is me, hiding in our hotel room while I drank my coffee and ate breakfast because I could literally TASTE the smelly streets and people in Times Square. I repeat, they smelled so bad I could taste them.

On the bright side, we still had a great time.

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NY10When we got home we had the best mail waiting for us (a months worth). I had indulged in a few of the new Duchess & Lion Co items, and the “Bad Apple Dress” had arrived. It might be my new favorite dress ever.

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Duchess and LionI can’t get over how grown up my girl looks. She starts school on the 25th and I think I might cry for the first month. She also has to wear a uniform, which might also make me cry. What will I do with all her cute clothes Monday-Friday?! ;-)

I’ll have a new post coming your way tomorrow…maybe 2…woah, I know, things are getting cray cray around here!!

XO – Samantha

Blackberry Breakfast Cake

Blackberry Breakfast Cake

Happy Friday all! I am so excited to be guest posting for Samantha today.

I have a crazy good recipe for you this morning, a blackberry breakfast cake.  I have never cooked with a cast iron skillet before but have always wanted to.  I was at Fred Meyer last week and passing the clearance section, this gorgeous purple mini cast iron skillet caught my eye.  At 90% off, yes 90%, I could not pass it up! And it was purple, so obviously it was meant for me. I couldn’t wait to come up with a fun recipe to make.

My father-in-law brought us  blackberries so was excited to use them for this recipe.  It is perfect for a Saturday morning and so easy!

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You could use any fresh berry in place of blackberries and it would still taste great!

DSC_3This recipe makes 2 6″ skillet cakes

DSC_2Of course, top it with whipped cream!

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What you’ll need 

1 cup flour

1 Tbsp. sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 egg

1/2 cup half and half

1/2 cup blackberries

2 tsp. butter

What you’ll do

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. While oven is preheating, place skillets in oven.

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together.

Stir in egg and half and half.

Remove skillets from oven and melt 1 tsp. butter in each skillet.

Divide batter into 2 skillets.

Top with blackberries and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Enjoy!! And have a great weekend :)

 

Downtown ATX // Graffiti Girl

Camryn & I went on a little date down to see some of our favorite graffiti artists recent work at the Hope Outdoor Gallery. My brother-in-law is a super talented artist and he introduced me to Erika, or @400MLBakery You may remember her from this post. She’s one of the sweetest, and most genuine people, and Camryn & I love her witty, fun art. She definitely helps keep Austin cool, and her art draws in locals and tourists for awesome photo-ops…us included. :-)

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If you live in Austin, go check out the Hope Wall, also known as Castle Hill. If you don’t live in ATX, I hope you at least enjoyed looking at pics of my sweet girl, and you can sneak more pics of Erika’s art on her instagram!

XO – Samantha

Vacation Update & Lemons

Well, hello friends! A whole 10 days passed, and really all I’ve managed to do in that time is eat, sleep, and snuggle my nephew. It. Was. Heaven.

Gahhhh, he’s just the cutest little man, isn’t he? If I wasn’t already knocked up, I’d be in trouble, because he gave me baby fever like you wouldn’t believe! I’m literally obsessed with him, and it was so heartbreaking leaving Colorado and not knowing when I’ll see him again.

While I was on vacation I stopped in Baby Gap and scored the best little lemons bathing suit for miss Harper, and it was on sale for $5.99. I kid you not. Run, do not walk, to your nearest Baby Gap. Or better yet, buy one online and save an additional 30% with code EXTRA.

Speaking of cute lemon apparel, did you sneak a peek at my big (little) lady rocking her “Lemons Make Lemonade” tee from Kate And James? You can snag one of those darling (and super soft) tees for your own little, on sale for $20 now. They also sell onesies, and other awesome tees, and I’ve been spotting them all over IG on some fashionable kiddos like @sarahholstrom’s Tallulah & Phinn.

