Hi Friends! Iā€™m Natalie Mason. I live in Charleston, SC and I am mom to Sterling 12 , Frances Moon 8 and our mini golden doodle Dolly.



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Turning 34…..

Mar 21, 2014

I turn 34 on Monday.  Crazy I am almost mid thirties.  The funny thing is I still feel pretty young until I look in the mirror and see the signs of wrinkles and crows feet starting to appear on my face and then I think dang, I need to get on the botox facials microdermabrasion train stat.  I actually love my thirties way more than my twenties.  I think I have really evolved and found myself and I finally feel comfortable in my skin.  Becoming a mom profoundly changed me and ultimately has made me a stronger and better person.  It has taught me how to be selfless and what unconditional love is,  probably the most important things I have learned in my 30s.  I still strive to be a better mom, friend, wife, daughter, and sister daily.  There is always room for improvement in those areas.  I feel really blessed with the life I have and I think 34 is going to be a great year!

I thought it would be fun to share 34 things about me today.  I love getting to know people better so tell me something about yourself too!

ONE \ I found out I was pregnant with Frances last year on my Birthday.  I was two weeks late with my period and I had stopped taking tests until I was at least two weeks late because they were always negative and I was wasting money on all those expensive tests.  I still remember asking Matt so should I take a test?  and then patiently waiting the 3 minutes and seeing the positive lines.  It was an incredible Birthday to finally be pregnant after many months of trying. A birthday I will never forget.

TWO \ I still really want three kids and Matt only wants two so I am trying to be at peace with just two kids.  I know three kids would be hard but I always pictured myself with three and it makes me kind of sad to think Frances was the last pregnancy and birth I will get to experience.  In this I trust God and his master plan.

THREE \ Since having kids I have realized I am not a pet person. I can’t take care of both.

FOUR \ I have a weird eye condition that requires me to wear hard glass contacts that always irritate my eyes and make them water.  I can’t wear glasses or regular contacts or even have lasik.  My condition will continue to get worse and ultimately I will have to have a cornea transplant and that scares the crap out of me.

FIVE \ When I was younger I really wanted to be a model.  My parents even enrolled me in modeling school.  When I realized how skinny I would have to be and how much I liked to eat I decided it wasn’t the profession for me.

SIX \ I hate sweet or sugary drinks.  I only drink unsweetened tea and never juice unless I have made it myself.  Occasionally I will indulge in a coke if I am hungover or sick.  I used to love sweet drinks til I had several cavities and then I gave them up and now I am so used to it the sweet ones make my stomach turn,

SEVEN \ My mom and my sister are my best friends.  I talk to them both several times a day.  I wish I could give Frances a sister so she could experience that same special bond my sister and I have.  I don’t know what I would do without the two of them!

EIGHT \ I love spending time with my parents, probably too much!  I always choose to hang out with them instead of going out with friends when I am home.  They are such good people and incredible parents, I admire them so much. I always have the best time with them.

NINE \ At night I lay in bed and think about loved ones dying- so weird and depressing right??  Death really scares me even though I know it is the one certainty in life.   Losing loved ones keeps me up at night sometimes.

TEN \  I have zero tolerance for mean or negative people and strongly believe in the saying if you don’t have something nice to say don’t say it all.  I have been shocked at the mean comments on my blog and instagram.

ELEVEN \  As most of you know Frances Moon is named after my grandmother.   Since my grandmother passed away we started noticing whenever we would have family events or vacations a moon would appear in some of our photos. We know it is my grandmother still with us.  Now it is kind of fun to look and try and find the moon. Another crazy thing is my grandfather loved frogs and collected them,  the day after his funeral a real live frog appeared on my moms kitchen table.  They don’t even have frogs where they live much less never inside their house.  We all knew it was him letting us know he was happy and ok.

TWELVE \ My dream is to publish a cookbook one day

THIRTEEN \ I have never been to California.  I am trying to convince my parents that next year we all need to travel and do Napa!

FOURTEEN \  White wine and vodka with fresh lemon juice are my two favorite cocktails of choice

FIFTEEN \  I only wash my hair usually twice a week and usually only shower every other day- I’m gross I know.

SIXTEEN \ I still think about Breaking Bad everyday since it ended.  It was quite possibly the best tv show ever.  We did finally just start House of Cards and are loving it but it is no Breaking Bad- I miss Jessie and Walt.

