Monday, June 30, 2014

{Baby}: Nursery Inspiration.

Pre-baby in my belly, I would dream about nurseries - what I would do, how I would decorate. I had tons of pins on the ole' secret Pinterest board - I'm an information gatherer by nature so I have to research research research.

Yet now that it is time for an actual baby to be in an actual nursery, my ideas don't involve any of the themes I loved (major contenders were a zoo theme or no theme at all). One day I was in my guest room and glanced at a world map painted on canvas I bought at Home Goods 3 years ago (blogged about it here) and decided to use it in the nursery.

From there, I started piecing things together in my head. A few months ago, right when we found out we were preggo, I saw a mid century modern dresser at Bargain Furniture Warehouse, a super discount second hand furniture store here in town. I had seen it on their facebook album months prior and loved it but had no use but when I saw them post it again, I immediately sent Jake to fetch it (bless his heart...). At the time, I am pretty sure our folks thought we were crazy for buying MORE bedroom furniture (in September we bought an antique guestroom suite off Craigslist that we still haven't set up...) but now I think they know why we did it!

Working with the world map, the oak trim of the room, and the similar wood toned dresser and side table recently acquired, I created an inspiration board to visualize how Baby Jasper's nursery might shape up. We don't know gender but I'm pretty much a fan of this for either a boy or a girl - maybe more whimsical girly touches if it is a girl...

I really didn't want to buy too much baby-specific furniture and I want it to feel like a fun and youthful extension of the rest of our house's decor. Here are the details:

1. Our floor and trim are a honey oak in the whole front of the house, so any paint color/decor needed to complement the wood tones.

2. I've been thinking about using a light cool gray in the room. This is Sherwin Williams March Wind - check it out in this room (scroll to bottom of blog post):

3. On the wall opposite the giant canvas, I want to do a grid of smaller city pictures. If it is a girl, I love these city prints by Etsy artist Evelyn Hensen:
If it is a boy, we'll do something a little more masculine. Pictured in the inspiration board is a canvas I have of San Francisco - they are a bit pricey but I could do two or three more of those from Etsy artist Laura Amiss. I also like Helen Robin's more masculine graphic prints too:

4. I picked this Target gold/yellow rug (it is online only and is on my registry) because my friend Elise has the grey version at her house and loves it! It is an inexpensive rug and I think with a pad under it, will do the trick in a house with dogs and a new little one..

5. We have a narrow but tall armoire in our bedroom currently (similar to the one pictured above) that we will be moving up to the nursery. Depending on how much clothes storage we need, it may be a toys and books closet or it may hang clothes. It currently has black/white toile fabric for the panels but I want to staple in chicken wire spray painted gold. Here it is back when we painted it red:

6. We'll be using our grey Lane recliner arm chair from the den in the nursery instead of a rocker or glider (but we do have a rocker so if the recliner is too big, we can use that...)

7. The world map from Home Goods that inspired it all..

8. Jenny Lind crib in Lagoon (I swoon....)

9. Going to make curtains - currently thinking about using a yellow buffalo check fabric. Need to find the fabric in stores somewhere.... We have white roman shades in the windows.

10. Not the exact dresser but very similar to the one we purchased second hand...

So those are our dreams for the nursery right now! We've got a lot of cleaning/purging/organizing to do before we bring in the paint cans and brushes....

In design inspiration,

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

{Life}: The Newest Jasper...

As Jake gets ready to start his internal medicine residency next week, we're also getting ready for our own new resident in the Jasper house...

Baby Jasper due December 29th, 2014!

That's right - Beamer, Sebastian, Harley, and Tyson are going to have their very own tiny human!

Back in April when I was at Youth in Government in Nashville (with Elise!), on both Friday and Saturday I felt wiped out exhausted. I took a four hour nap on Friday, which is crazy town. I actually texted Jake this picture being like what the heck? (I send him a lot of selfies... he doesn't reciprocate but that is ok).

After I got back it was Holy Week, which was really packed and busy because my choir was singing a service of Tenebrae on that Wednesday and then we were leaving for New York City. I was still exhausted. Wednesday before the service we went to RP Tracks for appetizers and I had a delicious beer. Little did I know it would be my last...

Getting ready to sing, unknowingly four weeks pregnant... cells dividing left and right.

The next morning I took "the test" and had a faint positive. Jake didn't believe me but I told him you can't be a "little pregnant." We were headed to Nashville and then to New York City for Easter so we took our little secret on the road with us...

 New York City (with Eric and Claire, post here) was absolutely fabulous and other than having to take power naps, I felt great. My sweet friends didn't even pry when I conspicuously didn't drink all weekend and had to pee all the time (which is a problem in NYC when you're walking around all day...).

When I got home I took another test - this one was ridiculously dark and obvious, which was enough for Jake's doubtful ways. I took a selfie because I wanted to remember exactly how I looked when I knew for sure.

Food cravings... I've been wanting cheese dip constantly (there are worse things..). I also was dying for fried okra. We hit up Soul Fish for a veggie tray.

