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So, Vegas just isn’t our scene. I wasn’t miserable or anything, but we just couldn’t get into it! I don’t know, I realized while we were out walking around that I probably don’t like it because I don’t really like spending money, and there’s not a lot to do except go out and spend money on things. Clarification: I like thinking about spending money, and I don’t mind spending money (even a lot of money) on quality items that will last a really long time. I feel like it was even more expensive than vacationing in Maui! Maybe not, but at least in Maui you have the clear blue ocean, gorgeous views and that delicious island air. Vegas is just… gaudy. The dry desert air was really awesome for my skin and hair, though. It’s so humid here, even when it’s not!

Our travels back from Vegas went much more smoothly than they did on our way out. Getting up at 3am wasn’t as bad since we hadn’t really adjusted to the time change yet. We had a roomy, half-full plane for our long flight to DC, and we got to watch The Big Year, which wasn’t the best movie ever, but better than nothing. I also brought a million snacks with me. I was traumatized on our way out, when our flight to Houston was late and we missed our layover. I planned to get a bite to eat during those precious 50 minutes, but since we missed that, I only had a bag of nuts to eat and I felt like I was going to die. (And I guess I’d rather die than pay eight bucks for a package of goldfish and 100 calorie cookies. SO RIDICULOUS! (This blog post is making me sound miserly, which I promise I’m not!)) So, the flights went quickly and smoothly, and the traffic from Norfolk to my parents’ house in Virginia Beach wasn’t too bad, especially for 5:00!

Vada was SO excited to see us when we got to my mom and dad’s. She said she “missed us all the time!” We only talked to her once while we were away and she started crying, so we decided it would be best if we just cut off contact until we got back. She had a ton of fun with my parents while we were gone. They went to the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival, my sister took her to the mall, my dad took her to visit my uncles at work and to Kids Cove at Mount Trashmore, and my mom took her to the aquarium.

The next morning, we got up at 6:30, packed up the car and started our 5 hour drive back home so Greg could get in a half day of work. It was so nice to see those Blue Ridge Mountains! We got home just in time for Vada (and me) to take a nap (which ended up being 3 hours, whoops!) Nothing feels better than sleeping in your own bed after being away for a while.

Vada and I are celebrating Leap Day by staying at home and being cozy in our PJs allllll day. It’s yucky and rainy outside, perfect for catching up on laundry and emails, and for getting back into the swing of “real life.” ♥

I read so many more books since I got my Kindle last year. I guess it’s a combination of how simple it is to buy books (one click!) and the portability of the little guy, it just makes reading that much easier. Plus, having the Kindle app on my phone, I always have a book with me! I love technology.

I finished reading Mindy Kaling’s book on our way to Vegas the other day and I just loved it. She is completely hilarious and had me laughing out loud so many times. The book starts off with her funny and embarrassing childhood and works its way through her life, ending with “strict instructions for her funeral” and a eulogy written for her by one of her friends. Random chapters about her opinion on different things are thrown in there too, like one about why she doesn’t eat cupcakes anymore, “types of women in romantic comedies who are not real” and a chapter on Jewish guys.

Reading this book made me love Mindy. I wish we could be friends in real life. I feel like she would be so easy to hang out with, and would be one of those positive role models/super-girlfriends who would always have my back and honestly tell me if my butt looked big in a pair of jeans, etc. She’s smart, determined and a really hard worker. And she doesn’t take herself too seriously either, which I love.

I definitely recommend this book to all girls – you’re pretty much guaranteed to like it. And it’s a super easy read that could probably be finished in a single sitting if you really wanted to.

I’ll probably be doing little book reviews more frequently on here in the future. (I’m trying to become a better “writer…”) My choices in literature are usually pretty dorky/trendy though, so don’t make fun of me, I just like easy-reading! I just started Girl Land by Caitlin Flanagan on our flight back into Norfolk yesterday. I’m only a few pages in and I’m not quite sure how I feel about it yet. We’ll see how long I can hang with that before I start Michael Ian Black’s You’re Not Doing It Right, which I pre-ordered and just popped up in my Kindle today.

I usually get my book recommendations from my friends on Goodreads (which I’m not the best at updating, whoopsies…) from Twitter and from Bust Magazine. Anything I must read? Looking at you, Erin. ♥

I am totally in love with this jewelry from Rachel Pfeffer Designs. I have to have at least one piece, but it’s too hard to choose!

