She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not {Link Party}

I'm linking up with Michaela today to share what I'm loving and not loving this week.


Hand-picked peaches, brought to us by friends on Wednesday night.

My new DIY rosette necklace (and having the time to make it!).

 Compliments from strangers on my belly. It's exciting that people can tell that I'm pregnant to the point where they aren't afraid to say something. One lady almost reached out and touched me! 

Not loving:

 The 3-hour glucose test I had on Tuesday (i.e. 4 blood draws) + a RhoGAM shot. 
But I am loving that my results were normal!

If you want to join the link party, visit Michaela's blog and link up!

+, Lauren Aiken


29 weeks

How far along? 29 weeks, 4 days.
Baby Size: Nearly 3 pounds and 17 inches.
Total weight gain: About 21 pounds, and I can no longer see my legs when I look down. This week Matt looked at me and said "When did you get so pregnant?!" 
Maternity clothes? Yes! 
Stretch marks? No.
Sleep: Sleep is pretty inconsistent. I sleep like a rock some nights. Others I have a hard time falling asleep. And one night this week I went to the bathroom 3 times before actually falling asleep! I've started taking a nap during the day if I get tired.
Best moment(s) this week: I had my 3-hour glucose screening on Tuesday morning and was SO relieved to hear that my results were normal. Thank you for your prayers as I waited to hear whether I had gestational diabetes or not! Last week was such a good reminder that while eating healthy and taking care of myself are important, I am not ultimately in control of this pregnancy (or anything!) and that the Lord is sovereign over all. 
Miss Anything? Not really. Sometimes I have a sushi craving, but we could remedy that with a little homemade vegetarian sushi :).
Movement: This week I've tried to capture some of the movement on video (with little success). I have a couple videos where she kicks once or twice, but not a whole lot. I'm going to keep trying!
Food cravings: Goat cheese, salads. It seems like my cravings go back and forth from fresh produce to spicy foods!
Anything making you queasy or sick: No
Gender: Girl.
Labor Signs: No.
Symptoms: I'm starting to notice how thick my hair has gotten. Now I can tell that my belly is growing every day, and it's still a little achey every once in awhile.
Belly Button in or out? Halfie.
Wedding rings on or off? On. 
Mood: I'm getting more and more excited the closer we get!
Looking forward to: Ordering the crib mattress (oops, we forgot to do that this week!) and looking more seriously at rocker/gliders.

Hope everyone has a great weekend! We're kicking it off with homemade pizza and the Olympic opening tonight.
+, Lauren Aiken


Living Room Decor

Some of you have asked to see pictures of our new apartment in Tennesee so I'm going to post each room a few photos at a time. 

Living rooms (and kitchens) are always my favorite spots in the house. We love having people in our home, and what better way to welcome someone in than a comfy place to sit and chat? Some good food doesn't hurt either :).

I have always loved looking at photos of interior design and would love to have a picture-perfect home. In reality, though, my tastes change often, and I don't like to spend a fortune on many non-functional items. As a general rule, I tend to decorate in neutrals so I can easily switch out things, such as pillows, for accent colors and also prefer pieces that have sentimental value. We are so fortunate to have some really special pieces in this room, which I will highlight below, and I have filled in a bit with inexpensive decor.

Matt had this sectional before we were married, and before that it was in his parents' house. It's so comfy, and we'll probably keep it for a long time! There are actually little threads of red and green in the fabric, but they're so subtle that you can really put any color with it. Purple been my favorite color for so long now so when we found the big puffy pillows at Target when we got married, I knew we had to go with purple!

For a while, I debated what to do with the huge space above our sectional and decided to use these shelves that we had from our previous apartment. We originally bought them in Seattle when we were first married and had only used one above our bed prior to this. 

Shelf #1 currently houses a candle + candle holder (I have always loved candles), a free "Love is spoken here" printable, potted yellow (silk) flowers from Gramma Jean, an engagement photo, and love birds.

