As I look back on 2017, I am filled with so much happiness. I spent most of this year pregnant, and I can't believe what a blessing it has been. Excitement, prepping, and waiting have mostly been the name of the game this year, but it's all worth it to make 2018 the best year yet! I wanted to take a little walk down memory lane and share some of the best moments from this year and why I'll treasure every single day of 2017.
Coming off the best baseball year of all time in 2016, going to a couple of Cubs games with Caleb during opening week was so exciting. Even though the Cubs didn't go all the way again this year, it sure was a wonderful season and we had a lot of fun cheering them on all summer long.
Mother's Day weekend was a real sweet one this year. My mother-in-law came to visit us, and we got to show her all around Chicago and Milwaukee. We had one of the best lunches of our lives at Cindy's Rooftop, and I will never forget that lobster roll! I didn't know it at the time but I was barely pregnant with Nugget this past Mother's Day! It was my last one only being a dog mom to Wrigley, too.
Just moments after finding out our family would be growing. Pure, genuine happiness and excitement. This was such a funny moment though. When I went to the store to buy a pregnancy test I wanted to be pregnant so bad but I was so scared that I wasn't. I decided I didn't want to waste extra money and buy a digital pregnancy test. I bought an analog one and thought to myself that if they worked for lots of women before, it'll work for me, too. Well I went home and did my bit (jeez that was the longest 2 minutes of my life!) and when it was time to check it, we couldn't figure it out haha! We we're like two idiots going back and forth between the stick and the box and then it finally clicked that the vertical line doesn't show up at all if you're not pregnant. Well it was clear as day and we we're jumping, cheering, crying, hugging, and Wrigley thought we were absolutely crazy!
Our first trip of the year didn't come until June. We drove out to Michigan for a family reunion and got to spend some time in Detroit. We also got to meet some family we had never had the chance of meeting before and spend time with my dear cousins, aunts, and uncles. Hopefully we'll be having another reunion in 2018 so they can all meet Nugget!
We got to host 4th of July for our family this year at our house and it was our first big summer BBQ with our family at our house. This is the day we chose to announce our big wonderful news to them and it was a day of pure joy!
Our big trip this year was visiting the Pacific Northwest. We started out in Portland, drove up to Seattle, hiked in Mount Rainier National Park, and drove to the end of US RT 12 and down US RT 101 to spend some time near the ocean. My best friend, Ashlyn, lives in Portland and we got to spend a week with her adventuring to all these places! It was my 3rd time out in Portland and 2nd time to Seattle with her but it was Caleb's first! He loved it just as much as I do, and we can't wait to take Nugget in the future!
Finally in August, we announced to everyone that we were having a baby. The month of July was spent telling all of our family and close friends our amazing news. We had lots of great dinners, FaceTime sessions, and visits with all of them talking about our exciting addition to our family. It made the summer so special and exciting even though I was battling through lots of morning sickness from my 1st trimester.
Finding out Nugget was a boy was one of the best moments of the year and of our lives, honestly. We actually knew he was going to be a boy before our gender reveal party. We decided that the way we wanted to find out was at home, just me, Caleb, and Wrigley. We went for our 20 week ultrasound and asked the tech to write the gender down and put it in an envelope. Everything looked great on the ultrasound and we looked away when she was checking that part of his anatomy. When we got home from the doctor, we sat down in our living room and opened the envelope. We pulled out a small piece of paper that said "It's a Boy!"
Last minute, we decided we wanted to take a babymoon, and we chose our favorite place in the whole world, Disney World! We spent our 2nd anniversary there and had the time of our lives. It was the break from reality that we needed. My 2nd trimester was the happiest time of the year for us and a big part of that was thanks to this trip. It refreshed us and we came home ready to fully prep for Nugget's arrival.
My baby shower that my mom and aunt hosted for me was such a special day. I was so overjoyed by all the love that our family and friends showed us and was so grateful to everyone who travelled and came to celebrate Nugget with me. I'm also so blessed that I get to share this experience with my mom and grandma. I made her a grandma and now I get to make her a great-grandma!
The holidays are such a special time of the year, and we we have been blessed to be able to spend it with our family. My father-in-law came to visit for Thanksgiving and helped us host another successful holiday at our house. We've been enjoying Christmastime in our home and making the final preparations for Nugget to join us!
I loved 2017 so much, but I can tell I'm going to love 2018 even more! Cheers to a new year everyone! I hope it's a great one filled with love, happiness, and balance. My goal or resolution for 2017 was finding a good balance of all things in my life, and I think I found that. I have a big challenge ahead that is going to rock that balance but life would be boring without challenges, and I'm so excited to take on this new one!
