Monday, July 27, 2015

A Mothers Changing Body

I’ve had a few people ask me about stretch mark creams that I use. I have a lot of different things I use but I’m not really sure they make much of a difference? They just make me feel better mentally. Like, “Well, I tried!” My doctor (who I love) is adamant that you can’t prevent stretch marks. And once you get them, there isn’t a lot you can do. She says the best thing to do is to stay hydrated and drink a ton of water. And for some reason, this is really a struggle for me. Throughout the entire pregnancy! Because you already have to pee 100 times a day and the thought of drinking a lot more water just makes me cringe thinking about adding more bathroom trips to my day.

I mix it up but here are the products I use:
Bio Oil, vitamin E lotion or oil, Cocoa Butter Formula, Cetaphil cream and coconut oil. I also take a prenatal vitamin, fish oil (for my joints), magnesium (for my migraines), iron supplement (I needed more iron throughout this pregnancy), vitamin D + E supplements that were recommended to me by my chiropractor to help prevent stretch marks. I don’t know that they help? But I figure it can’t hurt – right?

I am not completely stretch mark free. I got a couple last pregnancy because I swear my ta-tas grew SO much SO fast. And then I nursed for 11 months. What can you expect? But I was almost stretch mark free and was lucky that my skin went back to normal around my belly. They really did fad and were hard to see after my body went back to normal-ish. It’s a miracle to me what our bodies can do! And I’ve gotten a couple this time around, too. BOOO. But overall, I will call that luck! I know some women who have gained only 20 pounds during pregnancy and are covered in stretch marks and/or have tons of loose skin on their belly. Then other friends, who gained 60+ pounds during their pregnancy, they did not get ONE stretch mark. So, I think your body is just going to do what it does. But putting the oils and lotions on still made me feel better. And, of course, it also helps a ton when your skin gets itchy! I get sooo itchy when pregnant and eww… I hate it. I can FEEL my skin stretching and my body changing and it’s just so bizarre.

According to my doctor (and most things I’ve read) you’ll either get stretch marks, or you won’t. It has a lot to do with genetics. Trying these lotions and oils can’t hurt, but in the end it won’t even matter. Because you’ll have a perfect little baby that NO DOUBT was worth every single change your body has gone through.

Pregnancy is the weirdest thing because your body changes so much in such a short time. You don’t really notice the changes in the first trimester. So that means most of the changes and weight gain is done in only 6 months time and that’s not long! It’s so strange to have the same body for your entire adult life and then suddenly, bam! It’s changed. It’ll never be the same again. Obviously every mark, every pain, and every area of loose skin is SO worth it. Duh. But it doesn’t make the changes any easier.

And the pressure. I mean, come on. These celebrities are just not realistic. J.Lo. Just STOP IT! You’re making the rest of us look bad and husbands think it’s realistic and “normal” to look like THAT at 46… after having TWINS in your belly?!!? NO WAY!

Why is it that post-baby bods aren’t praised? You just created a HUMAN. I mean. A human. That’s awesome. But still, it’s like 6 months later you’re expected to be back in pre-pregnancy jeans and at the gym 7 days a week doing CrossFit so you can try to hide the fact that you ever had a baby living in your womb. It seems everyone has a goal to look sleek and smooth. As though they didn’t just spend a year of their life creating a baby in their belly. And in a lot of cases, another year breastfeeding that baby!

I am all for being healthy and living an active lifestyle, not only for myself, but also as an example to my kids. But I think there is a balance that no one is talking about. I really did NOT want to put pressure on myself to get “skinny” right after Ryder was born. If my options were to snuggle my sweet newborn in bed while nursing him in the mornings or trying to squeeze in a workout video while he sat in a swing with a bottle propped up to feed him, I ALWAYS chose the first option. I knew those days would fly by and as much as I wanted to lose the weight and feel like myself again, I just couldn’t pass up opportunities to snuggle and be with my baby. I imagine I’ll feel the same way after I have this baby girl. And then the thought of going to the gym at night RIGHT in the middle of dinner time when I wanted to be home with my family… I just couldn’t do it. Time with my family at this point was so important to me and I just wanted to focus on that. I have the rest of life to worry about my 6-pack (that I’ve never even had! So… Good luck, Stef ☺).

