Downtown Huntsville Craft Coffee Trail


My love for coffee runs strong and runs deep - and my Mama is the same, which is why I knew we could knock out Downtown Huntsville's Craft Coffee Trail (ten stops!) together while she was in town visiting last month. Head on over to the We Are Huntsville website to read my guest post about our adventure! 

Valentine's Week + A Printout


Valentine's Day, my favorite holiday! I used to think nothing could beat being an elementary school teacher on Valentine's Day - decorating the classroom, making cute valentines for my students, the party and exchanging of valentines, the overall sweet and happy vibe of the day... but being a mom on Valentine's Day just takes the (heart shaped) cake. Here are a few things I love doing to make the holiday extra special...

Recent Reads | Winter


Is there no cozier a time to read than winter? A blanket plus a book and a nice coffee, well that's all sorts of self care right there 😉 Read on for my thoughts on my most recent reads!

Five on Friday | Safer at Home

Well, we have moved on from "shelter in place" to "Safer at Home" here in Alabama. However, besides Max and Parker heading out to get their first haircuts since February, and a socially distanced picnic lunch at The Botanical Gardens, we're pretty much still practicing our quarantining. Here's what else is new...

Finn Edward | One Year

Our Finn Edward has officially made his first trip around the sun! He is wearing size 18 month clothing, size 4 diapers, and is just the cutest thing you've ever seen. He's become so much more communicative in the past few weeks. We're holding that his first official word was brother ("buhbuhbuh" - he loves pointing to big brother and saying it) but key and car were close contenders for that number one spot. Other words include: balloon, dada, egg, camera, bird, dog, and (finally!) mama. Finn has mastered the good-bye wave, pulls himself up on anything and everything he can find, is able to locate his belly button, and loves to "brush" his own hair and teeth.

Life Lately | Quaratine Cuties

What's it like to be quarantined with a baby? It's simultaneously wonderfully delicious and cry-your-eyes out exhausting. On one hand, I feel so fortunate that time has stopped and I've had all obligations erased, and thus the ability to really soak up both Parker and Finn at this stage... but, the whole up-to-my-eyes in dishes plus absolutely no breaks has been a bit challenging. Obviously we have it easy compared to so many others  - we are super fortunate in all this that Max's job is "essential" and that he's still earning a paycheck, that we have a roomy house with a yard, and that we have money for groceries and occasional takeout. Still, when I look back on this post someday, I want to remember what our days were really like...

Quarantine Reads | Round 1

I'm back with my latest quarantine reads - because in a pandemic, it's comforting to "get away" even if it's just through literature. I'm reviewing two recent releases and two throwbacks that I'm juuuust getting around to reading because, I'm slow (seriously, for further proof of my slowness, refer back to this blog post I penned in 2016). A state-wide shelter-in-place seemed like the perfect time to finally get around to reading them.

Finn 10 & 11

Oh, Finn Edward. You are the exclamation point on our family sentence. Born into a house of first-borns, you remind us every day that you, sir, are different. Determined to prove sibling theory correct, you display all the hallmark characteristics of a classic second born. While the rest of this house is cautious and structured, you have been rebellious and dramatic since day one (when you arrived so fast that Dada and the nurses barely got the table pulled out for your delivery, nevermind that there was no medical doctor in sight).

Quarantine Reads | Into Thin Air

Pandemics require some escape reading, am I right? Into Thin Air will totally take you to a different world - the one on top of Mt. Everest to be exact. I think in another life I must have climbed Mt. Everest. I'm pretty much obsessed with all the details surrounding this endeavor. I loved the movie Everest, and last year right around the climb window (May) I picked up Jon Krakauer's personal account of the 1996 Mt. Everest disaster shown in the movie. I read it again recently, because it's such an escape (which is a little bit needed right about now).


This sweet soul turned seven years old yesterday. Even just last week, we thought this day would look a lot different...

Five on Friday | February

That multitalented pianist above played in his very first US Chess Federation (who even knew that was a thing?) tournament this past weekend, and he did awesome. Of course we try to go the Carol Dweck route and focus on praising hard work and effort versus praising winning, so the fact that Parker had four wins and one draw was just the icing on the cake for us. 

Southern Ladies Book Club Reads

Y'all, I've been having so much fun with my new book club! Here's what we've been up to...

In November, we read the recent release Never Have I Ever. This is the Amazon synopsis:

Finn Edward | 7-8-9

Our Finn Edward is nine months old! He's mastered the army crawl, is wearing size 12-18 month clothing, and can already pack away a full size adult meal (boy can eat!). He goes crazy for crab, and loves steak, shrimp, and fish as well. He has a knack for identifying the most dangerous thing in the room and beelining straight for it. We live for his giggles and smiles - he loves playing on the carpet, flipping book pages when we read to him, being carried face-out in the Bjorn with Dada, peek-a-boo, cruising in his walker, sucking his thumb, being tickled, and going for walks around the neighborhood. He takes 2-3 naps a day (anywhere from 45 minutes to 2.5 hours) and goes on and off with sleeping through the night. Here's a look back at months seven, eight and nine...