Sweater Dress: JCrew Factory | Booties: Cole Haan Outlet | Coat: JCrew Factory (old, similar) | Sunglasses: Boho Queen Jewelry (use code BohoQueen for 20% off) | Earrings: Tiffany & Co (similar less expensive option)
Hey there friends and happy hump day! It's crazy to say but I'm 36 weeks pregnant today! I can't believe in one week I'll be full term and it's less than a month till my due date. Time sure is flying, and I'm so excited that Nugget will be here any time now! So as you can see my stomach is getting HUGE and it's getting harder and harder to find clothes that fit comfortably and look nice enough to wear to work. I know I say it all the time, but I really don't want to buy maternity clothes. They are so expensive and I'd rather be spending my money on things for our little boy. I definitely have had to buy some but my goal is usually to find something non-maternity so that I can also wear it after my pregnancy. Well this turtleneck sweater dress fits all of that. It's cute, comfy, non-maternity, and fits my big belly. It's also so warm, which we are really needing right now in the Midwest...it's -5 degrees here today! I got it from JCrew Factory at the beginning of the month and now it is on clearance! Plus JCrew Factory is having a massive sale on their clearance right now, so you can take an additional 60% the dress! It also comes in a gorgeous grey color, and I'm very tempted to snag it, too.
Be sure to follow me on Instagram for some daily fun!
Merry day after Christmas, everyone! I hope you all had a magical holiday yesterday! We had a wonderful weekend filled with family, Christ, cookies, and good food. It's still so hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that we will have one more family member with us next year to celebrate this special season! It's less than a month till my due date and while I know only about 5% of babies come on their actual due date, I can't help but keep a countdown. I'm just so excited to see our little one and start this journey with him!
Today I wanted to bring you some old content from This Boundless Journey. Our quick guides we're some of our most requested posts, so I plan on gradually moving them over here to Tiny Dapper Fox as well as creating ones for places that I never got around to with TBJ. I figured we would start out with one of our favorite places to visit in the whole world...wine country!
Wine Country or Sonoma County is a short hour and a half drive from the great city of San Francisco. It is recommended that you rent a car in San Francisco or Oakland (we love renting from Dollar) and driving out to Sonoma for anyone who does not live within driving distance of the area. If you must fly, you can fly in to San Francisco International or Oakland International. We prefer to drive around the area while we are there since there are so many different areas to explore and everything is very spread out in the countryside. However, you must be careful not to drink and drive, so you either have to have a DD, try a wine tour, or see if the hotel you are staying at offers bicycles that you can use to ride from winery to winery. But be careful while drinking and riding a bike, too!
As said above, Sonoma County is very large and spread out with many different regions. There are seventeen different regions to explore in Sonoma County that stretch inland all the way to the Pacific Coast, they are: Alexander Valley, Bennett Valley, Carneros - Sonoma, Chalk Hill, Dry Creek Valley, Fort Ross - Seaview, Fountaingrove District, Green Valley of Russian River Valley, Knights Valley, Moon Mountain, Northern Sonoma, Pine Mountain - Cloverdale Peak, Rockpile, Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma Mountain, and Sonoma Valley. Each region or appellation offering different varieties of wine.
Best Wineries for Wine Tasting
Clos du Bois - 19410 Geyserville Ave, Geyserville (Alexander Valley)
Clos du Bois is our absolute favorite winery. This is the winery that truly made us fall in love with Sonoma. They have a small and intimate tasting room with well-educated wine pourers who are incredibly genuine and love what they do. We recommend not passing up a chance to try their Cabernet Franc and purchase a bottle if available. Their premier wine tasting offers 6 wines for $15 per person. They do take reservations for tastings on their website.
Francis Ford Coppola - 300 Via Archimedes, Geyserville (Alexander Valley)
The famous director of The Godfather owns two wineries in Northern California. One in Napa Valley, and the other in Geyserville (Sonoma County). The one located in Geyserville is the home to all of the movie paraphernalia and can't be missed if you're in the area! The property is gorgeous and hosts a large pool where guests can rent cabanas for the day to relax and enjoy their wine. The wine is of course wonderful and their first flight tasting runs at $25 per person for 4 limited production wines. They also offer a Sonoma inclusive tasting that runs at $18 per person and includes 4 of their wines and they offer a complimentary Rosso & Bianco Tasting every day that has 2 wines. If you wish to take advantage of the pool on the property, then you will be required to make a reservation on their website. It is recommended that you make these reservations as far in advance as possible as the days sell out very quickly.
Ledson Winery and Vineyards - 7335 Sonoma Hwy, Kenwood (Sonoma Mountain)
We like to call this winery "The Castle." This gorgeous property is located on Sonoma Highway (Hwy 12) and is one of the first wineries you will come across on your way to downtown Sonoma from Santa Rosa via Hwy 12. The property is very impressive with its large estate right up against the mountain. Their wine tasting includes 5 exclusive estate wines for $20-$30 per person. There are multiple tasting rooms so they are never short on space to accommodate you.
