Friday, January 29, 2016

Tell Me Something Good Friday

Hello--I am 39 weeks pregnant and very ready to meet this baby. Aida, on the other hand, is not so ready to meet us. Girlfriend does not understand that there's no late checkout in this hotel! I know, I know, she'll come when she's ready and all that, but OH MAN this last little bit of pregnancy is not fun at all.

To take my mind off that, I'm going to tell you five, very good things about this past week.
Tell Me Something Good Friday!

1. One of our neighbors helped Matt install the carseat, just as the snow began to fall on Friday. We wanted to be ready--just in case!

2. On Tuesday, Matt went back to work and took my car with its handy AWD. I was starting to go a bit stir crazy, so luckily my other neighbor graciously agreed to take a trip to Target with me. We're both pregnant so we hit up the diaper sale followed by some warm, comfort food from Panera. We really are lucky to have such great neighbors!

3. For about a month, Matt and I have been trying to figure out who sent us a little stuffed bulldog for Aida. Yesterday I discovered it was from my brother and his wife. Apparently, our three year old niece Nora picked it out because she wanted to get Aida a puppy! That brightened up the cranky, irritable mood I had been in all day.

4. Mother Nature has kindly decided that she will not subject us to the miserable, highs-in-the-20s temperatures of 2015. Temps have been getting warmer all week, and we're expected to get into the 50s next week! Downright tropical, I tell you! Although I've mentioned before that this kind of up and down weather wreaks havoc on my sinuses, I'm quite pleased I don't need to wear double layers outside, and we will get to see the ground a lot sooner than we had thought.

Pregnancy 39 Weeks
But when will I see my feet again? That is up for debate. 
5. Tomorrow I get to treat myself to a spa day, thanks to a gift certificate from my sweet husband! I'm really looking forward to relaxing, and then I'm going to walk laps around the mall in the hopes that it will get this baby moving.

Tell me something good about your week!

All Love,

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Surviving a Snowpocalypse

Well friends, after one week, I am heading back into the office today. Honestly, I'm a little bit relieved. I was starting to go a little stir crazy, and combined with pregnancy hormones, that is not a good thing. Yesterday, I got the maddest I've ever been and yelled at Millie, then spent about an hour afterwards crying about being a terribly puppy mother, and possibly a terrible real mother. Speaking of being a real mother, my due date is a week from Friday and baby girl is showing no signs that she wants to come out yet. Work will be a welcome distraction.

Anyway, after surviving such a snowstorm, I thought I would share with you a few things I've picked up here and there on how to make it through such a monumental event.

Disclaimer: This is obviously not a real emergency guide, so if you want real advice consult your state's Department of Emergency Management website. 

snowy landscape
1. Stock up on food
Yes, you need non-perishables and bottled water, but also get your favorite snacks and whatever you need to make your favorite recipes. You don't want to end up eating Kraft Mac n Cheese five days in a row, as delicious as it is. 

2. Find something new to watch/read 
Self explanatory 

3. Pace yourself on the household chores
Being snowed in is a great time to get those house projects finished--except I did just about everything that could be done on Friday morning, before the snow even started! I still had a few things I could do, but I burned myself out and got reeeaall lazy the rest of the weekend. 

4. Make plans with the neighbors
Even an introverted person such as myself craved some social interaction! If you're lucky enough to have some great neighbors, then make sure you set up a time to have brunch/dinner/happy hour in someone's house. It will be a welcome change from spending your days on the couch watching Netflix! 

5. Surprise your puppy with new toys
This one requires advance planning, and I wish I had thought of it last week, instead of during the middle of the blizzard. When you get over 2 feet of snow, it is much harder to take your dog on a walk, especially right in the middle of the snowfall. If you have a few toys on hand, you can help keep those crazies down just a little bit. (I'm guessing this tip will also apply to children.)

goldendoodle rope toy
This old rope toy, again?
6. Find your happy place
Everyone has a breaking point, and everyone hits that point during a snowstorm. When you find yourself ready to meltdown because you can't get a perfect picture of a watch for your husband's fashion post, take a moment for yourself. Maybe make some tea and draw up a nice, hot bath. Nobody wants a remake of The Shining! 

So, dear friends, this is what I have learned from dealing with all this snow. Like I said, I'm ready to go back to work tomorrow and get back to a routine. (But Aida, I'm ready for you to interrupt that routine any minute now. You hear that? Any minute.)

All Love,

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A Man's Guide to Fashion

Snow storms in the Washington DC are the worst! They absolutely paralyze the region as nearly everything shuts down for days. I remember one time in high school where a projected forecast of snow shut down school systems for 2 days. We ended up with a dusting (yet panic ensued). This year it just so happens that Snowpocolypse hit us two weeks before the official February 5th due date of our first child! Oh and did I mention this is the biggest snow storm Katie and I have seen in our lifetime? Who would have thought less then a month after wearing shorts and 65 degree weather on Christmas we'd be buried underneath 24 inches of snow... and counting?

