Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Three years ago today, I was kidnapped...

Exactly three years ago, I was kidnapped. By who you may ask!? By the Fei Long tribe. Some of you are probably asking yourself... "What the heck is she talking about!? I think she has lost her mind!" And some of you are probably chuckling when you think back to that very silly episode.

Today is my 25th birthday. And for some reason 25 seems a whole lot older than 24! For the most part, I enjoy low-key birthdays. Just a nice relaxing day with family and friends. But three years ago, I was surrounded by complete strangers and all of my friends and family were about 7,000 miles away. I was in China in the Zhejiang Province on the lake of a thousand islands. (I am still not 100% sure of our exact location.) I was there filming season 15 of CBS Survivor and was a member of the Zhan Hu tribe.

On my 22nd birthday, we had only been filming for a few days. The conditions were miserable, I was starving (literally) and having a big birthday bash was the last thing on my mind. But my sweet teammates insisted they would throw me a fun shindig. We were supposed to have a bond fire (if we could manage to start a fire),  we were going to cook EXTRA molded rice, snails, and clams and Erik was providing the live entertainment (he was our human jukebox out there!) and Frosti, Sherea, Peih-Gee and I were supposed to have a dance party. So as bad as everything seemed, I was excited to celebrate with this crazy bunch of kids. But then my birthday dreams were shattered. We lost the challenge that day (as usual) and the Fei Long tribe was allowed to kidnap one member from our team and keep them at their campsite until the next immunity challenge. So who did they choose!? Yep, you guessed it... I was the first member of Survivor China kidnapped to the opposing team. And of course, it happened to be on my birthday. I was crushed.

Stolen by the Fei Long Tribe! (my tribe is on the left)

So I headed to the Fei Long camp. I quickly realized they had it made over there. They had lime trees and fish in their cove. Not fair at all! But they offered to feed me and give me a little extra lime rice on my birthday. So I thought that was sweet. But I still wanted to celebrate with my tribe. So I decided to try to escape and runaway back to my island. How this did not make television... I have no idea. Jean- Robert and I got in the canoe and started paddling. We saw smoke in the distance and figured it had to be my campsite. We paddled, paddled, paddled away! Told the members of Fei Long we were going on a fishing trip. Several hours later, we realized the smoke was not coming from my campsite and we had no idea where my campsite was. Major FAILURE! So we headed back and just blamed the lost time on the fish not biting. Looking back, it is pretty hysterical really. I bet the camera men got a good laugh at us! I spent the rest of my birthday with the "enemies!" Now those enemies are good friends and I wouldn't mind spending any birthday with them! haha!

Eating my 22nd birthday dinner with the "enemies!" 

Reuniting with my tribe!!! I missed those crazy monkeys! 

But this year proves to be much more relaxing. I spent the morning playing with the puppy, I think I am going to go get a pre-natal massage, then I am headed to a birthday dinner with my hubby, Kent, and Marisa! I am looking forward to it!

Here are some old photos from my 21st birthday (now that was an exciting and fun-filled night!) 

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Baby Wish List!

As most of you know, I am expecting my first baby in September. With my first baby comes a whole lot of excitement... especially when it comes to shopping for the little mister! But I realize that I can't buy every cute baby thing I see in the store (can you believe I just said that ERIK! I know you are proud!) But it is still fun to have a "wish list!" So here are a few items on my baby wish list. I came across this adorable designer, Rikshaw Design on The Tale of a Southern Belle blog!   And everything on their website is cute!! Harper probably "needs" these, right honey!?  Rikshaw Design's slogan is "hand block prints for your bohemian baby. " Gotta love it!!! What do you all think!? What is your favorite item? 

Preppy Apron Giveaway!

How adorable is this apron!? I am in love!! I love aprons. Especially vintage ones. But this has to one of the cutest aprons I have ever seen. And Sweet Southern Prep is hosting a giveaway and one lucky lady will win it! 

If you would like to enter the giveaway, check it out here!  And make sure you tell her I sent ya! :)

It is handmade by Lynn from L Whelan Designs. She makes adorable accessories out of Lilly Pulitzer fabric. Check out here Etsy store here. 

Here are a few of my favorite items from her store:

Don't you just love these!?

Charleston Photo Op!