Kunde Family Winery - 9825 Sonoma Hwy, Kenwood (Sonoma Mountain)
This winery stands out thanks to their incredible property being right up against the mountain (similar to Ledson) but this winery offers tastings atop the mountain! At Kunde, you can opt for their mountain top tasting for $50 per person and enjoy some incredible views. If you don't feel like being so high up you can indulge in their estate wine in their main tasting room for $15 per person or on their patio with a cheese pairing for $30 per person.
Where to Eat
Hank's Creekside - 2800 4th St, Santa Rosa
Situated right up against the Santa Rosa Creek in Santa Rosa, this quaint diner serves the best breakfast in town. We recommend the Eggs Benedict or the Cornbeef Hash with a cup of coffee.
Omelette Express - 112 4th St, Santa Rosa
Looking for a huge delicious breakfast to get you through the day? Then Omelette Express is the stop for you. These huge omelettes come with pretty much any ingredients you wish for and leaving you feeling happy and full, ready to take on the day of wine tasting.
Cafe Citti - 9049 Sonoma Hwy, Kenwood
This delicious Italian restaurant is the perfect spot to hit for lunch while wine tasting along Sonoma Hwy. Grab a seat on their patio and enjoy the sunshine and views while having a pasta dish with their pesto sauce. It is the best around.
El Molino Central - 11 Central Ave, Sonoma
This is a must not miss spot while in Sonoma. This Mexican restaurant is located near downtown Sonoma and is a great pick for taking a break from all the shopping and wine tasting while in Sonoma. Their enchiladas are some of the best we've ever had!
Tex Wasabi's - 515 4th St, Santa Rosa
Have you ever tried BBQ Sushi? Well now's your chance! This fun take on sushi is great for dinner and located right in downtown Santa Rosa. Grab a bite to eat and continue your fun night out right in the heart of it all with more drinks in the Historic Railroad Square.
Shogun Japanese Restaurant - 1531 Farmers Ln, Santa Rosa
Be prepared to have the best sushi of your life at Shogun! This friendly family owned restaurant is our absolute favorite in the area. Caleb has been going here since he was a kid and the quality is still there today. We recommend any sushi roll, a bento box, and the lemon chicken. You'll be leaving with a very happy stomach.
Chocolate Cow - 452 1st St. E, Sonoma
Ice cream, chocolates, sweets...they're got it all at the Chocolate cow. Our favorite stop in downtown Sonoma for a sweet treat. Their old fashioned ice cream is incredible and don't skip out on getting a few truffles to share in Sonoma Plaza just across the street.
Michelle Marie's Patisserie - 2404 Magowan Dr, Santa Rosa
The best bakery in town is by far Michelle Marie's. Located in Montgomery Village, you can grab some pastries and do some shopping. Don't miss the macarons or the eclairs, they are some of the best you will ever have.
Where to Stay
Hotel La Rose - 308 Wilson St, Santa Rosa
This historic hotel is located in downtown Santa Rosa, which is very convenient for getting to the best restaurants and wineries in the area. It is walking distance from many great spots in Santa Rosa and you can easily hop on the highway to get to all the other regions for wine tasting in Sonoma County. The hotel is split into two parts, the main building and the carriage house. The carriage house has a relaxing courtyard and all the rooms have balconies/patios, making them all dog friendly. The rooms are all decently sized and offer WIFI and cable TV. The hotel also serves a continental breakfast daily.
Things to Do (Besides Wine Tasting)
Hike in Armstrong Woods - 17000 Armstrong Woods Rd, Guerneville
Armstrong Woods is one of the best places to see the redwood trees up close. The woods have many trails for hikers to enjoy the impressive nature of the area. Make sure you wear proper clothing and shoes for hiking and drink plenty of water. Entrance to the woods is free.
Shop in Historic Railroad Square/Montgomery Village
Both areas are located in Santa Rosa. Railroad Square offers many independently owned shops and boutiques to find one of a kind treasures. You'll find some favorite well known shops in Montgomery Village that should never be missed.
Visit Bodega Bay
Take a drive out to the coast and visit the town of Bodega. It is a cute and quiet fishing village that has a beautiful view of the ocean and cliffs at the beach. You can climb the cliffs and enjoy the whales migrating or you can head inland and see where Alfred Hitchcock filmed his famous movie, The Birds.
Have you been to Sonoma County before? If so, what is your favorite winery in the area? Hope you all have a great week ahead...cheers and stay warm!