I did my best to take Ryder on long walks and to squeeze in a workout video or trip to the gym when I could. But sometimes taking a nap was what I needed. And I didn’t want to allow myself to feel guilty or “lazy” because I took a nap instead of doing a flipping workout DVD at home. I don’t think you can ever accuse new mothers of being lazy, can you? Just because they are in their PJs, haven’t made it to the gym or haven’t showered in daysssss does NOT mean they are lazy. This is something I don’t think you can explain or understand until you’ve experienced it yourself. It used to drive me CRAAAAAZY when friends who didn’t have little ones asked me, “So what do you do all day?!” And I can understand the question from an outsiders point of view. It seems simple enough. Feed the baby. The baby sleeps. Change a diaper here and there. But that is NOT the reality. And there is no way to even begin explain it to someone who isn’t in it. Moms out there, am I right?!

The idea that we are expected to look 16 when we are 30+ and have carried babies is just so unfair. And unrealistic. I try to stay focused on just doing the best I can. With eating, working out, getting enough rest, taking care of my babies, etc. It can be a challenge to find a balance. I hear Tony Horton’s voice in my head, “Do your best and forget the rest.” Because it’s so true. For me at least. Just do the best you can. All days won’t look the same and that’s ok! Some days I wake up early, get myself ready, eat my healthy smoothie, go on a long walk, do 4 loads of laundry, have dinner in the crockpot, have energy to take Ryder to the park and play with him on the floor for hours. Other days I can’t get myself out of bed, the house is a MESS, no clean clothes, no dinner is prepared, I ate brownies for breakfast because… they were there, I stay in my 3 nights-used PJs and Ryder doesn’t get any fresh air because I. Just. Can’t. I’m still trying to accept that this is the reality and trying to not be so hard on myself. I think one of the greatest gifts we can give our children is to love ourselves even in the moments that challenge us and we feel like we’re failing miserably.

I hope I can look at my soon-to-be post baby bod and love and appreciate every new mark and change there is, because my body was able to give me the gift of a perfect, healthy little girl. Who will bring me and my husband (and our family) MUCH greater joy than my body ever did! I love when I see fit moms at the pool rocking their bikini with their tons of stretch marks on display. YOU GO GIRL! (Yes, I just said that.) Why can’t our bodies be celebrated and loved instead of critiqued and compared?

Sending love to all my mommy friends out there! May we all love the skin we're in and truly support and love each other in this magical, difficult, amazing and emotional time in our lives. Word. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Still Pregnant

So… I’m still pregnant. And before you ask, NO. I am not past my due date. It just seems like this pregnancy has lasted forever and ever. I have spent a lot of this pregnancy very worried about how I will manage balancing two little ones. I am no longer fearful and feel ready to take on the challenge! I am so ready to meet this baby girl and get SO excited thinking about the fact that I will meet her in less than one week! Eeee!

My hubby and I have spent SOooo many hours “nesting” and organizing our house. We moved into our home almost 4 years ago and it has been one project after another (we bought our house in foreclosure and there was a LOT to do!!). I don’t think either one of us realized how much work needed to be done but it’s finallllly feeling like we’re getting somewhere! So adding to that list the fact that we had to get the nursery ready for baby girl and completely set up a new room for Ryder was a lot. We also went through closets and cabinets and boxes we still haven’t gone through since we moved! It’s been a LOT of work. But we now feel very organized and isn’t that the best feeling?! I love feeling organized and having a clean home.

But now … I barely have energy to get out of bed! I’m exhausted all the time. Ryder has been such a good little boy and I’m trying so hard to enjoy these last few weeks with him. But he is BUSY! And it’s hard on my body to carry him around and play with him outside in the blazing heat at the parks, pool, etc. On top of just hurting and being uncomfortable because I’m HUGE (which strangers LOVE to tell me. WTF?!)

WHY would you ever tell a complete stranger “you look months past your due date!” or “Oh my heavens! You’re about to POP!” and “Hurry and get her checked out so she doesn’t deliver that baby right here in our store!”  HUH?!?! I mean, seriously? How am I supposed to respond to comments like that?! Ugh! People. LOL PS: You don’t need to tell me/remind me that I’m huge. I already know. I’m the one carrying this beast of a belly around! Trust me. I know. People also like to comment “that baby’s ready to come out! Your belly has dropped!” Like they know anything about my pregnancy. FYI, she has NOT dropped. She is so high it’s hard for me to breathe!