And if you’re having a “lemon moment” like I am lately, you’re going to need to get this Little Big Dreamers lemon headband too. If you weren’t lusting over lemon prints before today, are you now? :-)

Camryn & I will be giving some DIY art for Harper’s nursery a whirl today, so wish us luck! Hopefully I’ll have something successful to share with you tomorrow.

Happy Monday, and thanks for sticking around with me…I know I’ve been hit and miss lately, but I’m working on it.

XO – Samantha

Oh, heyyyy!

It seems I got lost for a week…or more realistically, buried in a pile of junk that needed to be cleared from my home. I’ve finally found my way out, sold a whopping $280 worth in my garage sale (not worth all that effort!!), and donated so much to Goodwill that I’m officially keeping their store running. ;-)

Seriously though, my mom & I killed it over the last 10 days. I never in a million years thought we’d finish all the projects on my to-do list, but the lady that birthed me is an animal. She doesn’t ever stop moving. She never takes breaks. She makes me look like a 90 year old. She helped paint 2 full bedrooms…in 2 days…she’s the bomb!!

After painting the baby’s nursery a less yellow/beige, I had the crazy idea to add a herringbone wall. Sometimes I wonder if I’m trying to kill myself with DIY projects.

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I’ve started taping off the wall, and at some point this week I’m going to hold my breath, hope I’m not making a huge mistake, and paint the wall a minty color. Wish me luck!!

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Other than housework, I’ve managed to fit in a mani/pedi with Mom and Camryn…

ballerinaBallet, and many, many coffee dates…

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Looked at this cute face and wondered how I’ll ever manage to love another one as much as her…
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Chopped 4+ inches off my hair!!! Still can’t believe I actually did it, but it feels so nice to have a little less to deal with.

doesmybuttlookfatAnd I also tortured myself with maternity shopping because I just couldn’t keep squeezing into my old pants anymore. This is the obligatory “Does my butt look big in these jeans” text that I sent my husband, who so kindly replied with “Buy those!!!” That man always knows the right thing to say. :-)  17 weeks (18 tomorrow) and feeling twice as big as I did at this time during my first pregnancy. Nausea slowed down for about a week, but has been popping back up the last 3 days. All I can say is, this kid better be really cute!!

XO – Samantha

Weekending with Mom

Is it really Monday already? That was the quickest weekend in a long time. I managed to fit in a garage sale, a pool date, dinner at a fun new restaurant, a few cheeseburgers (this baby loves cheeseburgers lately!!), and even an afternoon relaxing with the hubs and Camryn and watching the USA game.

Mom and I tackled my garage last Thursday and then uncluttered my guest closets and the baby’s future nursery. How I had managed to store so much stuff in my home that I didn’t need and didn’t use was truly amazing. I filled my garage back up and was able to sell quite a bit at the garage sale. Since I still have about half a garage full of chairs, a crib, area rugs, etc. I’ll be hosting yet another garage sale this coming Saturday. P.S…garage sales aren’t my jam. :-/ They require far more work and effort than you ever imagine, and the reward always feels so small. Oh, and those people that haggle over something that’s $1 blow my mind!! It’s a DOLLAR people…if you came out shopping with less than a dollar in your pocket then you need to go home!!

Later that night we went up north to try a restaurant that my husband and I had seen on Food Network the night before. (click the link to watch clips of the show we saw, and be prepared to drool)

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The black pepper and gruyere cheese popovers were 100% of the reason I went. I couldn’t stop thinking about them after watching the show, and let me tell you, they were delicious! So insanely good that I took an order of 2 home with me to eat for breakfast Sunday morning. :-) If you live in the Austin area, go eat at F&D, you won’t be disappointed. Oh, did I mention they have a thing called “Dollar Oyster Tuesdays”? Say whaaaattt?!!

