Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Our Summer + Embracing The Crazy

When I decided to kind of rebrand this blog a few months ago I knew that sitting down to write a post would take a major back seat.  By the time I take care of myself, my child, my business, and squeeze a little quality time in with my husband, there's really not much time left in the day.  I've accepted the fact that this is the season of my life that is just going to be crazy.  I'll have a million things going on, probably not showered, tumbleweeds of dust and dog hair on my floors, and mildew rings of all colors in the toilets.  And that's okay.  Because I also have to remind myself daily that there will come a day when T and I are empty nesters, my workload will have slowed down, I'll have all the time in the world to clean, and I will miss these crazy days with every bone in my body.  So, for now I'm embracing the chaos.

I did manage to squeeze a few hours in today to write a little post about our summer.  I can't believe that the summer is already over, but boy it was a good one.  Thompson grew up so much this summer, he turned one around Memorial Day, and it seems like each week after that he became less of a baby and more of a toddler.  He's walking, talking, and cuter than ever.  He now crinkles up his nose when he smiles, and it turns me to mush each time he does it.

He loves his mom, but man does he love his dad. The minute T walks in the door after work his face lights up and he screams "Dada" and comes running to the door.  As Thompson gets older it becomes more and more evident that his personality is jut like his dad's, and I love it.  I call him my little extrovert, definitely didn't get that from mama.  He loves to meet new people, and gets so excited when strangers talk to him.  Going to any store is an event because he's always calling out and straining his neck just to make eye contact with other ladies in the shop.  What a ham.

Here's a little highlight reel of pictures from our summer.

"helping" me get orders out

family trip to the park

T has mastered holding the baby and drinking a beer

4th of July in an outfit my mom made him

4th of July out on Lake Murray with family

our almost daily trip to the mailbox with packages

Family trip to Myrtle Beach

Family trip to Myrtle Beach

LOVED the beach and especially the sand

also loves his Anywhere Chair

at a local brewery with friends

Brought him cowboy boots from Nashville.  Couldn't help myself. 

Lake week with the family

Lake week with the family

First time on a horse...not so sure about it

My best bud

see that nose crinkle?

4th Annual Tailgate Practice Party

Favorite dinner- Mac and Cheese 

Big boy on his first day of school

Sunday, July 23, 2017

New Look, New Name

Since 2011, this blog has worn many hats.  It originally started as a blog all about where to go and what to do in the Upstate of South Carolina.   My husband T and I moved to Greenville in 2011 and spent the next few years gallivanting around town trying out new restaurants and shops.  I'd bring my camera with me, write a little post about our experience, and it was a great excuse to try out every new restaurant that came to Greenville.  I even got a few free meals out of it which was pretty cool.

As our lives and priorities have changed through the years, so has the vibe of my blog.  Lately it's been less about the new trendy restaurants opening downtown, shopping hauls, and recipes with 12+ ingredients, and more about full panel leggings for everyday wear, sharing our child’s milestones so my mom brain won’t have to remember, and recipe ideas that take less than 5 minutes to throw together. 

So once again, I'm doing a little overhaul to the ole' bloggity blog.  The biggest change is a switch in the name.  Almost three years ago, I started a side jewelry business that ended up growing far more than I could ever imagine.  Until now I've been treating my blog and jewelry business as two separate entities, with two different worlds around them.  It's been challenging to keep up with my blog, because so much of my time and energy has gone into starting and running Laura Cox Designs, so my blog usually takes a back seat.  

On the verge of letting my domain expire and throwing in the towel, I realized that this is a perfect platform to share a little bit more information about small business and jewelry with the people who read my blog, and share a little more personal glimpses into my life with the people who buy my jewelry.

I haven't put too much thought into exactly what I'll be posting, but I think it'll be a mix of everything like it's always been. Life updates, DIY home projects, recipe ideas, and I'll be throwing in some posts about new jewelry I'm offering as well as some small business tips.  The thought of starting a small business can be so overwhelming. I've learned a lot in the last few years, and still have so much more to learn.  I'm hoping this can be a space to share some of my knowledge as well as pick some new tips up from readers!

So, bear with me as I figure out what I'm doing with this new platform.  Just like with any big change, there are sure to be growing pains.   But I think once I get back into the swing of things, this will be a pretty cool addition to the Laura Cox Designs brand, and a great writing outlet for me, as it has been for the last 6 years.  

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Thompson is ONE!

I can't believe it's already been one year.  Everyone tells you it'll fly by, but holy moly this has been the fastest year of my life.  And without a doubt, the best year of my life.  That little boy just brings T and I so much joy.

Thompson is now 22 lbs (62%) and 31" long (89%). He's wearing size 4 diapers, but may move up to 5's for nighttime soon.  Most of his clothes are 12-18 months, and a few of the 12 month things are already getting too small.  His feet are still tiny though, just started fitting into size 3's.

