My Biggest News Yet

My friends, if you haven't heard from Instagram or Facebook just yet, I am excited to share that Chris and I are expecting our first child! She (yes, she!) is a very welcome gift and we are absolutely over the moon. I'm three months along, and my belly is slowly but surely expanding. Our baby girl is growing fast and furiously and is currently about the size of an orange! We are incredibly honored to be mom and dad to this little girl. Her name will be Grace Lynn Knight and are prayerfully looking forward to all that God has planned for her life.

On that note, I will be taking maternity leave following the upcoming holiday season. Grace is due on January 4th of next year, so I will be closing the office as usual from mid December to New Year's and adding the month of January to that time off. I plan to slowly ease back into client projects in February – and I'm already so excited to do so, because I love you guys dearly!

If you are interested in using That's Pretty Ace for your design needs in the coming month, I am looking forward to hearing from you! I am already praying over you and your businesses, and I'm excited to see what the rest of this year and 2017 have in store for us. xo

Our Trip to Florida

Our trip to Seaside - that's pretty ace

Two weeks ago, we took a family trip to visit one of our favorite towns – Seaside, FL. Chris and I were married there two years ago, and it was such a sweet treat to get to go back to visit. My family has been coming to Seaside since I was a little girl (I have pictures as a toddler walking through town!), so it is dear to our hearts in more ways than one. I'll give you a little peek into how life slows down in Seaside... 

Our trip to Seaside - that's pretty ace

We nearly always drive to Florida – the twelve hour drive isn't too bad whether done in one day or split into two, and by driving, we can bring several bikes and all of our favorite beach supplies, like chairs and coolers. This year, we split the drive there into two days, spending a night in New Orleans. Chris has a clerkship coming up where he will have to visit New Orleans several times throughout the year for meetings, so we were excited to explore a town we will soon be seeing a lot of. Naturally, beignets and chickory coffee were had!

Our trip to Seaside - that's pretty ace
Our trip to Seaside - that's pretty ace
Our trip to Seaside - that's pretty ace
Our trip to Seaside - that's pretty ace

After getting our fill of classic New Orleans breakfast items, we hit the road and finished up our drive to Florida. We rented a house in Watercolor, which is a little community that wraps around Seaside. Both Seaside, Watercolor, and the adjoining communities (Seagrove, Rosemary, Watersound, and Grayton to name a few) all reside on or off of the main 30A coastal highway, and are filled with vacation rental homes. Our house in Watercolor was less than a mile's walk to the beach, and had a main house with three bedrooms and an apartment above the garage. The two were attached by a screened-in porch, which is where we spent the majority of our time. Chris and I stayed in the apartment, which had the cutest kitchen... those appliances! The homeowners obviously had fun with this one. 

Our trip to Seaside - that's pretty ace
Our trip to Seaside - that's pretty ace

The fridge was just my size :) The bedroom was so sweet as well, and we had great storage space. Though the bed was filled with sand by the end of the week, I don't think I've ever slept so soundly. 

Our trip to Seaside - that's pretty ace
Our trip to Seaside - that's pretty ace
Our trip to Seaside - that's pretty ace

The town of Seaside is filled with delicious places to eat. Amavida coffee and Modica Market were our breakfast hits (try a giant waffle or chicken biscuit!). My favorite thing, however, is the sandy floors in every store. You can't forget you're right by the beach. 

Our trip to Seaside - that's pretty ace

A big hit for us this year was traveling with teenagers! My siblings are ten years younger, and between them, their friends, and my cousins, we had quite the rowdy group. It was great to get to join in on the fun... like card games, inside jokes, sing-a-longs, and wresting. Yes, that is a giant inflatable Smarties. We also loved having a few extra strapping young men to help carry items to the beach! Speaking of which... 