Aren't these little birds the cutest? They are from custom designed by BentBranch and are one of my favorite things in the room because they were our wedding cake toppers! 

On Shelf #2, I framed fabric for a little extra color, and the owl and yellow jar were purchased from Hobby Lobby too add something new (and inexpensive). The green votive holder was a new home gift from Gramma Jean when she visited us in Seattle last fall. I think I'd like to add some kind of tall plant in front of the fabric to give a little more height.

Our coffee table is another favorite of this room, handmade my Matt's Grandpa Don. They wooden tray was a wedding gift from my college roommate, Alissa. We used this all the time in Seattle to transport food to our community group. Matt also had the TV stand you see in the background before we got married. I recently switched the knobs to make it a little prettier.

From this view of the living room, you can see how much natural light we get. I LOVE it! I rarely turn a light on unless it's dark outside. You can also see the coffee table better. Isn't it gorgeous?! We also love our bookshelf that he made, which you'll see in another post.

I'd still like to find something to put in that corner where the baskets are. I've been on the lookout for an indoor tree or a little chair or something, but nothing has really caught my eye yet.

And finally, the afghan on back of the couch was a wedding gift from Grandma Aiken. It is another favorite living room item. She knits one for every grandchild (and there are a LOT!) - we even have a small one for Baby A too! This blanket is well-loved already since we use it every night!

So that's our living room! If you love decorating or need some tips from someone who actually knows something about design, check out my friend Michaela's blog. She is amazing, and I know you will love her!!
+, Lauren Aiken


{DIY} Crib Skirt

Some of you might have been wondering why this little blog is called "LA-Stitch" since I haven't posted anything about sewing yet! 

Well, the crib isn't totally finished (we still need a mattress), but I finished the crib skirt over the weekend and cannot wait any longer to share it!

The fabric is Kaffe Fassett GP125 Tile Flower in Pink. I searched 5 different fabric stores before I found something I loved. I wasn't looking for brights originally but love how these colors liven up the nursery and contrast against the white furniture.

I used this pattern from sew4home. The instructions are clear and easy to follow, but I messed up a few times. Let's just say it's a good thing I have a seam ripper :).

Stay tuned for more!
+, Lauren Aiken


Weekend Recap

{Franklin Farmers' Market}

{Reunited with and old-time friend)

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend!

Happy Monday!
+, Lauren Aiken


28 Weeks {Third Trimester!}

How far along? 28 weeks, 5 days. It's so hard to believe we will meet our little girl in about 12 weeks!
Baby Size: ~2.5 pounds and almost 16 inches long
Total weight gain: 20 pounds
Maternity clothes? I'm wearing maternity clothes the majority of the time now.
Stretch marks? No.
Sleep: I'm back to sleeping well this week in between bathroom breaks.
Best moment(s) this week: We're starting to make friends here! A couple from our small group came over to watch So You Think You Can Dance (this is my all-time favorite show). We paused between dances and exchanged stories. The best part - they live in our apartment complex! As far as baby moments this week, I finished the DIY canvas I was working on, started sewing the crib skirt, and we had our 28 week appointment yesterday. Matt got to find her heartbeat, and he was dead on! The midwife also showed him how to deliver a baby :).
Miss Anything? Coffee and sushi.
Movement: She's a strong little kicker! Sometimes I can feel body parts now too. It's a little strange but pretty amazing! Yesterday the midwife told us that her head is down, her bottom is to my left side and her legs are to my right. Of course, she's still small enough to move around a bit, but I'm hoping she stays head down!
Food cravings: Spicy and sour. Not at the same time.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope!
Gender: Girl.
Labor Signs: No.
Symptoms: Stronger but less frequent B-H contractions. Lots of kicks. A little indigestion, only if I lie down after eating.
Belly Button in or out? Still about the same - half in, half flat on some days. Other days it's still in.
Wedding rings on or off? On. 
Mood: Excited and a little anxious. I found out my glucose was elevated am going in for the 3-hour test sometime next week. They'll do a baseline blood test and then test my glucose level each hour for 3 hours to see how my body is processing sugar over time.
Looking forward to: Finishing up the crib bedding and ordering a mattress this week.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!
+, Lauren Aiken