He's not walking yet, but is really close.   I think it will happen some time this month.  He did take his first steps on the day before his 1st birthday, but hasn't made much progress since.   He's saying mama, dada, dog dog, and wow, but his favorite word right now is uh-oh.  He loves saying it and then flinging things off the side of his high chair.  I wish I loved that game as much as he does...

He's got six teeth, three on the top, and three on the bottom.  I think a few more are close to coming in, too because he's constantly drooling and grinding his teeth.  His two front teeth have a pretty big gap in between them which is actually pretty adorable.  The pediatrician said based on the size of his frenulum, he may always have a gap until it's time for braces.

Picking out his birthday presents

Afternoon walks are his favorite
While we were at his 1 year appointment, we opted to do a voluntary vision test for him.  They bring this scanner in and have the baby look at the light.  I think it takes a picture of their eyes, and can assess the shape of their eyes as well as their gaze.   Unfortunately Thompson's left eye was just out of the normal range for astigmatism and his right eye was almost out of range, too.  I have astigmatism, but never thought it would be detected in Thompson so early.  We'll be going to a specialist next month to get it checked out, and he may need glasses.   I know deep down that a child needing glasses is really not a big deal, but hearing this from the doctor really tugged at my heart.  I hope that he won't be needing glasses this early, but if he does, we'll adjust and eventually get used to them.

And if anyone reading this has gone through the same with their little one, please reach out to me!  I'd love to hear your experience with all of it!

First tastes of birthday cake 
Since his birthday fell in the middle of the week, Thompson's birthday party was a few days after he turned one.   T and I couldn't wait for the party to give him his first piece of cake, so we let him enjoy a little cake square on Wednesday night.  No surprise, he loved it, and was shoveling handfuls into his mouth.  When he was about halfway done with the cake, he looked at me, and offered me a handful of squished cake, and then turned to look at T and do the same.  I know this sounds silly, but it honestly brought tears to my eyes.   The one thing I prayed for every night of my pregnancy was to have a child with a kind heart.   And while I never doubted that Thompson did, this was the first time I really got to see that my prayer had been answered.   It was truly one of the most special moments I've experienced with him yet.

I had hoped that the transition to cow's milk would be smooth and easy, but its been a bit difficult. Thompson's been on a cow's milk based formula since 6 months, and he's done great with it.  I guess I just assumed that moving from a cow's milk formula to straight cow's milk would be a pretty natural transition, but that hasn't been the case.  He apparently has an intolerance for large amounts of lactose/dairy, so we're now experimenting with soy milk, almond milk, and lactose free cow's milk to see which one works best with the little guy's tummy.   At this point the doctor's aren't going as far as labeling him lactose intolerant, I think its too early for that.  Plus, he's been eating yogurt and cheese for months with no issues, so for now, we're just assuming its a sensitivity to large amounts of dairy, and I'm hoping he will eventually grow out of it.

I still can't believe that it's been 12 months since we had Thompson.  While these little updates were sometimes a pain to take pictures for and write, I am SO happy that I took the time to do them.  In typical first mom fashion, I've been reading over the older posts reminiscing on the past months with this little guy, and I just can't believe how much he's grown up.  We love him to pieces, and can't wait to see him grow throughout another year!

See previous month updates for Thompson below. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Weekly Meal Planning + Walmart Grocery Pickup

Yesterday I posted on my Instastories a peek at how I get my groceries every week through Walmart Grocery Pickup.  I spent $92 for the week, which gives us enough food for breakfast and lunch Monday-Friday and dinner Monday-Thursday of this week.  This covers meals for T and I, as well as Thompson.  It also covers one dinner I'm bringing over to friends who just had a baby.

Here is what I purchased this week:

1Green Giant Broccoli & Cheese Veggie Tots, 16 oz$3.48
1Great Value Cinnamon Grahams Crackers 3 Packs, 14.4 Oz$1.94
1Great Value Fruit Pear Halves Bartlett No Sugar Added, 15 oz$1.08
1Bananas, 1 lb (approximately 2 bananas)$0.48
3Tyson Boneless Skinless Fresh Chicken Breasts, 1.5-2.0 lbs.$20.58
1Organic Romaine Hearts$3.77
2Treasure Cave Crumbled Feta Cheese, 4 oz$3.44
1Margherita Hard Salami Slices, 16 oz$5.98
2English Cucumber, each$3.96
1Strawberries, 1 lb$1.98
1Marketside Organic Grape Tomatoes, 10 oz$2.98
2Small/Medium Lemon, each$1.00
1Orange Bell Pepper, each$1.77
1Red Onions, 1 lb (approximately 1 - 2 onions)$1.48
185% Lean/15% Fat, Organic Grass Fed Ground Beef, 1 lb$5.98
1Great Value Sweet & Salty Peanuts Granola Bar, 6 pk$1.98
2Small Avocado, each$1.96
1Fage Total 2% All Natural Greek Strained Yogurt, 17.6 oz$3.37
1Great Value No Salt Added Petite Diced Tomatoes, 14.5 oz$0.72
1Zucchini, 1 lb$1.28
1Great Value Soy Sauce Less Sodium, 15 oz$1.88
1Kraft Original Microwavable Snack Packets Easy Mac Macaroni & Cheese, 6ct$2.98
1Viva Choose-A-Size One-Ply Paper Towels, 8 count$8.98
1Green Bell Pepper, each$0.68
1Mainstays 13" Glass and Bottle Brush$2.97
1Reynolds Heat & Eat Containers 32 oz, 12$2.98
1Great Value Sharp Finely Shredded Cheddar Cheese, 8 oz$2.22

