12.31.2015

life lately and welcoming 2016.

Despite all the pretty Charleston pictures, life has been tough lately. As many of you already know from my posts on Instagram I spent last weekend in the hospital for another Crohn's flare (Crohn's is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease, I was diagnosed in 2013)

Last Friday I woke up with severe abdominal pains so I went to the hospital. A few hours later an MRI test showed that I had small tears in my large intestine. The doctors put me on antibiotics and steroids and kept me in the hospital to make sure I didn't need surgery. I was devastated to spend my first night away from Violet in a hospital and even more upset that I had to abruptly quit breastfeeding because of all of the new medications. Poor H had to navigate the world of formula feeding alone -- with a baby who had no idea what to do with a bottle. It wasn't pretty. But after a few days of spoon feeding Violet formula, we found something that worked. Violet now drinks from a little cup (she still doesn't want anything to do with a bottle or sippy cup). She's eating and she's happy and that's all that matters.

Between stomach cramps, a temporary low-fiber diet, tons of new medications, and dealing with engorgement and trying to "dry up" after abruptly stopping breastfeeding-- I'm tired.
And I'm ready for the new year.

But I'm also really thankful for everything that 2015 has brought me. This year we had a baby (!!!) bought a house, spent time with friends and family, and had a lot of fun. The year didn't end how I wanted it to, but it really reinforced what's important to me in my life. So I wanted to make sure my goals for the new year reflected those things:

1. Focus on family. More walks + quality time together.
2. Yoga. Everytime I do it I feel good, so I need to make it happen more often.
3. As for the blog -- I still love it but I want to simplify things and make it a little more enjoyable. That means no more crappy sponsored posts. While I'd still like to partner with companies I love -- I'm going to be a LOT more selective. I really don't need the money or the stress. 
4. Slow down and write down one good thing from the day, everyday.

I hope you have a Happy (and safe!) New Years!
-xo-
Jillian
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12.30.2015

christmas in charleston.

On Christmas day, after Violet opened up her gifts -- the shiny wrapping paper and bows were a hit -- we went for a long walk downtown. It was in the upper 70's, which is unseasonable warm for Charleston in December. There were a handful of other tourists walking around, but for the most part it was really quiet. It ended up being the perfect kind of calm day, and exactly what we needed after our hectic week. I always love looking at all of the historic homes dressed up for the holidays.
I hope you had a great Christmas!
-xo-
Jillian
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12.24.2015

merry christmas!

Things have been crazy around here, but it's finally starting to settle back down. I am so thankful for my family and friends and all of you for sending so much love and support. It's going to be a very Merry Christmas in our house :) and I hope it is in yours too!
Love Jillian, H, and Violet
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12.18.2015

friday five.

I'm linking up with ChristinaApril, and Natasha today to share five things on my mind:
ONE: Did you guys see the Girls' Weekend Guide to Charleston, South Carolina on The Everygirl? They included some of my favorite spots: Battery Park, Farmers Market at Marion Square Park, Candlefish, Butcher and Bee, and Husk. And a few restaurants I'm still dying to try: Cannon Green, Minero, Xiao Bao Biscuit.
TWO: I really liked looking through this Christmas tree gallery. It gave me a few ideas for next year!
THREE: We finished watching Master of None last week. The first few episodes were a little rough, but things eventually clicked and it ended up being really funny. It's worth watching just to see Aziz Ansari hug his (much larger) bestie :)
FOUR: I bought this cable-knit sweater (in three colors because I'm so indecisive) I'll probably end up keeping just one since the winters are so mild in Charleston. Really hoping that the tall size will be long enough to wear with leggings.
FIVE: Calling all procrastinators: Nordstrom is still offering up free shipping by Christmas Eve. Here's some great gift options under $50: reversible tote / customized copper mug / swell water bottle / capri blue gilded muse candle / jellycat hippo / baby girl pj's cardigan

Have a great weekend!
-xo-
Jillian
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12.15.2015

staying cozy during the holidays.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Growing up in Illinois you would think that I'd be used to the cold. Not so much. We moved to South Carolina in part to escape the brutally cold (and yes, windy) Chicago winters. So it has been really nice to wear sandals instead of snow boots in December.

It's also a little weird to have 70 or 80-degree weather and to be sweating in jeans and a t-shirt two weeks before Christmas. Not to mention when I hear Christmas songs like "let it snow" I want to laugh. Ah well the warm weather still beats waddling around like a penguin so I don't slip on the ice.

