Shoe Love: In the Nude

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We have five {yes FIVE} weddings coming up over the next seven weeks and I'm desperately trying to find some nude heels to wear with multiple dresses.  I actually love the idea of a suede heel for fall.   Much to my chagrin, the gorgeous Calvin Klein heels that I just LOVE above are no longer available in my size.  And it's hard to find a suitable alternate.

The thing I love about nude heels are that they really elongate the leg and they're the ultimate neutral.  And this new mama could use some kicks that make me look like a supermodel and are super versatile {I mean, couldn't everyone?}!!

Have you found any great nude heels lately?  Please do share!

Have a great {LONG} holiday weekend!

xo natasha

The Bump Progression

Almost a year ago, I started my pregnancy journey...and as most of you know, I kept a weekly journal. I put this collage together to see how I progressed each's absolutely nuts to think at 21 weeks I thought I had a HUGE bump!  ;)  Sometimes I look back at this pictures and can't believe that it is my little Ethan that was in there...kicking away and all snuggled up.  I absolutely loved being pregnant and realize it more now than when I actually was.  It was such an extraordinary journey and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.  :)

But for now I think I'll take in my new little bundle...the smells, his coos and his brilliant smile.  :)

I've added a "pregnancy" label on my sidebar if you want to catch up!

xo natasha

Happy 2 Months Ethan!

Dear Baby E,

This past Sunday, August 26th, you turned two whole months old!  I have to say that the second month has been even better than the first month!  Right around 6 weeks you really started to blossom.  You smile, with intention, at us ALL the time!  You love when I make funny noises with my lips and you absolutely light up when Dad gets home from work.  I think you love his big boisterous laugh, and who can blame you?  You have even started goo'ing and gah'ing at us...we have little conversations all the time.  I think you'll be quite the social butterfly!

You had your two month checkup this past Monday, the 27th, and you're doing so well!  You are weighing in at 10 lbs and 11 ounces...that's my boy!  And you are 23.5 inches long...lean and mean my friend!  Then, the moment that I had been dreading since you were born...your first shots!  You had to swallow some medicine first which you happily accepted.  Then the you did not like it!  You started screaming the mean cry that you do only when you're truly upset.  Luckily, I was able to hold you and nurse you right after and you calmed right down.  I was definitely crying right along with you...I hate to see you upset!

In the last week or so, you have really started to track faces and toys that I hang in your face.  It's so fun  to see you really take interest in your surroundings.  I think this means that I need to buy you more fun toys!  ;)

I'm also happy to report that your skin has cleared up drastically and you have a ton of new hair growing in.  I think you'll take after your dad with your thick hair.  Love it!  You're such a handsome little guy.

You are starting to sleep in 6 hour stretches which is awesome!  I attribute this to your nightly bath time, which totally mellows you out.  I slather on some calming lotion after and then swaddle you {we started using the new Swaddleme's which really lock you in} and then place you in your bassinet wide awake.  You just suck on your pacifier and soothe yourself to sleep.  Little angel!  I feel like we're getting close to moving you to your crib, but we are traveling a TON in September, so I'm not sure if it's worth the effort.  For now, you are sleeping like a champ and keeping mom and dad very happy!  :)

You've been very social this past have frequented the beach several times and are quite content being in your carseat, whether it's for a walk or in the car.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that you'll be a perfect little travel buddy in the next several weeks.  

You have such a sweet really never cry and are always smiling.  I don't think we can even comprehend how easy you've made it for us...we feel very blessed!

Last, I feel like our bond is becoming stronger than ever.  The first month is so nerve-wracking!  Am I doing it right?  What if I can't soothe him?  Why is he crying?  Now...we've got a groove going on.  You love just staring at me, which of course, I love!  And I know I can comfort you now...which is such an amazing feeling.  My heart just swells every time you give me a shy smile or when you snuggle in the nook of my neck.  I don't think I'll ever grow tired it.  I love that you're growing...but please don't grow too fast...mama is still taking it all in!

Happy two months Ethan!  We love you!

Love, Mom

Look how I've grown!

Grilled Avo + Goat Cheese Tacos

I think I discovered my favorite taco recipe to date...grilled avocado, black beans and goat cheese, in one word: YUM!  Granted this is not the prettiest picture, but believe me, they are amazing!

I think it's the drizzle of agave syrup + lime juice on top that really seals the deal.  They're the perfect blend of savory and sweet.

Recipe adapted from Naturally Ella
{and her pictures do it much more justice!}

1/2 cup black beans, with liquids
1 avocado
1 teaspoon olive oil
juice and zest from 1/2 lime
2 teaspoons agave syrup
1/4 cup goat cheese
4 corn or flour tortillas

Preheat Grill.

Add 1/2 cup of black beans and liquids to a pan.  Heat over medium low and let cook until liquids have cooked out, anywhere from 5-10 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and mash beans so they have more of a paste consistency.