Times like these make me dream of waking up in South Beach and walking Millie down the A1A in sunny mid 80 degree temperatures. While we are a long ways from digging ourselves out of snow and going on a vacay to some place tropical, what a blizzard does give you is the chance to work out the "Imagination Networks" of your brain.

I'm going to start off by saying that my wife is pretty great! Those of you who follow her know she's up to date on music, fashion and is overall pretty darn funny! Don't believe me? Just ask to hear her Miley Cyrus impersonation! I've been reading her blogs since she started posting about 4 years ago and have come to a few conclusions. The blogging networks are pretty awesome. Nearly every day she shows me a picture of another bloggers puppy or asks what I think about a recipe she found online. It's pretty cool to see how blogging has helped create friendships and most importantly put a smile on my wife's face! I've also noticed that fashion is a very centric part to blogging. However, with all the posts circulating the inter webs, one important aspect of fashion in the Thomas household has gone overlooked; That of Matty T. So, without further ado, here is the guide to both comfort and class from a guy's perspective.

"Under Armour is going to be the next Nike!" This was a direct quote I made to my father 10 years ago when I tried to convince him to buy stock in the company. Flash forward to today and they have Tom Brady, Jordan Spieth and Steph Curry as their three most prominent spokesman. Wish I had a teleportation machine to go back in time and invest in UA and a little company called Apple. That being said, there is nothing better then a good pair of sweat pants to lounge around the house in. They even accentuate my "assets."

While feeling comfortable is a necessity in the online sales biz you also need to stay "so fresh and so clean clean" in those instances of entertaining clients. That's why I recommend Noir for Men body wash. "The minty fresh smell coupled with smooth undertones of black cardamon and hint of musk makes for an exceptional bathing experience" - Harris (Okay - a little Aziz Anzari humor if you've ever seen his stand up act). Seriously though, this stuff is pretty boss and when you pair it with Acqua Essenziale cologne by Salvatore Ferragamo and your Boo won't be able to resist.

Now we get to the good stuff! I call these next two my "Harry from Home Alone moments." Much like Harry wanted The McCallister residence of 671 Lincoln Ave at first sight, I had a similar thought process involving my leather jacket and timepiece. Ah, I remember it like yesterday. The year was 2014 and Katie and I were perusing the merchandise at the local Nordstrom. And there she was... sleek, stylish and even equipped with a hood. It was everything I'd ever wanted in a leather jacket! Much to my chagrin, we sadly parted ways that December day, but reunited weeks later after waiting patiently for the post-holiday sale, for 50% off the original retail price may I add!

Now when you have a boss jacket you need a boss timepiece. Funny thing is I was never really a "watch" guy until I was in my late 20's. I remember my dad getting me a knockoff Rolex on a trip to NYC when I was 14. It worked for about a week and its whereabouts to this day are still unknown. Seriously though, this was as close as I'd come to owning a luxury timepiece until recently. I'd like to thank the good fellas at Lenkersdorfer in Tyson's Corner and especially my loving wife (she's the one who ultimately allowed for it) in helping me land this Breitling Super Ocean 42 piece. I ended up getting a great deal and love how you can wear it with just about anything.

So there you have it! When possible, keep it comfortable and classy at the same time. Make sure to wait for good sales to come along (they always do) and make sure you always ask your wife's permission before making a big purchase. Don't believe me? I'll leave you with these words of wisdom--f your wife's reaction to a "guy purchase" is ever "it's fine," this is actually girl code for "you better take that back immediately!" Stay safe and see you next time to discuss "The Push Gift." 

-Matty T

You can shop Matt's post below--his original leather jacket is no longer available but I found a few very similar options. I also included a similar watch style at a lower price point, just in case you aren't ready to make the swiss timepiece investment. 

This post does include affiliate links, so if you click on one and make a purchase, I make a commission. Thanks for supporting Thoroughly Modern!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Power Couple Brunchin

You may have noticed that we love brunch.

It is probably our favorite thing to do when it comes to going out to eat. There is just something about breakfast food all jazzed up that really hits the spot.

A few weeks ago, as Matt and I were enjoying another delicious brunch at a local restaurant, we realized that we should be documenting our brunch journeys. After all, if you love something, you should set it free...or write a brunch review about it!

Brunch Review

And with that, let me introduce Power Couple Brunchin! Each month, we will pick one of our favorite spots to write up a review. The review will be based on five criteria: ambiance, service, menu options, brunch drinks, and of course, the food.