Our trip to Seaside - that's pretty ace
Our trip to Seaside - that's pretty ace

Our setup was a good one. Nearly every day, we would enjoy a leisurely breakfast then pack up lunches, drinks, games, and books to read and head out to the sand. We had a large group of friends staying in nearby Grayton, and we would head out to the semi-circle of chairs to nap, read, and catch up on life. I was introduced to the game Can Jam (so fun! and ridiculous.) and we took turns splashing around in the waves. As always during southern summers, it was insanely hot, but the ocean offered us strong winds to keep us cool. We were thankful for the breeze and semi-rough waves perfect for boogie boarding. 

Our trip to Seaside - that's pretty ace
Our trip to Seaside - that's pretty ace

My sister, being in-the-know, brought her very cool Instax camera to the beach one day. We took turns taking pictures and shaking our photos until they came out. It was a nice switch from the typical digital photos on our phones to have something tangible to take home. Such a great little treat!

Our trip to Seaside - that's pretty ace

In the evenings, we'd pile up in a few cars and head out for something fun to eat. This year, we tried a few new places, including The Hub – a "food truck" style set-up without the actual trucks. There are several small places to order at the counter, then picnic tables and cozy chairs scattered throughout a lawn in the middle. There was live music and even bean bag chairs (a huge hit with the kids), and we had such a great time. Love these sweet sunburned smiles from Chris and my little cousin (they both had a birthday during our week at the beach! What a sweet celebration). 

Our trip to Seaside - that's pretty ace

We always treasure our time on 30A, but this year was especially memorable as we looked to moving the weekend after we got back. It was nice to have some time away with Chris after being (finally!) done with the bar exams, and good to be with family before we moved. Now we're ready to have adventures in our new city! 

Happy Friday + We're Moving!

We're Moving! | That's Pretty Ace
 

But not very far... just down the street :) We actually love our location, but wanted to find a way to save a little bit on rent. It turns out that an apartment complex next to us was the perfect fit! The new place has the prettiest bay windows and looks out onto a little courtyard. Phoebe is going to love it, I'm certain :)

+ here are some links for your weekend:

Image via That's Pretty Ace

Healthy Eating Ideas from a Mac n' Cheese Junkie

I know a lot of you (myself included) are trying to start 2014 by eating healthy - I certainly need it after a few weeks of holiday indulgence! Eating healthy is something that is easy in theory and hard to do, but incredibly worth it. I personally did not eat well for a long time, but in the past few years, have figured out some things that work for me. Read on, if you're interested! 

 
 

I grew up on Kraft mac n' cheese and lemon-lime gatorade (it was awesome). Luckily, my tastebuds expanded, and in college I started to fall in love with more complex tastes... goat cheese, red wine, even brussel sprouts. Chris grew up eating very healthy, with a love for all kinds of vegetables. I can thank him for showing me the way to green! I can also thank him for having a sensitive stomach... Chris has dealt with acid-reflux his whole life, and in college started to test to see if he had intolerance to dairy and gluten. Thankfully, the removal of dairy from his diet didn't seem to have a major effect on him, but gluten certainly did. While we're not sure he has celiac, it does appear that removing bread and pasta from his diet helps his stomach stay settled. And it's made me improve my diet by leaps and bounds! 

We've done some research, but mostly we do what feels best for us - and that's what health should be. I personally have a mindset that what God put in the Garden of Eden for us to eat was all food that was good for us - meats (red and white), vegetables, fruits, herbs, wheat. It's when we start to process it that it makes it harder for our bodies to break it down. And everything in moderation, plus a healthy dose of exercise ;) Chris and I try to avoid bread and pasta, and usually eat quinoa instead of rice (because it's a pure protein - how awesome is that?). We eat fish, chicken, and beef. We try to include as many vegetables as we can with each meal - Indian & Asian style foods are great for this! - and look for richly colored fruits/veggies when shopping, since those have the most nutrients. We swap flour for corn, so we can still eat our favorite Mexican food. We certainly do NOT eat this way for every meal (hello, chick fil a twice a week...), but we've found that doing this has helped us feel so much better. We don't wake up in the morning feeling heavy. We don't go to bed stuffed to the brim, almost sick. We have more energy during the day. It's easier for us to focus on school & work. This year, we're trying to work out 3-5 times a week for at least 30 minutes to keep our hearts healthy (we are really good at running regularly during the warmer months, but terrible about exercise in winter). This is what works for us. 