In case you missed some of my previous posts... Charleston is one of my favorite cities in the entire world. Every time I go there, I want to take an entire day to just walk around and take photos. Unfortunately I don't make it down nearly as often as I would like... And when I am there, it is usually a quick trip so I don't have the time to take many photos. On my last trip, I managed to snap a few so I thought I would share some of my favorites. Next time I am going to plan on staying an extra day to stick around and take pictures!

Lilly Pulitzer Jewelry Roll Giveaway!

Lauren Nicole Jewelry & Gifts is hosting a giveaway!! Go here for your chance to win this adorable Lilly Pulitzer jewelry roll!!

Her adorable store also carries all sorts of customized silver jewelry and lots of other gorgeous gifts. I love the wax seal jewelry!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Back Blogging!

The view when you walk in the house

It has been a quiet few weeks on my blog! My life has been pretty crazy this past month and it has been really hard to keep up. We are still doing tons of renovations to the new house. I am getting a little impatient (I will blame that on the pregnancy! hehe) but it is looking one million times better.

When we first moved in I had a really hard time! It just didn't seem like "home." The colors throughout the house were very dark and the designs were very out of date. I had a very distinct vision of how I wanted everything to look but I knew it was going to take awhile to get there. I wanted a more airy feel to the home. When you walk in the back wall is all windows and it is overlooking the lake. So I thought we should go with light grays and very soft greens and blues. So the boys painted... and painted... and painted! And man, what a difference it has made. I am so thankful for all of the time and effort our families put in to help us out.

For the most part, the painting is FINISHED!! yay! Which means I can actually go in the house. While they were painting I had to stay outside and work on the garden and organize the garage because  I couldn't be around the paint fumes. For the past week, it has been extremely hot outside! It is averaging about 100 degree every day! I am glad I can start working inside the house now! We still have to paint the brick on the fireplace. I am sure you are all thinking, "Why are you painting a brick fireplace!?" and well, the owners before us had already painted it bright red. It was really odd actually because they painted red brick an even brighter red color. Well this fire engine red color looks horrible against my "Sanibel Gray." So we are switching to a softer color. Then we have to paint two wooden poles white and we should be done with the painting! (Well that is until we renovate the kitchen... but that is a whole other subject on its own!)

I am very excited that phase one of the house renovation is complete!! Now for phase two. New carpet and overhaul of the master bedroom. When we moved in there was a sink in the master bedroom. Nope, not a part of the master bath... it was actually in the bedroom. I have never seen anything like it. I knew it had to go immediately. Dad and Erik removed the sink. Then came the next problem. The closet. It was way too small. We have four bedrooms. So technically I could put some of our belongings in each closet. But I really want to have my "life" organized before little Harper gets here. And it is kind of difficult to stay organized if all of your clothes and belongings are thrown in different closets around the house. So my dad came up with a brilliant plan. When I say my father is a genius... that is a serious understatement. The man manages to find a solution to any and every problem all of his girls seem to have. He decided to put up a new wall at the back of the master bedroom and add on a whole new section to the closet. It added about 6 more feet of space. I can literally fit my whole life into the one closet. Dad and Erik spent an entire day constructing a new wall, adding a door and trim, and painting it to match the rest of the room. It looks amazing. I am very excited about my new closet!! Now we just need new carpet. Hopefully it will be installed by next week. Once it is in, we can move all of our stuff into the room and start organizing and DECORATING! (my favorite part of course!)

Since we started renovating the house, I came to realize how much of a difference little things can make. Especially when it comes to new fixtures. I think adding new fixtures to a home is the easiest and least expensive way to update a home. Just adding new fans, light switches and plates, and window treatments has made the house look so much better! It is really exciting to see everything come together.

Now that the major renovations have been finished and we finally have cable and internet in the house, I will try to start blogging on a regular basis again!

The start of my garden

The new pontoon boat

My adorable pup

Fender loves the lake!

Jewelry Giveaway!

Kitchen Belleicious is hosting a fabulous giveaway on her blog! She is featuring designer, Devon Baer. Devon Baer is a Manhattan Based Designer that brings her love for fashion and interiors to a new accessory line that bears her name. Inspired by antiques and the lovely world of interior design, her bold patterns and statement jewelry capture all things beautiful in the design world. With classic elegance and urban sophistication, Devon Baer's collection of preppy and whimsical handcrafted belts and jewelry reflect her personal style.