For our very first review, we chose Ted's Bulletin, a local chain that started out in DC and now has several locations around the area. First of all, I love the history behind it--two brothers started the place as a tribute to their dad, who was a great cook and was always inviting family, neighbors, even traveling salesman over for a warm meal. Second, we knew we had to go there because one of their specialties is homemade pop tarts. Sold! Now, let's get to that review!

We're not ones to judge a book by it's cover, but it certainly helps that the first impression of a brunch place is a warm, inviting atmosphere. Ted's did not disappoint here--I would describe the decor as a modern meets trendy '50s diner meets trendy '50s restaurant.

Ted's Bulletin

Needless to say, we were impressed, and we give the ambiance of Ted's four stars!

This one is obviously super important. First of all, the menu needs to have variety to it--what does that mean? For starters, it can't just have all breakfast or all lunch items. Brunch is that magical time between breakfast and lunch, and sometimes you simply crave one or the other. Second, I like options that provide a well rounded meal: a grain, a protein, and a potato.

Ted's had a really great selection on their menu--there were lots of options to satisfy your sweet tooth (hello, homemade pop tarts!), plus there were both lunch and breakfast items that looked appetizing. The big question I ask myself is--does the menu make me want to come back and try other dishes? Absolutely yes. Five stars!

Ted's Bulletin Salted Caramel Pop Tart

Another aspect of the menu that is so important, it requires its own category! Mimosas and bloody's are all well and good, but sometimes the restaurant really needs to take it a step further to keep me coming back.

Obviously, I don't have much to say about the drinks this time around, other than that their concoctions look amazing! They've got a variety of drinks you can order, plus a whole section dedicated to milkshakes (that includes a slew of alcoholic options too). I'm pumped to come back and try one of their drinks--Matt went with an Irish Coffee, which he thoroughly enjoyed.

Ted's Bulletin Irish Coffee

We'll go with 3 stars on this one, since this category still needs some testing.

Another critical factor--because nobody wants to be waiting around too long for what is most likely their first meal of the day!

Like every other popular restaurant in the Nova area, there was already  a crowd when we arrived around 11:30am. Fortunately, we are still able to take advantage of being a family of two, so we grabbed a few seats at the bar. Ted's also offers call ahead seating, so that's another plus in its favor. There were two bartenders, and they were both super friendly--they introduced themselves, got our names, and both of them made sure that we got whatever we needed. Plus, I got my own little carafe of decaf coffee, which I think is always a nice gesture so I don't have to wait around for a refill. Service gets 4 stars--Matt felt like it wasn't anything exceptional, and my meal wasn't really served hot when it arrived.

And now, the best for last! The food was delicious--even though mine was not as hot as I wanted, I still cleaned that plate like it was my job. I ordered "Nana's beer biscuits and sausage gravy," and it has quickly overtaken Crackerbarrel as my favorite biscuits and gravy dish (no, seriously--I had yet to find some biscuits and gravy as good as Crackerbarrel). I think the beer biscuits took it over the top--soft and flavorful with just a touch of crunch on the outside.

Ted's Bulletin Beer Biscuits and Gravy

Matt had the "Walk of Shame Burrito," and I'm sure it tastes just as good when you're hungover. I think this dish pushes past your average breakfast burrito by including short ribs as the meat, and adding in salsa verde (this gal will seriously lose her mind over anything with salsa verde).

Ted's Bulletin Walk of Shame Burrito

We give the food four stars. Our comparison point is the Palace Cafe in New Orleans, where we had the best brunch of our lives. Although brunch at Ted's was incredibly delicious, it did not equal or top Palace Cafe.

To review...

Not too shabby! I would definitely go back to Ted's, and I really want to go for lunch/dinner sometime--they've got what promises to be a top notch grilled cheese sandwich!

Lastly...we're super excited to announce that we started a new Instagram account, @NOVANoms! Be sure to follow along as we'll be posting the best dishes we find around the Northern Virginia area. If you happen to dine in the region, tag us with #NOVANoms and we'll feature your photo!

What do you all think of our brunch review? We are going to try to make this a regular thing, and hopefully once we are settled into our new "normal," we can make this a monthly linkup!

joining Virginia Bloggers for Friday Favorites

All Love,

Monday, January 25, 2016

Weekending: Winter Storm Jonas

This storm was no joke. It basically snowed for at least 36 hours straight, and on Saturday the wind decided to come to town and kick things up a notch. Everyone is still digging out, and authorities have asked that people don't drive on the road on Sunday and Monday, so that the plows can get their job done. I haven't left the house since Friday morning--literally! Matt doesn't want me walking out in it and risking a fall. Even when I delivered some orange cinnamon rolls to our neighbors, it was done from the safety of my doorway.