I also just spill everything. I’m not sure how? Or why? Ha! I met up with some friends this week and ended up leaving our play date with cream cheese, brownie, pizza sauce, strawberries and milk down the front of my shirt. OMG. Ha! It’s kinda funny. But not! I can’t wait to feel semi-normal sized again. Until then, I try to wear a lot of black. LOL. Wearing any other color (while eating or being around a messy toddler) is very risky these days.

I am always so thankful for the cooler weather. Here I am in all black and surprisingly comfortable. Considering I’m 1,000 years 10 months pregnant. These leggings are so soft and I have been living in them lately. This top is big and baggy and I love that it gives me room. Wearing anything sleeveless, tight or short is just not my thing these days. You know you’re puffy and bloated when you don’t even want to expose your ankles! HA! I swear I wasn’t this puffy with Ryder, but maybe I was and I just blocked it out? I texted my best friend the other day telling her that if I ever talk about having a third that she should punch me in the face and call me names until she knocks some sense into me because… WHYYYYYYYY! LOL It’s amazing the things we forget once that overwhelming love comes pouring in as you’re handed your new baby fresh from heaven.

And this boy. He’s so flippin’ cute I seriously can’t take it!! I have been craving Slurpees and using the excuse that they’ll “cool me down.” But I hate going when Ryder’s in the car because I don’t want to start him on this crazy sugar addition I have! But for the first time I let him have a teeny tiny bit of my Slurpee and it’s safe to say he’s forever addicted! Oooops! When he finished the tiny bit I gave him he was SO upset and wanted “more juice!!!!!!”. ☺ It is almost impossible to get pictures of this boy smiling these days. Or in focus. I mostly get pictures of the back of his head because he sees the camera and almost always takes off running. HA! Poor kid. He’s so much fun and I am SO excited to see him with his little sister who he calls “heartbeat” or “sissy”. He loves carrying around her 3D ultrasound pictures and saying “HEARTBEAT! SISSY! HEARTBEAT!!!” He just repeats things over and over until you acknowledge what he’s saying. I love him forever and ever!

Leggings // My leopard sandals from Target are old, but these and these are similar and so cute. 
My top is old (from last pregnancy) but this top looks just as loose and comfy and it comes in multiple colors! // Clutch is old, but similar here.
I love Francesa's and can't get enough. Been wearing this braclet daily! It goes with everything. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Ryder's Pool

We have a neighborhood pool and playground but they do NOT cater to little ones. This has been such a frustrating thing for me as a SAHM. We are lucky to have such great rec centers in our area and also belong to Lifetime, but having a neighborhood pool is something I LOVED as a kid. So many of my summer memories are at the pool and I loved every second of swimming and eating Popsicles with friends during the adult swim. I’ll never forget taking my swimming test (I may or may not have failed it a couple times - oops LOL) and the excitement I felt when I finally passed and got my pool ID card. OMG, I was clearly one of the cool kids now!!

Our neighborhood pool is small and nothing like the pool I grew up with. Which is totally ok, but it’s not even realistic for me to take Ryder there for any length of time. There is not a shallow end and the baby pool is gross and boring. Ryder much prefers the fountains at Lifetime and the fun toys and kids at the rec centers. But being so pregnant, I knew I would want something easier and more convenient this summer. Packing up and going to the pool is a full day event with little ones. It’s always worth it and so much fun, especially when we’re meeting friends! But I knew my pregnancy would wear on me and I wanted something fun in our yard for Ryder during the warm months. So I convinced Tooth that it would be a good idea to invest in a mini pool for him. He was on board and we got him a little bouncy house/slide/pool. It was worth every penny and is so much fun! We’ve had friends over a couple times and the kids just have a blast playing with toys in the water and running around in the yard.

This pool comes with a little electrical pump. DUH! I obviously don’t sit out there for 4 hours blowing this thing up every morning! LOL But even with the pump, it is still a little work to get it up and my pregnant self struggled to just assist Tim putting it up the first time. So we just blow it up and leave it out over night for a couple days at a time so we don’t have to go down there and start from scratch every morning. This has been so much fun and it’s close to our basement patio so I can sit in the shade and try to cool down if needed. We keep toys, towels, sunscreen, etc in the basement so it’s just there and ready for fun when we want to play in the pool. This has been so convenient for us this summer. I don’t have to pack up and spend hours planning and making snack bags for our daily outings. We just head downstairs and POOF! The fun begins!