{DIY} Cherry Blossom Bird Canvas

Today I am thrilled to share a DIY nursery project I have been working on! I mentioned this painting from PB Kids on Pinterest several weeks ago and last week showed you this preview. Typically I am a slow decision-maker, especially when it comes to decorating. However, I fell in love with the cherry blossom bird canvas right away and thought I could maybe make something similar to it myself.

The chalkboard frame was a handmade baby shower gift from my sweet friend Michaela.

Let me start off by saying I don't consider myself very creative/artistic. I'm good at mimicking projects or combining ideas to create something, but I could never just sit down and make something out of nothing. I have also never painted before, but by taking this project one step at a time, it was actually pretty easy. So next time you see something you would like to make but don't think you can, go for it! You may be surprised with the final product!

Canvas ($7.99)
Acrylic paint (about $5 for 3 new colors, plus others I had on hand)
Scrapbook paper ($0.35 per sheet)
Assorted paintbrushes/sponges (I had these already, but somewhere around $2.99)
Paper glue ($4.50)

I got all these materials at JoAnn's. The canvas was 50% off and the scrapbook paper was 40% off.

First, I used a sponge to paint the entire canvas. I used one purple acrylic paint and just added white to it to get variations of lavender. I also used a pearlescent paint to add a little shimmer in places.

Next, I added a few branches using a small paintbrush. 

Like I said before, I am far from an artist so I first made templates of the birds and then traced them onto scrapbook paper. I just freehanded the cherry blossoms. 

Cut out several birds and a bunch of flowers from scrapbook paper (alternatively, you could use fabric or other materials) and place them on the canvas. I played around with placement a bit before I glued anything down.

Next, add detail like the birds' legs, beaks, and eyes. Glue everything into place.
And add little highlights of paint where you want more color. 

It's not perfect, but overall I am really pleased with how it turned out!

Happy crafting!
+, Lauren Aiken


Recipe Rut

Do you ever have one of those weeks where you can't think of anything to cook? Last week I was stuck in a recipe rut. I've been trying to plan our menu for the week on Mondays since we don't have the convenience of a grocery story below us (like we did in Seattle), but some days I'm lacking creativity or nothing sounds very good. After perusing Pinterest, I finally decided on 4 meals to make for the week since I knew we'd be grabbing something Thursday on the way to our hospital tour. 

So, in case you're lacking kitchen inspiration like I was last week, here are a few ideas!

{Monday} White House Salad for "The Biggest Loser" + spicy grilled chicken (seasoned with the same seasonings used in the dressing)

{Tuesday} Black Bean Burgers, recipe from my friend Kristin (Added bonus: The recipe made about 15 burgers, so next time we're in a pinch we can pull a couple out of the freezer!)

{Wednesday} Chicken Stir-Fry Wraps (The sauce was pretty boring so I would probably make it more spicy/sweet next time.)

{Thursday} Chipotle before our hospital tour

{Friday} Homemade Pizza, Jim Lahey's No Knead Pizza Dough

I'm off to plan our menu for the week!
Leave a link if you have a recipe we should try!

+, Lauren Aiken


27 Weeks

My bump is definitely visible from the front now!