She is giving away one gorgeous  Midnight Flower Necklace designed by Devon! If you want to enter the contest GO HERE!! 

Here are a few of my other favorite designs by Devon:

Check out Devon's Etsy store HERE!! 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Look Into My Life

When I first started this blog, I thought 90% of my readers would be my friends and family. So I never blog about my past or my life, I assume most people reading my blog already know everything about me.

Recently I realized that a large percentage of my readers are complete strangers and only know about a tiny part of my life. So I thought it would be fun to share a little insight into who I am, what I believe in, and where I come from.

Today, I will introduce you to my parents. My parents met when they were 16 years old. I think the story goes... my dad was down camping with the boy-scouts in the Florida Keys and my mom was staying at the same campsite with her family. I believe they met at the pool and one of my dad's friends tried to move on my mom. But she was immediately drawn to my father. They started dating and continued to date long distance once they went home. My father lived in a small town outside of Buffalo, NY and my mother lived in a very small town outside of Toronto, Canada. But somehow they made it work. About three years later, (when they were 19 years old) they were pronounced, "Mr. and Mrs. Dugan!" Here is an awesome photo of my parents from their wedding day:

My parents are still together and they currently reside in good ol' Spartanburg, SC! Baby H will be their first grandchild. They are thrilled to become grandparents but I will admit, they look way too young to be "Grandma and Grandpa." Aren't they just adorable!? It is funny, when I go through photos of my parents, I notice they kind of resemble each other. I am very thankful and blessed to have such amazing parents. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Antropologie Gift Card Giveaway!

"Not Just A Pretty Face" blog is giving away a $25 Anthropologie Gift Card!! To enter the giveaway, go HERE! 

Here are some of my favorite items from their website. All nautical! :) Sticking with the theme...

Monday, June 14, 2010

25 Weeks

How far along? 25 weeks

How big is the baby? 13.5 inches and weighs a pound a a half!

Weight gain? I am gaining weight by the day. Still right in the belly.

Stretch Marks? Not yet!!

Maternity Clothes? I haven't had to buy any yet but I have not tried on jeans in about a month. So, if I need to wear jeans I might have to pull out the baby band thing I bought at Target!

Sleep? I sleep great for the most part. The baby gets a little rowdy as soon as I lay down but I enjoy watching my belly move and feeling him kick. Erik and I like to make out scenarios of what we think he is doing in there. Tonight, he was doing the Soldier boy dance! ha!

Best Moment of the Week? Seeing my Grandma and Grandpa last night. They came down from Buffalo and it was great to catch up!

Food Cravings? Well I have a new favorite item... it is really an obsession. Rita's Italian Ice. Have you ever tried this stuff? It is like every pregnant woman's dream. Seriously. The first day I tried it, I went back and got it for a second time that same evening. The people that worked there were so friendly and they kept handing me different flavors to try. As of now, my favorite is Mango. I plan on trying them all.

Name? Harper Michael Huffman!! HMH (so cute!)

Movement? All day, every day! He is going to be an athlete just like his mommy and daddy!

What I Miss? My tan!

Fun Fact? Now the baby is  growing more hair — and if you could see it, you'd now be able to discern its color and texture.Your baby's not the only one with more hair — your locks may look more full and lustrous than ever. It's not that you're growing more hair, but thanks to hormonal changes, the hair that you'd normally shed is sticking around longer than usual. Enjoy the fullness while you can — the extra hair will fall out after you give birth.

What I am Looking Forward to? My doctor's appointment on Thursday.

Milestone? We started decorating the nursery! It is blue and I am thinking about adding cream or white or navy stripes. We are going with a nautical theme for sure now! We bought a gorgeous cherry crib and changing table. Jenna got him his first quilt. We are getting new carpet installed next week. (I was worried about having older carpet in his room so we decided to go ahead and get new carpet installed.)

Lovely Lilly Pulitzer Giveaway!


Pink, Preppy, Lilly Lover blog is hosting a fabulous Lilly giveaway! One lucky lady will win extra large Lilly Pulitzer pink and green beach towel, set of 8 Lilly Drink Umbrellas, and a Lilly for LeSportSac's compact mini-round umbrella. Now that is an exciting giveaway! Check it out HERE and participate in Pink and Green Thursday!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

We picked a name!!