Despite being cooped up in the house all weekend, we still had quite a bit going on! I did our taxes, finished up laundry for Aida, and organized our guest room (because it basically became a dumping ground as we converted the office to a nursery). We also cooked up a storm: cinnamon rolls with orange icing, beer cheese chili, steaks and loaded baked potatoes (thanks to my brother and his girlfriend for that Christmas gift from Omaha Steaks), homemade hamburger buns to go with our cheesy chili westerns, and we even hosted brunch for our neighbors on Sunday.

All in all, it was a really great weekend. Being 38 weeks pregnant, I didn't have to do any work outside, and I'm fortunate to have had a pantry stocked full of food, a roof over my head, and a working heat system. Oh, and these guys kind of made the weekend, just like they do every weekend:

I might be getting a little antsy now to get out and go to the store, especially because I want to pick up a few more things for my hospital bag so I can finish that and stick it in the car. Can't believe that this darling girl is expected to arrive a week from Friday. Excuse me while I go have a panic attack over that.

joining Biana and Meghan for Weekending

How was your weekend? Tell me, east coast friends, how you survived Snowzilla!

All Love,

Friday, January 22, 2016

Happy Friday!

Wow! You did it! Congratulations--you made it to Friday! Did anyone think of this scene in Elf when I said that?

Matt and I have been quoting that a lot--most especially when it comes to Millie doing something very mundane, like eating her breakfast or going potty.

Anyway, as I mentioned yesterday, we've got a Snowpocolypse going on over here! I just chose to use a vacation day and hunker down at home--not sure when it will start, but I'd rather not risk being out there when everyone else tries to go home. In case you haven't heard, our region can't even handle an inch of snow.

Snowy Goldendoodle
Millie, however, will take however many inches of snow she can get!
Here are a few Friday thoughts for your enjoyment:

// Matt and I just finished watching Making a Murderer, and I feel all sorts of things. Has anyone else watched it and felt so conflicted about the justice system?

// I'm so thrilled that new episodes are back of all my favorite shows! Younger, The Blacklist, PLL, New Girl--New Girl has been on point in these first few episodes, so if you've never watched, go binge watch that on Netflix and report back.

// Kate Spade has some new arrivals in the baby clothing department, and, I don't typically say such a phrase, but I literally CAN'T EVEN! I mean, just look at this little bathing suit and you will feel the same.

// Nice, hot, lavender chamomile bubble baths are basically helping me survive this winter and this last month of pregnancy.

And now, for tell me something good! Chelsea recently started this link up, and I love that she's pushing all of us to think of good things that are happening. I've been super cranky lately, so I need this little reminder that life is good.
Tell Me Something Good Friday!
Recently, I was hemming and hawing over buying some curtain rods for Aida's room. I have maybe bought nice curtain rods once in my life, because every time I look into buying them, I think "ugh, these are so expensive" and then I never follow through because I just get weirdly cheap about the whole thing. Anyway, I caved and bought these beauties from Pottery Barn, because I started thinking about it and realized that we really haven't had to buy a whole lot of things for Aida ourselves, and that just feels incredibly amazing and humbling at the same time. We are just surrounded by family and friends who already love this girl so much, and are willing to support us however they can. From our family members contributing items to the nursery, to bloggers I barely know answering my random questions--it just makes me feel so appreciative that we aren't in this alone.

Hokie Baby

I remember reading an article one time from a writer who was frustrated that women got so much attention when they were either 1. getting married, or 2. having a baby. She felt that women needed to be celebrated more for other life accomplishments, like graduating college or getting a great job. While I agree that these things should be encouraged and celebrated, don't discount how much it means to the pregnant lady to have everyone around her show so much love. Having a baby is a giant, overwhelming event, and I have no idea how we would manage without all this support.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got some orange cinnamon rolls to get crackin on! Follow me on Snapchat @modernkate for snowpocolypse fun!

What's going on in your life this weekend?

this post contains affiliate links, and if you click on one and make a purchase, I make a commission. Thanks for supporting Thoroughly Modern!

All Love,

Thursday, January 21, 2016

TV to Binge Watch During a Snowpocolypse

Hello, and happy Thursday! If you live along the east coast, you may have heard that there's a chance of snow this weekend. Don't worry, there's no reason to panic.

snowstorm preparations 2016
No, really, don't panic. Buy some bread and milk and you'll be totally fine.
Luckily, I did my grocery shopping earlier this week, so I am totally prepared to stay in and eat to my heart's content this weekend. On the menu: beer cheese chili, steaks, orange cinnamon rolls, and any other carbs I can get my hands on.

I'll also be watching lots of Netflix (obviously). We do have a few things we can work on in the nursery and whatnot, but my energy levels are low these days so I'll need lots of breaks. If you're like me and facing a snowstorm too (or maybe you just want to be lazy this weekend...judgement free zone here!), then here are a few of my recommendations on some great shows to binge watch.

