Thursday, June 27, 2013

5 on Friday


Welcome to the Blog! Just thought it would be fun to link up with these girls today!

1. I am reading a new book right now. It's called Bread & Wine and it's written by Shauna Niequist. I am LOVING it and cannot wait to write a review and share it with you! 

2. This week I hit the half way mark in my 
pregnancy! I cannot believe that it's already the 20th week. Next week is our BIG ultrasound. I can't wait to stare at our baby for an hour!

3. Have I mentioned how awesome my husband is? He has given me more foot rubs and back massages in the last 4 months than our whole marriage combined. He rocks!

4. I have been craving grapes like crazy the past few weeks. Unfortunately, they are SO expensive in stores. Today, Whole Foods is having a sale and they are 99 cents a pound. Matt is going to Greenville to our nearest Whole Foods to load up the truck!

5. I am so excited to get working on some new wreaths. Unfortunately, other things took precedence in the budget this week so it will be a little longer before I can start. Needs come before wants! 

Joining A new Church

Since Matt and I have been together, we have belonged to 4 churches.

We met in a Baptist church in Montgomery where he played in the Praise Band and I started going on a friend's encouragement. We look back now and see God's hand in that time for sure because hey, that's where we met. It was a sweet time and we love the people of that church. Right before we got married and just after we got married, we felt the Lord leading us to something different. As far as we both felt, it wasn't anything in particular, just time for a new season.

During the second month of our marriage, we began attending Church of the Highlands in Montgomery. A church I had previously attended in Birmingham. We both loved it. We joined and got involved. I served in the Kid's area and Matt joined the Praise Team. It was a good fit for us. We were there for just 10 months before the Lord called us to move to Spartanburg.

When we moved, we attended several churches to kind of scope things out, so to speak. We ended up at Restoration Church where Matt's grandparents attend/serve. We really liked that church and we were there for a year. We met some great people and learned some awesome things but somewhere in our spirits, we just felt like the Lord had something else for us. It was hard to listen to his voice because we felt like we had already experienced so many churches in such a short time. We were also concerned that Matt's grandparents may be upset that we were leaving. Although, looking back that was silly. Obviously, they were sad but they want God's best for us.

In January of 2013, we began attending NewSpring Church in Spartanburg. I had previously attended NewSpring in the Winter of 2010 during the first week Matt and I were courting. My friend Rachel and I drove up to Anderson, SC from Birmingham, AL to attend. Matt and I both knew we would like the church but had agreed to try other churches too. We attended NewSpring for several weeks and one Sunday, Matt said "Let's Join. We know it's where we are supposed to be". We have since attended for 6 months, joined a small group and joined the church. We are still waiting to hear from someone at the church about getting plugged in to serve but we feel confident that this is where God has us.

It's such a sweet time. We look forward to what's next!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

20 Week Pregnancy Update {Half-Way}

As of today, I'm half way to my due date. SOOOO hard to believe!

Matt and I have taken a few pictures but I still feel like I've just gained weight! When there is a definite bump, I'll post pictures!! :) I talked to someone this week who said I didn't even look pregnant and my funny response has been "I just have more room already for the baby to grow before it shows". :)

A few things have happened since my last update. 

1. My belly button which is very much a deep innie is starting to show signs of being less of an innie. Nowhere near poking out just less in.

2. I can feel the baby moving up in my stomach and my uterus expanding which is pretty cool. If Matt presses firmly on my stomach he can feel it too.

3. I am feeling some slight flutters in my belly which indicates movement but they are SOOO quick and unexpected that I am still not convinced that it what it is. The doctor says I can feel them anywhere between 17 weeks and 23 weeks so maybe it will be more defined soon.

4. We have our Anatomy Scan/Ultrasound on July 3rd and I can't wait to see the little munchkin! We have a fully formed itty bitty baby in there so I'm hoping we get some good pictures.

5. Strangest thing to happen so far is that EVERY morning without fail I have to wake up before the alarm to use the bathroom. It's not urgent but I wake up and then realize I've gotta get up to tee tee. Funniest thing to me. I'm sure it will get more urgent as weeks roll by.

6. Since my last update, we finished our baby registry. We registered at Babies R' Us and it was fun. I cannot wait to receive little necessities for our baby!

7. I have been wanting to eat lots of grapes too. Unfortunately, they are not cheap to purchase so I've just been forgoing that craving until this weekend. We found them on a good sale at the grocery. I was thrilled and Matt was mad because I'm not sharing! ;-)

8. I signed up to go to 2 consignment sales in August. I'm excited to attend because they usually have great deals and I'm hoping to get some items for the baby.