SEVENTEEN \  I am a neat person but not a clean person.  I like all the clutter put away but I suck at deep cleaning.  In fact last night Matt had to show me how to properly wipe down the counters by removing everything.  My dad never lets me wash pots when I home because I never get them clean enough (although that works to my advantage).

EIGHTEEN \ I love books.  I love collecting coffee table books and cookbooks.   I have way too many but they make me happy. This is just a small section of my cookbooks I bet I own 50.

NINETEEN \ Chick Fila is my favorite fast food.  I probably eat it at least once a week. I usually get a 12 pack nuggets or if I am being healthy I do the grilled chicken sandwich or salad.  I never order fries though.

TWENTY \ I am freakishly in love kale.  Like I eat it everyday. 

TWENTY ONE \ I never did a sorority in college, I was the only one out of all my friends who didn’t

TWENTY TWO \  I am terrified of sharks and snakes.  So much of sharks that I won’t go in the ocean past my knees.

TWENTY THREE \  Gwyneth Paltrow is my girl crush and my male crushes are a tie between Adam Levine and Zac Efron

TWENTY FOUR \ I don’t drink caffeine anymore.  I basically stopped while I was pregnant with Frances and liked how good it made me feel that I just stick with decaf now.  I swear it has helped my anxiety and nerves.

TWENTY FIVE \  I had a crush on Matt for four years before we started dated.  I thought he was the most attractive man I had ever seen and I still think that.

TWENTY SIX \ I prefer to drive on road trips, I like to be in control.

TWENTY SEVEN \  I hate speaking in public in front of crowds of people it gives me major anxiety.  I used to hate presenting projects at school for the same reason.

TWENTY EIGHT \  I try to go to church every Sunday although I will be honest it is hard now getting out the door with two kids.  I read a devotional every night- I am on my third year of Jesus Calling- I need a new recommendation! I  pray everyday and we also say prayers with the kids too. Faith is very important to me. 

TWENTY NINE \  I have a real weakness for blouses.  They are my favorite thing to buy.

THIRTY \ I like tequila straight.  I think I am one of the few people who actually enjoys sipping on warm tequila- but it must be good tequila

THIRTY ONE \  I rarely buy new make-up.  I am a creature of habit when comes to make-up ,  I find something I like and use it for years.   I am trying to change that.  I am ready for some new fresh make-up finds.

THIRTY TWO \ I love grocery shopping, I love to browse all the produce and leisurely shop.

THIRTY THREE \  I have never had a broken bone or had surgery.  I have been partially put under for two colonoscopies and I swear that terrified me.  I don’t do well in hospitals but I will say having children has helped me get past alot of my fears in that aspect.  I wasn’t nearly as nervous when Frances was born.

THIRTY FOUR \ Being a mom is the best thing I ever did with my life.  I will say it again it is the hardest yet most rewarding job.  These kids are my everything and I thank God for them everyday.

Cheers to 34 friends!  I am off to milk my birthday weekend and celebrate all weekend!


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Leave a Reply

  1. Irene Toohey says:

    Happy early birthday Natalie! Your blog is such inspiration and you NEED to write a cookbook/style book mixed together. You are so talented in both areas and fusing the two would make you stand out for sure. You can do it!!

  2. Jenna says:

    Happy birthday! 34 wonderful things about you — hope this year is your best year yet!

  3. caycee says:

    Happy early Birthday to the most amazing woman, mother and friend I know!!! I love you girl!

    cant wait to celebrate this weekend!!!

  4. Mel G says:

    Happy Early Birthday!!!! I especially loved your Breaking Bad and no dogs since kids! We will celebrate next weekend šŸ™‚

  5. Sara says:

    Happy Birthday! Thank you for sharing so openly and so sweetly your life with us everyday! Hope you have a great weekend!

  6. tpatters5 says:

    Happy Birthday! What a great post!!

  7. Happy birthday!!! What a great share! I will be turning 34 this year too. I just started reading d365.org for daily devotionals and have enjoyed it so far.

  8. KellyM says:

    What a great post, I loved reading each of the 34 things! Happy happy birthday, I hope you have an amazing day!

  9. Happy Early Birthday! Hope you have a wonderful weekend celebrating!

  10. Love this! happy early birthday Natalie!!! Loved finding the things we have in common, hope you have a fantastic pre-birthday weekend! šŸ™‚

  11. Katie S. says:

    I absolutely love this post! Your openness is truly refreshing and rare to come across these days! I still can't get enough of your cuties and am entirely in favor of three šŸ˜‰ Have a happy happy birthday and cheers to many many more!!

