Posted by: littlebitofparadise | May 31, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday


Linking up with Jen and other blogging friends for some pre-weekend Quick Takes today.


First, I must say a big thank you to everyone who read, commented, or sent feedback on my post last week “My Name is Baby Factory.” Seemed to hit a nerve (whether positive or negative) with lots of folks. I really appreciated all the pro-baby comments and motherhood encouragement I’ve received ever since – thanks y’all!


Starting today, this is my family’s new little bit of paradise, located in Charlotte, North Carolina. We’re so excited to make this adorable little house our new home!


And check out my favorite part of our new hacienda: the backyard. It’s FLAT and FENCED and has a PLAY GYM. I have been dreaming of all the Bear Cub play times that will happen in this space for weeks now. So excited my boys will have a place to run and play and get dirty (and did I mention it’s FENCED?! After living in a home with an unfenced yard ever since I’ve had kids, This Mama is SO. HAPPY.)



I drove from Northern Virginia down to my folks’ home in Greenville, SC with my two Bear Cubs yesterday. The Hubs stayed behind an extra day to travel down with his own car and the moving truck.

One of my greatest “mama fears” has always been traveling long distances with babies by myself. It super stresses me out. But can I just say – yesterday was the easiest 9 hour car ride with kids I’ve ever experienced (and the past 6 months we’ve done this trip MANY times with our kids). Truly, my boys morphed into angelic beings for the 9 hours in the car yesterday. They were utterly golden. It felt almost easy – even at 29 weeks pregnant.

I’m utterly convinced our smooth travels was a direct result of many people praying for us and our journey all day yesterday. The prayer power was palpable in my little Honda Civic. Consider this my “thank you!” to all those who prayed us to the Carolinas, and a challenge to other parents to be sure to ask for specific prayer coverage when you face a tough kid challenge.

Prayer works. My sanity today is proof.


Last summer three of my girlfriends and I participated in a weekly women’s book study. We let our little kids play at our feet or in the (fenced) backyard while we sipped coffee and nibbled scones and discussed topics from whatever book we were reading at the time. It sparked close friendships and further book discussions that ended up lasting all year long. I’ll miss my women’s group girls now that I’m leaving northern Virginia!

So I’m throwing the idea out to any of you ladies who might have extra time this summer now that school is out and the days are longer. We kept both the environment and the discussion/reading relaxed and informal – and it seemed to work super well for everyone. I hope some of you moms will have a chance to enjoy similar fellowship with your BFFs this summer!


Style Sex

Speaking of books, one that I’ve been meaning to recommend forever is Hallie Lord’s Style, Sex, and Substance: 10 Catholic Women Consider the Things that Really Matter. When Hallie’s publisher sent the book to me to review when it was released a little more than a year ago, I knew right away it would strike a cord with young Catholic wives and moms like me…but what I didn’t anticipate was the nearly universal enthusiasm and praise for Style that I’ve heard from every woman I know who’s read it. The women I’ve talked to say they are just so grateful for a book that discusses real life issues in the brutally honest, totally transparent way they are discussed in Style. Recently the mom’s group at my parish discussed Style in their monthly meeting, and it was such an uproariously popular topic the group leaders decided to carry it over into the next month’s meeting topic (first time I’ve ever heard of that happening.)

If you’re looking for a deeply impactful yet fun and fulfilling book for your summer reading list, pick up Style, Sex, and Substance.


And speaking of summer, here’s the recipe for one of my favorite summer cocktails: the mojito. If I wasn’t preggers this is what the Hubs and I would be making with the giant explosion of mint that has sprung to life from last year’s herb garden.

Enjoy! And enjoy an extra one for me too…


One of my favorite months of the year starts tomorrow. For many reasons, such as the official start of summer, the height of watermelon season, my herb garden exploding with growth, summer concerts in the park, grilling almost every night, Father’s Day, the Hubs’ birthday, bronzed skin and chubby naked lil Cub bottoms in the backyard pool. But I must admit I most look forward to my #1 Bear Cub’s birthday in June. He’ll be 3 this year! He’s carefully weighing his options every day for his cake/party decor. Hot Wheels theme? Construction site? Bob the Builder? Trains like he had last year?

Ahhh the decisions and dilemmas faced by the Almost Three….


Happy Friday y’all!



  1. That house looks like something out of a magazine! Adorable! And I agree- Hallie’s book is great.

  2. That is the front porch both my husband and I would love to have. You’re backyard is a dream, so big with lots of soft grass and dirt.

  3. Awesome post, Steph! What a beautiful house and backyard!!! I am so happy for you all! 🙂

  4. Your new home is adorable. I am so happy for you guys and look forward to stopping in to Charlotte sometime to say hi!

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