9. We are in full swing in preparing for cloth diapering. We will use newborn disposables until baby is outgrowing those and then we will go to full cloth diapers. I am excited. I've been building my stockpile, doing research and having fun with it. So glad that it's all the rage now because that means LOTS of options.

10. My friend Mandy, who has three children, is going through old baby items and is handing down lots of good things to me! I am thrilled about that because anything that doesn't have to be put on the registry is awesome to be. And who doesn't love free stuff!?!?!

**I guess that's it for this update. I had one more thing to share but due to pregnancy brain, I can no longer remember it!**

11. Just remembered it! We signed up for Prepared Childbirth Classes and Breastfeeding classes. They start in August! YAY!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Christian Mama's Guide to Baby's First Year by Erin Macpherson {A Book Review}

I recently received the book The Christian Mama's Guide to Baby's First Year (Everything you need to know to survive (and Love) your first year as a Mom) by Erin Macpherson to review from This book was given to me to review as a complimentary copy by BookSneeze. All opinions are my own.

A bit about the author first. Erin is a mom of three who formerly worked for Nickelodeon and now write a personal blog, authors several books and articles. And last but not least, she is a Christian mama which is so encouraging. 

When I first saw the book list from BookSneeze, I had a hard time choosing and then I scrolled down and saw this book and knew I had to get it. 

Erin is very honest and humorous in her writing and she gives a great deal of GOOD information for new moms and moms in general. There are chapters in the book about babies and sleep, nursing and formula feeding, diapers, baby necessities and even a bit of info for dad. The information was relevant and real. She gave great viewpoints on all of the aspects of motherhood that she presented. The chapters were just long enough to present information without it becoming redundant. 

 Although, I don't agree with everything Erin wrote (and honestly, that's how it will be with books like this because she presents varying information and you can't do it all), I loved the way she presented and she made the reader feel like the most important thing you can do as a mother is to love your baby. The other decisions are important too but love is chief. 

I would recommend this book to any new mom and am even considering giving as gifts to expecting moms!

My Etsy Shop...I need your help :)

Hi There!

I'm stopping in to ask for a little help from you guys!

Most of you know that I have a (small) Etsy shop ( where I sell the wreaths I make. Here's an example:

Currently for sale, I have some yarn wreaths, fabric scrap wreaths and balloon wreaths. As we near getting ready for baby and we make plans for me to stay home (which we really feel like is what we are supposed to do), I am looking to expand my business which would bring in that extra bit of income for unexpected things and it would give me some work to do from home while I am with the baby.

Here's where you come in. I need you to answer these few questions for me to help me grow my business.

1. What is your favorite wreath that I have in my shop? 

2. If you don't have a like for the wreaths currently in the shop, what are some wreaths that you've seen that you like and would possibly purchase if they were available in my shop? Or what are some adjustments you'd recommend to my current wreaths to make them more appealing? 

3. Would you be willing to advertise my shop on your blog in return for a free custom wreath? 

4. What are some ideas you have for advertising/marketing my wreaths and the wreaths I will make in the future? 

Side note:
I am currently working on making some burlap wreaths as I realize these have become popular recently. It's a new wreath to me so it will take me some time to get it ready to sell, I assume. (I'm a bit of a perfectionist.) Also, for the balloon wreaths, I can do custom colors for these but I need to know in advance because I will have to order the correct colors and have them shipped to me.

Thanks in advance for your input. If you are interested in #3, please e-mail me at slpleslieanne at

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Father's Day Weekend---And a few other days too :)

This weekend we celebrated Matt and his first Father's Day. Well, his first Father's Day as a father of a baby in the womb. :)

When I asked him what he wanted to do, he said he wanted to go eat BBQ at a local place in town. We had been to this place before and it wasn't terrible but it wasn't great either. Last week, I heard that Tryon, NC had their Blue Ridge BBQ Festival going on so I asked Matt if he wanted to go and he was all in! 

Here are a few pictures from that night. 

All dressed up and ready for our date! 

There were lots of competitors there and some of their set ups were so fun! 

And obviously, we were excited for BBQ. Our first stop was for BBQ Nachos and let me just say...They rocked! We shared. 

Next stop was for Roasted Corn on the Cob! YUM!!

And lastly, we got a brisket sandwich and we were disappointed. It was dry and not that good. BOO!

We stopped to listen to some music and these 3 guys were cracking us up. :)

This little girl was getting down! Matt took this picture of her shirt because I thought it was cute! Maybe I'll make one in the future. 

As we were leaving, they were inflating this hot air balloon and we watched as they did. We were both a little sad because one of our goals is to ride in a hot air balloon together but since I'm with child, we won't be doing that just yet! 

Saturday morning, I took my guy to Hardee's. Despite his sleepy eyes, he actually slept late! :)

He got a gravy biscuit and was happy! 