TV Shows to Binge Watch

1. Hart of Dixie
An Emmy award winning drama...I'm jk kidding guys! It's got a whole lot of cheesy acting and over-the-top plot lines, but it was one of those mindless shows I just loved watching. Not to mention, the show is over and done with, so no waiting around for new episodes or the next season!

Watch this if you loved: Gossip Girl, The OC
Available on: Netflix

2. Parks and Rec
If you've never watched this show, then I'm sorry for the emptiness that is your life. Okay, so that was a little bit dramatic, but seriously--in the words of my two year old niece, "you're gonna love this." It is both ridiculously heartwarming and ridiculously funny, and it stars Amy Poehler. What more could you want?

Watch this if you loved: The Office, 30 Rock
Available on: Netflix

3. Homeland
Sometimes (all the time), I had to play candy crush to offset the intensity of this show. There's a reason this show gets nominated for awards all the time--it will constantly draw you in and keep you on the edge of your seat, and you'll really get invested in some of the main characters. There is a large, gaping hole in my life where Homeland used to be, and I can't wait for the new season.

Watch this if you loved: 24, Quantico, The Blacklist
Available on: Showtime or DVD (but did you know you can stream Showtime through Amazon?!?! That's what we did--8.99/month, one week free trial, and you can cancel whenever.)

4. The Mindy Project
As much as I love Parks and Rec and the Office, I don't think I have ever laughed so hard as I have when I watch the Mindy Project. Like with any sitcom, it wouldn't work without an amazing cast that makes all the jokes land.

Watch this if you loved: The Office, Parks and Rec, 30 Rock
Available on: Hulu Plus (if you don't have Hulu Plus, then I recommend Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix.)

5. Jessica Jones
This is another super intense show, and is actually kind of violent--I definitely had to  close my eyes like a little kid at least once an episode. However, it's the perfect show to binge watch over a weekend. Right now, there's just one season (which is also frustrating because you will want more), and the storyline moves really quickly.

Watch this if you loved: Any superhero movie but always wanted something a little darker and more complex
Available on: Netflix

That's it, friends! These shows should be enough to get you through any giant blizzard--let's just hope the power doesn't go out.

What would you recommend? (Seriously, please tell me, because we've watched all of the above and have almost finished Making a Murdered. Help! I actually don't have a new show to binge watch when I'll be stuck at home! What a struggle that is so very real!)

All Love,

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A Power Couple's Birth Plan

During our pregnancy, as I researched and read blog post after blog post, one phrase kept coming up: birth plan. I was confused, and I certainly wasn't having a Buddy the Elf, "what's a birth plan? I want one!" reaction. As a classic overachiever, I stressed out over it, thinking, "is this homework? How detailed does my birth plan need to be? When do I need to turn it in? Is there a rubric?" Finally, I asked my doctor, and she said it wasn't necessary. Cross that off the to do list!

I understand that for some, a birth plan helps some couples feel some sort of control going into the whole labor and delivery process. For me, the part that comes after the birthing process is what scares me--can someone help me write a "Raise a Child" plan? Because that would be immensely helpful. However, while recently re-reading Amy Phoeler's "Yes, Please," I was inspired to write a Power Couple's Birth Plan--because if I'm going to birth a baby, I'm going to do it as baller as possible.

My Birth Plan

1. We are going to need security to do a full sweep of the premises when the mother's water breaks, to make sure the facilities are clear of paparazzi. Us Weekly has exclusive rights to newborn photos, and we can't have some rogue photographer ruin that! 

2. All iPhones and iPads in the building must be surrendered to the mother, so that she may play candy crush to her heart's content, until things really get going. 

3. Only the pre-approved doctors and nurses will be allowed in the delivery room with the parents. However, if Morgan Freeman happens to be in the area and would like to narrate the birth, it would be most appreciated. 

4. The mother has put together a carefully and thoughtfully curated playlist that MUST be played during the labor and delivery process. Should anyone touch or tamper with said playlist, the mother will SHUT THE WHOLE PLACE DOWN. I swear, I'll shut it down!

The order of the music is unimportant; however, Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now" should be played as soon as the baby begins to make an appearance. This is non-negotiable.

5. We formally request that the Ministry of Magic's top Auror be present during the birth--you know, to fend off any unwanted curses.

6. The mother and father will clearly need bonding time immediately following the birth. Please arrange for all three, plus the dog, to be taken by private jet to a tropical, all inclusive resort of their choosing. We expect these expenses to be covered by the $300 copay.

7. The mother has a delicate and fragile digestive system. Therefore, her hospital meals must come from one of the following local vendors: Jimmy John's, Chipotle, Taco Bell, Joe's Pizza, or Kumo Sushi.