Take avocado and slice in half. Brush with the one teaspoon of olive oil and place cut side down on grill. Let cook until lightly charred. Remove and carefully slice avocado out of skin.

To assemble tacos, place 1/4 of the black beans in the center of the tortilla, layer avocado and goat cheese on top. Finally, whisk together juice and zest from half a lime along with agave. Lightly drizzle over taco filling.

These pair amazingly well with a fresh squeezed margarita...just sayin'!

I love that these tacos use goat cheese as opposed to the traditional Mexican cheeses...and the agave-lime mixture is seriously heavenly.  Make these won't regret it!

Hope you enjoy!  Bon Appetit!

xo natasha

Linked to: Tasty Tuesdays

Supermom with Southern Charm: Mama Maggie

Hey y'all!  I'm Maggie, a southern gal who has lived all over the southeast including Knoxville, New Orleans, Atlanta and I currently call Durham, NC home... for now.  I started my blog Supermom with Southern Charm last year during my pregnancy and have enjoyed keeping family and friends updated on my journey as a new mama.  My baby boy is 7 months old, and I'm still nowhere close to being a "Supermom" but I'm doing the best I can!  As a new mom (I think I'm still a "new" mom, right?!) I have loved reading Natasha's Mama Series with all of the great tips and special memories. It has been extremely helpful and reassuring knowing that other new mamas are going through similar experiences, including the ups and downs.  I am so excited to be here today and introduce you to my sweet boy!

Thomas Campbell Whittaker III made his big debut January 10, 2012 (3 days fashionably late)!  Campbell weighed 8 pounds 2 ounces and was 20 inches long.  We got off to a bit of a rocky start when an elevated white blood count and a few other issues kept him in the NICU for a week.  Thankfully by the end of that first week he was a healthy baby boy, and we were able to take him home!

My favorite photo from his newborn session.  Taken at 2 weeks old.

Memories by TLC

Since I'm still a newbie I don't really have any earth shattering advice to share.  But I will tell y'all what has helped me the most along the way... don't sweat the small stuff! {Following this advice is a constant work in progress!}  I'm a perfectionist by nature so there are times I beat myself up and put myself under so much pressure to do everything flawlessly.  I'm also a working mama, so I'm continuously trying to improve my juggling abilities between career and personal life.  But no matter what you are struggling with at the moment (whether it be nursing, sleep issues, teething, etc.) just remember to give yourself a break, and take a look at the bigger picture.  Your baby doesn't know if he/she has a Pinterest-perfect nursery or if you are on top of all the household chores... at least I hope mine doesn't! :) All kidding aside, perspective is key.  A smile or giggle from Campbell usually helps me refocus and remember to thank God for such an amazing gift.

Soak up all the sweet moments because being a mama is one of life's greatest blessings!

he has my heart <3


h.davis photography

~family love~

I could stare at him all day...

A big thank you to Natasha for having me today... I'm so glad I could share a little bit of my life with you and your readers!  I have loved following your journey as a new mama.  Enjoy all the precious moments with sweet Ethan, and I look forward to all the exciting updates to come!

Living Room Update: Abstract Art

I started out this year with some grand plans for updating our house {see my honey do list here}.  While my checklist has remained relatively untouched, I have gotten a couple things done.  Like updating the living room pillows, adding drapes to the dining room, and of course, completing the nursery!

Part of my plan with updating the living room pillows was phasing out the red decor in the space.  I love the new pillows that I found, but some of the wall decor remained red.  I knew it was time for the fruit to go, but the challenge was finding something to put it their place.

Enter the talented Drew from Coral Cafe!  She contacted me to let me know what she would be happy to create a piece for my living room...can you imagine my excitement?  I was thrilled and honored she was willing to help!  And I am so in love with the final product!

Don't you just love it?  Drew captured the new blues that are a part of the room and I feel like it's totally brightened the space.

The scale is great too...nice, big and bold, so you see it the minute you enter the room.

I need to get a wider shot of the room so you can see how it ties together...

But let's be real...I have a couple "extra" things {baby things, that is} invading the space right now!  ;)

A special thanks to Drew for her amazing work!

xo natasha

Baby Ethan: Week 8

Weight: We will get baby's official weigh in next Monday.  It would be AWESOME if he hit the 10 lb mark!

Health: Life is so much better now that the stump has fallen out.  He's kind of got a halfie status going on.  Isn't it just scrumptious??

Sleep: This is a big one...Ethan has started sleeping in 6 hour stretches at night!  It's amaaazing!  I really think the bath + calming lotion + swaddle at the end of the night is the perfect combo.  We can put him down wide awake and he'll just hang out until he drifts off to sleep.  Really such a good baby...fingers crossed that he keeps it up!

Diet: Breast milk!  Though it's still mainly just him and me, he does take to a bottle when Ryan gives it to him.

Clothes: Our little chunk is quickly outgrowing his 0-3 month clothes!  I'm thinking we only have a week left of his footie pajamas before we need to move up to the 3-6 month ones.  And he's definitely filling out his 3 month onesies!