Here he is with one of his besties, Graham. They crack me up!
I got this pool from One Step Ahead and totally recommend it! Let the play dates begin☺

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Date Night @ Comedy Works

Tooth and I have scheduled out a couple date nights while we have the opportunity to spend some time together before the baby girl gets here. I love date night and always look forward to getting away and spending some quality time with my handsome hubby. But while I’ve been pregnant, it’s been difficult. I’m tired and we usually just go out to eat and then head straight back home. Don’t get me wrong, having a meal without a toddler climbing all over me in the booth is always nice! Ha! But I was telling Tooth the other day that I miss being able to go out and really relax and enjoy each other. So this past weekend on our date night he surprised me with tickets to Comedy Works! I was so excited. We love Comedy Works and always enjoy it when we go, we just always seem to forget about it! So we had a quick dinner before we went to the show and it was so nice to laugh and be alone with my hubs. We also got to spend some time with my bestie and her hubby that night, so it was a great night all around!

This outfit barely fits! HA! I’m getting pretty uncomfortable and couldn’t wait to get home and out of those jeans after the night was over. And this top. I love it! It’s so cute and light-weight. But OMG my giant belly!!!... I was seriously concerned that I was going to bust off a button! LOL I remember getting this shirt and thinking, “this is soooo big, it’ll never fit.” HA! In your dreams, Stef. And my most fav flip flops of all time. These things were so uncomfortable by the end of the night I carried them to the car and walked back barefoot! I may be experiencing some bloating. ;-) Safe to say that I should just spend the remainder of this pregnancy in my pjs! Goodbye cute baby bump and helllloooooooo swollen hands, feet, face, legs, ENTIRE BODY!

My TB flip flops are nude, here they are in gold
My exact shirt is no longer available. But this shirt is very similar and on sale!

Monday, July 20, 2015

All About Pregnancy #2

How did you find out you were pregnant?
My husband and I were ready and looking forward to getting pregnant with baby #2. I have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and was told by my doctor a long time ago to always plan on it being very difficult to get pregnant. When we got pregnant with Ryder I was taking ovulation tests daily so I knew when it was prime time. We were very, very lucky and got pregnant within two months! My doctor was shocked and told me not to expect this when trying for baby number two. So when we decided we were ready to go for it, we knew we just needed to relax and take it month by month. Surprisingly, we got pregnant right away! Once again, so lucky and so grateful for this blessing!

I wasn’t expecting to get pregnant so quickly and wasn’t taking pregnancy tests because we weren’t really calculating and I wasn’t taking ovulation tests daily yet. One day I was rocking Ryder before nap-time and the rocking chair made me queasy. I thought , “What?! Maybe I should take a test? Ugh, but I’m gonna get my hopes up and it’s gonna be negative.” But I took one anyway. I kinda of forgot about it. I was busy doing my “mom chores” during nap-time when I remembered I had taken it and looked over to see “1-2 weeks pregnant”! I was in SHOCK! My heart started racing. Of course I took another test to make sure. I was overwhelmed with emotion and so excited!

How did you tell Tooth you were pregnant?
I waited to tell Tooth because I wanted to surprise him. I knew he wouldn’t be expecting it because we hadn’t been “trying” like last time. It was the day before Thanksgiving and we went on a date night out to get sushi and to a movie. I had wrapped up the positive pregnancy test and put it in a mini stocking as an early Christmas gift for him.

While we were waiting for our sushi I told him I had an early Christmas gift for him. He wasn’t expecting it and guessed that it was an ornament. LOL (We have a tradition of getting one new ornament a year for our family Christmas tree with the kids.) When he opened it, it took a minute for him to register what it was. His jaw dropped and he was silent! I just laughed and he said “NO WAY!!!! Seriously?!” ☺

I knew he would be surprised but his reaction was priceless and I wish I had videoed it! We spent the rest of the night talking about how blessed we were by our babies and I sipped on water and ate California rolls while he had a cocktail and sashimi. LOL  Ahhh … the joys of pregnancy. We were both in shock but also so excited. We had a great night celebrating and day dreaming of whether or not it was a boy or girl. I’ll never forget the look on his face!