We spent the whole weekend together and just had fun. We relaxed, watched movies, cooked, had Krispy Kreme, took a nap, and other good stuff. Love you Matt! 

While I'm here, I'll just post a few more pictures from recently. 

This was Matt's joke hair-do one day. He didn't leave the house like this! 

Mom gave me this bookshelf when we were in Louisiana. We were excited because we knew it would be perfect for cookbooks and it fits just right in the corner of our living room! 

Dinner one night! Mexican hamburgers. YUM!

We have been looking for a devotional to do together. We decided we wanted one that we could do at dinner because once we get in the bed, it's sleeping time! We walked in the store and not long after, we saw this one. Perfect, huh? 

Onions from our garden! YUM!!

And Zucchini too! 

First big baby item we received. The diaper bag! YAHOO!! 

A cloth diaper I ordered from Zulily. Geaux Tigers!! 

Auntie Jill and Uncle Garrett sent Baby M's first burp cloth. LOVE! 

My guy and I leaving church Sunday. Keeping him! 

Two more zucchini from our garden! 

And last but not least, a little balloon wreath making. I am so grateful for this little side business! 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Self Pay---Maternity and Baby Delivery

When Matt and I first moved to Spartanburg, we knew that we were entering into a season when we would prepare to add to our family. Since we knew that, we decided to drop the insurance we had through my full time job and get a private plan, in hopes that when we had our first child, I would move to a PRN (as needed) position and we wouldn't have benefits then.

When we got a private plan, we didn't realize that it didn't have a maternity benefit. We didn't realize that, however, until we had the policy almost a year and were closer  and closer to trying for a baby. At that point, it was too late for me to get a policy through work and we knew we would have to make something else work.

There was the option of a private maternity plan but so often with those plans, the benefit doesn't out-weigh the cost of the premium. For instance, I read several coverage plans for maternity in which the only things covered were the doctor's visits themselves and the delivery. No labs were covered. No ultrasounds were covered. And those things can be expensive. When we realized that, we decided to pursue another option.

I had read a blog a while back where a woman had this same issue and she and her husband decided to pay cash through the hospital and the OBGYN's office. It seemed daunting but I decided to look into it.

We called the doctor and discovered that if you go the "self-pay" route, you are given a 50% discount off the top for all services. They also informed us that I would be given a payment plan for months 3, 4, 5, and 6 which would cover the cost of ALL doctor's appointments, the delivery and my follow up. If additional tests or procedures are provided those will be given a 50% discount as well.

When we found that out and received the total, we were ecstatic.

We then called the hospital who told us that they also provide a 50% discount for your entire bill if you pay within 30 days after delivery discharge. They require a deposit and if you figure up what expected costs should be minus the 50%, it comes to the amount of the deposit. So basically, we could leave the hospital after delivery (barring anything unexpected) and have our bill paid in full!

We saved the entire deposit amount prior to even beginning to try to conceive and since then have paid all but the 6 month payment to the OB. I cannot tell you how good it feels to know that we didn't waste money on a possible meaningless maternity insurance and will just pay cash.

Now, yes, we realize we are still paying money but we know that the money we are paying goes directly to the doctor and the hospital for services rendered and that's what feels nice about it!

We also took out a hospital indemnity policy which is not insurance but basically they pay you if you are in the hospital, so we will receive some money back after the delivery through that policy and that's exciting!

There are some issues we have run into such as lab payments because those are done separately but that was a lesson learned!

Overall, we are, so far, pleased with our decision and are grateful God has blessed us financially to be able to do it. When the baby is born and I stop working full time, we will all switch over the Matt's insurance which does have a good maternity benefit for the future.

I would love to talk to anyone who is interested in this topic more. If you are, let me know. If not, I just wanted to put this information out there and I want to remember the blessing of all of this for the future. :)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Bzz Agent--AMDRO PowerFlex Pest and Weed System

In the most recent BzzAgent campaign, we received the AMDRO PowerFlex Pest and Weed System to review. We weren't sure about the product at first because we don't have a ton of yard maintenance to do. However, we received it right about the time we were starting a vegetable garden. So it was perfect for us to use! 

Here's the full system we received. 

In action...

We used the Yard and Perimeter Outdoor to spray ants. For this, we found that we got mixed results. In some cases, it worked and in some, it didn't. 

We also used it to spray weeds in our yard. 

For this one, we used the Lawn Weed Killer and it obviously worked. 

We probably would not have purchased this product prior to the review but now that we have tried it and realized what good work it does, we have recommended it to several people and will consider purchasing more in the future. It is available at most hardware type stores including The Home Depot.

**We received this product for free from BzzAgent. All opinions are our own.