Finn's Nursery

Welcome to Finn's nursery! It's about 90% complete. I'd still like to swap out the ceiling fan for a wooden light fixture of some sort, but this is what it's looked like for quite awhile now though I'm just finally getting around to sharing it (the little one who occupies this little space is high maintenance!).

I Love You More Than The Universe

If you are looking for a sweet addition to your little's Valentine's Day table or basket this year, I have the perfect gift! My amazing friend from undergrad, Lisa Castagnola, recently released the children's book I Love You More Than the Universe!


Twenty-twenty... our first new year as a family of four! In December, we sent out the holiday card below...

Grand Cayman 2019 | Part Two

The above photo is one of my favorites from this trip and perfectly captures the vibes of this vacation - slow, relaxing and beautiful, with Max wearing Finn in the Baby Bjorn, and Parker two seconds away from running out onto the beach to frolic in the waves. 

Finn Edward | Six Months

Finn has been halfway around the sun! He is wearing size 9-12 month clothing and size three diapers. This was a BIG month as he went on his first airplane ride, earned his first passport stamp, saw the ocean for the first time, started eating solids, and moved to sleeping full-time in his nursery (no more bassinet by Mama and Dada's bed - he pretty much outgrew it!). He's still waking up at least once a night to nurse, but his nursery is right next to our bedroom which is nice.

Grand Cayman 2019 | Part One

Earlier this month, we headed out on our first vacation as a family of four! We wanted something beautiful and relaxing, so our favorite island was just the ticket.

Finn Edward | 5 Months

We blinked and September was over, and somehow our babe is five months old! He is still our high maintenance grumpster,  but he's napping more which helps everything. And while he's super picky about most things, he'll take a bottle straight up cold so I guess that makes up for it?

Parenting Is Messy

This post is sponsored by Armor All but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Raise you hand if you've ever changed a diaper out of the back of your car? Fed a toddler a chicken nugget meal in his car seat? Spilled coffee all over the driver's side and center console? I'm guilty of all this and more.

PCK | 6.5 Years

Our sweet Parker Klein turned six-and-a-half this month! This guy is a sports loving, rule following, chess playing, bundle of energy. He's an old soul and a voracious reader, and is missing four front teeth! We celebrated his half birthday by heading out for a donut breakfast before school.

Recent Reads | Evvie Drake Starts Over

I joined a book club! When I was first asked to join, I almost immediately declined because life has been so full since Finn arrived (and sleep has been so minimal). I mean, when was I going to read all these new books? And then I remembered the hours and hours of nursing time Finn and I put in, and realized that all I needed to do was prop up any book during a few feedings and I could knock it out in just a few days (fun fact - exclusively breastfed babes require the equivalent of a full time job's worth of hours over the course of a year of nursing). 

Finn Edward | 4 Months

It's been a third of a year with our Finn Edward! He's continuing to trend tall, coming in at the 90th percentile for hight (26.5 inches) and 50th for weight (15 lbs. 13 oz.). The doctor used the words "big" and "strong" 😊 Finn is wearing size 6-9 month clothing and is barely still in size 2 diapers. New this month: we're rolling back to front and front to back!


                                                                 photo credit: Karen Tamaki 

Taylor Swift's new album Lover was released last week. This was an August album drop, however most of her other release dates have been right around my October birthday. In years past, I'd use it as an excuse to peruse the aisles of Target, stopping at the music section and putting the CD in my red Target basket (I was especially tickled pink when the Red album release day was on my actual birthday).

Back-to-School Sleep

This post is sponsored by Natrol but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

I don't know about your family, but in the summer we throw bedtimes out the window. In an effort to soak in all the season has to offer (Late night ice cream! Extra inning baseball games! Dinners at the pool!) we let Parker stay up much later than he does during the school year. We totally don't stress about it since our mornings can start later, too, but come the new school year, our mornings are back to bright and early and we need a sleep reset.

Summer Bucket List 2019

For the past few summers, Parker and I have brainstormed a "Summer Bucket List" - a group of ideas and outings that we want to do over the break in school. Some of the list items (visiting the botanical garden, going to concerts in the park) we always do several times anyway, but Parker is like his Mama and loves a list! He also loves crossing each item off as we get to it. This past week, we finally got to the very last item on our 2019 list, perfect timing as school is starting on Wednesday (side note: I blinked and summer was over). Here's what we've been up to:

The Fourth Trimester

photo credit: Olivia Reed

They call the first three months after birth the "fourth trimester" - typically babies eat, sleep, and grow a lot and not much else. While our dear Finn has been a champ at eating (and growing), he apparently didn't get the sleep memo. These past three months have been a doozy. Max and I are basically running on 2 hour chunks of sleep. At one point I was legitimately quizzing Max on whether or not we could die from lack of sleep - apparently sleep deprivation makes me very paranoid. There are studies that show that an insufficient amount of sleep makes the brain function in a similar way to being drunk, and I'll attest that the night I squirted contact solution onto a cotton ball and tried to take off my eye makeup with it felt very much like having one too many drinks, ha ha! I eventually figured out that I needed makeup remover instead but it took a hot minute. Here's a look back at Finn's first three months...