Best part of pregnancy?
Feeling/seeing her move is one of my favorite things! Watching my bump get bigger is fun because you can SEE her move and kick in there. Pregnancy is so strange because it’s such a roller coaster of ups and downs. I was just telling my hubby yesterday that I really want to soak up these last few days because as miserable as it can be, I know I’ll miss it when it’s over. I remember missing feeling Ryder move around in my belly after he was born. It’s the strangest thing… being so connected to your baby before you’ve even met. It’s amazing. And impossible to explain!

Worst Part of pregnancy?
Ugh, where to begin? LOL Nausea, headaches, back aches, trouble sleeping, peeing every 10 minutes, bending over – well, really just moving at all. HA! I have had really bad leg spasms with both pregnancies. At the end of the day my legs go crazy kicking all over the place! I have been overheating a lot this summer. Ryder is all dude and the poor kid just wants to play outside, but the heat gets me every time. Carrying Ryder while also carrying around a massive bump has been challenging. I can’t wait to hold Ryder close again! He gets frustrated that my belly is in the way when I rock him to sleep. I have also been sick a lot this pregnancy. When I was pregnant with Ryder I think I got one minor cold. NBD. This time I had flu and/or cold 5 times!!! So difficult. Especially when a toddler is involved. Those weeks were really rough!!!

Have your pregnancies been different?
YES! So different. Which is what led me to believe it was a girl – but I tried not to get my hopes up because I know some people who have had very different pregnancies and they have same sex children. I had a very smooth pregnancy with Ryder. I felt pregnant and not 100% myself, but overall, the pregnancy was pretty easy until the last 6 weeks – which were pretty miserable. This pregnancy was harder. I felt nausea all the time. I also felt SOOOO TIRED. Like, I can’t move because I’m so tired. The overwhelming exhaustion has been killer this time. I kept thinking I would have more energy later on … but it never happened. The nausea got better, but the exhaustion was intense and still is.

I’ve just been more uncomfortable in general this pregnancy but all the other stuff is kind of similar (headaches, back aches, leg spasms, etc) it’s just MUCH harder to be pregnant while also taking care of a toddler who is still so little and doesn’t understand what pregnancy is. Strangely, this pregnancy has been easiest in my third trimester. I obviously have a lot of physical pains and challenges, but I’ve had a little more energy and haven’t been overly miserable like I was the last 6 weeks with Ryder! I have days where I just want it to END! But overall, the third trimester hasn’t been too shabby this time. And… I’ve been much more emotional this pregnancy for whatever reason?

My cravings have been all over the place. In the beginning, I felt so sick! I ate a lot of bagels and breads. It was the only thing that didn’t make me sick! I still crave my mini bagels and split one with Ryder almost every morning ☺

There was a phase where all I wanted was chips and salsa. Then it switched to being obsessed with Cadbury eggs! I had one a day for over a month. OMG… Yikes! LOL I have craved comfort food the entire pregnancy. Mac and cheese, pizza, etc. I normally love fruit but couldn’t eat it at the beginning of the pregnancy, which was so strange! But I love it again. I have also craved ice cream, which is unusual for me. I’m usually a slurpee, sour straw, laffy taffy kind of gal ;)

How did you find out the gender?
We did a gender reveal for both pregnancies (check out my Gender Reveal blog post!) and I’m so glad we did. Both were amazing moments and memories and I’m so glad we captured it!

Here are a couple pictures from our maternity photo shoot we did when I was 30 weeks pregnant. I love these pictures and I am getting SO EXCITED to meet this baby girl! :) We love her so much already!!

Photos by Newell Jones Photography

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Bold Patterns

We're getting so close to meeting our baby girl! I feel like I've been pregnant for 100 years! LOL I have been having contractions on and off for quite some time and have actually gotten used to them. For the most part, they don't bother me all that much. Just a little uncomfortable and it makes me tired. Every now and then I'll have a few close together that are pretty intense, but they always calm down after a while. So no major false alarms. 

I've been so emotional lately. My baby turned two and I just don't know how that's possible. NOTHING has made time fly by so quickly other than watching my baby grow. I love to see him grow, learn and change. But also feel so heartbroken as each day passes knowing that this wonderful phase of life will be missed once my babies are all grown up. Time is slipping through my fingers. I'm trying to just enjoy each day and be as present as possible, which can be hard when you're massively pregnant and miserable at times. 

