Wednesday, September 5, 2018

5 Ways to Pass the Time While Waiting on Baby

 If you've been reading this blog or following me on social media for oh, I don't know...the last nine months?! then you would know that we're currently expecting our first baby-a little boy due this month!

There are obviously a ton of things that need to be done to get ready for your baby's arrival from the nursery to installing the car seat, but what about when you've done all the basics and then you're just in limbo, waiting for your sweet angel to make their debut?

Since I'm currently in that phase, I wanted to share with y'all some sneak peeks of our nursery along with some tips of things you can do to pass the time until delivery day!

1) Research & Pack Your Hospital Bag
Packing my hospital bag was honestly something I waited until about 36-37 weeks pregnant to do because I wanted to make sure I had everything I wanted/needed, and guess what-honestly some of the packing you can't do until you're leaving for the hospital because you use those things every day.

My favorite purchase for my hospital bag has been from my favorite retailer, Pink Blush.
You've heard me rave about their straight sizes of clothes & my favorite maternity maxi that I purchased from them...but when I was on the hunt for the perfect robe for the hospital, I was at a loss until I realized Pink Blush carried delivery/nursing robes (heck, this thing will be great for years post-baby, honestly!)

I wanted it to be blue and long enough to keep me covered when we had visitors, but it also needed to be light and comfortable so I could move around in it easily and not get too hot.
While they have tons of colors, this navy bamboo maternity robe was just what I wanted & honestly I think it will be great for our birth photos as well.

Other essentials that I've heard from mama's that have done this before: Hard candy for when they won't let you have food anymore, your own pillow and throw blanket (in brighter colors/nothing that can be confused with the hospital's), and loose, flowy, comfortable clothing to wear home-nothing fancy or restricting!
 2) Work on the Baby Book
I know not all Mama-to-Be's are doing a baby book, but we were gifted one from our sweet friends & I'm so glad they thought of that because it had slipped my mind completely.
There are pages for family history, baby showers, etc. and those can all be done before baby's arrival.
If you're planning on doing the baby book then try to get ahead before baby comes, that way you won't forget those pages!
3) Start a Journal/Notebook for Baby
Another sweet gift we received for our little one was a journal to write letters to him or to note things he did or said as he got older.
One of my September goals is to write my first letter to him before he arrives-so I'd better get on that!
Journals can easily be found at the dollar store, Target, Hobby Lobby, etc. so just pick one up and give it a shot-it could be a fun memory for both you and your little one.
4) Take Stock of your Nursery
Is there anything you just didn't get at your showers or as gifts that you realize you need now?
After all was said & done and our gifts were put away in their spots in the nursery I realized that I desperately needed a few more crib sheets & several changing pad covers along with a few other things.
It was great to go on and take stock so I could place one order for those (take advantage of your registry completion discounts!) at one time and have them ready for when our little one gets here and I'm not rushing to try to get them after he's already here.
 5) Soak Up the Moment
This can mean different things for each mom to be.
Maybe you just want to sit in your nursery & contemplate what your little one is going to be like.
Maybe you want to pray over your baby's future.
Perhaps, you want to try to squeeze in as many date nights as you can before your two-some becomes three.
Or, maybe you just want to head to Target and Starbucks by yourself before you're either rushing home to a newborn or trying to take one on your trips with you.
No matter what soaking up the moment looks like to you, just do it.
Try to get the best sleep you can, eat those meals that you love that maybe take a little extra effort that you might not have for a few weeks or months, enjoy a pedicure or reading your favorite book.
Whatever it is that you enjoy that might get put on the back burner for a while, just do it!
And a bonus sixth tip...get excited! Your sweet baby (& mine!) will be here before we know it and while our lives will be totally different, they will be changed for the better.

If you've had a baby or babies before, what did you do to pass the time while you waited on their arrival?!
Hopefully our little guy will be here soon!

Until next time. . .
xoxo, 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

38 Week Pregnancy Update+Floral Maternity Maxi Dress

Happy Tuesday, y'all!
Since yesterday was Labor Day, my 39 week doctor's appointment is today (so there may be new info that I find out today that isn't in this post-hopefully I'll remember to update it after I get home!)
I knew I wanted to get at least one last update post in before our little one arrives & if nothing else, I wanted to share this beautiful dress with y'all!
Pink Blush has been one of my go-to places to purchase clothing from for a while now since they carry both regular & plus sizes of clothing (& regular and plus sizes of maternity clothing!)
Chris & I have been having several events to go to lately & I have worn out my favorite Lilly dress so I knew it was time for something fresh, but also something that could transition and be something to wear after baby is born.