Sunday was spent relaxing, eating cheeseburgers from P. Terry’s (this post should have been titled: What I ate all weekend!) and watching soccer. Camryn was mimicking Taylor the entire USA game, and was yelling “c’mon!” at the t.v. for 2 hours straight. While I lounged, I also did some online baby shopping, and I can’t wait to share a few new bits and pieces that I found for my tiniest lady. My husband is convinced that shopping for clothes 5 months before she arrives is ludacris…I’m convinced his job in life is to make me miserable. ;-) I mean, this pregnancy hasn’t been a cakewalk. The least I deserve is a little fun preparing for baby’s arrival, am I right? Men. I swear.

Here’s a sneaky peek at some adorable stuff I also found for Camryn:

Mara Hoffman for tiny ladies…I die.

Mom and I are spending the day painting the remainder of Camryn’s room, and hopefully starting on the baby’s room. I’m using my favorite, Benjamin Moore’s Swiss Coffee. I’ll snap some progress pics for y’all, and try to give you a before peek at the nursery before I start decorating it.

Pretty much sums up my Monday sentiment. Doesn’t mean I won’t shave my head and beat people with an umbrella…

I’m linking up with Biana today, so come say hi!

XO – Samantha

Blog Tour

I started Playdates + Pearls 9 months ago as an outlet from my day-to-day “mom life” after having been a reader of blogs for years. I had been following ladies that had similar interests in fashion, beauty, and design and I wanted to join them in creating a little space in the blogosphere that was my own. I needed to push myself out of my comfort zone and put myself into an unknown, and at times uncomfortable, situation and I’m so glad that I did. In the short time since creating P+P I’ve met so many amazing ladies, and had the opportunity to work with some incredible small businesses and other blogs. I always say that my little corner of the internet is such a happy place, where I feel supported and respected, and where I hope my readers find joy when visiting. Getting to “girl talk” with all of you makes me feel sane on days when I’ve been chasing a naked toddler around all day, while still in my pajamas at 4pm, with cheerios in my hair.

My favorite blogger (and real life BFF) is Rene of My Simple Kitchen. She started her food blog just a short time after I started blogging, and we’ve been so lucky to go through this experience together. She is the most genuine, kind, and thoughtful person I know…she’s also a ridiculously good cook!! She lets me send her ideas, or recipe-less photos from pinterest and then she’ll create a recipe for me. I asked for coconut brownies, and she came up with these Mound Brownies that are like heaven to the tenth power times chocolate. Ya know what I mean?! :-) She tagged me to be apart of this “blog tour” with her, and answer some questions as well as share a few of my favorite bloggers with you, so here goes!

1.  What am I working on?

I am taking a small hiatus from working on anything too ambitious because I’ve been pre-occupied with growing a tiny human. I am entering my second trimester and looking forward to tackling projects like designing a nursery, changing my office/theater into a gym, and generally feeling more like myself again. I’ve been feeling so exhausted and sick the last couple months, and blogging has taken a backseat during that time, so getting back to blogging will be a bright spot for me.

2.  How does my work differ from others in its genre?  & 3. Why do I write what I do?

Nobody is living my life except me, so I have an advantage here… ;-) but I think my blog is constantly evolving with my taste and esthetic, and my readers are constantly being introduced to new products when I’m discovering them. I never sit down and start a post thinking “How can I be different from other beauty/fashion/design blogs?” I just write about what I’m enjoying at that moment in my life, and what I would want to read about if I was on the other side of the computer screen. What new space in my home is getting re-decorated? What am I using on my face that’s making a difference lately? What would I be telling my girlfriends about on a sunday over brunch? That’s what I’m sharing with y’all. If my kid says something funny, you’ll probably hear about it. If I buy a new handbag and it’s the bomb, you’ll definitely know.

4.  How does your writing process work?

I typically sit down in the evenings, after my tiny lady is in bed for the night, with a cup of tea and a snack (aka dessert) and just write about whatever is relevant. If I’ve been working on a DIY then I’ll share some photos and the process for any of you that might want to tackle a similar project. If I’ve bought new products that are worth mentioning, I will. I share my weekend happenings, mine and Camryn’s fashion as of late, and any new home decor that I think you might like seeing. My life is constantly moving, sometimes in a thousand different directions, so I share bits and pieces of that with you.