That's not to say it doesn't get a little chilly here -- last January I busted out my wool winter coat and a scarf. And I'm pretty sure that my blood has already thinned out too, I'm chilly when it's in the lower 60s (Midwest friends you can stop laughing now). When it's "cold" here I like to stay cozy with comfy pajamas and soft slippers. I found some great slipper options at Famous Footwear.
The pink suede kids’ Minnetonka Britta slippers were too cute to pass up… even though they won't fit Violet for a few more years. For now they are a great "toy" to keep her distracted while I change her diaper :)
My Minnetonka Britt Trapper slippers are warm and sooo comfortable. I love the soft faux fur lining and the dark charcoal gray color. And bonus they can be worn inside or outdoors — perfect for when we have fire in the backyard and I’m too lazy to change into real shoes.
I plan on wearing slippers all Christmas Day weekend while I binge watch my favorite holiday movies and eat the rest of our sugar cookies.

Search #ohsofamous and visit style gallery for inspiration, explore what others are wearing, and see the variety that Famous Footwear offers.
-xo-
Jillian

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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12.14.2015

life lately.

There's less than two weeks until Christmas! wowzahhh. I have one or two more presents to pick up and then I'm done shopping. Here's what else I have been up to lately:
Loving: The holidays with a baby! We went to the James Island Festival of Lights last week so Violet got to look at the lights and meet Santa. Her reaction was adorable. I was 99% sure she was going to cry, but she totally surprised us. The photographer was jumping around trying to make her smile but she was very serious. At least she didn't cry.
Making: Cookies!! This is one of my favorite traditions I always did with my mom. The holidays wouldn't feel right without her sugar cookies, peanut butter blossom cookies, and nerds. I'd love to try a new cookie recipe this year too.
Looking forward to: Christmas Day brunch. I'm thinking about making one of these options: cinnamon roll french toast bakecheesy tater tot breakfast bake - best breakfast casserole
Shopping: Make or buy Violet's "first Christmas" ornament. Let's be honest I'm not a huge DIY person -- but I think I can handle this easy clay handprint ornament. And I bought this stork first Christmas ornament (see more personalized options here).
Planning: 2016! I can't believe the new year is right around the corner. I always like to write out resolutions. Next year I'd like to eat healthier (more juice, less cookies), rest (!!), read, and do more yoga. I also want to start using essential oils (anyone else a fan?) 

What have you been up to lately?
-xo-
Jillian
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12.09.2015

baby's first christmas ornament.

There's only 16 days left until Christmas (!!) and I just realized I totally forgot to buy Violet an ornament #momfail. Thankfully I found a few cute options that I can still buy in time for the holidays:

Which one is your favorite?
-xo-
Jillian
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12.08.2015

baby's christmas wish list.

I've gotten a few requests from family to share some Christmas gift ideas for Violet. H and I would love to encourage family to contribute to her college fund (!!), but we realize that's not very exciting. Here are a few other things I think she'd like:
Board books -- I'll be honest this gift pick is for mama too, I'm a little sick of the stack of books we have on repeat. If You Give a Mouse a CookiePout-Pout FishDoggies

Warm Pajamas -- in 9 month size (floral - solid burgundy or pink)

Her very own remote -- the real deal, not a toy...because babies are smart and they know the difference

Penguin plush rocker -- This rocker is pricey but it's ADORABLE (the elephant is cute too)

And Christmas came early...Violet has already been playing with these gifts from family:
VTech Sit-to-Stand Walker -- this walker is on a LOT of blogger baby guides, and for good reason. It has an interactive section on the front full of lights, noise, and toys and the actual walker is great for babies to learn how to walk.

Sensory Balls -- my father-in-law bought this set of spiky plastic balls for Vi when we were in Chicago. She has so much fun "throwing" and rolling them. (she also likes the Sassy Developmental Bumpy Ball)

Entry-level anywhere chair -- this stuffed chair is SO cute! I love that Violet can climb on it and it's super soft so I don't have to worry about dangerous corners. 

Mamas what am I missing? What are your favorite gifts for 9-month old babies?
-xo-
Jillian
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12.03.2015

christmas wish list.

I still can't believe it's already December. The 70-degree weather in Charleston is throwing me off (not complaining!) But I'm doing my best to get into the holiday spirit -- I put up most of our decorations and I've been dancing around the house to Christmas music with Violet. And I managed to do a lot of my holiday shopping over the weekend (thank you cyber monday!). Here's are a few things on my wish list this year:
Most days I carry around Violet's diaper bag, but it would be nice to mix it up and carry a cute bag for brunch with friends. I love the scallop detail and small size of the Cambridge Satchel Small Cloud Bag.

Dwell Studio block print floral sheets + indigo velvet throw pillows for our bedroom.

A pretty 5x7 silver frame for our living room mantel.

And I'd love a few practical things: a tan leather belt, a cozy plaid scarf (this is another cute option), Mindy Kaling's new book: Why Not Me? and Adele's albums 25 and 21 on Vinyl (because I can't seem to get Hello out of my head).

What's on your wish list?
-xo-
Jillian
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