I'm also just trying to enjoy this bump while it lasts. Part of me is like "GET OUTTTTTTT! I can't take it anymore!!!" and then another part of me is so sad to say goodbye to my bump. Leaving me with thoughts like, "I'm gonna miss feeling her kicks in there. Oh, I don't want to say goodbye to this cute bump!" There is something so special about carrying your babies and feeling them inside of you. Being able to carry my own babies is a gift I don't take for granted. With that being said, it doesn't make pregnancy any easier. Pregnancy is hard. This back and forth in my mind is making me feel a bit bipolar! LOL I was trying to explain to my hubby how hard it is for me to take care of Ryder on days I'm not feeling well (and even on days I AM!). Trying to explain to him that I really appreciate and enjoy my time when we are able to have sitters here playing with Ryder and entertaining him with his toys and playing on the ground with him. But then, I feel guilty one minute later. It is so confusing how I can be so grateful for some time away and feel so much guilt all in one sentence! Tooth has been SO helpful. He's always helping with dishes, laundry, dinner, bath time for Ryder, etc. And every little thing he does is MUCH appreciated. I truly feel I have a caring partner who is doing everything he can to help me out. Oh, I love him. But again, I feel grateful for him doing these things... and then... wait for it... Here comes the guilt!!! WTF?! Ugh, pregnancy hormones. GO AWAY! I do miss Ryder. I say this to my hubby all the time at the end of the day when Ryder is sound asleep in his cozy crib. And he just looks confused and says something along the lines of, "but weren't you with him all day today?!" HA! And yes, usually the answer is yes. But because I'm so pregnant and it's hard for me to really play with him and be fully there for him, it leads to me just feeling like I miss him. And I probably also miss him just because I know soon it won't just be him. I am really hoping to get some quality time in as a family before this baby girl gets here! Change can be hard. Obviously, having a baby is SO exciting and something we are so blessed to experience. Again! But it will change the dynamics of the family and I guess knowing that a huge change is coming my way is kinda scary. Welcome! But scary. 

Ok, onto this gorgeous dress! Sometimes a dress in large pattern like this can scare me. It’s a little out of my comfort zone. But OMG I’m so glad I got it! I love it! Once again, I feel like the pattern makes my bump look much smaller. That’s a huge bonus in itself. LOL But, it is also so comfortable and flattering. It’s more covered for the summer months, but I didn’t feel overheated in this dress at all (I wore it at night). Since this is also a nursing dress, I love, love, love that I will be able to wear this again after I have my baby girl. What a great dress to have for date night, a special occasion, and church. And you don’t have to add anything to this look to make it amazing. It already is! I love the colors in this pattern. Patterns are so fun and pieces like this can be memorable if you’re looking for something for your baby shower, maternity photos, etc. 

Get this PinkBlush dress here

PS PinkBlush also has a non-maternity line for all you non pregnant friends! Shop that line here. I didn't know about this non-maternity line until this pregnancy and I can't wait to try out some pieces after my baby bump is gone. Let me know what you think of the clothes if you try anything out! :)

Friday, July 17, 2015

Coconut Oil - Hair Mask

When I was pregnant with Ryder my hair was SO thick and long. Thicker and longer than normal. (I have a lot of hair. Again, I didn’t get the nickname “Simba” for nothing. HA!) Every time I went in to get my hair colored during that pregnancy my friend was like “Dang girl!” and I just felt sorry for her arms that she had to stand there and foil my head for hours! LOL After Ryder was born I never felt like I went through that stage of losing the hair, either. I’ve had so many mommy friends say their hair would just fall out by the tons! I was so thankful this never happened to me.

This pregnancy… different story! I have had SOOOO much breakage. It’s bad. I still have a lot of hair, nevertheless, it’s left me feeling bald! It’s all relative, right?! Not only is my hair breaking, but it’s breaking really close to the root. So I’ve felt bald and also had crazy fly-aways ALL over my head. I can’t even hide them. I can’t flat iron them to blend, putting in oils or leave-in conditioner didn’t help, either. On top of having major breakage all over my head … I’ve even lost eyelashes. Like, chunks of eyelashes. I swear I’ll put on mascara and half of one eye is left with one thin little hair. It’s kinda funny. But not!

