Faux Shiplap

Sometimes the easiest project turns into the biggest nightmare. Ha. After paneling our dining wall with pallet wood I thought this project was going to be a breeze. (Honestly it wasn’t thattt bad, but it should have been a lot easier/quicker.) Basically the entire project was supposed to be simply buying plywood, having the store cut it into 8” boards, nailing it up on the wall with spacers, and then painting it. Easy enough, right? Well first off it took us going to three different home improvement stores to finally find one where their saw wasn’t out of order. Then our nail gun stopped working so we had to hammer everything in by hand, and then we quickly realized our walls were pretty wonky so we needed to add trim around the edges to make everything have clean lines.

Starting off the project really wasn’t bad at all. We found the studs on the walls, lined them out and then started attaching the wood boards. We originally started by using a few pennies as spacers between the boards (both vertically and horizontally) but eventually just eyeballed it. We love the rustic look anyways so nothing needed to be perfect.

The boards went up so FAST compared to our pallet wall. Seriously using 8” boards was a dream come true. We alternated which side of the wall we started on and cut down the length of some of the boards so all the gaps wouldn’t line up. We mostly just nailed the boards into the studs but did use some liquid nails on the shorter boards that did not hit a stud. We had one outlet on the wall so we used an outlet extender to pull it out flush with the wood. (Remember to turn off the electricity before messing with any outlets!!) Also for our last row of panels we cut the wood to 9.5” instead of 8”. We were so close to the baseboards that putting an 8” board in and then a 1.5” board would look silly. In the end you can’t even tell the last board is actually larger.

Next up, we painted! First we went around in all the cracks with a ½ inch paint brush and then we used a small roller on the rest. This is the point where we realized we were probably going to need to trim out the wall. In pictures the wall looked fine but I swear the edges were driving me crazy! Some of the boards had areas where only ½ of them were touching the wall. Ha I think it was one of those things where no one else would have even noticed anything but it was literally all I could look at. So we went back to the store to purchase trim and some caulking.

We cut down the boards, painted and then attached them to the wall using liquid nails and nails. We also caulked some of the areas where our walls weren’t straight. And F-I-N-A-L-L-Y we were done!!

Yes, this project was a little more of a headache then I had wanted but honestly it was still super easy, especially compared to all the work we put into our pallet wall! Now we just need to do some more upgrades on our master so our new little bean doesn’t have the coolest room in the house.

Bumpdate – 20 Weeks 

We’ve officially hit the half way mark!!! I still feel nauseous pretty regularly but it isn’t as bad as it was or maybe I’m just getting used to it ha but either way I feel somewhat better, which is a good relief! We found out the gender 2 weeks ago at our 18 week Anatomy Check but for now it’s our little secret so don’t expect to find out for another few months! We aren’t even telling our parents so that’s how you know we mean business. Of course I did immediately splurge and buy a few gender specific outfits as soon as we found out, (and seriously haven’t stopped looking buying since. Oops!) Those are tucked away though so no one accidently sees them! Everything else looked great at the Anatomy check but I had only gained back about 1 lb. so my doctor wanted me to ramp up my protein intake to make sure I gained some more before my next appointment. I hope by “protein” she really meant bread pudding, starbursts, and pizza lunchables though because that’s pretty much how my week went following the appointment… Whoops. At least I can say I’m finally getting my appetite back! For someone who can usually down a foot long sub with chips in under 5 minutes, it was pretty annoying to get full after two bites of dinner so I’m glad that’s finally over with.

For clothes, I can still fit into the majority of my pre-pregnancy clothes but some pants/shorts aren’t very comfortable buttoned up so the Belly Band I purchased from Target has really come in handy. I also asked for a bunch of ASOS maternity clothes for my birthday last week so I’m excited to start wearing those as well. For me, I feel like I have finally got that baby bump but I think the majority of people wouldn’t know I was pregnant. I swear half my office still doesn’t know and they see my every day so I can’t be thatttt big. At 18 weeks though I did have a moment where I was completely caught off guard. While checking out at the grocery store the cashier asked about my pregnancy. At first I didn’t even think she was talking to me so I just ignored her until she literally locked eyes with me and asked again. I’m sure my jaw hit the ground. I didn’t think I looked pregnant at alllll then, well at least not to a complete stranger! My initial reaction was to be offended but then I realized UMM DUHHHH I AM PREGNANT, so I couldn’t really be mad ha. In the end though I still think she was pretty damn ballzy.

