A Jack and Jill & Impromptu Date Night

At 15 weeks pregnant, I feel like I’m in a limbo period when it comes to clothing: not many of my current clothes fit, and certainly none of my pants do, yet maternity clothing still feels too big. What’s a girl to do? Thrift shopping is the answer. Or regular shopping. Or online shopping. All of which I’ve been doing a lot more of lately trying to find something to wear, especially to work without feeling like an elephant stuck in a hula hoop.

This dress I found at a shop called Off The Hanger, which is a consignment store in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. It won’t fit once I continue to grow, but for now it’s loose fitting, comfortable, can still be worn post-pregnancy. Best of all only cost about $8.00. I love it because it’s multifunctional. I’ve now worn it for a Jack and Jill, on a date, and to work!

My earrings are made mostly of clay and I purchased them from Off The Hanger as well, but they actually come from EJ Clay CO, which is a small business out of Nashville, TN. Emily Gallardo is a wife, mother, and the owner of this fantastic jewelry company. My ears are wicked sensitive and I can’t wear most earrings. Well, I suppose I can, but typically have to take them off by the end of the day due to irritation and then my ears are red and swollen for a bit – not fun. EJ Clay CO earrings have hypoallergenic, nickel/lead free backs, and are lightweight – hooray! 

Once ready, we were off to a Jack and Jill for one of my best friends! I’ve been to a handful of bridal showers, but not many Jack and Jills yet, but I think they are pretty fun! Especially because the couple usually plays “the shoe game” which I love. I think it’s great learning more about the couple getting married and how they feel about certain topics or tasks, like who’s the better driver, who’s more organized, and who made the first move, etc. It’s fun! That’s why I also appreciate when couples write their own vows for their wedding ceremony. It’s a debated subject, but I like it. I like hearing the personalized vows and I almost feel like there is often more heart behind them for some people. It’s definitely not for everyone though, and that’s okay! 

Besides the shoe game, we also played wedding tradition and romantic movie title trivia and made toilet paper wedding attire. If you’ve never played this game before, it’s quite fun! People typically split into teams and create a wedding gown out of some good ol’ fashioned TP and the bride judges the winner. Because the party was co-ed, teams were able to create clothing other than wedding dresses, but of course, no one did that haha. Hayden was a good sport and volunteered as tribute to be our team’s model. He was given a halter top gown complete with a train, veil, bouquet (made using a toilet paper roll), and ring. Our team ended up winning due to functionality since Hayden was the only one who could walk in his dress – ha! Although, his dress began to unravel by the time I got a picture.

Today was quite humid out and I may or may not have been wearing a sticky bra with no straps, which may or may not have fallen off at one point. I don’t think anyone noticed though, thank goodness! Nor did anyone notice I was pregnant, which is good! The only person I had told so far at the Jack and Jill was the bride (we chatted the other day and I shared the news) and I wasn’t about to steal her spotlight during her shower! 

During the Jack and Jill festivities Hayden and I realized that we essentially had the late afternoon/evening free. We were already dressed up so we figured why not go out to dinner and have a date night? But, when we left the party it was only 4:30 PM. We had to find something to do between then and dinner time. Shopping it was! We found ourselves at JC Penney, not a store I usually go to, but why not? You never know what you’ll find. And I did find a great, loose fitting, plain t-shirt. It was not maternity, so I did size up just so it would be comfortable and loose for awhile. It ended up only being $7.00 and I wish I had purchased more! I also found a cute, black linen dress with ties on the shoulders. Again, not maternity, but loose fitting enough that it’s still comfortable now and can be worn post-pregnancy. I’m grateful for it because I had something loose to wear to church the next day! 

We were in Concord, NH and thought about getting dinner there, but weren’t super excited about the options. We were both feeling quality wood fired pizza. Then we remembered there was a place in Bristol, NH called Pizza Béne that we had been wanting to try! This restaurant makes their own dough daily from scratch and had some, what I like to call, “interesting” toppings. Whenever I go out to eat I like to find interesting food. You know, something different than the usual offers that you can find anywhere. So for pizza, usual options are typically cheese, pepperoni, meat lovers, and veggie (peppers, onions, mushrooms) or something similar. And to be honest, it’s a bit boring. Pizza Béne, however, had a “New England Garden” pizza that was topped with fresh basil, tomato, zucchini, summer squash, broccoli, spinach, bell pepper, onion, fresh mozzarella (which I really enjoy on pizza), and topped with a balsamic reduction. This is the one we ordered and it was delicious! 

While there we also learned that it was live music night! So, we were able to enjoy soul revival music while devouring our freshly made flavorful pizza – it was pure heaven. Turns out, Pizza Béne has live music on Saturdays throughout the summer. We have been searching for: a) a good, local pizza place, and b) live music in the Lakes Region of NH. So this really was a win-win and we plan to go more often!  

I love planned date nights, but I also love when they just happen. And it’s all the more fun when then turn out great. I mean, I always like spending time with Hayden no matter what we’re doing, but sometimes you try a new place and it’s not…shall we say, the best. But this time we were pretty thrilled with how the evening panned out! I am so grateful for the wonderful day. 

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