This gorgeous blue floral wrap maxi fit the bill perfectly for what I needed, it's polished & ladylike but also so, so comfortable. The length was also perfect on me at 5'6 without any hemming (all the average-height ladies said amen!)

Pink Blush honestly has so many maternity dresses to choose from, there are five pages to shop through so if you're expecting they are definitely the place to visit! I love how I feel in this dress & am honestly looking for another reason to wear it before our boy makes his appearance...until I can think of one, I'll continue on to the update portion of this post! 

38 Week Pregnancy Update:
How far along? 39 weeks now...technically 39+3 on the day this post goes live, but that's semantics.
Days until due date? 5, counting today!
Weight change? As of my last appointment, I had only gained 18 pounds total so that's exciting to me!
Any cravings? Nothing new since my last update! I have been wanting something sweet more often lately though, whether that be ice cream, a milkshake, or s'mores! Just a least one sweet thing per day is necessary at this point. 😂
Symptoms? Definitely just being very, very tired! It's hard to make it through the day without a nap now! And numbness in my hands-especially my right hand, it's so annoying. Did anyone else have that?

Sleep?  I would say that sleeping at night is really difficult at this point, which leads to a nap at some point doing the day. 
Movement? Although he's running out of room in there rapidly, he's still very consistent about moving and stretching himself out as best he can!

Belly Button: In or Out? In!

Wedding Rings: On or Off? The rings are totally off at this point, although my swelling isn't too-too bad. I just don't want them to go on comfortably and then start swelling while they're on. I have other things that I've been wearing in a larger size when we go out and about if I feel like I still want to wear something.

Best Moment this week? Gosh, that's a hard one because things have been really great around here lately. I would have to say finally finishing up his nursery was a relief and it's really neat to see it 100% done & know that all we're doing now is waiting on him!

 Best style moment this week? Getting the opportunity to wear the gorgeous dress pictured in this post! I wore it to a banquet last week and then got my mom to come over & shoot it as an actual outfit since I hadn't really done any outfit posts with maternity photos and I knew I wanted to have at least a few to look back on!
 Worst moment this week?  There wasn't really a "worst" moment, but I think at times I am starting to get a little overwhelmed with the magnitude of bringing a baby into this world & then raising him-that's a huge deal! So just dealing with the anxiety of that has been the only "bad" thing about this week.

 Do you miss anything? Yes ma'am-but we're so close to being able to do all of my favorite things! And by do my favorite things, I mean eat my favorite things 😂😂

 What are you looking forward to? I'm just getting excited now for him to actually be here. I'm looking forward to seeing him with Chris after he arrives and sharing him with all of our friends and family...and it might seem funny, but I really look forward to him and Forrest bonding & hopefully becoming the best of friends in the future!

 Mood? Still nervous, yet excited-just like my last update. I really, really am thrilled that we're getting closer to him being here and finding our new routine and new normal but it's also really quite scary thinking about how our lives are going to be 100% different after he gets here. So there's some uncertainty, but nothing we can't get through!


Can y'all see why I just adore this dress?!
It's perfection, honestly. And anything that gives this 8+ month pregnant mama her confidence back is a winner in my book!

Until next time. . .
xoxo, 

Saturday, September 1, 2018

September Goals


It's so hard to believe that August has officially come to a close & that this is the month that we'll be welcoming our baby boy into the world!
I keep going back and forth somewhere between panic and excitement, but I know that this is going to be the most thrilling journey of our lives, so I'm looking forward to a new normal.

Let's see what I accomplished from last month. . .
August's Goals:
Reach 1,100 on Instagram
I really didn't feel inspired to "work" much on Instagram this month, this last trimester of pregnancy has really, really drained me & we've honestly just been so busy I haven't had time to make beautiful photos that I feel like are "worthy" of being shared there.
I'm also focusing on real relationships on Instagram and not just gaining followers for the sake of numbers, so that's why I'm really into slow growth and having it being engaged growth-so I'm thrilled with this milestone!

Complete Baby Upchurch's Nursery
This is just a sneaky-peek of his nursery (& honestly there are a few surprise things I pulled out of this picture 🙈 because I want them to be revealed after our newborn lifestyle shoot!) but we are completely done with it!
I do have to do some last minute tidying things up & there are a few things in there that after his arrival will be moved into our living room and into our bedroom, but for the most part-we're 100% ready for his arrival.

Add Baby Upchurch to Our Insurance
Can I consider this "done"?
I'll say half-done, because apparently technically this can't be done until he's born but I did check in on what needed to be done about it.