I must say I am really excited to make people feel uncomfortable though. I am totallyyyy going to be that person who says I’m not pregnant when someone asks how far along I am, even if I’m 39 weeks. Or maybe I’ll even put my hand on a strangers belly if they do it to me first. “Like I thought we were just having inappropriate tummy touching time, sorry?!” Totally kidding… kind of.

Okay so in all seriousness though, finding out the gender has made this whole thing seem so much more real! It’s a lot easier to picture what life is going to be like since we know what we’re actually having. Chappy has also really got into the whole pregnancy thing lately. He talks to the little bean and has even teared up a few times. (Like, come-on, soooo cute!!!) I swear he is more emotional than me!! (But I guess I shouldn’t reallyyy be surprised since he’s the one who cried at both our engagement and wedding.) As much as I love this little bebe it still is very strange to me that there is a tiny living human growing in my belly. Ha And I also still have conflicting moments that go pretty much like “yay I’m finally getting a baby bump” to “ughhh I’m getting so big.”

The coolest thing though is I’ve recently started to feel little kicks (I think) which is pretty exciting (and again creepy since there is something literally living inside of me ha.) I can’t wait until they are more pronounced so I don’t have to wonder if it was really a kick! 20 weeks down and 20 to go! I’m only up about 4.4 lbs. so far (not including the 3 I lost) sooo it looks like I’ll be doing a lot of growing the second half!



Bumpdate – 16 Weeks

My first trimester has come and gone put unfortunately all of those horrible first trimester symptoms haven’t quite left yet. Nothing is as extreme as it was during the beginning but I am still enjoying the lovely afternoon nausea and headache more often than not. Luckily I have got some of my energy back so I’ve finally headed back to AIR to start working out again! That first week was a bitch though. Trust me; it is HARD to get moving when you’ve mostly just sat on the couch the last 6 weeks. I do think it is extremely important that I keep active during this pregnancy though so I am going to try my best to keep going as long as I can! I’m trying to avoid any and all back pain associated with my scoliosis and even more importantly trying to keep it from progressing so maintaining a strong core at all times is critical for me. I’m hoping to start a prenatal yoga class soon which will also be good for my back plus it’s a great way for me to meet other soon to be mommies. Maybe it will even help me enough to get me back in bed… because I kid you not; I have slept on the couch for the last 3 months. Honestly with the nausea it was so uncomfortable to be laid out on a bed so instead I would curl up in the corner of our sectional and basically sleep sitting up.
 
Another lovely pregnancy symptom that has blossomed over the last few weeks, sore hips. Supposedly your ligaments and joints get all loosy goosy and stretched out during pregnancy which can cause pain and oh are they right! I can’t sleep on one side for more than an hour before I wake up in pain and have to switch. Other than that though everything is going great! Don’t I just make pregnancy sound like so much fun??? In all seriousness though, it is SOOO worth it. Even though some nights I cry to Chappy because I’m hormonal exhausted and am just sick of being sick, I still wouldn’t change a thing. Creating a tiny human is hard work so it makes sense that I don’t feel 100% (and for all those women out there who are blessed with no symptoms… I love you but I hate you…lucky bitches haha.) I still haven’t felt the baby move but I am finally getting a little bump which is so exciting! I have been disappointed for weeks since I wasn’t gaining any weight (especially since I lost during the first trimester) but now I am officially up .8 lbs this trimester! whoop whoop! Grow baby bump, grow! We get to find out the gender in a few short weeks and I can’t wait so I can finalize all the nursery décor. What do you guys think it’ll be? Boy or girl? You’ll have to wait and see because I won’t be revealing the gender until my first baby shower in October!!



 

We’re Pregnant! 

If you haven’t heard by now… 

WE’RE PREGNANT!