That's all--just seven, very simple requests. I suppose I could be flexible--I don't need to play candy crush the whole time, and I understand Mr. Freeman has a very busy schedule. However, it really shouldn't be too difficult to fulfill everything else, don't you think?

What would you include for your birth plan?

linking up with Virginia Bloggers for Friday Favorites

All Love,

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Fashionably Late: Winter Coats

It's officially cold here in Virginia--the kind of cold that cuts through to your bones, the kind of cold where you cannot leave even an inch of skin exposed on a 30 second walk to your car. I am not pleased.

I'm looking forward to Aida's arrival and getting to hibernate the remainder of the winter. Meanwhile, I'll be dreaming of some of the coats below--I really want a new one, but since I'm still very pregnant, it doesn't make sense to buy something new right now, even with some silly deals that are going on.

Winter Coats

1. I love the classic look of this coat from J. Crew Factory! The color is gorgeous, and it's an extra 50% off! 

2. This Guess coat from Nordstrom looks so warm and cozy--I'm a sucker for outerwear with a faux fur collar!

3. I've had my eye on this gorgeous, emerald Trina Turk coat since I saw it during Nordstrom's annual sale this summer. It's still too pricey for me, but I will forever keep dreaming about it coming home to my closet. 

4. I've been looking for a pea coat in green, so this Steve Madden option is more affordable than the Trina Turk, and it's got a flare to it which is always fun. 

5. Look out! A redcoat! Sorry, it had to be said. I think 200+ years is enough for that negative connotation to fade away, so go ahead and treat yo self to this red beauty from Anthro. 

6. I was so very tempted to order this one from Gap yesterday--comes in three different colors and it's so very Olivia Pope. Wouldn't you just love to stomp around the office in this and find some reason to announce, "it's handled?"

So, dear readers, how many coats are in your closet? I think investing a little bit more money in a coat can go a long way, because they can last for years!

p.s. If you've got extra outerwear in your closet, clean up some of that clutter by donating to a local non-profit--it's also that time of year when they are looking for coats too!

this post contains affiliate links, and if you lick on one and make purchase, I make a commission. Thanks for supporting Thoroughly Modern!

All Love,

Monday, January 18, 2016

Weekending: MLK

Hello, and happy three day weekend to many of you! I actually have the day off, which is great, because I don't always get these Monday holidays. Matt still has to work, and Millie? Well, Millie never gets a day off. Protecting her house and family is a 24/7 job.

goldendoodle spa day
Hair barely dry from her spa day and she's already back to work in the nursery!
We had another productive weekend--lots of baby-related errands, of course, and we (and by "we," I mean Matt) put together Aida's rocker. We also ate lots of great food--are you surprised? I know we have been eating out quite a bit lately, but I also know this is a luxury we won't have once baby is here, so we're trying to take advantage of it while we can.

Hot Chocolate Ford's Fish Shack Ashburn VA
I've also started using the "eating for two" card like it's my job
On Sunday, we went to church and followed it up with brunch (duh). We were going to try Founding Farmers, which we've heard great things about, but it wasn't in the cards for us on Sunday. When we arrived, it wasn't even 11am and there was already a two hour wait--just for two people! We managed to find a few seats at the bar and were ready to get settled in (and this gal was ready for her daily cup of caffeine), when we were informed that Sundays were brunch buffet only. So, no ordering off the menu, and the buffett was $30/person (coffee included, all other drinks not included). Matt saw me eyeing the chaotic mess that was the buffett line with nervous apprehension, and suggested we go somewhere else. I happily agreed, and we ended up at Wildfire. We'd been there before and it was delicious, and it certainly did not disappoint the second time around. More info on this spot will be coming soon in a blog post, but for now, here's a teaser!

Monte Cristo Wildfire Mclean, VA

While we were there, I had to return a baby dress to Lilly Pulitzer because we received the exact same one as a gift for Christmas. They didn't have any little dresses left in the size I wanted, so instead we swapped out the dress for a new wallet for me. Hey, I gotta get a wallet for my diaper bag, right?

Today I'm spending the morning with my neighbor and preggo buddy. We've got gift cards and are ready to carb load at a bagel place then trip the light fantastic at Pottery Barn! There are still a few things I want to get for the nursery, but am not sure what I will pick up today. I'm thinking about a lamp base to go with this shade we got for Christmas, or maybe some decorative shelves (gotta put that baby monitor somewhere!). Any suggestions?

Hope everyone has the loveliest of MLK days! I actually have quite a lot of feelings about this holiday and equal rights and all that, but I can't seem to put it into words right now. Blame it on the pregnancy hormones, or blame it on the Thai food come I'm currently experiencing. Hungry pregnant ladies should not be allowed to call in the dinner order!

