Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday Favorites

Enjoying the morning breeze with my morning coffee. I've worked outside just about every morning this week - reason 342567 why I love fall.

"Never do the envy, jealously and insecure stuff. Be the hustler, well-wisher, the go-getter."
It's easy to get caught up in the comparison game, but remember to be you and love it! 

For more inspiration, check out my Pinterest board, Words to Love.

I'm a sucker for a pretty blanket (especially this time of year), and when I saw that this faux fur pom pom blanket was on sale (plus I had a 15% off code), I immediately ordered it. It's so pretty in person and so cozy. If you need me, I'll be wrapped up in it all fall and winter long. 

This Madewell convertible sweater can be a turtleneck.. or not… you pick! I love that you can unbutton the neck cuff and wear it as a regular sweater. So versatile! 

This look getting me really excited about winter fashion. I love the camel paired with the black! 

I recently bought some wall ledges to hang above our couch, and I've been trying to figure out how to style them. I love the idea of placing frames on them, and this set of frames is the inspiration I was looking for! I love the mix of colors and textures.

This post making me want to immediately organize my pantry using old jars and a simple label maker. I  love how clean and simple it looks! Plus, I'm obsessed with label makers. Who doesn't love to have everything labeled?! 

A travel guide to Amsterdam that makes me want to jump on a plane and go there immediately. Its never really been on my bucket list, but I am adding it now! It looks so quaint - I mean, the bikes and canals… precious.
Happy Friday!! I hope y'all had an awesome week - it's been pretty uneventful around here... which are always the best kind. This weekend we are throwing a birthday party for my mother-in-law around our fire pit. Several of her friends are coming, and we're having chili, s'mores and spiked apple cider... perfect fall combo! Other than that, I'm looking forward to a low-key weekend to follow up our low-key week. Enjoy your weekend, and as always, thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Detox Bath

In last week's post, Making Time for Self-Care, I shared the self-care acts that I try to do weekly, one of which is a bubble bath. I take a bubble bath at least once a week,  and sometimes more! I think it's one of the most relaxing things you can do. To me, there is nothing better than lighting some candles, turning on relaxing music (my favorite for bath time is simple, instrumental music), soaking in warm water, and letting my mind rest. One reason I fell in love with the house we bought is because of it's spa like bathtub!

I also love finding different ways to detox - especially after weekends of eating out and having too many glasses of wine (whoops). Usually I will detox by drinking warm lemon water and doing hot yoga, but I recently found this recipe for a detox bath on Pinterest and knew I had to try it. Two of my favorite things combined... a good detox and bath, and it only takes 3 simple ingredients! Once a week, soak in a bath with coconut oil, lavender oil, and Epsom salts... this combo draws out toxins, balances pH levels, and is a great way to bring balance to your body.

3 Ingredient Detox Bath:

3 ounces coconut oil
10 drops lavender oil
2 cups Epsom salts

I used Epsom salts with lavender (that I found at Walgreens), but you can use any type of Epsom salts! Also, any coconut oil will do, but I linked one of my favorites. You really don't have to measure out 3 ounces exactly as the recipe calls...I usually just put in about a tablespoon. If you haven't tried out any essential oils yet, I highly recommend them!! I use them for just about everything. Lavender oil is by far one of my favorites because it's so versatile (read more about its uses here). I've mentioned before that I like to dry brush, and I usually do this right before taking a bath because it exfoliates the skin.. and it's another way to detox. I absolutely loved the combination of this detox bath, and it's already become a weekly ritual for me!

Photos | Catherine Truman

What's your favorite way to detox?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Talk Tuesday: Our Infertility Journey

"When the time is right, I, the Lord, will make it happen." Isaiah 60:22

It took me a while to open up about our infertility struggles here on the blog. I didn't know if it was something my readers would be interested in reading, and I was scared to share something so personal. Infertility isn't an easy topic, and most people going through it don't talk about it. But as time went on, I decided that I would share because I wanted this little space of mine to truly reflect me and what's going on in my life.

Turns out, it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. The response I got from you guys was truly overwhelming…. in a good way! So many people reached out to me with encouragement, and I even recieved great advice from people who have been through infertility struggles themselves. Sharing has also been a great way for me to express my feelings and thoughts as we go through the process of trying to have a baby of our own.

Although I've shared posts like The Hardest Decision I've Ever Had to Make and Having Faith, I haven't really shared our full story and the steps we've taken to try and get pregnant. Because so many of you have reached out with advice and questions (which I appreciate so much!), I thought it would be best to share our journey in one post. So the main purpose of today's post is to answer all of those questions and to give you guys the full story and an update on where we are in our journey.

Chris and I "started trying" in January of 2014. We had been married for a little over 2 years and were ready to take on the next step…. becoming parents. I stopped taking birth control (which I had only been taking for 2 years) and for the first 4 months we didn't put much stress on "trying." It wasn't until May that I started using ovulation predication kits to see exactly when I was ovulating. We tried for the next 8 months, timing everything perfectly, but had no luck.

It was then that I decided to talk to my OBGYN, and she ran several blood tests that all came back normal. The next step was for Chris to be tested and for me to have an HSG test done to make sure my fallopian tubes were open. His tests came back normal, but the HSG showed that one of my fallopian tubes could be blocked. By this point, it was February of 2015 and we were referred to a fertility doctor here in Nashville.