I think the only three things I already had on hand and didn't need to purchase were a loaf of bread, milk, and tortillas for Thompson's quesadillas. Thompson's pancakes were already made and in the freezer.  I usually don't include paper products and cleaning supplies into my weekly budget, but I came in under budget this week so I went ahead and threw them in.

Greek Chicken Kabobs

I had a couple of requests to share our meal plan for this week, so here it is!


Avocado Toast or Breakfast Bars


I'll be making some kind of Mediterranean/ Italian salad each day inspired by these two recipes (here and here).  I bought cucumber and zucchini to spiralize, romaine, pre sliced salami, feta, and cherry tomatoes.  We already had some kalamata olives and pepperoncini peppers in the fridge.   I bought this spiralizer this weekend, and I've been obsessed with using it.  Pretty sure we've had something spiralized with every meal since I bought it, haha!


Monday- Greek Chicken Kabobs (whoa, throwback to a 2012 blog post while we were still living in our first apartment!), a Greek Salad w/ this dressing (made enough for two meals for us plus a meal to take to a friend who just had a baby)
Tuesday- Leftovers
Wednesday- Korean Beef and Rice and a salad with Asian dressing
Thursday- Leftovers
Friday- Out to eat, it's the weekend!!

Thompson's Snacks and Meals:

Healthy Banana Pancakes (I make these in mass quantity and keep them in the freezer)
Spiralized Sweet potato sautéed with coconut oil and cinnamon (already had the sweet potato)
Peanut butter toast
Cheese quesadillas
Canned pears
Broccoli and Cheese Veggie Tots
Graham Crackers
Mac and Cheese with zucchini added

I've been really happy with Walmart's Grocery Pickup service so far.  Every Sunday, I place my order with them and schedule a pickup for 11-12 on Monday morning.  Since we're so strict about our budget these days, it really helps me keep my costs down and not make any impulse purchases.  The only downsides I can see are that you do have to plan ahead to place your order and schedule your pickup time the next day, and our Greenville location does not let you order alcohol.  I think other locations might, but ours does not.  So if we need beer or wine for the week, I do have to make a second trip.  
If you're interested in trying it out, you can use this code to get $10 off your next order.  Full disclosure: if you use it I get $10 credit, too. 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The $150 ORC: Week 6 Reveal

If you've landed here through Calling It Home's One Room Challenge linkup, welcome!  My name is Laura, and I live in Greenville, SC.  I'm a wife, a mother of a precious 11 month old boy, and a small business owner.  I'm so excited to complete my second one room challenge (check out my first here).  I've given our guest room a facelift on- get this- a $150 budget.  No fancy collabs, no interior designers, no $700 light fixtures, no frills.  Just consignment finds, DIY projects, and a whole lot of elbow grease. 

Coming in at the eleventh hour of One Room Challenge week six with my guest room reveal. Although this has been a six week long process, the reveal week somehow snuck up on me.  I just needed a few finishing touches for the room, and somehow those last few details seemed to stress me out the most.

I'll start you off with a few before pictures.  I always hate looking back at these once the room is complete.  I don't think I realized just how drab the room was! 

Since this room is where family and close friends stay when they visit, I wanted to adorn it with things that were important to my loved ones.   The entire room is filled with family heirlooms and photos that are important to us all.

The bed was T's grandmother's, passed down to us several years ago.  The vanity is an antique that was my desk when I was in college, and the stool was my maternal great-grandmother's sewing bench from years and years ago.  We filled the room with wedding photos, pictures from our newborn shoot, and a very special Clay Rice silhouette that I had made for Thompson.  The silver trays belonged to my paternal grandfather, trophies he won for having prized roses through his city's rose society in the mid sixties.  And lastly, the tassels on the lamps are an ode to my jewelry business, my livelihood.

My challenge for this room was to give the space a new look without going above a $150 budget.  And, I'm proud to say I did it!  I used things that I already owned, swapped out lamps for some that we had in our foyer, bartered with my bestie for some beautiful handmade pillows, and scoured the aisles of Target and discount stores.   I must say, I love how the room turned out, and knowing that I changed the entire look and vibe of the space for $150 bucks makes it even sweeter.  

Since many of the items in this room are old and repurposed, I cannot provide links to everything, but I have provided some shoppable links to a few things still available.  

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