I had an appointment at 6 weeks with my doctor and confirmed the heartbeat and due date. After getting medical affirmation, we texted this picture to Elise and Chan, my confidants:

After that, we told our families and set in for keeping the secret for a few more weeks...

I started taking my "weeks" photos with a zero-bump baseline at five weeks.

We went off to Knoxville to celebrate my brothers' graduations (that weekend I felt like puking any time I tried to eat anything! Celebrating sans food & alcohol is depressing...).

Back from Knoxville, we hit up Costco, where I got very excited about two of our purchases...

Along the way, Jake graduated from medical school (!!!), which was really exciting and wonderful. And nice because it means he'll have a paycheck (albeit small and partially designated for loan payments...) and great health insurance!

After my 10 week appointment (where Baby Jasper transformed in shape from a grain of rice to a lima bean), we started telling more of our close friends. I had fun with text picture apps, including this one below:

Last week we went to St. John for a family vacation. Baby Jasper got to swim with sea turtles (full post coming soon..). Baby Jasper has already been to NYC and the Virgin Islands - traveling may be in its blood.

We just had our 12 week appointment. In the ultrasound, the baby was constantly moving - kicking, waving, dancing, sucking its fingers... I like to think it is because I had mexican food for lunch and so it was happy (because I sure was).

We don't find out the gender for another month and a half at least so I've held off on most purchases but I did get our stroller (it was hugely on sale on Amazon). We haven't put it together but it makes me happy to know our first piece of baby paraphernalia is purchased! One down, one million to go...

So that's what is going on around here! I have to say that Zofran was my best friend for weeks 6-12, that reflux and heartburn are legit, and that chicken has become nasty to me (making Chick Fil A a problem....). I'm sure there are many more adventures ahead of me! Advice? Shoot it my way. I'm open ears, learning as I go.

In all things baby,

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

{Go There...Again}: Hog & Hominy.

I wrote about Hog and Hominy over a year ago (here) and since then we have returned several times. Mostly I stay with my original choice of the quattro formaggi pizza, but recently a friend ordered a plate to share first and it was then that I had my first bite of something that will forever change my gastric life -- their biscuit gnocchi.

After that glimpse of heaven, I knew I needed to drag Jake back for more. ((Drag... clearly it was hard - it is so delicious!)). One date night we found ourselves at Target (so fancy) and since we were all the way out East, we thought "what they hay".

Instead of getting a pizza, we decided to split two plates. The servings are small (reasonable, just enough) and it is designed that you get several different plates to share. We knew we wanted dessert so we were fine with two but otherwise would have gotten three.

Obviously, we got the biscuit gnocchi. It is made from buttermilk biscuit, hambone brodo, field peas, spinach, and tomato. The sauce is light, with a hint of lemon. It was just as good as I had remembered.

We also got the short ribs, which came highly recommended. They come with farrow, shiitake, grapefruit, and red onion. It had an Asian hint to it. The short ribs were also beyond amazing. 

 Hog & Hominy has a seasonal menu so both of these items came from their summer menu - they switch things up with each season since their ingredients are always fresh.

We usually sit inside in the main dining area but this time we got taken back to the semi-secret area (you walk through a bookcase-turned-door) called the Holding Pen. It has picnic tables and a great ambiance. Since we were there in the summer, it also was where the oyster bar was running - worth checking out.

As I mentioned, we began with the end in mind, therefore saving room for arguably the best dessert in Memphis (tied with a slice of Muddy's grasshopper cake). The peanut butter pie has a layer of banana (which I love! and I don't even like bananas!) and is topped with fresh whipped cream and crumbled butterfingers.

Hog & Hominy has continued to put Memphis on the culinary map, even being featured in GQ and the New York Times. It is an East Memphis treasure and definitely worth checking out (or returning, in our case). You should go there.

In pizza and pie,

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Sunday, June 15, 2014

{Featured}: Cheese Bings on Buzz Feed.

By now, you probably know of my love for both all things University of Tennessee and all things cheese. These two loves converge in a special way through the magnificent cheese bing, found in its native environment at Goal Post Tavern (a resurrection of OCI from our college days).

Every time we go back to visit our alma mater, a stop for cheese bings is certainly a must. Buzz Feed surely knows what is up because recently they featured a story (by a staff writer, not a community post, which of course gives it legitimacy) entitled "16 College Town Foods Worth Skipping Class For." Ending in a preposition in the title aside, the article is of course on point.

Ending in a preposition in the title aside, the article is of course on point. #15 on the list? Cheese bings, photgraphed by yours truly (luckily, the author emailed to ask permission, which was journalistic of him). 

Cheese Bings from Goal Post Tavern - note: the article omits that the best bing option is the mixed basket, which has cheddar bings AND pepper jack bings. 

You'll have to check out the article for yourself, which also features Rhodes College for Central BBQ nachos (which are much more of a U of M thing than Rhodes, but whatevs).

In breaded, fried cheese,
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