I can't believe another 5 weeks have flown by! We went to the doctor this past Monday for a quick check up and everything is looking great and right on schedule. It was kind of scary to hear the words "he'll be here soon!" Each week is a nice little milestone, but I actually feel like last Wednesday (34 weeks) was a huge one. I've been told and read time and time again...make it to 34 and you're good. I obviously feel like the longer he's cooking inside the better but it was a huge sigh of relief to hit 34 weeks...and now 35! However, I think today was my favorite week update from The Bump app (every week they compare the size of the baby to a fruit or vegetable) and today Nugget is the size of a pineapple! If you don't know me too well...I have a an unhealthy obsession with pineapples ha! They are just my thing... Anyways...here's my belly progression so far...
Tank: Hello Apparel (c/0, old - t-shirt version)
Chocolate. Oh my gosh I've been a chocolate fiend lately. It's probably because of how accessible it is during the holidays, but I feel like I can't stop! I also always want a Sprite. I'm constantly thirsting and really crave that amazing burning sensation in your throat from your first sip of a soda. I love Coke like none other but I really try to limit myself with having any because I still like to enjoy my coffee in the mornings and don't want to hit the max of 200 mg of caffeine by drinking a Coke. So Sprite has been my go to when I just can't say no.
Not So Fun Stuff
Honestly just fatigue and sore muscles. My burning left side rib pain has gone away! I can't even tell you guys how thankful I am that it didn't last till the end. It flared up really bad around Thanksgiving but subsided a few days later. We think it's because he was moving to be head down! It was most likely from him pressing on some nerves and putting a lot of strain on the ligaments up there. My only real discomforts these days though are sore hips and lower back pain. They tend to wake me up at night so I have to switch from side to side to find some relief, but otherwise I feel great!
The FUN Stuff
I've been having so much fun buying Nugget clothes and things for his nursery. Since we're getting so close to the due date I've kind of gone in to that mode of I feel like I need to get everything ASAP so we're ready "just in case." I was really holding out on buying any clothes for him as long as possible because I knew we'd get a bunch of cute stuff for my baby shower and Christmas, but once the baby shower passed I just couldn't hold back anymore! His dresser is actually pretty full with cute onesies and jammies and his closet is slowly filling up with adorable outfits. I'm still enjoying his little kicks and jabs and even though he's super strong and they hurt sometimes, I'm really going to miss them once he's born. It's like this unspoken bond that we have with each other and each one still puts a smile on my face. I've also been having fun with what I've been reading! I've switched from pregnancy books to parenting books now and it has me so excited for what's to come. I'm currently reading On Becoming Babywise, and I'm learning so much! I'll be sure to share what reading material I really enjoyed with you all as time goes on.
Guys, this might be my last bump date post! Isn't that so crazy!? If not, then I definitely only have 1 more! I seriously can't wait to meet our little one and honestly...I'm ready for him to be here! You can read my 30 weeks bump date post here.
If you're not already, make sure you follow me on Pinterest! I pin fun stuff every day! Hope you all are having a swell week!
,Hey there friends! Sorry I was so MIA last week. My to do list has been a mile long, and I wasn't able to get around to baking as much as I'd like so that I could share this recipe with all of you! I was finally able to get into the kitchen for a little bit yesterday and whip up these delicious cookies to share with all of you.. Before I get into the cookies though I'll do a little weekend recap like I always like to do on Mondays!
This past weekend was filled with errands and visiting good friends. We spent Saturday afternoon with a couple of really great friends of ours who we know from Utah State who are also having a baby! It's been so nice to swap stories and learn from each other. We also went to a Christmas cookie party on Saturday night with some of our closest friends and had so much fun baking and catching up. Every year they host this get together and donate the cookies to the Northshore Kellogg Cancer Center! It's such a wonderful way to spread some Christmas cheer in our area. Yesterday was pretty amazing, too, though. We tried out a new place for breakfast in our town's downtown area and it was so yummy! If you're ever in the Libertyville area, we highly recommend Town Square Restaurant for breakfast! In the afternoon, we went to see Star Wars; The Last Jedi! Oh my gosh you guys, it was better than The Force Awakens. I'll leave it at that because I would never spoil it for any of you, but seriously...GO SEE IT!
Anyways, these cookies. Snickerdoodles are my all time favorite cookies. I love making them especially around the holidays. A few Christmases ago, I received a wonderful recipe box filled with family recipes from my mother in law and this recipe was in there. She is seriously the best baker I know. I have slowly tweaked the recipe that I got from her though due to well actually making some mistakes that turned out to enhance the cookies, as well, as having to adjust things for our oven. So without further ado...here is my snickerdoodles recipe!
What are your favorite holiday cookies to make? Please share them with me in the comments! I hope you all have a merry week ahead!
I’m Diana; curator & author of Tiny Dapper Fox. Here you’ll find posts on motherhood, home life, travel, & fashion/beauty as well as City Guides for places all around the world. Make yourself cozy and let’s be friends!
Follow on Instagram