So basically when we were trying to get pregnant I had all these ideas in my head about how it’s going to be and all the great things I was going to do for the baby. Well pretty much all that crap went out the window at about 6 weeks. The first initial weeks of me knowing I was pregnant were painless. The only symptom I had was fatigue. So basically I just fell asleep earlier, big whoop. Right on time at 6 weeks though I was pretty much smacked in the face with morning sickness. And let me tell you, despite the name Morning Sickness is not just in the morning. It’s alllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll day. Whoever named it “Morning Sickness” really did an injustice to pregnant women around the world. It clearly was a man who’s never been through this so called “Morning” sickness that realistically is morning, afternoon, and night sickness. I honestly thought I would be eating so healthy during this pregnancy since I already eat fairly well and loveee all veggies. I never expected to be nauseous 24/7 and have crazy food aversions to basically all of our household staples. EVERYTHING gave me that gag reflex like when you brush your teeth too far back. YUCK. We went from a household that strictly stuck to our meal plan to one who was eating out almost every meal. Seriously, eating, (something you could once say was my favorite past time,) became a chore. It was exhausting trying to find something that wouldn’t elicit that dreaded gag. I was constantly hot and obsessed about nothing touching or being too tight on my stomach in fear of throwing up. My weekends (okay lets me honest—my weekdays as well) were spent half naked laying on the couch binge watching One Tree Hill. (Thank you Ashley!!) This was pretty much torture for Chappy who thought I was “glowing” and “just so sexy.” Realistically though I hadn’t washed my hair in days, I was constantly holding a bucket “just in case” and even the thought of anyone (or anything—puppies PLEASE GET OFF ME) touching me almost made me vomit. Chappy’s favorite thing to say was, “Isn’t this all you ever dreamed of” or a similar variation. If he wasn’t so attentive to all of my crazy cravings and needs I probably would have killed him. Ha. Eventually the nausea let up – SOME— but don’t worry that’s when the extreme migraines and bloating kicked in. (Doesn’t pregnancy just sound like so much fun???)

Besides the physical things, the next hardest part of these first 12 weeks was just keeping it a secret! At first we told just our family and a few of our closest friends. Without them I would have gone crazy those first 8 weeks. I even managed to go to a Nascar race and fake drink with the help of one other couple who knew. At 8 weeks pregnant though we decided to come out and just admit it to everyone in our friends group here in Charlotte. Doctors recommend not telling anyone until you make it out of your first trimester, where the likelihood of miscarrying is lower, but to us that really didn’t make sense. First off, pregnancy is pretty hard to hide when you can’t drink (and you feel miserable all the time.) There were only so many excuses I could use without my friends catching on. Also I thought that it was important my friends knew I’m pregnant in case something bad did happen. I would have been devastated and would have needed support from them. So at 8 weeks we invited everyone over for brunch and let them in on our big secret. Chappy has a tradition of making funny, parody rap songs for momentous occasions so of course we had to make one for brunch. To hear our baby announcement rap song click HERE. (You can also hear our Wedding Rap, (what I basically consider my life’s theme song) HERE.

Since I couldn’t post any baby related pictures over the last 13 weeks I’ve posted some below to help catch you up. Over the next few months I’ll try to keep you guys updated on the highs and lows of pregnancy so stay tuned!




Weaving 

I’ve recently picked up a new hobby, weaving. Super random, I know but we are currently in the midst of redecorating our master bedroom and lately I have been obsessing over finding the perfect woven wall hanging to accent my newly purchased West Elm side table. My husband could literally care less about any of the design choices I chose for our house so when I kept incessantly sending him wall hang after wall hang he suggested I invest in a loom and try it out for myself. He’s never very thrilled about spending money on something that doesn’t serve a substantial purpose so for him a woven wall hanging was a complete waste of money. I kid you not; it took a lottttt of convincing to even get him on board with the floor length mirror and side table ha—I literally had to stand on my bed’s footboard to see if my shoes went with my outfit every day. HELLO?!?!Like it was totally a necessity! Anyways to him, weaving one on my own would have a purpose.

I hate to admit it but for once in my life I am actually thankful for my husband’s stinginess. (Now don’t get any ideas Chappy this is a onetime occurrence!) If it wasn’t for him I would never have purchased the loom and discovered a new hobby that I am utterly obsessed with. Since my day job is the complete opposite of creative it is so refreshing to finally get to do something that stirs my artistic juices again. I weave before work, after work, on the weekends… Yes I have morphed into a complete grandma. I swear I would have a wall hanging in every room if Chappy allowed it. Since he doesn’t though, I’ve decided to sell the extra ones on Etsy so I can keep up my newly found hobby without driving my husband completely nuts. My account just went live today so make sure to go check it out HERE and let me know what you think! Also follow me on Instagram for updates and a chance to win a small woven wall hanging!

Staycation

This past weekend I surprised my husband with a Staycation. He had been (not so) secretly dreading the idea of driving somewhere far for a weekend getaway so when I finally let him in on the secret he was SO relieved. There were three main rules we had to follow while on the Staycation. No friends, only eating out, and no hanging out at home. Just like any vacation I plan I came up with a suggested itinerary for each day and made lists of all the great bars, restaurants, and places we should visit. Overall the weekend was PERFECT and just what we needed. I may have gained 10 pounds in three days but I swear calories don’t count on vacation so don’t judge me.

