Beauty Products Faves
Pregnancy skincare was one of the biggest mysteries to be prior to getting pregnant. I had absolutely no idea what products were off-limits and was blind to the fact that some of my favorite acne-fighting products weren’t considered approved or recommended for pregnancy. Unfortunately, when you remove some of those products, paired with the extra pregnancy hormones running through your system, you have a recipe for serious skin disaster and breakouts galore.

Thankfully my breakouts have been on the milder side, in part thanks to a re-vamped skincare routine that’s pregnancy-friendly. Here’s a list of some of my favorite products for keeping my skin looking its best:

1. No7 Advanced Renewal Glycolic Acid Peel
Almost all anti-aging skincare products are considered off-the-table while pregnant, meaning my beloved retinols are no longer safe for me to use. Glycolic acid is one of the few products that is considered safe to use while pregnant and helps keep you glowing by getting rid of that top layer of dead skin cells that can build up over time. I use this peel once a week and find that it has been super gentle on my skin while helping to keep my skin glowing.

2. Yes To Cucumbers Gentle Milk Cleanser and Yes To Cucumbers Daily Calming Moisturizer 
I love the entire Yes To line of products, especially their cucumber line. I used this cleanser and moisturizer before I got pregnant and felt good about using them while pregnant considering their products are paraben and petroleum-free and gentle on the skin.

3. Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter
I haven’t quite gotten to the point where there are any visible stretch marks but I’ve been moisturizing like crazy in hopes of keeping them at bay. This belly butter has a nice, neutral scent and is free if any icky ingredients.

4. Bare Minerals Renew & Hydrate Eye Cream
I went without any eye cream for the first portion of my pregnancy because my old eye cream wasn’t pregnancy-safe and most of the creams I looked at were filled with anti-aging ingredients that weren’t suitable for pregnancy. A few weeks ago I was getting more of my Bare Minerals foundation when I saw their line of skincare. I decided to try their eye cream because I loved the ingredient profile and felt safe putting it on my skin. It’s been wonderful so far and I highly recommend it to everyone!

5. Konjac Cleansing Sponge 
If you read beauty blogs, chances are you’ve heard about konjac sponges in the past handful of months. I actually stumbled on one of these sponges for $3 in the beauty section of Homegoods and stocked up while they had them in stock. The sponge feels rough and hard when it’s dry, but once you get it wet it softens up and takes the place of a traditional washcloth. You just put a little of your facial cleanser on the sponge and scrub away. It exfoliates while you cleanse your skin and pulls out impurities, keeping you acne-free the natural way.

Madison

 

Nursey Print BW

A few months ago my mom sent me a handful of inspiration photos for our little one’s nursery. I immediately fell in love with the idea of writing our baby a letter and placing it above the crib in our nursery. The original inspiration photo I saw featured a canvas that was handwritten/painted by the parents, but since I wasn’t super confident in my handwriting skills I decided to make the canvas digitally and have it printed on a canvas.

After posting the photo on Instagram, I got a lot of questions about how/where I made it the canvas, so I thought I would share in case you’re interested in doing something similar for a nursery or another room in your house.

1. I downloaded a few different free fonts to play around with and see which font you like best. I use Dancing Script, Black Jack and Satisfy on a fairly regular basis, but there are so many great options to choose from!

2. Decide what size you want your canvas to be before you begin. I went with a print that was 24×36 inches because it was going to be on a large wall and the centerpiece above the crib. If you’re undecided, use masking tape to mock up the outline of the print on your wall to give you a better idea if you like the size.

3. Create a new project in InDesign (PS: If you don’t have InDesign you can get a free trial online) that is the size of your desired canvas. This will make sure that your canvas is large enough and has a high enough resolution. Once you’ve created a new project, simply create a text box and write out your letter with the text you downloaded. I ended up trying a few different fonts before I found the right one. Also, give yourself a little room in the margins of the print so none of your text gets cut off.

4. Upload your print to a canvas-printing site. I got a gallery-wrap from CG Pro Prints. They do a great job and their prices are super reasonable.

That’s it! It’s super simple and I loved the results. I knew that if I wrote the note by hand I wouldn’t be able to get it to look the way I wanted and it would drive me crazy. So although it’s not quite as personal to have it printed, it’s nice to have a professional, polished print in the end.