Trending Now | Charcoal Toothpaste!

This post is sponsored by Colgate but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Charcoal is beauty's biggest trending ingredient right now - and so it only seems fitting that it's now available in toothpaste! New Colgate Essentials with Charcoal Toothpaste provides the Colgate quality and value, along with the opportunity to try all charcoal has to offer. 

Fast & Furious | The Birth of Finn Edward

58 minutes. That's the amount of time it took to go from 4cm dilated to delivering a baby - into the hands of a nurse, no less, because when I say "fast and furious" I completely mean it. Finn's birth was so completely different than Parker's - and so much quicker. With my first pregnancy, it took eleven hours to go from 3cm to 5cm, and another six hours after that to deliver the baby. Both L&Ds had some frightening elements for sure, but both resulted in healthy babies and a healthy Mama, and I was able to do both without an epidural (which, after safe and healthy was really my only other wish, thank my inner California hippie side for that one).

Bumpdate | 9 Months

Baby is the size of a: watermelon!

Total Weight Gain/Loss: +29 lbs. (but still able to wear my wedding rings this time around, wahoo!)

Maternity Clothes: Technically, I've gained less weight with this pregnancy but I'm somehow BIGGER - so big, that the maternity clothing I've saved for six years from last pregnancy don't fit, Hrmph. 

Bumpdate | 8 Months

Baby is the size of a: pineapple!

Total Weight Gain/Loss: +27 pounds (like carrying around three bowling balls all day every day... and it feels like it!) 

Maternity Clothes: Loving warmer days and dresses!

The Wild | Chinese Lantern Festival

The traveling Chinese Lantern Festival, The Wild, opened this past week at the Huntsville Botanical Garden and we made a family date of it to go check it out opening night. We've been members of the HBG since we moved here four years ago, and just love supporting it. 

PCK | Six Year Interview

What is your name?
Harry Potter.

What is your age?
Six in March 18th.

Asheville | North Carolina

One of the interesting things about living on the opposite side of the country from where you grew up is discovering all the new places people travel to. For example, when living in California, Las Vegas would be where you go for a crazy Bachelorette party (or break-up party as I once attended). Here in Alabama, the much closer New Orleans is the destination. For a tropical beach vacay, Hawaii is much closer to the West Coast, but when living in the South it's the Caribbean.

Asheville, North Carolina, is one of those gems I'd never even heard about before moving to Alabama. It's a day trip (5 hours) from Huntsville, but worth every second of the drive as I found out a few weeks ago when I headed there for the first time with my friend Sarah. Our goal? To spa it up and eat our way through the city. Spoiler alert - we succeeded!

Bumpdate | 7 Months

Baby is the size of a: cantaloupe!

Total Weight Gain/Loss: +22 pounds... this was, by far, the biggest one-month gain so far!

Maternity Clothes: I find it impossible to wear maternity jeans, which is such a bummer! They will either fall down, or I get frustrated that they're so tight. My answer? Maternity overalls. Best. Thing. Ever. So comfy, and they stay up all on their own. 

Life Lately | February

We kicked off February by hosting our sweet Nashville friends in town. We took in Parker's favorite, a Huntsville Havoc game! (Made even more favorite by the fact that they won and in overtime, which Parker says is like "more free hockey" and also lets him push back his bedtime which he's all about).

Valentine's | 2019

I've always loved Valentine's Day - simply put, it's all my favorite things rolled into one! Pink, hearts, chocolates, flowers... Husby killed it this year with the ones photographed above that he snuck into the house while I was sleeping so I got to wake up to them! Valentine's Day is just the best. Being a teacher on Valentine's Day was always so much fun, and being a Mom is even better! 

5 on Friday | Bookshelf Edition

Happy February! For my Friday Five today, I'm sharing five books that I'm super excited to dive into...

Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen are the authors of The Wife Between Us, one of my favorite reads of 2018. An Anonymous Girl is their new release, and I am so hoping it lives up to their first book! 

What's Up Wednesday | January

Happy almost end-of January! How can it be? Today I'm linking up for a little What's Up Wednesday...

What we're eating...

After not being into sweets the first trimester-and-a-half, baby has now decided that I need #allthesweets. I made waffles this weekend and topped them with these caramelized bananas - so yummy! 
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