Our first night on Friday involved The Spoke Easy, Custom Shop, and Twenty Two. The Spoke Easy is essentially a full-service bike shop with a bar. It is located in Elizabeth and was right next to our dinner spot so I figured it would be the perfect location to hop in to and grab a quick drink. Also since Chappy is an avid mountain biker I figured this shop would be perfect for him! The shop was so hip, relaxed, and clearly the cool place to hang if you’re a biker. There was also this adorable toddler whipping around (wayyyy faster than I ever could) on a push bike. So cute!

   
  

Next up was Custom Shop and O-M-G the food was amazing! First and foremost, CHAPPY ATE BRUSSEL SPROUTS. Let me repeat that, CHAPPY ATE BRUSSEL SPROUTS. The real scary part though… he actually enjoyed them. Okay let’s let that sink in for a second. Crazy right?? Yeah, I know! So for dinner I got the Cocoa Rigatoni, Chappy got a crawfish pasta that was on special, and we shared the Brussels Sprouts and a Bread pudding for dessert. Everything was delicious. My pasta was rich and creamy and the squash added a great brightness to the dish. The Brussels and Bread pudding were by far the stars of the night though. The Brussels were crispy with a touch of sweetness and the Bread Pudding was the best I’ve ever had,( and I’ve had A LOT of bread puddings.) It really just had the perfect blend of textures and the flavors were on point.

   
  

Lastly we finished off the night with a visit to Twenty Two, a small art gallery with a beer and wine bar located in Plaza Midwood. This place had a cool loungey feel to it and was the perfect spot for our night cap.

   

Now let me warn you, our first real day on Staycation was seriously packed to the max! We started off Saturday with breakfast at Tupelo Honey and shopping at the Atherton Mill Market, then drove up to Lazy 5 Ranch (which was SOOOOOOOO worth it,) popped into Sugar Creek for a beer and some shopping at the Pink Social, then headed to NODA for lunch at Cabo Fish Taco and more beer at Heist, and finally finished off the night with drinks at the Summit Room, dinner at Beef and Bottle, and then more drinks at the Punch Room. (Remember calories don’t count, so stop judging! Ha) Now if you can only get one thing at your next visit to Tupelo Honey get The Queen Mary bloody mary. Okay, so I guess you should probably get food too, not just a cocktail but this drink was so unique I would definitely advise that you get it on your next visit. First off it’s yellow, not red and it comes with a shrimp garnish. It was spicy, refreshing, and lighter than your standard bloody so get it and you can thank me later.

  

Now let me start by saying if you have not been to Lazy 5 Ranch you need to get in your car and go there right NOW. You get to drive your car through the exhibit and feed the animals. It was sooo cool and very reasonably priced. Make sure to bring cash though because that’s all they accept!

   
    
   

Our next food stop was Cabo Fish Taco in Noda. Basically we went in thinking we weren’t that hungry but somehow we still managed to finish our plates. Whoops… oh well. We got the Carne Asada, Tavarue Tuna, and Blacked Mahi Mahi tacos and they were all delicious. The carne asada was so tender and seasoned perfectly, the Mahi Mahi was fantastic (and also one of my favorite types of fish tacos,) but the real star was the Tuna taco. Surprising I know, but the blackened lemon rub gave a great depth to the tacos which were already bursting with flavor from the kiwi-pineapple fajita and honey wasabi sauces. It was a party in my mouth for sure.

   
  

Our last food stop for the day was at Beef and Bottle for dinner. By this point in the night we were pretty stuffed. I swear we normally don’t eat like this so the idea of eating an entire steak dinner seemed a little daunting. We decided instead to share the French onion soup, Filet Mignon, and Deep Dish Apple Pie. The food was everything and more you look for in a quality steak dinner. I also didn’t even have time to snap one picture since Chappy dove in before I had a chance which can probably attest to how awesome the food was. One of the coolest things about this place though was actually the location. They have really kept the old-fashioned atmosphere which makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time as soon as you walk through the door. The entire experience was great and we have already added it to our go-to list of restaurants.

Our very last stop for the night was The Punch Room located in the Ritz in Uptown. We had heard a lot of buzz about this place and since Chappy is very into craft cocktails we HAD to try it out. Located on the 15th floor, this place is pretty exclusive and only holds about 35 people. The vibe was perfect for a cocktail and punch lounge and the drinks definitely fit the bill. If you are looking for a real craft cocktail in Charlotte this is the (only) place to go; be advised though the cheapest cocktail on the menu is a solid $17.00 so be ready to spend some money. We had originally planned to hop in for a quick taste before our next stop but ended up staying for the entire night. Awkwardly enough we spent more on drinks than we had spent on our entire dinner. (Remember, no judging!!!) They were all delicious though and totally worth it so we will be back.