Pack my Hospital Bag
I really procrastinated this, but it's finally done!
There are a few things like toiletries and phone chargers/camera that will need to be added as we head out the door or brought by family members, but anything that can be packed ahead of time is done. I even have some snacks packed up!

Enjoy 2 Date Nights Before Baby
 Honestly, we've been able to spend a good amount of time together this month (although a lot of them weren't technically "date nights"!)
We had a lot of fun together at the Alabama Farmer's Federation Commodity Conference, which included some riverfront walks and dining at delicious restaurants together, we went out with some friends, we took a Sunday afternoon date-day to get Chris' hair cut and to do some shopping, and of course we had our town's first Cattlemen's Rodeo last weekend which was a blast!
Spending all of this time together before our little guy gets here has been such a treat and I hope we are one of those couple's that still manages to make time for each other after we start building our family. ❤
Finish All Baby Shower/Gift Thank-You Notes
This is done, done, and done!
I've done really well getting all thank-you's out for gifts that are mailed directly to us as they come in (and keeping up with them on a spreadsheet, just in case!) but the shower gift thank-you's have been daunting just because of the long list.
As of Thursday, I crossed this off of my to-do list and it felt SO good!

Repaint Our Front Door Hangers
I'm so incredibly blessed to have a sister & mom who live close by and have time to come help me clean my house and get things done around here because if not...let's just say, my husband wouldn't be happy!
My middle sis came over & helped me do a lot of cleaning and we spent a few minutes breaking out the paint brushes & touching up our front door hangers.
We still need to add some ribbon, so I've got to get to the store ASAP to pick some up, but other than that they look great and are ready for visitors!
September's Goals:
Try to Keep Our Home as Clean as Possible Before Baby Comes
I'm trying to keep in a good cleaning routine & not let things pile up since we could have this little guy any day now. I want to be able to enjoy my time with him next month and not be worried about our house being a wreck!

Write the First Letter to Our Baby Boy
One of our friend's gifted me a journal to share letters to our sweet boy & I've yet to sit down and write anything. I think I need to write at least once before his arrival so I need to sit down and do that!

Spend Time with Forrest
I don't ever want Forrest to feel neglected or like we love the baby more than we love him (say whatever you want, but Forrest is my first baby and anyone who has seen us together knows I love him like a real child!)
I just don't want him to feel sad or left out and resent his little brother, so we're going to shower him with as much affection as possible!

Spend Time Together
It doesn't matter if it's just eating breakfast together in the morning or heading to our favorite dive in town for a milkshake at the end of the day, I just want to soak up as much time with my number one guy before there are three of us!

REST!
I'm guilty of trying to pack in too many things right now & so this should've been number one-I need to try to rest up before the big day!

I think that about covers what our September is going to look like-basically a lot of cuddling & surviving, but we're looking forward to it.
If you have any tips/tricks/advice for me in the upcoming days, I would love for you to leave me a comment below!

Until next time. . .
xoxo,

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Upgrade Your Dental Care with Smile Brilliant

This post was done in partnership with Smile Brilliant, however all opinions are my own.
Thank you for supporting brands that support Southern & Style!
If you've been a long-time reader, around the end of last year I discovered a brand called Smile Brilliant who are known for their at-home teeth whitening kits that are the real deal.

I shared my whitening results & have fallen in love with the kit and the brand-I look forward to being able to whiten again after pregnancy is over!

So, since dental and oral health is so important for pregnant women & just in general-I have been trying to be very diligent about taking care of my teeth and mouth, including regular brushing, flossing, mouth-washing, and trips to the dentist.
At my last dental appointment, my hygienist asked if I had ever considered an electric toothbrush and I told her no...I was honestly pleased with my manual toothbrush & didn't know that there were any additional benefits to using an electric version.

Boy, was I ever wrong. She explained that electric toothbrushes actually help you teeth by removing more plaque than an average manual toothbrush & they also improve gum health (so important for everyone, but especially expecting Mama's like myself!).
She also knew that I'm a huge coffee lover & since having to stop using my Smile Brilliant whitening kit since being pregnant-I was feeling self conscious about my smile and she informed me that an electric toothbrush could help my whitening as well.
Y'all, the team at Smile Brilliant answered my dental prayers once again because after some investigation I discovered that my favorite whitening brand also has an electric toothbrush on the market, but at a much better value than other comparable brushes on the market and when I say better value, I mean at half the price of other similar brushes out there.
In the individual package you get one cariPro Ultrasonic toothbrush, two premium replacement heads with tongue scrapers & DuPont bristles, one wireless charging dock, and a very helpful instruction manual.
The toothbrush itself is very, very easy to use even though it's high-tech in that it has five brush modes:
Clean-Standard, but superior daily cleaning
White-Most powerful mode for removing deep surface stains, polishing, & deep cleaning.
Massage-Gentle gum pulsation for gum stimulation-use this one combined with another mode for complete cleansing coverage.
Gum Care-Gum mode is for gentle cleansing along the gumline, combine this mode with another for complete cleansing.
Sensitive-This is the perfect "beginner" mode to get used to the shift from manual to electric toothbrushes. It's also perfect for those who have sensitive gums and teeth. I was able to start with this and then shift to white & clean modes within about a week.