 
 

The key to getting on track with your health is to try. Give yourself grace when you don't do well. (For me - don't look at a scale. It doesn't matter.) I make good decisions when we go out to eat, and the longer we eat this way, the less I want to eat unhealthy options. My personal motivation for taking care of myself is that my body will be better able to fight disease and be able to provide health to my children during pregnancy (when we decide to start a family someday). I still eat dessert. I still have a cocktail (or three). I still eat macaroni and cheese from time to time. Everything in moderation. 

 
 

Our pastor, Matt Chandler, has something very unique to say on the idea of enjoying things in life. He calls it "rolling up". It's easy to order a big steak and an expensive glass of wine and say, "This tastes incredible." As Christians, we have the amazing opportunity to "roll up" experiences like that... and they go beyond just tasting good. We "roll up" our praise of the food to praise to God for providing such amazing things for us to enjoy. Chris and I were out with my family for my dad's birthday recently and we tried a pumpkin cream cheese dessert with cinnamon ice cream. Chris leaned over and said, "I think this is one of those 'rolling it up' moments." I laughed, because he's so right. Keeping food in that mindset also means that I see it for what it is - brief earthly enjoyment that God provided for me to survive. I don't need to eat three servings of it. Honestly, I just need a bite of that delicious-looking pasta to be able to appreciate it. And "rolling it up" applies to so many aspects of our lives - relationships, material possessions, and certainly our health. 

If you've gotten to this point in the post, thanks for sticking around ;) I hope this helps to inspire you to love yourself in 2014! Your health is so vital to everything in life. Love your body, and praise God for providing us vessels to take good care of! 

PS - These pictures are all recipes on the blog! Try a pumpkin pie smoothie, mexican-style quinoa bowl, or sweet potato fries. You can also click on "Recipes" in the sidebar to the left for more deliciousness!

All images via That's Pretty Ace

Our Trip to Orlando

Animal Kingdom | That's Pretty Ace
 

We had the best time in Orlando for Christmas. While it was certainly not a restful trip and we did miss a true Christmas morning by the tree, we had a blast! We spent the first two days divided between the two Universal Studios parks (plus - what else - margaritas at Margaritaville). Then we spent day three at Animal Kingdom and Epcot, day four at Magic Kingdom, and day five at Hollywood Studios.

We booked our trip through a family friend, Crazy About the Mouse, and it was so helpful. We had our Fastpasses and reservations set up far in advance and even got to test out the new MagicBands - no room key, no paper passes. We loved it! I also used the app, My Disney Experience, to check out wait times and park hours while on the go. It even showed us when certain characters would be out! (We may have waited in Mary Poppins spot for 5 minutes before she walked out - right up to us.) I was also able to swap Fastpasses on the app. We were going to miss one while waiting in line, so I swapped the girls to a princess meet-and-greet and the boys to a fast-paced ride. Also, comfortable shoes... enough said.

 
Disney World Necessities | That's Pretty Ace
 

Chris and I especially enjoyed our dinner in "Britain" in Epcot - we requested outdoor seating and got to watch the fireworks show while we ate. Our sweet waitress was from Britain and I could've talked to her all night! We also went back to the hotel in the afternoon on Magic Kingdom day, then went back from 9pm-1am to enjoy the extra park hours. That rocked! There were lots of people there at 9:00 for the fireworks show (which was incredible) but then the crowds grew less and less as it got later. We got to ride so many rides - and even meet all of the Princesses! We told Cinderella she was up very late, and she had a good laugh about that :) So as the clock turned twelve and it became Christmas Day, we got to enjoy it with family and friends in the park. It may sound cliche, but... it was pretty magical. 

 
Santa & The Knights | That's Pretty Ace
 
Minnie Ears | That's Pretty Ace
 

For more pictures from our adventures, you can check out the Facebook page! I've uploaded a new album of photos from our trip. 

All images via That's Pretty Ace