Here are 3 of the blogs I love reading, and think you’ll also enjoy!

Bethann of BethAnimalPrint is my go-to fashion friend. She has impeccable style, and I love her effortless ability to mix high and low, and play with pattern. She takes beautiful photos of her outfits, which makes replicating them a breeze, and always shares where she found her favorite steals or splurges. I’m always finding new must-have items through her blog, and source tons and tons of inspiration from her. She and I met through Lucky Magazine, and have worked together styling an outfit with a few other gorgeous ladies, as well as hosting a fun giveaway.

Biana of BLovedBoston is a friend I mention time and time again. She is such a sweetheart, and writes about products that I’m interested in reading about. She is one of the nicest people I’ve met since starting my blog, and I feel like she’s a friend who genuinely cares about my success as a blogger. She cheers me on, and is always willing to join in on a giveaway, or fun collaboration. She writes about all things fashion and beauty, as well as life as a (kinda) newlywed.

I’ve been reading Shelley’s blog for over 2 years now, and Crazy Wonderful is one of my favorites for interior design and easy DIY projects. Her family recently moved into their new home that was being custom built for them, and it’s amazing!! Her kitchen makes me drool, and her black & white interior design is always swoon worthy. I love seeing before and after pictures of all her little projects, and am always so impressed with her eye for detail. If you love interior decor as much as I do, and budget-friendly DIY’s are your jam, she’s your girl.

I hope you all enjoyed this fun post! I tag all of you – share your blogger journey, and share a few of the blogs you enjoy reading. Thank you again to Rene for including me in this blog tour!

XO – Samantha

Weekending Link-up

Hello friends!!

My husband was out of town for most of the week, and we were weaning Camryn from her pacifier, so I’m sorry I missed you all for a few days. I can never get on here and say “sorry, husbands out of town and everything’s going to sh*t”, but anytime you’re missing me here, you can come find me on Instagram. A picture is worth a thousand words right? :-)

Today I’m linking up with my sweet friend Biana from BLovedBoston, and sharing some of my weekend fun.

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One of my favorite dine-out meals is going for hibachi. The only hibachi restaurant is an hour from my house and my husband always complains about taking me, but you can’t deny a pregnant lady a good meal, so we went! *happy dance* This is also one of Camryn’s favorite meals, and she L-O-V-E-S when the chef throws shrimp to her. She also loves to steal my soup. While we were at lunch we got news that our nephew was born!!! My poor sister-in-law had been in labor the entire night before, and we had been anxiously awaiting news that he was finally here. They kept his name under lock & key until after his birth – Luke Robert – such a fun surprise. He has the sweetest little face, and I will share a picture as soon as Mommy & Daddy give me the ok. I’m so excited to finally be an auntie, and the month wait before I fly out to see him will feel more like a year!
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After lunch we spent Saturday afternoon downtown playing putt putt golf, and had way too much fun! Camryn learned how to hold her putter, and would hit the ball, then run to the end, pick up her ball, and put it in the hole. Needless to say, her “hole in one” tactic helped her whoop us.
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Then we made our way to South Congress for some vintage shopping with Auntie, and we beat the 90+ degree heat with some ice cream at the Big Top Candy Shop.
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On Sunday we relaxed by the pool, stopped by trader joes and stocked up on salads for the week, and may or may not have found the gourmet popcorn section…oops! So much for salads.
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I’m entering my 14th week today, and visiting both my OB’s. Hopefully this “morning sickness” starts to fade soon, because I’m starting to think this baby hates me and enjoys making me miserable. Despite all the nausea, my bump is growing, quickly! Do you think I can sweet talk one of the sonographers into peeking between baby’s legs and guessing the gender?!
preggoI hope you all had a great weekend! Be sure to click on the link-up button above to check out what some of my favorite bloggers got up to this weekend as well.
Oh, and did I mention my tiny lady turns THREE tomorrow? I can’t even talk about it yet; I just want to cry. More on her tomorrow.
XO – Samantha

Memorial Weekend Recap

Welcome back to the real world friends. How amazing were the last 3 days? Don’t you think we’d live in a happier world if every weekend was 3 days long? My weekend was the uber uneventful kind, where you do absolutely nothing but lounge around the house and do chores…and by “do chores”, I mean be preggo and relax while watching my husband be super-mom for the weekend. He’s seriously the greatest.

