Stars and Spots - My Latest Fall Faves

You guys, I absolutely cannot believe it's October. It's nearly Tim and I's fourth anniversary! (Was that proper grammar?) This year is flying by much too fast. 

Recently, I was shopping with my Nana in Ohio at a great department store call Von Maur and I fell in love with a sweater made by Miss Me. It wasn't on sale - and I'm not one to pay full price - so I decided to keep an eye on it on their website and wait for it to go on sale. Much to my dismay, I was looking for it that night and I couldn't find it anywhere on Von Maur's website or Miss Me's website either. It's not everyday that I absolutely love a piece of clothing and worried that it was maybe discontinued or something, I made Tim stop back by the mall on our way back home to Tennessee so I could pick it up. 

 Photo cred:  Brittany Wood

Photo cred: Brittany Wood

On that same shopping trip, I fell in love again, with a pair of leopard mules. Again, they were more than I wanted to pay, they're Kate Spade, but I ended up doing some research later on and found them on Kate Spade's Website for a much better deal. Be sure and sign up for her newsletter for an additional coupon! So now I have a great fall shoe that I'm obsessed with.

 Photo cred:  Brittany Wood

Photo cred: Brittany Wood

OUTFIT LINKS: Sweater | Jeans | Shoes

 Photo cred:  Brittany Wood

Photo cred: Brittany Wood

It's a perfect, comfy outfit for a fall brunch. Currently, my favorite Nashville brunch spot is Caviar and Bananas. It's the cutest place in town! And their lattes are to die. This past weekend, I went with my sister, my cousin Brittany and her girls and had the absolute best time. 

 Photo cred:  Brittany Wood

Photo cred: Brittany Wood

I was quite surprised to have had a pretty good hair day this past Saturday. I honestly couldn't remember when I washed it last. It was held together by nothing but dry shampoo and wishes.

XO,

Diana

Before and After: Our Kitchen Update

When we moved into our house in 2015, we knew we had our work cut out for us. We've still got alot of projects around here but the kitchen is definitely something to be proud of. Also, it should be said that my husband is a miracle worker. Here are some before photos:

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And here's what it looks like now (photos by Brittany Wood): 

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Tim painted all of the cabinets by hand and we found the new hardware at Ikea!

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It's amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do. And I'm in love with the flooring that Tim and my brother-in-law installed.

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That sweet man of mine has made my kitchen dreams come true - and all on a budget!

XO,

Di

A Tennessee Tailgate

The University of Tennessee Volunteers are my team and I'm absolutely elated that it's finally football season. I wanted to share some ways to inspire your tailgating setup to be a little more Tennessee Pretty.

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Get cozy. Make the tailgate your home away from home. Lay out some cute throw blankets and pillows to make it more comfortable.

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Use your team colors on the food table. Lucky for me, they make orange La Croix and cheezits. Be inspired by your team colors when you're at the grocery store before the game. 

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And double duh, I had to make some UT sugar cookies! How cute are they? They were a major crowd pleaser on gameday.

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Obviously, for those of us gals who get to go to the game, we need a great stadium purse! I love mine from Packed Party.

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So whether or not you're tailgating in your backyard, like I am in these photos, or in the parking lot at Neyland, use some Tennessee Pretty tips at your tailgate!

Huge shoutout to Brittany Wood for these amazing photos!

XOXO,

Di

All the Things - Living with Landyn Live

If you've been following me for any amount of time, you know that I love Living with Landyn's blog. So naturally, I was very excited to be one of the lucky ones who was able to score a ticket to Living with Landyn Live - and it did not disappoint! From the moment I walked in, I was wowed. The decor was perfect and totally Landyn. Gorgeous chandeliers, beautiful tablescapes, awesome vendors like Vici and Fashionable and of course 400+ amazing women. 

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The day was basically Landyn's insta-stories brought to life. We learned about health and fitness from Shed Fitness - the place where Landyn gets those amazing arms. Virginia from Your Life Edit taught us about nutrition and how to do well balanced meals. Melissa Schliecher was a major highlight for me. She's one of my favorite makeup artists - she does Carrie Underwoods makeup, NBD. Lori Paranjape taught us some really great interior design tips and Landyn shared her tips on all of those subjects and did also gave us her tips on how to be a great wife/mother/woman. I took away so much great info and was scribbling notes the entire time. 

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Of course an awesome swag bag was to be expected from Landyn so we couldn't wait to get our hands on them. They were filled to the brim with amazing things and amazing coupons.

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I absolutely love the Orca travel mug! And I used that Living Proof dry shampoo this morning and y'all, it's the good stuff. I was so excited and honored to be a part of the swag bags too. So many great things! Landyn assured us that there would be more Living with Landyn Live events so if you get the chance, don't miss it! It was such a great experience and the perfect gals day! 