Our fertility doctor suggested surgery to see if my tubes were indeed blocked and if he could get them open. Because it would take me a week to recover from the surgery, I had to put it off until June (2015) because I couldn't take that much time off of work. In the meantime, he put me on fertility medicine (Clomid) and told us to keep trying until I could undergo surgery. We had no luck with three months of being on Clomid and proceeded with the surgery in June. We got great news after the surgery - my tubes were not blocked! Our doctor did find traces of endometriosis, but overall, the surgery was successful and delivered hope.

After my surgery, we kept trying (with Clomid) but had no luck. By November of 2015 and almost two years of trying, we were really discouraged and decided to move forward with Intrauterine Insemination (IUI - read more about that process here). Our doctor had no explanation as to why weren't getting pregnant, so we were very hopeful about doing an IUI because it really increases your chances of conceiving. However, by March of 2016 we had done three IUI's, none of which were successful.

Those months were by far the hardest. At this point, Chris and I felt really defeated and our doctor could give us no explanation as to why the IUI's were not successful. His next suggestion was to move forward with In Vitro Fertilization (read more about IVF here), and this scared us. We were in shock that it had come to this point and that IVF was most likely in our future. Since IVF is a pretty intense process, we decided it was best to take a break from the medicines, shots, and appointments we had been doing for the IUIs and just rest for a few months.

In the meantime, one my awesome readers reached out to me with her story and how acupuncture worked for her. She even put me in touch with an acupuncturist who also specializes in fertility here in Nashville. We decided to give it a shot - we figured we had nothing to lose! We both decided that we were not ready for IVF quite yet, and that trying the natural route might pay off.

I started acupuncture in August, and I am loving it!! My acupuncturist also has me taking Chinese herbs and charting daily in hopes of figuring out what could be causing me not to get pregnant. I am hoping that I can get pregnant naturally through through acupuncture and herbs, and as of right now that's where we are. I'm learning more about my body through this charting process, and the acupuncture has definitely helped with the stress of infertility.

We are still open to doing IVF, but for right now we are taking the natural route and praying for God's guidance in our journey. We've been through medicine, shots, countless appointments, surgery, three failed IUI's, and nearly three years of trying, but I am hopeful that we will have our baby one day. This journey hasn't been easy, and it's not over yet, but we know that God's plan is far greater than ours. All we can do is trust in Him and his timing.

If you know someone who is going through infertility, please reach out to them with some encouragement… it is a hard, hard battle that is often overlooked by many. I promise the encouragement and prayers will mean the world to those who are struggling.

Monday, October 17, 2016

LBD + Leopard

Happy Monday! I hope y'all had a fantastic weekend. We got in late last night from Mississippi. One of my dear friends got married there this weekend, and it was just a beautiful (and fun) wedding! There were so many special touches throughout the ceremony and reception that really made it such a unique wedding day and perfect for them as a couple… like different flavored popsicles coming out during the middle of the reception and bottle caps on the groom's boutonnieres (aka they love beer and popsicles). Too cute!

This black wrap dress made the trip with me - it was the third rehearsal dinner I've worn it to this year! It is great for fall and winter weddings because it is a faux-wrap knit dress. I've also paired it with nude pumps and a leopard scarf for Sunday church and brunch, as seen in these photos! It really is such a versatile piece, and you can never have too many little black dresses.. right!?! Well, I'm off to pick up my baby pup, Louie, this morning. We got in too late to get him from my mother-in-law's last night…so I am heading there first thing this morning. I can't wait to see him! Cheers to a new week!

Photos | Catherine Truman

Black dress (on sale!) | leopard scarf, old, similar here, here, and here | shoes | purse | sunglasses |

Friday, October 14, 2016

Best Buys: September

Weekender Bag - This bag is absolutely perfect for quick trips! The quality of it is outstanding, and it's big enough to fit all your belongings for a 2 to 3 day trip…. so it's perfect for those weekend getaways! We do a lot of travel on the weekends to see family, attend weddings, etc. so this bag was a great buy for me. It's super affordable for the size and quality.

Bare Minerals barePro foundation & brush - In the summer, I typically only wear tinted moisturizer as my foundation because its lightweight and great for warm weather, but now that we are getting into the fall and winter season, I needed something with a little more coverage. The gals at Bare Minerals recommended that I still wear the Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Cream but to add the barePro powder foundation over it for more coverage. I absolutely love this new product of theirs! It goes on so smoothly and gives me the perfect coverage that isn't too heavy.

Audrey Flats - Y'all, these flats are so comfortable. I was in need of a good, go-to pair of neutral flats, and while I love the Chloe scalloped ballet flat, I just can't pay that for a pair of flats.. no way! This is a much more affordable pair, and I actually like the pointed toe a little better than the round toe on the Chloe. Not to mention, there is a super soft cushion on the heel that gives these flats an A+ for comfort! (note to my teacher friends: you need these… they are the perfect flat to teach in!)

Aveda Stress Fix Bath Salts - Y'all know I love my bath time, and that I'm always buying bubble bath and bath salts. Well, these soaking salts are my absolute favorite! My bath time is a big stress reliever for me, so when I saw "stress-fix" on the label…. sold! The aroma they produce is so soothing and definitely makes your stress levels go down. I really enjoy adding them into my bath every night to unwind!

Happy Friday! In leu of my usual Friday Favorites, I'm bringing y'all my best buys of September…. because this post is way over due since we are now in the middle of October. Where does the time go?! Seriously, I just can't get over the fact that we are approaching the end of 2016. Crazy. Anyway, I'm keeping it short and sweet today because we are in my hometown for one of my best friend's wedding, and I'm getting ready to head to the bridesmaids luncheon! I can't wait to celebrate with friends and family. Cheers to the weekend! What are your plans?

PS. Best Buys of MayJuneJuly, and August
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