While relaxing, I was wearing my favorite new jammies, and yes, they are noteworthy. These Target pajamas are the most comfortable thing I’ve ever worn. I talked myself out of going places this weekend just so I didn’t have to change out of these. I’ll be adding every other color of these to my collection ASAP, especially for only $14.99. It doesn’t hurt that my husband says they make my butt look nice. ;-)

I finally got brave and took away my daughters pacifier. EEK! We’ve been building up to this moment for months, and the timing just never felt right, but I finally bit the bullet and the “paci fairy” came to take them away to the new babies at the hospitals who need them more than Camryn does. In a nutshell, it’s been hell. She cried for hours. Our neighbors probably think I’m an abusive parent after hearing her wailing. She kept saying “I don’t want to be a big lady! I want to stay a baby!”, and “The paci fairy is mean. I can’t like her!”. Yes folks, “I CAN’T like her”…not I don’t, but I CANT. She’s not dramatic at all. Bedtime has become a hot mess, and I told my husband we need to rub the pacifiers in raw chicken, and then throw them away wrapped in dirty diapers so that there’s no turning back in a moment of desperation.

We had a freak thunderstorm yesterday, so naturally my husband cooked up My Simple Kitchen’s crockpot chili recipe and we hibernated and watched World War Z and How to Train Your Dragon. Seriously y’all, such good movies! I swear I didn’t breathe the entire time we watched WWZ, it’s so intense, and HTTYD is Camryn’s jam. The sequel comes out in June and she is stoked to go see it (my husband and I are admittedly as excited.)

Nothing too exciting over here. I hope you all had great, relaxing weekends as well!

XO – Samantha

Boston {and around here lately}

I know I’ve been pretty MIA the last week, but many of you know that I was in Boston last week and had the most fun mini-vacation. My husband travels to the Boston area frequently on business, and Camryn and I decided to tag along this trip (for the first time) since the weather was nice. We’re not big on cold, wet, or frozen, and that’s what Boston typically is, so we were so excited to finally be able to join him and check out the city. My friend Biana, from BLovedBoston, had told me prior to visiting that the hotel we were staying at was nice, and she was absolutely right. We stayed on the north side of town, at the Fairmont Battery Wharf hotel, and it was gorgeous. I would highly recommend it.

While we were there we visited Harvard, MIT, and drove around the city on Mothers Day exploring. Camryn and I spent a day seeing the aquarium, eating and shopping at Quincy Market, and seeing Madagascar in 3D at the IMAX theater. It was warm, and sunny, and absolutely gorgeous weather for all but one day. Our last day in town got down to the 50′s, but it was nice to hibernate in the hotel and spend a day relaxing with my girl.

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This weekend we spent some time on South Congress, and we may or may not have picked up two…yes TWO…of the Intelligender tests. We have zero patience. Both said “boy”, so we’ll have to wait a few more weeks to see if they’re right or wrong. Either way, it was a fun way to waste $80. :-) I’m entering my 12th week today, and feeling worse than ever. I was sick every hour yesterday, and couldn’t keep down hardly anything. I’m really hoping this morning sickness goes away soon, otherwise I’m going to have to ask my doc for something to help ease my stomach. On the bright side, baby is healthy and we’ve started hearing the heartbeat on our at-home fetal doppler. My overwhelming exhaustion is fading away also. WooHoo! I can almost keep up with my toddler again. Ha!

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Have any of you taken the Intelligender tests? Were your results accurate?

Hope you all had a great weekend!

XO – Samantha

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