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Fashion

Postpartum Hair (again)

January 10, 2017

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If you’re anything like my husband, then you’re probably bored with hearing me talk about my hair woes over the last (nearly) two years. It’s been a constant battle for me, and it seems almost comical that my baby is going to be two next month and I’m still talking about “postpartum hair” as if it just happened six months ago.

I’ve been troubled by postpartum hair loss and subsequent re-growth since Ainsley was four months old and the hair loss started. I look back with envy at my hair while pregnant with Ainsley – thick, full and very healthy – as it’s a start contrast with what I’m dealing with today. I experienced two “waves” of hair loss, one around 4 months when I stopped breastfeeding and another about a year after having Ainsley. My scalp was itchy, my hair felt thin and lifeless and I was distressed to say the least.

Thankfully my hair has been growing back in the areas where I experienced the most hair loss, mainly my temples and the back of my head, but I have various lengths of short and medium-length re-growth everywhere. And while I’ve found ways to hide it well, as evidenced in the photo above, it’s still been a constant source of frustration.

So what’s a girl to do? Well, I’m not entirely sure. I’ve debated chopping it off to even out all the length differences I have going on, but I’m undecided if I really want to give up the length I have in favor of a shorter cut. But I really have a hard time committing to a cut, especially while pregnant since I find longer hair much easier and more flattering on me.

Where does that leave me? Well, I think I’ve settled on giving Monat a try first. I posted about the hair struggles I’ve been having and got a ton of recommendations regarding Monat’s hair care systems. I’ve never heard of the products before, but after doing a little research I figured it was worth a shot before doing anything more permanent. I’ll be sure to report back on whether the products actually live up to the hype and the price point!

I’ve also heard great things about supplemental collagen, so I ordered this brand from Amazon. After doing a bit more research the safety of taking collagen while pregnant seems uncertain so I’ll be waiting until after the baby is born to start taking it, but I’m hopeful that adding this into my diet helps with hair health and re-growth. I’m planning on incorporating it into my diet in daily smoothies.

So now I’m turning it over to you! Do any of you moms have advice or suggestions on easing this transition and hopefully lessening the hair loss the second time around? I’m all ears!

Family, Fashion

Dressing the Bump // 21 Weeks

January 1, 2017

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Ribbed Peplum Long Sleeved Maternity Top {Pink Blush Maternity}
Jeans {AG Stella Skinny Maternity Jeans}
Booties {Nordstrom Rack last year}

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Peplum Sweater Top {Pink Blush Maternity}
Jeans {AG Stella Skinny Maternity Jeans}
Booties {Nordstrom Rack last year}

Happy New Year, friends! I’m so looking forward to what 2017 has in store, but I’ll admit that 2016 was a year that set the bar pretty high. One of the things I’m most looking forward to in the year to come is welcoming baby #2. Okay, I’m part excited and part terrified, but mainly excited and anxious to meet this baby.

I’ve been on the hunt for cute maternity clothes since I found out I was pregnant. Actually being pregnant isn’t always a glamorous experience, but I’m a big believer that the right clothes can go a long way to helping you feel pretty and comfortable while your body is expanding and changing.

Pink Blush has been on my radar since I was pregnant the last time around. They have such adorable maternity clothes at really affordable prices, which I appreciate since pregnancy is a relatively short period of time. These two tops have quickly become my favorites during this pregnancy. They have enough room to be maternity without screaming “maternity!”

Bonus for Espresso and Cream readers! Pink Blush is giving away a $75 Pink Blush gift card to one lucky reader. Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Family, Fashion

Family Fitness + First Trimester Workouts

November 14, 2016

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It’s crazy for me to think that at 14 weeks pregnant, I am now officially out of the first trimester. Everyone’s favorite question to ask a pregnant woman is, “How are you feeling?” Truth is, I’ve been feeling less than stellar with non-stop morning (err evening) sickness and falling asleep on the couch every evening around 8:30 pm. Staying committed and focused on fitness has been a challenge, but I’ve been determined to stick to a consistent fitness routine with this pregnancy, even if I’m not sticking to the most normal eating habits.

So what have I been doing? Well, I’ve given up the more intense exercises like running, sprint intervals and weekend Crossfit with Joe in favor of exercises that are a little more low intensity. That includes my favorite 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme videos, the new Core de Force videos from Beachbody and lots of long walks with Ainsley since we’ve been enjoying some amazing fall weather and unseasonably warm temps. I’ve been following modifiers as necessary to keep my heart rate within a reasonable range and avoiding exercises that require me to lay on my back now that I’m in the second trimester.

Joe also frequently takes Ainsley with him on runs which gives the entire family a chance to workout at the same time. Running 4 or 5 miles with Ainsley is common for Joe, but what most people don’t know is that Joe has an anaphylactic reaction to an unidentified insect or food. Three times since we’ve been married, Joe has gone out on a run and come home looking something like the Hulk. Face red, breathing impaired, body breaking out in hives. It’s been scary, to say the last, and it’s made me think about ways that we can both be safer while we’re exercising and spending time outdoors.