   
    
  

Our last official day of Staycation was less packed and involved a bike ride to breakfast at Owen’s Bagels, bowling and lunch at 10 Park Lanes, a Funny Bus Tour, and dinner at Soul Gastrolounge. I was not feeling so hot Sunday morning (probably from a mix of drinking and binge eating from the previous day) so I opted to get something simple at Owen’s and stuck with a blueberry bagel with CC and cinnamon sugar. Chappy decided to get the Dixie Philly which smelled SO GOOD but also kind of made me want to vomit so I steered clear. Chappy downed it real quick though so I am sure it was delicious plus there was a steady line out the door for the entire time we were there so obviously this place is a big hit.
  

Next up was bowling and BBQ at 10 Park Lanes which had seriously been on our bucket list since seeing it on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives about 3 years ago. I’m not really sure what took us so long to finally make the trip but bowling is always fun – except this time since Chappy actually beat me for the FIRST TIME EVER—UGH and the food was yummy. We had heard about these stacked jars of bbq so of course we had to try them. Now I would not go so far and say that they are true “Carolina BBQ” but they were still very tasty. We got the Que and Smoke Jars to share which basically involved pulled pork, slaw, and beans versus brisket, jalapenos, and mac and cheese. Our favorite ended up being the Que Jar which was surprisingly spicier then the Smoke jar with jalapenos.

   
  

Next up we headed out to do the touristiest (totally not a word but okay) thing so far on our Staycation. Take a tour of the city! Now of course we couldn’t just do any tour, especially since we actually live here so we decided to try out the Funny Bus Tour. It’s a 90 minute tour that takes you around Uptown. You get a little bit of history and a lot of comedy club style jokes. The best part is that you can drink beer and wine on the bus during the tour! The ride was funny, relaxed and it seriously was the perfect way to spend the Sunday afternoon.
   
  

Of course though we couldn’t finish out the Staycation without eating out one last time for dinner, right?? HELLOO I had to get in all the calories I could before they started to count again. We decided to waddle (I swear by this point we had ate enough food for the entire week) our way to Soul Gastrolounge in Plaza Midwood. We picked the Shells & Cheese, Fried Brussel Sprouts (because SURPRISE CHAPPY EATS THEM NOW—LIKE WHATT,) Spanakopita, and Fried Goat Cheese on Bruschetta to share. Considering we were already pretty full I am not sure why we chose three cheese dishes. Don’t get me wrong, they were all delicious but the struggle was real. Chappy’s favorite part was by far the cheese from the Shells & Cheese dish. He literally was dipping everything into it. So yes, he was in fact dipping fried cheese into cheese. How he managed to do this and not explode I’m not sure.

  

In the end our Staycation truly felt like a weekend getaway. We did so much exploring and really made a solid dent in our 2016 Food Bucket List. The funny part about vacations though is that sometimes you need a vacation to recover from your vacation so that’s exactly what we did. On Monday, the last official day of tax season, we decided to sleep in and take the day off. It seriously was the perfect ending to the stress filled tax season.

  
 
 
 

 

Tax Day

TAX SEASON IS OFFICIALLY OVER! (Not really, but kind of) Either way you have no idea how excited I am that I can finally say that. Saying the past few months have been hard would be an understatement. We literally moved into our new house and then got thrown into full blown tax season. For the last few months my husband has worked every day. No days off, no sick days, no vacation, and no whining. Yeah right ha, okay, so there was a lotttttt of whining, mostly just coming from me though. For the last few months my husband has been stressed (high-strung, moody, exhausted, irritable… ha) from non-stop working and I’ve been stressed because he’s literally always working! I basically became single for the last few weeks and proudly 3rd wheeled it with all of our couple friends while my husband was stuck at the office.

  

   

One plus side though is I did get a lot more free drinks without my husband there so at least I had that going for me.

Since I finally get my husband back for the weekend I decided it would be the perfect time to surprise him with a little weekend trip to… wait for it…

CHARLOTTE!!

Ha okay so it’s a Staycation but I am making it official so of course there are a few rules. It’ll be only us, only eating out, and only new activities! We have both lived in Charlotte for years, (Chappy since birth and for me since 2012) yet there are so many things we have yet to try. This weekend will be completely dedicated to eating new foods, going new places, and basically just really getting out to explore our city. The official Charlotte Staycation starts NOW so be sure to follow along on my Instagram to see all the cool places it takes us. First stop, Custom Shop.

 YUM!