Madison

PS: The first line of the print says our baby’s name, so we’ve covered it up for now to keep the gender secret for now!

photo

How far along are you? 24 weeks 3 days 
Cravings? Still nothing new or exciting to report here! I think Joe actually wishes that I had some sort of unique or interesting craving since you hear so many funny stories from other people. I’ve been eating a lot of string cheese, yogurt and baked potatoes this week, along with pizza, which continues to be my favorite pregnancy food. Thankfully veggies are still my friend, so there has been a fair share of kale, broccoli and green beans consumed as well. 
Weight Gain: At my 24 week appointment this week I was up 16 pounds. I’m continuing to be encouraged to eat, eat, eat. Although I’m finding that it’s hard for me to eat more than my pre-pregnancy eating. I’m trying my best to snack more throughout the day.  
Fears: I’ve felt so peaceful about our baby and this pregnancy over the past few weeks. It’s been a total answer to prayer! Hitting 24 weeks also felt like a big milestone since that’s the earliest that our baby could technically be born and have a chance of survival outside the womb. Of course, that’s not something I’m wishing for by any means! But it’s nice to know that if something were to go wrong there would be things our doctor could do to help our little one. The way I see it now, every day and week past 24 weeks feels like bonus time for our baby to grow and develop! 
Generally Feeling: Feeling good for the most part! I notice that if I sit for extended periods of time, I feel very sore and achy when I get up and walk. I can’t imagine what it’s going to feel like further down the road! I slacked a bit on workouts this last week, so I’m hoping to get back into the regular gym routine in the coming week, which makes such a difference in how I feel mentally and emotionally as well as physically. 
Looking Forward To: We have our next ultrasound (to check on appropriate growth) at 26 weeks, right before Thanksgiving. I’ve gotten so used to regular ultrasounds that I’m looking forward to seeing our little peanut again soon! I also get to take my glucose test at that appointment, which I’m not all that excited about. 
What I’ve Been Loving: I’ve been loving how active this little baby is! It’s amazing to feel the kicks and rolls and flips that are going on throughout the day, and now that I’m further along the movement is consistent, which is nice. It’s fun to have a constant reminder that he/she is doing well and growing bigger and stronger by the day. 
Maternity Clothes? Yes! As I’ve mentioned before, I know some people wear their old clothes for as long as possible before switching to maternity, but I found that to be the worst! There is nothing like trying to squeeze your new body into your old clothes to remind you how much things have changed. I’m wearing lots of leggings, boots and longer maternity tops and sweaters as well as the handful of maternity dresses I’ve mentioned in previous posts. 
Boy or Girl: Keeping it a surprise until March! 

photo (41)It’s that time again! Another Stitch Fix review. I’ve been a bit delayed in getting this review up, but I’m excited to share what I received in last month’s box. I had a pretty off-base fix for the month of September, and I was happy to see that this month they matched me back up with the same stylist I’ve had for a while.

I was also super excited to hear that Stitch Fix now carries a limited amount of maternity clothing, and I got a few maternity items in my box. It’s nice to know that it’s an option, especially since dressing while pregnant can be a challenge. Sometimes it’s nice to have someone else pick out items for you.

Let’s look at what Stitch Fix sent me in my most recent fix:

Cream Sweater | Espresso and Cream
Item #1: RD Style Ridge Zipper Detail Cowl Neck Sweater 

Price: $74
Review: I LOVED this sweater from the moment I put it on. It isn’t a maternity sweater, but it was loose and long enough that it worked. I found it to be super flattering with black pants and leggings and the thinner material is a bonus for this pregnant woman who goes from being cold to hot in a matter of minutes. Verdict? I decided to keep it!

Update: After wearing this sweater only twice, I noticed a series of snags/small holes on one side under the arm. Since I had hardly worn the sweater, I was pretty bummed. I contacted Stitch Fix customer service and let them know about the issue. They were super helpful. Although they didn’t have any more of the sweater in stock in my size, they offered to refund me the cost, which was much appreciated. I love great customer service!

Pink Vest | Espresso and Cream
Item #2: Pomelo Wilco Solid Quilted Vest

Price: $68
Review: I have been searching for a vest like this for a while! I love the vests from J. Crew but haven’t purchased one yet. Although I really loved the style of this vest and the light-weight material, I just couldn’t see myself wearing something so bright and colorful regularly. In my mind, a vest like this should be a basic you can throw on with almost anything. Verdict? Return.