1. Black Oval Drusy with Hearts $110

2. Gold Drusy and Triangle Studs $112

3. Camera Pendant $88

4. Missing Pie Piece with Black Onyx Rings (Pacman!) $124

5. Turquoise Heart on Gold Filled Band $96

6. Mini Honeycomb Necklace $62

I’m leaning toward the Black Oval Drusy with Hearts, which is the piece that first caught my attention. But I’m also in love with the Mini Honeycomb Necklace. Then maybe I’ll treat myself to the Camera Pendant once I finish with my photography class… There’s also a killer amethyst pendant in her shop. Amethyst is my birthstone, and I’ve never really liked it because I’ve never really been into purple, but there’s just something special about that necklace. Probably the little gold triangle detail. GAH! Decisions… ♥

We took a little trip to Las Vegas this weekend for my cousin’s wedding. It’s been… tiring.

Thursday morning we drove 5 hours to my parents’ house in Virginia Beach to drop Vada off. We had to wake up at 3am the next morning to catch our 5:30am flight out of Norfolk, and I barely slept a wink that night, worrying that I would sleep through my alarm. Our flight out of Norfolk was late so we had to haul ass through the Houston airport to (barely) catch our connecting flight to Vegas. We checked into our hotel at around 11:00am, got some food, and spent most of the day wandering around our enormous hotel like zombies and catching up on sleep.

By Saturday morning I was feeling more alive and back to normal. We had a delicious breakfast and I spent the day hanging out with my cousin doing matron of honor stuff while Greg and my brother went out exploring the strip. I hung out with Jenny while she got her hair done at a fancy Paul Mitchell salon in our hotel, then we went back to her room to hang out and do our makeup. The wedding was at 3:00, so we got to the chapel at 2:00 to get her dressed and ready to walk down the aisle. She looked like a beautiful and glamorous little brunette Barbie doll. Her dress and shoes, hair and makeup, everything was just perfect.

The wedding was short and sweet without being rushed or anything. The pastor was great and gave a lot of really great marriage advice throughout the service. There were a plenty of happy tears. I can’t help it, I just always cry at weddings! They are just such a nice reminder of how special my marriage is and make me feel renewed in my own vows.

After the wedding, we had some photos taken and I ran to my room to change dresses because that size 4 JCrew bridesmaid dress just wasn’t working out anymore (as in it was cutting off my circulation.) There was a nice cocktail party, and then everyone went back to their rooms for a few hours before meeting up again later that night for a party at a club called Tryst.

I decided to stay in for the evening, because being almost 6 months pregnant: 1.) I was tired. 2.) I would have felt completely ridiculous riding around the Las Vegas strip in a yellow stretch Hummer. 3.) I doubt I would have had fun hanging out with a bunch of super drunk people. 4.) If I would have gone, I would have only lasted 2 hours max, and I wanted Greg to be able to enjoy himself in Vegas! 5.) I was tired.

So I had some relaxing alone time in the hotel. Meanwhile, Greg had a little too much fun… He got in around 2:30 after having at least 2 drinks too many and ended up throwing up. Unfortunately, this was to be expected. (He rarely drinks.) Silly Greg.

Once we eventually get out of bed today, I’m looking forward to finally getting out to see some sights. We have the whole day to do whatever we want, so we’ll probably have a taxi drop us off somewhere down on the strip and just walk around, do some shopping and people-watch. I might put a dollar in one slot machine where you can win $12 million, but otherwise I don’t think I’ll be doing any gambling while we’re here. It doesn’t feel right to me to just… give my money away to a machine? And I don’t know how to play any card games.

So far, my impressions of Las Vegas are…

This place is crazy. It’s like an alternate universe – a massive adult playground where time doesn’t exist. It’s kind of over-the-top and feels a little ridiculous. It’s also the most expensive place I’ve ever been in my life. Seriously, SO expensive.

We’ll see what today brings. ♥

Ummm, I’ll take one of each, please! I am in love with this entire outfit. It’s totally me – pretty casual and comfortable, but still fun and fashionable. (Wait, that’s me, right? Haha.) I love the wedges and could see myself wearing them all spring. And that bold bag really makes me happy. ♥

1. Berkeley Large Tote -12th Street by Cynthia Vincet – Shopbop

2. A.P.C. Madras Denim Tunic – Urban Outfitters

3. Incandescence Ring – BHLDN

4. Beckett Striped Evergreen Frames – Warby Parker

5. Jeffrey Campbell Pisa Wedge – Urban Outfitters

I have been letting Vada get away with watching a little too much television lately. The fact that I am even writing this makes me feel like a deadbeat. (Hello, mom guilt!) I think we fell into this bad habit when I first got pregnant and felt so exhausted and nauseated for three months straight (that’ll do it, I guess) coupled with the colder winter months when it’s no fun to play outside.