So choosing a name for your child is a pretty difficult task. I wanted our baby to have a "strong" name but I also wanted it to be very unique. Erik and I both have common names with unique spellings. We decided to go with a unique name and easy spelling. 

For the longest time, I thought I would name my first son "Jackson." I just love the name. And Brooke and I came up with it at tailgate one day. She loved it because it is her last name. So initially I thought we were going to name our little man, Jackson Taylor (Taylor is Erik's middle name and his mother's maiden name.) Well then "Jackson's" started popping up everywhere. I guess a lot of mommy's loved the name too. So we decided against it and wanted to go with something a little less common. 

I searched every website, baby book, and my mom would send me lists of names every morning. Some of my favorites were:
Jackson or Jaxson

For Girls I love:
Lilliana or Lilly 
Madelyn (Maddie)

But after much debate... we decided to go with:
I actually babysat two amazing boys growing up and one was named Harper. I have always loved the name. And I thought Harper Huffman sounded great together. Gotta love the double H! 

For his middle name we are going with:
Michael is my father's middle name and is also my grandfather and cousins name. 

So Harper Michael Huffman it is! 

It is nice to have his name selected so we can go ahead and start getting baby items personalized. My sister bought us our first personalized baby gift yesterday. She got us this awesome quilt from Pottery Barn Kids and got "Harper" embroidered on it! I can't wait to see it! 

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Our First Baby Purchases!

So the title of the post is a little off... I have bought Baby H plenty of clothing and books. Probably too many clothes... but until this evening we hadn't made any "large" baby purchases.

Now I have a baby crib, changing table, and stroller! YAY!! I am starting to get very excited. I had a hard time finding a cute boys stroller that was still "manly" enough for Erik to push around. Lately, I have been on a GILT kick. But I have been very responsible and have held off on purchasing anything for myself! While searching the website for necessary baby items, I came across the Macclaren: Buggies and Accessories sale. I found the CUTEST stroller!! I am seriously excited!

Of course I did my research first and Macclaren seems to be an amazing company with incredible and very posh strollers. Each Macclaren buggy is designed to be the lightest, most stylish, and durable in its class. They fold into the size of a folded umbrella and are easily transported with a carry strap or handle. I wanted a light, durable, stroller to take with us on trips because we travel OFTEN! So this company seemed perfect to fit my "needs."

The fun part, Maclaren has an entire line of designer strollers. These strollers take fashion from the runway to the street. In collaboration with some of the world's most famous and revered designers, Maclaren makes fashion-forward special edition buggies and accessories! They have teamed with designers such as Juicy Couture and Kate Spade to make ADORABLE buggies.

My buggy is from the "Designer" collection and is called the "Owen Tartan Buggy." Here is a photo:
I am loving the plaid! Back in the day, clans added stripes and colours to their tartans to differentiate themselves in battle. The Maclaren plaid is styled with green, red, and yellow stripes on a deep blue background to emulate the Maclaren clan tartan. Although Owen Maclaren was born in Saffron Walden, Essex, England, his surname and roots stem from the Maclaren Clan who originated from Lorn in Argyleshire, Scotland.

I looked up all of the specifications on the actual Maclaren website. It is on sale for  $275.00. I found the same exact stroller on GILT on sale at a huge discount. And they even have the matching footmuff on sale for almost 50% off the retail price:

I can't wait to get these adorable finds in the mail! I will post an update once I receive them! I wanted to share photos of my other favorite buggies on sale. The Juicy Couture and Kate Spade Strollers. If I was having a girl, I think I would have to get the Juicy stroller. I don't normally wear Juicy apparel but I love the pink and brown together! 

Have yall ever used or seen a Maclaren buggy? What are your thoughts? Do you have any other favorite brands when it comes to stollers? Thanks so much for your helpful really means a lot to me. I don't know what I would do without them. I am the first girl in my group of friends and first child in my family to have a baby. So your insight is SOOO helpful! 

If you are interested in joining GILT, membership is free. You just need an invite. Click here for your free invite and membership!  Then head to the "Children" section to find the Maclaren buggies on sale.

I will post photos of the baby furniture once the nursery starts coming together. I am still feeling "nautical" for the theme...
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