Henley | Espresso and Cream

Item #3: La Made Maternity Mavin Hooded Henley Maternity Thermal
Price: $84
Review: First, I thought the price of this thermal shirt was ridiculous. I really dislike when brands think that just because an item is maternity they can charge a ridiculous amount more than it’s worth. Aside from that, I really disliked almost everything about this shirt. It wasn’t super flattering when I put it on, and it was too casual for me to ever wear it at work. I wasn’t a huge fan of the purple color, either. Overall it felt like something I would have paid $15 for and worn in high school years ago. Verdict? Return!

Black and White Shirt | Espresso and Cream
Item #4: Eight Sixty Mariana Maternity Empire Waist Stripe Knit Top

Price: $84
Review: This was actually pretty cute when I tried it on. I liked the neutral colors and the fact that it was made for maternity wear. However, I couldn’t really see myself wearing this top much as we go into winter. I guess I could wear it with a blazer or another jacket, but for the most part I try to steer clear of tops that I have to wear with a cardigan or blazer because I find that it complicates getting dressed and makes the piece less versatile (hence it ends up not getting worn much!) Plus, it was a little pricey for a maternity top. Verdict? Return!

Item #5: Mavi Leia Maternity Tall Length Jean (Not pictured)
Price: $98
Review: I only have one pair of maternity jeans right now (a skinny jean from Gap that I love!) and was looking forward to trying on another pair. Unfortunately, these jeans weren’t a great fit on me. They were more “jegging” than jean and made of a super thin material that I didn’t find very flattering. Additionally, I didn’t really care for the full panel on the jeans. I know some people love the full panel, and perhaps when my belly gets larger I will, too, but for now I prefer the shorter, under-belly panel. Verdict? Return!

So overall, I would say I was pleased with my fix, despite the fact that I only kept one piece. The one piece that I did like and keep I really loved, and the other items weren’t super off-base in terms of my style, just not the right fit. I’m interested to see what my next fix is like and whether or not all the maternity pieces they  now stock are as pricey as the items I got in this fix. I hope they have a few items that are more affordable and reasonably priced for pregnancy.

If you want to sign up for Stitch Fix, you can do so here (affiliate link used!)

Madison

 

 

 

23 weeks

How far along are you? 23 weeks 2 days 
Cravings? Still no real cravings. I continue to prefer salty over sweet and have found that a few items I never ate in the past have made their way into my diet. Take, for example, the fact that I had my first hot dog (a very expensive organic, nitrate-free, grass fed hot dog, that is) in YEARS and it tasted amazing. I’ve continued to love juice like orange juice and grapefruit juice and fruit as well as pasta. 
Weight Gain: At my 22 week appointment I was up 15 pounds. I won’t have another update until next week. 
Fears: I’ve continued to feel very peaceful about how the little one is growing and progressing. Kicks are still going strong and getting stronger by the day, which is fun but it’s also a very strange feeling. I’ve been feeling a little nervous about how little I’ve read about childbirth, breastfeeding and newborn care/sleep. I think it’s because I spent so much of my early pregnancy afraid our baby wouldn’t make it, and now that things are going well I just don’t have the desire to read much for fear that it will give me yet another thing to worry or stress about. Catch 22, huh? 
Generally Feeling: Still feeling great! I notice that when I’m getting up in the morning my body is a little stiff and I have to move more slowly for a few minutes after getting out of bed, but other than that I feel really good. 
Looking Forward To: The holiday season. I don’t know why, but I’ve been particularly excited to be pregnant through the holidays. It’s always been one of my favorite times of year, and I can only imagine it will be more enjoyable this year. 
What I’ve Been Loving: I’m finding it so fun to slowly put together our baby registry. It’s fun to think about our baby actually using all of the things we’re registering for! 
Maternity Clothes? Yes! I really should cut myself off from purchasing anything else new for a while. I recently bought this dress from ASOS Maternity and this dress in grey from Target that I absolutely love. I also got these tights from Athleta that I sized up in and they’re the most comfortable thing I think I’ve ever owned. Also, if you have any recommendations for maternity coats, I would welcome the advice! 
Boy or Girl: Keeping it a surprise until March!

Madison

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