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linking up with Biana and Meghan for Weekending

p.s. I switched up my social media handles (and downloaded snapchat!) to try my hand at the whole "branding" concept and to maybe be a cool kid and stuff. Find me on Twitter, Insta, and Snapchat @modernkate! 

All Love,

Friday, January 15, 2016

Friday Five: Happy Birthday, Mom!

I was desperately wracking my brain for a good Friday post, and the only thoughts I could think of sharing were:
1. I'm tired
2. I'm tired
3. I'm probably going to cry
4. I'm tired
5. Is it time to have this baby yet?

Fortunately, I'm a nice person and I didn't want to make everyone else feel like they just visited the blog of Debbie Downer. Instead, I'm going to dedicate this post to my beautiful mother, who turns 60 today!

What a looker!
So here are five reasons why my mother is amazing:

1. She supported everything we did
My mom was there for every dance recital, school play, sports game, marching band competition, awards assembly--basically just about anything we participated in, she made sure she was there for it, even if it meant taking time out of work.

2. She was tough on friendships
This was another lesson that didn't sink in for me until I was older, but my mom always let me know when she thought a friendship was toxic for me. At times, this made me mad, but now that I'm older and more careful about who I surround myself with, I realize I should have started listening to her much sooner.

3. She lived in a hospital room with me for two (non consecutive) weeks
If you know me, you know that I have struggled with Crohn's Disease since I was in middle school. It was tough to diagnose, and it was an even longer battle trying to manage it throughout high school and college. My mom (and my dad) were there for me every step of the way, using their personal time at work to drive me around to appointments and tests, spending hours with me in the ER when the pain was just too much, and even driving back and forth from Blacksburg to take me to appointments when I was in college. Finally, in 2007, I ended up being taken to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital late one night (where I had already been scheduled to have surgery in a month) to be treated for an abscess. My parents followed close behind, and slept on a little fold out couch in my room for the entire week. We repeated the same scenario for ten days when we came back for my surgery. They never once complained about being confined to a tiny hotel room, with nothing to watch but Hannah Montana or Grey's Anatomy.

4. She fostered a love for reading
Some of my earliest memories are of us driving in our giant station wagon to do something fun at the local library. This turned me into a big reader, which I think seriously helped me out on the academics front (um, you don't just become the 2001 Washington County Spelling Bee Champion without picking up a book!).

5. She's always there for me
Even though I'm a grown-up and should clearly be able to handle life now on my own, she will still let me call her when I'm in tears over one thing or another and let me cry it out. During a particularly rough patch I went through last year, she spent an hour with me on the phone, reading me inspirational quotes she found on Pinterest. In the end, it wasn't the quotes that lifted my mood--it was my mom doing whatever she could to make her little girl feel better.

Apparently all I can share today are wedding photos, because I'm too lazy to have to get an actual picture out of an actual album and scan it on here. 
Five reasons barely even scratches the surface, but hopefully they painted a picture of the superstar woman who is my mother. I can feel just a little more confident going into this parenting thing, knowing that I had such a great influence growing up. I wish I could be there with her right now to celebrate, but I know we'll have plenty to celebrate soon enough when she comes to meet her newest granddaughter.

p.s. I'm updating my social media handles today, because I thought "maybe I'll give this whole branding thing some consideration." I'm also downloading snapchat because I like to be SUPER LATE to all the trends. Find me @modernkate!
Tell Me Something Good Friday!

All Love,

Thursday, January 14, 2016

My Five Stages of Pregnancy

Mama didn't raise no fool!

I never thought I'd start out a blog post with a quote from Mr. T., but there it is! My mother did not raise me to walk around in ignorance all the time. When I found out I was pregnant, I did my research--I downloaded an app, read blog post after blog post, and went through all the handouts my doctor's office gave me at my first visit. "This is what you can expect during your 1st trimester," they said. "These symptoms may come back in your last trimester."

In everything I read, one line would be thrown in--maybe wedged in the middle of a boring paragraph, or thrown on at the end as an afterthought: everyone's pregnancy is different. That line, friends, you can take to the bank. A bulleted list will not tell you what you will be encountering during pregnancy. Now that I've (almost) done my time, I'm sharing with you the stages of pregnancy as experienced by yours truly.

Five Stages of Pregnancy

- Complete and Utter Exhaustion
This will come on suddenly and unexpectedly, and all the naps in the world cannot cure it.

- A Firestorm of Emotions
There were days when an innocent email at work could send me into a rage, or a simple, "honey, what's wrong?" from Matt would kick off an hour long sob fest of "I don't know what's wrong!" Like the exhaustion, there is no cure, but it can be alleviated with a cup of coffee, a grilled cheese, or some ice cream and a few episodes of Parks and Rec.