Enter Road ID. Road ID bracelets are comfortable, stylish athletic bracelets that can be worn around the clock or any time you’re spending time being active outdoors. They can be branded with your name, address, emergency contacts and any important medical information, such as Joe’s allergy.

Road ID has been on my radar ever since Joe had his first reaction while on a run. But after seeing how much time we spend individually running and walking with Ainsley, it seemed more important than ever. As a family, we do everything to keep ourselves and Ainsley safe. We buckle our seat belts, wear helmets and now we have our Road IDs in case anything should happen to us.

I got the Wrist ID Slim 2 in grey and Joe got the same but in blue. We both agreed they are incredibly comfortable and lightweight to wear, something that’s important to us while exercising, and Joe was especially impressed with how cool the band looked. We’re thrilled with the products, to say the last!

Bonus for E&C Readers: Now through 11/18, take advantage of all Road ID products marked down to $15, $20 and $25 along with 20% off all gift cards, while supplies last!

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group®  & Road ID but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #roadid #RoadIDItsWhoIAm  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Fashion

Fall Favorites: Beauty

October 28, 2016

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It’s been a while since I did a good product round-up, hasn’t it? I’ve added so many new beauty and personal care products to my list of favorites and have been really behind on sharing them with you all, so what better day than Friday to talk about something as fun and makeup and beauty products?

1. Beautycounter’s New Makeup Palettes (above)
These palettes just launched as part of the Holiday 2016 collection and they’re beautiful! Previously, my eye shadow, blush, bronzer and highlighter were all in separate containers, but I LOVE the versatility and ease of having them all in one single palette. There are two color options, the cooler Winter Dream Palette and the bronzed Winter Warmth Palette. My favorite has been the Winter Warmth, but I dabble in both from time to time.

2. Glossier Boy Brow 
I’m newly obsessed with Glossier’s Boy Brow. It’s a brow gel/filler that works to plump, fill and shape your brows all at once. It makes getting ready a snap and it’s the one product that I won’t leave the house without applying, even if I’m not wearing any other makeup. It’s just that good.

3. Batiste Dry Shampoo
I’ve been out of the dry shampoo game for a while now, for an unknown reason, but I heard so many people rave about this dry shampoo that I had to pick some up. It did not disappoint and I’ve been using it on the regular. I love that it doesn’t weigh your hair down and works well to absorb extra oil. I also blast my clean, blow-dried roots with this for extra volume and texture.

4. Beautycounter’s Luminous Nudes Lip Set
The Bare Shimmer Lip Gloss on top of the Twig Lip Sheer is pretty much the perfect color combo for someone like me who loves a little color to their lips while also having it look natural. I’ve been wearing both of these on the regular and can’t get enough.

5. Glossier Super Bounce Hydrating Serum
This serum was recommended by Natalie and she was totally right, per usual. It’s formulated with hyaluronic acid and B vitamins to leave your skin hydrated, plump and glowing. I use it daily in the morning before applying my moisturizer and makeup.

Family, Fashion, Food & Recipes, Infertility and Miscarriage

29.

October 5, 2016

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Today I turn 29. I can’t believe that when this blog started, I was just 22 years old, a senior in college, without any background in blogging or the internet world. I wanted to post recipes of food that I loved. I was interning at a lifestyle magazine and working in their food section and inspired by this huge, brand-new world that was suddenly opened to me.

Back then I had unlimited amounts of time and few commitments other than a very cute boyfriend who would eventually become my husband. I worked and then came home and dreamed about the next recipe that I would put up on Espresso and Cream, excited about trying something new, scouring cookbooks for hours for inspiration and reading blogs like they were going out of style. (They are now, aren’t they?)

And then life changed. I got a few different big-girl jobs and I churned out recipes like a machine for those jobs. I developed recipes all day, in fact, and while it was fun and wonderful in so many ways, it didn’t really leave me craving kitchen time when I got home. I spent my whole day in a kitchen! So what once was a food blog became a lifestyle blog, and then for a time an infertility and miscarriage blog and then, even later, a blog about family and beauty and whatever seemed interesting at the time.

Some days, with life busier than ever, I think about closing up this blog all together. Because there are days and weeks and months when inspiration runs dry and I am left longing for the days when I wanted and could write about all the things. And there are still other days when I think that what I really need is a fresh start, to move to a new platform with a new name and start from scratch.

But then I think about the history, you guys. The stories that I’ve shared here and the journey that this blog – a diary of sorts – has been along for the ride and I can’t imagine not spending time talking with you all and receiving your e-mails and hearing your stories. I have made so many amazing friends through blogging and I’m richer because of that.

So no, this blog isn’t going anywhere, but on my 29th year, I’m taking a good, long, hard look at what blogging means to me and what I want to talk about on this site. And I want to hear from YOU! What types of content to do you want to see? Is it more recipes or more posts about beauty? Or maybe it’s sharing more fashion finds or talking about motherhood? Since this blog has been all over the place since it started, I’m ripe for suggestions and ideas from you, the ones who read this blog and who I’m so thankful for.

Thanks for being patient with me as I figure out what is next for Espresso and Cream.

Madison