  12. Happy birthday pretty girl!!! I loved learning more about you!! Couple of thoughts:

    1) I had NO clue that you were 34. You go girl. I'm telling you (no lies here) I thought you were 28!

    2) We watched House of Cards- like maniacs! Season 1= awesome. Season 2= good, but not as good as season 1. Enjoy!!! I'm so sad that we've run out of episodes.

    3) We're getting a Golden Doodle in July! Our first pet and I'm so excited. But I do wonder how people take care of pets and kids!! It's such a job! We have a few years ahead of us before kids, so hopefully by then this dog can pretty much take care of herself šŸ™‚

    4) I gave up caffeine for like 10 weeks several months ago. I'm back on it, but it was the best I had felt and I know I need to give it up again. It helped with my anxiety and panic attacks more than I ever thought it could.


  13. Love learning more about you! Happy happy happy birthday! I only shower every other day too šŸ™‚ xo

  14. Love your list and cheers to your best year yet friend! xo

  15. Lucy says:

    Happy early birthday! It's my little brother's birthday tomorrow too! You definitely need to write a cookbook- your shrimp and grits recipe is the only way I can get my family to eat Kale!!

    If you need a new devotional book, I would highly recommend "Known and Loved." It's a devotional for moms. I love it.

  16. Loved reading these! Cheers to 34 and have a wonderful birthday!

  17. Melissa W. says:

    I so enjoyed reading this post! Cheers to 34 on Monday!

  18. beth cleary says:

    Happy Birthday!! You make motherhood look easy!!

  19. LOVED this!!! Happy Birthday you amazing gorgeous girl!! XOXO

  20. Sandy says:

    Happy early 34th! I love reading your blog. You are a wonderful mom.

    You should really make trip to Napa. It's gorgeous and the wines are amazing. The Artessa wine you wrote about a couple of weeks ago, you would love visiting the winery. It has an amazing view of the valley.

  21. Erin says:

    Happy Birthday! Thank you for sharing yourself and your life and loves. You are one of my favorite bloggers and I just adore your style. Cheers!

  22. birdie to be says:

    Happy Birthday! I enjoy reading your blog everyday and loved this 'get-to-know-you' post!

  23. Loved reading this! The one about your grandparents gave me chills! I am turning 35 in June….scary! Happy BirthdaY!!

  24. Sarah O says:

    Happy Birthday!
    I love you list. I'm jealous of your cookbook collection and I'm happy to hear someone else likes to grocery shop like I do.

  25. megan okeefe says:

    Loved reading this! You sound like a truly great person. I hope you have a wonderful, beautiful birthday weekend! Happy Birthday.

  26. Loved reading these! Teach me your ways of not having to wash your hair often! I'm a daily girl and it gets old. I didn't know hard contacts still existed! Death scares me too and even more since I'm a RN and see it daily. GP's always been my girl crush too. Ever since Shallow Hal! Have a great birthday weekend!!

  27. Lili says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! natalie, you look sooo young ~ so age is just a number šŸ™‚

  28. Meredith says:

    34 Cheers to you! Have a blast celebrating šŸ™‚ I love learning more about you – your blog is always one I look forward to reading! Happy Birthday!

  29. Alicia xoxxo says:

    Happy early Birthday my sweet friend! I hope all of your birthday wishes come true, and then some:) You know I have been a huge Natalie and DB&DD fan for years. Ignore the haters and the mean comments. People are just jealous. If you ever come to Cali you have to come to LA and we have to get together! Love on these sweet kids this weekend and I hope Matt spoils you rotten! You deserve it!

  30. Ames says:

    Happy Birthday Natalie! I love your blog and don't say so often enough since I just read it on my phone while spending my days very similarly to yours. That is my favorite tequila too! We like a lot of the same things (eating, shopping, our kids). šŸ™‚ Sterling and Frances Moon are both so adorable. I hope you have a wonderful birthday weekend and actual birthday!!