So finally after months of this (and my hairdresser having no solution other than to be “gentler” on my hair and be patient while it grows back out – I know she’s probably right, but come on! It’s going to take yearssssss before this grows out!!) I started looking up natural and/or home remedies for broken/damaged hair. I came across someone recommending putting coconut oil in your hair. I saw a bunch of other recommendations where you have to make DIY creams and buy a bunch of weird stuff and spend time mixing it together. But my lazy, pregnant self thought that would be WAY too much work and decided to go with the straight coconut oil. I wanted it to be something easy so I could realistically do it at home and on my own.

I was so hesitant to do this. I am used to my hair feeling very full and thick and was worried that putting coconut oil alllll over my hair would make it feel very greasy and weighed down. I stared at the stupid coconut oil jar on my bathroom counter for months! Yes, that was plural. Finally, I told myself to suck it up and do it. What’s the worst that could happen?! #YOLO

You guys, it’s amazing. It was recommended to leave on hair for at least one hour before showering. I think I left it on for 5 minutes before I hopped into the shower the first time because I was really worried about being left with flat, greasy hair. And even just five minutes made a big difference! I have since done it a few times and every time I am left with smoother, less frizzy hair. It’s easier to blow dry and not greasy at all. I do use a little less oils and other products in my hair after doing a coconut oil hair mask.

I have also heard about putting the coconut oil on your eyelashes and/or brows if you want them to grow in thicker. I try to do this a couple times a week. I haven’t noticed my lashes getting any thicker, but the fall out I was having before is MUCH less. High five!

I was so excited to tell my girlfriend about this new trick! When I told her she said all calmly, “Oh yeah, I do that hair mask every now and then.” I was like, “Whaaaaatt?!?!? Why didn’t you ever tell me about it?!” LOL Months later, I’m still a little mad at her for keeping this secret from me, but I forgive her ;)

Anyway, I thought maybe someone else could benefit from this little trick! I buy one jar and it lasts me about 3-4 hair masks. I cover my entire head in it and put it up in an oily/coconut-y bun for about an hour before I shower and shampoo + condition as I normally would. Like I said, I was worried to put it up close to my roots, but since that’s where the frizz and breakage was the worst, I went for it and haven’t experienced any excess oil or grease from it. But I do have super thick, course hair naturally, so use caution! LOL

Let me know if you try this trick and if it works for you! Or … you can just let me know that you already knew about this nifty little trick and tell me to get with the program a little faster next time. HA! Good luck!


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

PinkBlush Maternity

I’m so excited to share with you all a recent collaboration I had with PinkBlush Maternity. I have loved this clothing line throughout both pregnancies! Whether I’m buying a cute sweater or a summer dress, I’ve loved everything and have gotten a lot of use out of their cute clothes. 

I have fallen in love with PinkBlush’s dresses this pregnancy. On days I’m feeling really lazy but still need to look put together, I gravitate toward their dresses because you just throw on these cute dresses and look like you spent a lot of time and energy getting ready when in fact, it was so easy! I love effortless looks that look like you put a lot of time and thought into. Because Lord knows there won’t be a lot of time for me to get myself ready once I have two little ones!

A huge bonus is that some of their dresses double as nursing dresses! I had the hardest time knowing what to wear after Ryder was born when it came to nursing in public. I hated feeling like I was stuck always wearing the same tanks under the same loose T’s for almost a year of nursing! I’m so excited to have more options of cute clothing to wear after this baby is born and I’m needing clothes that make nursing easy and convenient! 

My first look is this gorgeous dress. Perfect for a date night out! This dress is spaghetti strapped but it has a built in bra (and pads!). I loved that because I hate trying to figure out what bra to wear with dresses that require strapless. And strapless bras while pregnant are not comfortable, especially as the bump gets bigger. I'm in love with this pattern that kinda “hides” my bump. Ok, it’s not HIDDEN! But it tricks your eye and makes it look much smaller than it actually is! I love patterns for this reason. 

Get this dress here

My second look was this cute maxi! OMG, so comfy!!! This is a dress that will also come in handy for my nursing days ahead. This dress comes in multiple color options and I had the hardest time deciding because they are all so cute! This dress is such a great option to have in the summer months because you can wear it alone on hot summer days and because the dress is so cute on its own, you don’t need to put much else into the outfit to make it interesting. And, I love that I can just throw on a jacket or a sweater in the evenings if the weather is a little cooler. This dress is really comfortable and I wear it all the time because of that!