Now, she only watches Nick Jr. and kids shows on PBS, which she has actually learned a lot from… things that I definitely didn’t teach her. For example, one day we were driving along and she points to a stop sign and says “look mama, an octagon!” Uh, excuse me? Didn’t get that one from me or daddy, that’s for sure. But the amount of time spent in front of the TV needs to be cut back a lot, so today I cut her off cold turkey. She whined a few times that she wanted to “watch her shoooowwwwwww ppllleeeeaaasssseeeee” but I just never turned it on. The funny thing is – without it, I actually found that was more productive! (Apparently, I get sucked into Team Umizumi, too…) We listened to music while I folded and put away a ton of laundry in my room. She “helped” me with her clothes and jumped and danced on the bed. I did some more rearranging and organizing in her big girl room while she played with her stuffed animals. I put away all the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen while she colored. We put together a puzzle. So far, it’s been great.

So, aside from when I have to bring Vada to work with me at Eileen Quilts (I let her watch movies while I quilt) we are cutting way back on our TV watching. Like, I don’t even want it on during the day. At all. Period. It just feels better! Now if only I could monitor Greg’s TV-intake… ♥

Image from Hazel+Grace on Etsy

We finally got a snow day this winter. I was worried the snow would never come! Vada absolutely loved it. We didn’t get her any proper snow gear this year, so we just bundled her up in a bunch of layers and let her wear an enormous pair of snowboarding gloves. They looked hilarious but kept her little hands warm! She and Greg played outside for a long time building snowmen and throwing snowballs.

While I was editing these photos I started to feel all sentimental thinking about how there are only so many snow days you get to spend with your children while they’re still little. You only have so many opportunities to make great memories. Time just goes by so fast! I mean, flashback to this baby snow bunny… ♥

These photos by Emma Wood are just too sweet and make me so excited to have two little girls:

She has more beautiful photos of her (absolutely beautiful) children on her website, Emma Wood Photography, and you can also find her on ClickinMoms.com.

I’ve been a member of ClickinMoms.com for a few months now, just lurking their forums and trying to absorb tips to help me get better at photography. (“Clickin Moms” feels so dorky to say!) It’s one of my life goals to be able to take really nice, quality photos straight out of the camera and to comfortably shoot in manual mode. So  as a birthday gift to myself, I registered for Shooting 101, which is supposedly “the best  darn beginners course ever.” Seriously though, people rave about it and I’m hoping this will take my photography skills up a notch or two. So, maybe you’ll see some less-crappy pictures around her over the next few weeks! ♥

Valentine’s Day just so happens to also be Greg’s birthday. And my birthday is the 9th, so February is a fun and sweet month for the both of us! Greg spoiled me with a giftcard for a prenatal massage, which I’ll probably use sometime during trimester #3, when the aches really start to set in… He also got me some pretty white hydrangeas, which are my total favorite.

For Valentine’s Day, I made Greggy a nice big breakfast of homemade waffles and scrambled eggs with heart shaped maple sugar bacon. (I kind of always feel like making my bacon heart shaped now…) I had also planned to make him heart-shaped brownies and chicken parmesan, but he was overloaded with sweet treats at work (a giant cookie cake, donuts, etc.) and then his mom brought him a big batch of corn chowder (one of his favorites) so we decided to do the brownies and chicken parm this weekend. Greg got me some roses for Valentine’s Day and arranged them in one of our teapots. How cute is that!

We have been munching away on my Girl Scout cookies stash. Lately I’ve been way into Trefoils with coffee (YUM) but I literally will eat half the box in one sitting, so I have to be careful with those. (YIKES)

We have some fun plans for the weekend. Hopefully tomorrow we will make it to the art museum, apparently they have some huge dinosaurs that Vada will love. I want to spend some time in my studio to quilt a few things, get some stuff organized and hopefully do some decorating. We also need to tie up some loose ends around the house before we head to Las Vegas next weekend for my cousin’s wedding! Luckily, I can still squeeze into my bridesmaid dress.

I love having things to look forward to. ♥