Overall, I have been so pleased with my cariPro Ultrasonic Toothbrush-it's truly helped me regain my self confidence in my smile because my smile has whitened significantly, but more importantly my oral health is greatly improved-my dentist was satisfied when I came in for my last cleaning!
Photo by Amy-Cole Photography

If you're looking for an upgrade to your dental care, then I highly suggest trying out the cariPro brush...you have absolutely nothing to lose-they have a 60-Day Trial so it's worth testing out to see if it works for you.
Also, make sure you check out their FAQ (frequently asked questions), just in case you need to know anything before you buy.
Who doesn't want a brush that will remove up to 7X more plaque than a manual, improves gum health in just 2 weeks, and offers 2X whiter teeth in just one week?
It's a no brainer!

Y'all know I also wouldn't leave you without a coupon code; so use the code southernandstyle20 for 20% off cariPro Ultrasonic Toothbrushes-they're worth the investment in a better smile!
And even better than that you can enter here to win one of these cariPro Ultrasonic Toothbrush sets for yourself...let me know below that you entered!

Until next time. . .
xoxo, 

Friday, August 24, 2018

Boot Roundup



One of my favorite things about fall is having an excuse to wear all of my boots (even more than I already do!)

This truly is the perfect time of year to pick up a new pair because there are so many occasions to wear them to!
In Alabama, where I'm from, it's always appropriate to wear boots to a tailgate (hence those awesome Auburn boots that I have to add to my collection), or to the fair or one of the many rodeos that are going on.

I even pull mine out to wear to church on Sunday or out for a date on a Saturday night.
Cowboy boots really are the perfect transition piece!

I personally own the bone embroidered boots (they were my wedding boots!) and the angel wing boots. They're both by Corral & purchased from Country Outfitter.
They're great fitting boots and made with amazing quality.

I hope to add a statement pair to my collection soon, like those fringe or awesome red boots!
But you can never go wrong with a staple pair like the brown with the dream catcher embroidery.

How do you wear your boots (if you have them) & if you don't, would you ever buy any?
Which pair is your favorite?

Until next time. . .

xoxo,



Saturday, August 11, 2018

35 Week Pregnancy Update


The 35-week pregnancy update...aka, my very first pregnancy update 😂
When I first announced that I was pregnant on the blog I knew I didn't want to do weekly or really even monthly updates on the blog-those can be kind of tedious and boring for those of y'all that don't come here for that content.
But...I thought about it and decided that I wanted to, for at least the last few weeks of pregnancy, to update y'all and to have these for my future memories!

How far along? 35 weeks! Actually, on the day this is being posted I'll be exactly 36. But it's being written at 35 😉
Days until due date? 28!
Weight change? Y'all-I'll be honest...I really kind of wanted to delete this question because who wants to put all that out on the internet? But I'm honestly pretty proud of how my weight has been managed throughout this entire pregnancy, I'm probably more healthy now than I was when we found out we were expecting!
Up until this point, I've only gained 16 lbs. That might change when I weigh in again on Monday, but for now I'm saying 16!
Any cravings? Not really! I haven't "craved" much of anything this entire pregnancy. It's more of, "man, that sounds like it would be really good right now-but I won't die without it or anything". I really do love pizza more than normal, though.
Symptoms? I've definitely been feeling myself get more and more worn out as the days go by, which is so difficult for me to get used to because I'm super independent and like to be able to do everything myself. It's also been hard to slow down on the farm, because I like to do my own things myself but I've had to pass the torch down to my husband & some of our help to get my daily things done because I just can't accomplish tasks as easily as I used to.
I've also had a lot of trouble sleeping. Not sure if it's due to me over-doing it during the daytime hours or what, but definitely not sleeping well and feeling pretty sore towards the end of the day.
Sleep? Ha! I guess I covered that in the symptoms part, but between being super sore and over-tired, and having to get up to go to the bathroom what feels like a million times each night I'm usually only clocking about 5 hours of sleep at night.

I do try to squeeze in a nap somewhere during the day if I'm feeling the need!