  31. happy early birthday! i hope you celebrate all weekend šŸ™‚ loved learning a little more about you (i miss jessie and walt too haha!) xo jillian – cornflake dreams

  32. Happy Birthday!
    I am with you on the clutter/cleaning! Grew up with a housekeeper so never really learned how to clean! It's a running joke at our house between husband and me. I just found some wax melts that make the house smell like I have just finished cleaning, so I burn those until he gets home from work several times a week and when he walks in the door he asks who is coming to visit? Hahaha! šŸ˜‰
    30's are great, but as someone in her late 40's, I have to say just wait, your 40's will be even better! šŸ™‚

  33. You are such a beautiful person inside and out!! And I can't believe people are mean to you on your blog and instagram. I've seen some of the nasty comments and I want to respond to them but know it would only make things worse.

    I am like you about cleaning!!

    34 will be a great year for you!!

  34. Stephanie says:

    Happy Birthday! Love your blog, thanks for all the work you do on it. I was wondering if that is a caramel cake? I'm a Texan but my Grandma was from Alabama and could make these amazing caramel cakes. I've never tasted anything like them and never see them around here, I think they are a Southern thing, but I don't know.

  35. Katie says:

    This is just lovely! I had to laugh to myself about some of them because they hit so close to home (like driving– I'll take control over the passenger seat in a heartbeat!). Have a wonderfully happy birthday weekend!

    And thumbs-up to you on the cookbook ambition– I (and the fiance, for what it's worth) love so many of your recipes. The Korean Beef is on my meal plan for next week!

  36. Happy almost birthday! Loved reading these things about you – I can relate to so many. I do the Confident Woman Devotional by Joyce Meyer. It's great! Enjoy your birthday weekend! xoxoxo

  37. Love reading this and learning more about you! You could be a model! Have a great weekend! Glad to hear Frances Moon is on a good nap schedule now! I have a 13 month old and it made the biggest difference. I can only imagine with two that timing is so important!

  38. Happy bday, beautiful friend!!! That pic of Zac is killing me…and love that you adore Matt like you do!! xoxoxo

  39. Happy Birthday – some advice from a 42 year old – microderm is a wast of $$. When the time comes go the route of medium chemical peels & botox.
    You are super cute so you have a few years left before you need to invest in these things! Enjoy your thirties šŸ™‚

  40. I love this! It's so fun to see how much we have in coomon. Happy Birthday! I hope you do publish a cookbook someday. I've loved all of your recipes!!! You even got me to love salads. On another note, have you read Proof of Heaven? It's a fascinating read and helped me a lot with those late night morbid thoughts. Also, you definitely need to go to Napa.

  41. Grace in TN says:

    Happy birthday Natalie! I loved your list and hope you have a beautiful weekend.

  42. Happy Happy Birthday!! And hello…I cannot believe you've never been to CA before!! You need to make a Tahoe/Napa/SF trip stat!!! xo

  43. E Hayes says:

    HAppy Birthday! I've had a 30 (now 31) things in draft since last September, I should totally get back to posting it, I loved reading this!

  44. Nicole says:

    Happy 34th sweet friend I've never actually met!
    Two things – I just gave birth to our third baby and it's great. We were unsure too, but my whole thing was I didn't want to have regrets. You'll never wish u didn't have the third.
    And two, we have two King Charles spaniels whom I loved pre kids, now – I don't care for them! No time or patience so totally agree with you there! šŸ™‚

  45. Happy Early Birthday! A cornea transplant sounds scary! How does that work?
    And don't get on the botox train unless you are ready to commit, because once you start you can't stop! It's addictive! My husband is a Dermatology resident at MUSC and they do botox at a really steep discount in their clinic once a month with the residents, overseen by one of the staff doctors. If you are ever interested just email me and I'll set you up. It's all monitored and honestly I think they do it better than some of the established docs because they are so cautious. We are moving for his fellowship in 3 months but we always have contact info for the other residents!

  46. Momma P says:

    Happy Birthday to you! I have noticed that I get more anxious when I have caffeine too, never thought of the correlation there. My husband is also named Matt too, but I do shower everyday so the similarities end there…I'm joking šŸ™‚ Enjoy your weekend!!

  47. Christina says:

    awww I love all of this. The part about you having a crush on Matt was adorable. Happiest of birthdays!

  48. Happy birthday Natalie! So happy to call you a real life friend now, may the next 34 be even better than the first! Cheers to you and your beautiful family!!

  49. Vivian says:

    Happy early birthday! If you ever do make it down to California, please stop by my local mall – South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. Pretty sure it would be paradise for you… Matt, not so much. šŸ™‚

  50. Megan says:

    Love this list! Happy early Birthday!!! Hope you're getting a ticket to Cali! šŸ˜‰

    Oh and night showers are my new best friend. So relaxing & then I'm ready to roll in the AM.