How far along? 27 weeks
Baby Size: 2 pounds! 
Total weight gain: around 18.5 pounds 
Maternity clothes? Still a mix of non-maternity and maternity, though my maternity things are so much more comfortable than squeezing into normal shorts! 
Stretch marks? No.
Sleep: Lately sleep has been inconsistent. Some nights I sleep like a rock, and others I toss and turn trying to get comfortable.
Best moment(s) this week: We had a great time in northern Virginia last week (if you missed the recap, you can read here). I've been making a lot of nursery progress and am eager to share once it's complete. We also had a tour of Vanderbilt hospital, where Baby A will be born.
Miss Anything? My morning cup of coffee.
Movement: Those kicks are getting stronger! Sometimes I can feel a little movement and know a kick is coming, and other times I am caught off guard. 
Food cravings: Spicy things have sounded great lately. So far, they haven't bothered me yet, and I'm hoping that heartburn won't be an issue later on!
Anything making you queasy or sick: Hmm..can't think of anything.
Gender: Girl!
Labor Signs: No.
Symptoms: Braxton Hicks contractions, though not as many as a couple weeks ago. After an active day, my tummy is a little achey. 
Belly Button in or out? Still hanging in there. The top half is almost flat and the bottom is still in.
Wedding rings on or off? On. 
Mood: A little nervous about taking care of a newborn, but overall excited and anxious to meet our little girl (not too eager though...she can stay in there another 12 weeks or so!).
Looking forward to: My 28 week appointment next week and making more progress in the nursery!

And a couple more updates this week...

I found a nice second-hand kids' shop on the other side of town and spotted a couple outfits with tags on. After a quick search, I found out that Coccoli is a baby designer and means "pampered babies" in Italian. I've been trying to hold off buying anything, but they were a pretty great purchase for $5 and $7!

I also picked up a few books to add to the bookshelf in the nursery.

And finally, here's a sneak peek of some nursery DIY art I'm working on. 

Have a great weekend!

+, Lauren Aiken


Virginia Recap

Last week we took a quick road trip to Northern Virginia! Our week was filled with all kinds of fun activities, and I'm wishing now that I used my camera more while we were there.

We spent the 4th of July with a ton of family friends. There was a huge spread of delicious food, the kids played in the pool, and the guys even set off a few fireworks in the yard. There were about 40 people there - the Aikens sure know how to host a party! It was SO hot that day, but between tons of water and ducking inside every once in awhile, I think everyone managed to stay cool enough. 

Mallory is so artistic and crafty and made this banner!

Isn't it super cute?!

Matt's dad grilled sausages and hotdogs, and we had bbq pulled chicken as well. Friends brought salads, sides, and desserts, and everything was delicious

On Thursday we went to the Nationals / Giants baseball game. The Aikens were torn as to who to root for since the majority of Nancy's family lives in California! In the end the Nationals won.

Mallory, Gramma Jean, and Grandpa Don

Maclendon and Merrick (I hadn't seen these two since February!)

Nancy, Jerry, and Maclean

And Matt and myself

This was my first professional sporting event! I think I would go again :).

Since we had 100+ degree days, ALL of us got in the pool one morning. Grandpa Don got in soon after this photo too!

We ate at one of my favorite pizza places, Fire Works Pizza. I used to hate pizza. I didn't eat it until after college, and even now it's only wood fired pizza for this girl if I have a say in it! This one is the Smokey Blue - Gorgonzola, wood roasted onions, smoked bacon, tomato sauce, rosemary, and a balsamic glaze.

As I mentioned before, Matt's parents gave us nursery furniture, which we got while we were there! And the ladies took a big trip to IKEA one day to pick up some other things.

We were also able to see a bunch of friends on Friday. I was so excited to see everyone that I forgot to take ANY pictures :(. Thank you to all who came to visit with us for a bit!!

On the way home we stopped to meet JC (Matt's college pastor who officiated our wedding), Katie and their two kids. They are expecting their third, and Katie is due 3 days after me! Aubrey's was Matt's spot in college. He and his friends would go there once a week. 

That pretty much sums up our trip! 

Oh, and I'm sorry I missed my 26 week post last week. This baby bump is growing by the day, and I have a lot of updates to share this week so stay tuned!

+, Lauren Aiken