Movement? He's definitely an active little one! There isn't as much room for him to stretch out, but he's not shy about trying to do so. Thankfully, he's gotten to where he's active during the day and more relaxed at night...so I'm hoping he'll continue that schedule when he's born-so many of my friends have said their baby's did!

Belly Button: In or Out? In!

Wedding Rings: On or Off? On a day-to day basis I don't wear my wedding rings anyway; since I'm just around the house. Thankfully, I haven't had much swelling either other than my normal swelling that I get in my hands during the summer months. If we're going out somewhere, I do usually wear my wedding band.

Best Moment this week? I haven't been to the doctor this week (it was my last week to skip a week, starting Monday I'm on a once-a-week basis with my doctor). But I think just spending time with Chris while we were in Montgomery & getting to dream with him about all the things we're planning on doing with the baby once he gets here-that was pretty special!

 Best style moment this week? 😂😂😂 On a regular basis, I'm wearing Nike shorts & an over-sized tee shirt so my "style" isn't what I would call "best".  If we can count Saturday into that equation, I wore my beloved Lilly maxi (again) for our award's ceremony and I feel amazing when I rock that little number. 

 Worst moment this week?  I don't think I really had a "worst" moment this week. I am starting to get a bit stressed that everything isn't going to come together before he is born. But I'm also trying to remind myself that if it doesn't, that will be okay too! 

 Do you miss anything? Yes! I miss SO many things. But guess what? In just a few weeks, I'll be able to have them so it's all okay and all worth it. I mostly miss raw sushi, wine, and being able to eat a sandwich without microwaving the meat first!

 What are you looking forward to? I'm exciting to hopefully finish the nursery! We have a few things left to purchase & do, but it's all coming together and I'm really grateful for that.

 Mood? Nervous and excited. It's finally starting to become a reality, although it seems so strange that Chris & I are really, really about to be parents! There is a sense of nervous-ness, mostly because I hate hospitals and doctors offices-they just really freak me out so I'm dreading all of that. But there is a sense of excitement as well because I'm excited to finally have our little man here and be able to share all that the future holds! 


            Well, there y'all have it-my first pregnancy update...at 35 weeks 😂
Until next time. . .
xoxo, 

Monday, August 6, 2018

A Farm is More than Land & Crops. . .

It's a family's heritage & future ❤🚜
Typically, on a Tuesday I would do a weekly recap, a roundup of all the little things I've been doing in the past week & fun things I've found around the internet.

And to be honest, normally I don't get 100% personal on the blog with y'all because we tend to be a pretty private family.

However, this past weekend was one for the books & I have to tell our story and put this down to remember and share because it's so exciting and important!

Friday afternoon, Christopher and I packed up and headed south for Montgomery. We checked in to our hotel room, (spent over an hour on the phone with Verizon & Apple tech support 🙈), spent another hour in the Verizon store buying Christopher a new iPhone because phones are important to farmer's y'all, had dinner at Wentzell's, walked by the river, and headed up to our room for the night.

Saturday was a jam-packed day for us, it was our full day at Commodity Conference for the Alabama Farmer's Federation and we were so excited to see friends, meet new friends, learn new things in seminars, etc.
The day was fun and tiring, so around 3ish we headed back up to our room, took a nap, then got up around 5 and got all gussied up for the dinner.

Over the past six months, there have been a ton of things going on in the background that I've mentioned here and there on the blog, but never really went into full detail on.

In March, Chris & I were chosen as one of three finalists to be Alabama's Outstanding Young Farm Family. We had went through an application and interview process to be chosen as finalists.
Over the next few months, we prepared and practiced, we worked really hard to prepare for an on-farm interview with three judges which happened the last week of June.

On Saturday night, all of that hard work came to fruition as we stood on stage with two other very deserving couples-but our name was announced!
It was such a validating moment for both of us because of all the hard work and dreams that we've poured into our farm and into this contest. To know that other's notice your dedication and passion is an awesome feeling-especially since farmers tend to get more criticism than compassion sometimes.
 We love what we do & we love this organization that we get to be a part of.
We're so excited to represent the state of Alabama over the next year and that we get to compete at National's in New Orleans in January!
 We have an incredible support system of both of our families as well as all of our friends, we are so thankful to have everyone cheering us on and helping out whenever we asked.
It's going through things like this that truly let you know who you can count on & we appreciate everyone so much!
There are so many exciting things coming in the next few months; mostly the arrival of our sweet little boy!
But we can't wait to see where we go from here & we look forward to advocating and supporting agriculture in the future.

Until next time. . .
xoxo,