XOXO,

Di

Staying grateful in the hard times

I’ve found myself in a difficult season. It’s a story that I know isn’t finished being written and I know it’s a story that God will turn into something good. But for now, it’s the season I’m in and maybe someone out there needs to hear my story.

In spring of 2015, Tim and I felt like it was time to grow our family. So we gave it a shot. And then a year passed, and nothing. Then a few more months - nothing. My doctor said that everything seemed fine with me so we decided to have Tim checked out. We were both very relieved to find that the trouble we were having could possibly be solved by a simple outpatient procedure that he would have to have. So he had surgery and then we tried again last October. And we had a positive test. That very first month! We were over the moon. FINALLY. That next week, I called the doctor to find out what exactly I needed to do. It's the strangest feeling to find out something so monumental and not be able to call my mom. But unfortunately, after monitoring my blood work for a week, they found that my HCG level wasn't doubling and that I was experiencing a non-viable 'chemical' pregnancy. I'd never even heard of that before! I was devastated, confused and ready to try again.

Fast forward to March of this year. I had another positive pregnancy test! I cried tears of joy and then I got my HCG level checked again. It was doubling just like it was supposed to. So I left town to my church women's retreat and I was so excited. I secretly drank decaf coffee and it was darn near impossible to keep it to myself.

But that next week, I woke up one morning and I knew something was up - I was feeling some cramps that just didn't seem right. So around lunch time I got up the courage to call my doctor and let her know what was going on. She told me to come to the office immediately - so I left the apple I had just sliced on my desk and ran out the door. Unsure what the urgency was all about, I went straight to an ultrasound where the ultrasound tech told me that my uterus was empty. Great bedside manner. My first thought was, "this was impossible because I had my levels checked and they were doing what they were supposed to do!" Then, I was taken to a room to wait for the doctor where she told me that I had an ectopic pregnancy and I had two options. One was an injection of a chemotherapy drug, methotrexate, that would hopefully stop the growth in my tube. The second was that I could have surgery but I would lose my left fallopian tube. "Which do you choose?" she asked me. I was still in total shock and I just found out that my uterus was empty about 15 minutes earlier and I couldn't imagine choosing either of these options. They checked my levels again and felt comfortable letting me go home and think about it. When I went back to the doctor the next day, she said that she was okay with watching this situation like a hawk and trying to let it pass it's own. She warned me about how dangerous it was if my tube ruptured so I was scared to move too much and felt like a ticking time bomb. But I was also grateful that there was a good chance that this could work out without needing methotrexate or losing a tube in surgery.

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Thankfully, it passed on it’s own, the pain subsided and I was able to put that experience behind me - with both of my tubes in tact. Again, I was devastated, confused and now I felt like there was something wrong with me. Not to mention the guilt that I was feeling from not being able to give Tim a baby. Two different pregnancies that didn’t work out. I started to feel very discouraged and broken.

We took a few months off from trying and I took a break from tracking every little thing in my fertility app.  We said we'd resume in the fall. I was channeling my inner Scarlet O’Hara, "I won’t think about it now, I’ll think about it tomorrow.” I felt at ease. I took the pressure off of myself. But then in July, I had another positive test! "Third time's a charm", I thought.

The day we found out, I spent the day shopping with my sister and it was so hard not to spill the beans. While I was alone, I took a stroll through Pottery Barn Kids and bought something for the baby. I was so excited. I was so sure that this time was different and the baby I was envisioning would be with us in nine short months.

That next week, I was back in the doctor's office getting my HCG level checked. Again, it was doubling beautifully. I let the nurse know that I'd like to continue getting my levels checked because, like I said before, I worry. So that following week, I went back to get the level checked and that afternoon I got the call that it had stopped doubling. Immediately, I knew I was having another ectopic. I went in the next day for an ultrasound and it confirmed what I already knew. Having gone through this before, I learned that it was likely that I could have another ectopic so I really tried not to let it get me down. That was until the doctor came to talk to me and we found out that this time it was in my other tube. I had just assumed it was happening in the same tube as last time. My doctor wanted me to go straight up to oncology and get the methotrexate injection but I was so hesitant. I decided to wait another day to see if my HCG level would go down in hopes that it would pass on it’s own again. And it did. And to me, that’s the important part of this story. The enemy was trying to break me but God fixed it every time

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So here I am. 3 positive pregnancy tests in the past two years and no baby. My story is still unfolding and I don’t know where it’s headed but for now, I do my best to keep my mind focused on gratitude because that’s the best thing I can do. 

While I was writing this post, I kept wanting to delete parts of it. I mainly wanted to delete the parts about how the things I've gone through made me feel. I spent a lot of time throughout these experiences feeling like I didn't deserve to feel sad or upset or devastated because I know that people have had much worse experiences than this. Dealing with failed pregnancies can be very isolating but the times that I felt most encouraged and hopeful was when I was reading the stories of the women who had been through similar experiences. I hope that this post can do just that for someone else.

XOXO,

Di