Same dress, different color here

A special thanks to PinkBlush for inviting me to do this collaboration with them. I highly recommend PinkBlush! Their items are very reasonably priced. Plus, you can get the dresses and tops that double as nursing clothing! I’m so excited to have cute, fun things to wear other than just a chambray over a nursing tank after the baby is born (and for when I need to nurse discreetly in public). I’ve seriously had times where I wanted to wear tops and/or dresses that didn’t work well with nursing and then when I did need to nurse I’d have to excuse myself from everyone and go to a room or bathroom where I could lift up my entire top or dress and nurse while covering my post pregnancy bod with three swaddle blankets! LOL – never again!

Click here to start shopping some PinkBlush Maternity looks! Happy baby bump shopping :)

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Healthy Go-To Snacks

Im hoping to get a list of a few EASY snack ideas down before the baby gets here. Because I wont be able to think straight at that point in my life and need to just have things to grab that are super easy. I dont know why it was SO hard for me to find time to make myself snacks and meals throughout the day when Ryder was a baby. But this time around, I wont have a choice because Ill also need to remember to feed my toddler, too! LOL

I love making smoothies at home for a quick snack. Sometimes Ill make them for breakfast, but I prefer to save this for snacks and have a heavier, bigger breakfast each morning to start the day. 
This is an easy go-to smoothie for me. I always look up other smoothie options on Pinterest, but I get so overwhelmed on there sometimes! So many options and things to try! So I just stick to the basics and make this smoothie. Super easy! 
**1 scoop of protein powder + 1 cup mixed frozen berries + ice + 1 cup orange juice**

(picture via google)

Here are a few more of my current go-to snacks:
-fruit and string cheese
-apple and peanut butter
-cheese wedges and crackers
-yogurt and granola
-healthy protein/granola bars
-Naked or Odwalla juices
-smoothie (recipe above)

But even though I have this list of my "go-to's", I still struggle staying on track. I survived mainly on graham crackers, Naked juices, Poptarts and anything else that required NO prep and I could eat with one hand while nursing Ryder in his younger months. I'm hoping I can plan a little better this time around and give myself some time to make healthy snacks and meals for myself and for my family. 

I’ve never had SUCH a hard time eating well in my life. Sometimes it’s due to the fact that your to-do list is always a mile long as a mom. You can’t stop. So I forget to eat. I seriously NEVER thought I’d say that. It used to drive me crazy when I heard moms say things like that!! Too busy to eat!? YEAH RIGHT, I thought. But, it’s true. Sometimes it’s because while I was at the grocery store with every intention of getting healthy meals/snacks, my toddler had a melt down and I had about 5.2 minutes to get everything I could grab before I was gonna pull my hair out. 

Sometimes I’m so tired, I literally can’t think straight. Sounds strange. But being overly sleep deprived does weird things to you. So instead of getting a parfait at the Starbucks drive-through (or a cup of fruit), I’d get a huge, 900 calorie pastry. It’s like I am unable to make normal/healthy decisions. Your brain just can’t function properly off of 2 hours of sleep! 

Sometimes it’s because I have a toddler. And he has yummy snacks just staring at me. LOL. Like pretzels and cereal and organic fruit snacks, etc. So I eat my horrible 900 calorie pastry AND some of Ryder’s Pirates Booty because he didn’t eat it all. And maybe sometimes I also eat ¾ of his peanut butter and jelly sandwich just because it’s sitting there… again, looking at me. And wow… mmm.. I forgot how good a pb &j is! LOL 

There are a lot of reasons why it’s so hard to stay on track as a mom. It sounds SOOO crazy until you’re in it. I’ve eaten more grilled cheese sandwiches off my own kitchen floor this past year than I have EVER IN LIFE (especially the “off the floor” part). 

It takes a LOT more energy now (as a parent) to find time, energy and brain power to feed yourself well. And then to find the time, energy and brain power to work out?! SO, SO hard. But it’s something I hope I can learn to balance better through the years. Taking care of yourself is so important! I hope to be a good example to my kids through my eating and life habits and that they, too will just naturally make good, healthy choices for themselves. 

What are some other EASY go-to snack options you like? I tend to gravitate to fruits. I love fruit and can’t get enough!