Baby Gear Love: Not too much new to report here, but he's still loving his "lovies" and we're introducing more rattles to see how he reacts and interacts.

And I have to give a shout out to the Fisher-Price whale tub!  It works perfectly for him as an infant and will easily transition for when he gets big enough to sit up.

Crying: He's got a set of lungs...but only uses them when he's hungry...and of course the occasional dirty diaper/upset tummy.

Likes: Baby has been to the beach a couple times and usually likes to just hang out in the shade.  He still loves stroller and car rides.  I have gotten pretty good at taking him out to lunch and around town and I don't really need to worry about him fussing.  Last, he is still LOVING his baths!

Milestones: Sleeping 6 hours!!  

Postpartum: I've started doing yoga 2-3 times a week and it feels amazing!  It has taught me to slow down and really appreciate my body and all that she's gone through to bring this little boy into the world!  I also want to thank the moms that reached out to me last week in support.  You all rock and made me feel SO much better about life and body postpartum!  :)  And I see the doctor today...hoping everything is healed and well.

One other note...his hair is starting to grow in quite thickly on top...where he had lost it before.  Can't wait for it to fill in!  ;)

xo natasha

PS...thanks for all the love on his newborn pictures!  If you missed them, you can find them here.

Avocado Pesto Pasta

A couple weeks ago, we came across a delicious recipe for avocado pesto pasta...which uses avocado instead of cheese to create a super creamy {and healthier!} alternative to the traditional pesto.  Let me just say, it is delightful!  You really don't miss the cheese at all and it is OH so creamy.  Yum!

Here are the details:

Recipe from Chef Chloe

1 pound linguine
1 bunch fresh basil, reserve some leaves for garnish
½ cup pine nuts
2 avocados, pitted and peeled
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 cloves garlic
½ cup olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes or sliced sun-dried tomatoes (optional)

Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add linguine and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, make the pesto by combining basil, pine nuts, avocados, lemon juice, garlic, and oil in a food processor. Process until smooth. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Toss pasta with pesto. For an extra touch of color and flavor, top pasta with cherry or sun-dried tomatoes. Divide pasta among serving bowls and garnish each serving with a basil leaf.

Hope you enjoy!  Bon Appetit!

xo natasha

Linked to: Tasty Tuesdays

PS...I'm reorganizing my blog a little'll notice a new "instagram" icon and two new labels on my sidebar: pregnancy and baby.  I've already updated the "recipe" label where you will find ALL of my recipes on one page!  I hope this will make navigating a bit easier.  :)

Mad Max and Family: Mama Tara

Hello!  I'm Tara from Mad Max and Family and Mad About Town.  Thank you Natasha for letting me guest blog for you while you are getting to know your bundle of joy.  Congrats to you and Ryan!  Ethan is adorable.

Enjoy the newborn stage!  Max arrived on Jan 7, 2011 ... and blink, now he is 18 months!  We are looking forward to the newborn stage again because his little sister (Sadie) is arriving in late October.  (We welcome any tips for a soon-to-be Mommy of two!).

One of my favorite newborn photos of Max (Erin Carlyle Photography).  He was named after his late Great Grandpa Maximino (and that was his doctor bag).  (I already started thinking about Sadie's newborn photos and props.  Suggestions welcome!)

And before I knew it we were celebrating his 1st Birthday, and then up to now!

He was actually a bit younger than 12 months here (but he still didn't have much hair at his birthday!  It's finally coming in now).  (Erin Carlyle Photography)

And now he is my walking and jumping (well, attempting to jump) little tot.  They grow so fast, no?  This photo is from our recent trip to Disney World.

I wanted to share with you two things that I've really loved about being a Mommy.

I love watching him grow and getting to know his uniqueness and personality.  The older he gets the more his talents and personality shines.  I think he's quite a goof ball, but one of my favorite memories from his first year is when he started whistling around 7 months (this probably came from my musical Mom and their recorder time).

Max whistling!  I'm really glad our photographer was able to capture this at his one year photos (Erin Carlyle Photography).

Also the arts and music are a big part of our family (I'm an art teacher).  Max loves playing the piano, and I love my weekly "Mommy and Me" time with him at music class: SongPlay!  I started going with him when he was around 5 months, and now we've been going over a year.  I didn't realize how much I would enjoy that special time with him.  It's great to see him have fun, learn, grow in the class, and get to know other children and adults (and music of course!).  I didn't realize also how much fun it would be for me to get to know other moms / parents and kiddos in my community.  And those songs and movements sure do come in handy (like waiting at the doctor's office)!

Max started swim lessons this summer, so now he gets special "Daddy and Me" time too.

Any tips for a (soon-to-be) Mom of two?  

What unique traits do you love about your kids?  Do you have special "Mommy and Me" time you enjoy?  At home or away?  Or for those of you with tiny ones, any "Mommy and Me" time you want to try out in the future?

Natasha, thank you again, and enjoy the journey!

xo Tara