36 weeks pregnant
Picture taken the morning after the above mentioned sobfest. 
- Honeybadger
I don't use strong language on this blog, so instead of using honeybadger's signature phrase, I'll just say, "I really don't care." For instance, I really don't care that you want me to use the revolving door. I have giant baby bump and will be taking the normal door, thank you very much. I really don't care that this is someone else's birthday party, I'll be the first one in line for food and yes, I'll take that first piece of cake if no one else is making a reach for it. Although at times reckless, the Honeybadger phase is quite liberating.

- Eat All the Things
Considering the number of times I've had to take Prednisone in my life, I thought I knew what it felt like to have this burning desire to eat, eat, and eat some more. I thought I knew, until I became pregnant. Whenever we go out to eat, I feel like I count down the seconds and stare in the direction of the kitchen until our food comes out. I'll eat a bowl of fiber-packed cereal in the morning, and by the time I get to work (a 20 minute commute), I'll be hungry again. I know understand that women don't "eat for two" so they can eat whatever they want--we "eat for two" because there is a tiny force inside us compelling us to do so.

grilled cheese blue ridge grill
I probably could have eaten a grilled cheese every day of pregnancy and been happy. 
- The Signature Symptom
If you've ever been pregnant, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Some random ailment you've never encountered before suddenly plagues you from start to finish. Maybe it was an aching back, or severe heartburn, or inexplicable food aversions. For me, it was constant allergies--stuffy nose and congestion. I grew up with older brothers who had severe allergy issues, and I always felt lucky that I didn't have the same issue. Sure, I may get the occassional sinus congestion or cold when the seasons change, but it would clear up within a few days. I'm at the point where I don't remember what it feels like to breathe through your nose.

So there you have it, dear readers! This is what my life has looked like for the past nine months. Keep in mind, these are not sequential stages--they can happen at any time, sometimes concurrently! For example, "Eat All the Things" is often accompanied by "Honeybadger" or "Firestorm of Emotions."

I have absolutely loved being pregnant and growing this life inside of me (the little baby kicks are the best!), but I'm ready to meet Miss Aida and adjust to our new normal (although I'm guessing the emotional storm won't be going away anytime soon).

Any other pregnant ladies out there with me?

Joining Anne and Christine for Love the Everyday linkup, and with Virginia Bloggers

All Love,

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Wanderlust Wednesday: The Outer Banks

Happy Wednesday friends! Time for another Wanderlust linkup with Kate, Emily, and Kerri!

Wanderlust Wednesdays

Since I most likely won't have a Wanderlust Wednesday post up for next month, I decided I would take today as a kind of swan song (except not really, because I will be be back at some point!) and share one of my favorite places on earth: The Outer Banks of North Carolina (OBX).

Visit OBX

Maybe I'm a bit biased since I've gone there almost every year since I was born, but I truly think it is one of the most magical beaches in the world. If you're looking for a vacation that will surround you with people and activities, this is not it. If you want to lounge by the pool or beach and have fruity drinks delivered to you, this is not it. But if you're looking to get away from it all and enjoy some gorgeous beaches, then you need to visit the OBX.

Visit OBX

Although it has become a little more developed over the past few decades, it still remains a calm, peaceful setting--and that doesn't mean there aren't things to do! You can go kayaking around Pea Island; charter a boat at Oregon Inlet and set out to catch some fishies; you can seek out the wild horses in Corolla; you can visit some historic lighthouses; and finally, my personal favorite, you can just hang out at the beach all the livelong day.

Visit OBX
Millie's first walk on the beach! She met a crab and intentionally smashed some kid's sandcastle (don't worry, the child was not present for the destruction). 
There's also lots of delicious, local cuisine to be had! Our favorites include Pop's Oyster Bar in Hatteras; the Outer Banks Brewing Station in Kill Devil Hills; and of course, Duck Donuts. There's usually quite a long line for Duck Donuts, but if you've got time to kill, I promise you it is worth it. The donuts are made fresh, so you can really go there at any point during the day and get the same experience.

Visit OBX
Pop's Raw Bar--I miss you, oysters!
I recently wrote a post about how sad I felt when we sold my grandma's beach house. It doesn't mean that we'll never go back to OBX, but it did mean saying goodbye to a lot of memories. I'm excited to bring my own kids back there to have just as much fun as I did.

Visit OBX
This is what happens when you're photoshoot takes place on the windiest day of the week. 
The OBX isn't as hoppin' as some beaches, like Myrtle Beach, and it's definitely not one of those fancy, tropical, all inclusive experiences. However, if you REALLY want a vacation of relaxing, eating, and enjoying some beautiful scenery, this is the place to go.

If you look closely, you can see the sunburn on my face and chest. #NordicProbs
p.s. There's also that Nicholas Sparks "Nights in Rodanthe" house, if you're into that sort of thing.

All Love,

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