    Have a great weekend girl!

    Hello Newlywed Life Blog

  51. Tess says:

    Am I the only one wondering how you and Matt got together??? Do tell! If you have already told the story show the link. šŸ™‚

  52. You definitely need to publish a cook book and I call dibs on the first copy!! Can't wait to see you next week…a birthday celebration is in order!!

  53. Caroline says:

    Happy early birthday! I loved this post!

  54. Lauren says:

    what an amazing list, i love your honesty and thank you so much for sharing! happy birthday!


  55. Emily says:

    Happy, happy birthday! I have greatly enjoyed finding your blog through instagram and always look forward to your posts! I completely agree that you need to write a cookbook!! I love all the recipes I have tried from you and have contributed to my own cookbook collection (hello, Gwyneth!) since reading!

  56. AutumnK81 says:

    I so enjoyed reading this as I do your other blogs. I absolutely love how down to earth you are and real with your readers. I live in Charleston and also am a Mom to two little's under the age of 3. It's crazy, chaotic, at times…..but my hubby and I wouldn't have it any other way. I work full time as a Radiation Therapist for MUSC and found that there it little time left for blog writing. So in my downtime I truly enjoy reading your blog and seeing such familiar similarities with our lives. White wine, closeness with my mom and sis, cooking, and Breaking Bad are serious joys in my life!! So thank you for being real and sharing your journey with the rest of us. It means more than you know. And if I ever see you out and about, lets have some pinot or tequila and 'cheers' to the beautiful children we have and the hubs that love us. You rock!!!

  57. Katie says:

    Happy Birthday Natalie! Hope you get to publish that cookbook….been a dream of mine too. Maybe we do it together? šŸ˜‰

  58. Erin Kienzle says:

    Happy birthday! Love this post! We are also at the JI chic-fil-a once a week. Perhaps we'll see each other again! šŸ™‚

  59. NataIie I am so glad I found you and your blog. You make me smile every day! You also inspire me to be a more consistent blogger šŸ˜‰ I just turned 33 and feel the same as you about the 30s, motherhood and faith. I'm reading Jesus Calling too- let me know which devo you choose next. Since we share a love of cooking, wine and faith, have you heard of Shauna Niequist's Bread and Wine? Thanks for sharing your life with us! I am here for makeup suggestions if you want them!

  60. Sara Mueller says:

    Cheers to 34! It will be a wonderful year! And I'm right there with you on number 15! Who has the time for a shower everyday?!

  61. 17 Perth says:

    So relate to number 9!! It's one of my biggest fears for sure. And couldn't agree more with 10.

    Also–since having our baby girl–I'm with u on the showering! Lol.

    Lastly–love Jesus calling! I also use the bible app on my phone and choose reading plans. They have a lot of amazing plans that range from timelines of three days to a year!

  62. Morgan S. says:

    Happy Birthday, Natalie! I love this list of things about you.

  63. Loved reading this list!!! Especially love the story behind Frances's name, so special!


  64. Love this post! I just got back from Napa at midnight, and loved everything about it (dying to go back already). I have some great recommendations for you – Solage Calistoga is where we stayed, and it was amazing. Also went to Calistoga Ranch (hard to go wrong with either). If you end up going I have a ton of recommendations for you! XO

  65. Lisa says:

    Awe this made me love you even more! I am on year 3 of Jesus Calling too! I haven't found another good daily that I like as well– let me know if you find one! Hope you had a very Happy Bday!!xoxo

  66. Lisa says:

    Awe this made me love you even more! I am on year 3 of Jesus Calling too! I haven't found another good daily that I like as well– let me know if you find one! Hope you had a very Happy Bday!!xoxo

  67. Emily Curfew says:

    hi!! new to your blog via your instagram account. i was looking thru your insta for restaurants since we will be visiting charleston in may for the 1st time!! yay!! so excited! so i love all the food stuff you post about.

    also… re: tv show above. me and my husband loved breaking bad too!! Have you seen "homeland" on HBO?? we started watching it from season 1 as breaking bad was ending bc we needed a good new show. and lemme tell ya… it is awesome! i think i like it way better than BB. check it out!

    keep on posting yummy food stuff! (and of course your darling beautiful children.) cheers!