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My Maternity Favorite Favorites

July 17, 2019

Now that I’m nearing the end of this pregnancy, I thought it was time to do a recap of the items of clothing that I’ve worn and truly loved throughout the entire pregnancy. Sometimes it takes a full pregnancy to really look back and figure out which items of clothing were the best purchases and investments along the way.

So, with that said, here are the favorite favorites that have stood the test of the last 36 weeks!

1. Kindred Bravely Sublime Support Nursing & Maternity Sports Bra
This has been my hands-down favorite nursing bra I’ve ever purchased. It’s made out of the world’s most comfortable material and is a great blend of supportive yet comfortable. I find myself making sure I’m on top of our family’s laundry just to have this clean!

2. Madewell Over the Belly Maternity Jeans
It’s not secret I’m not a huge fan of maternity jeans but these have been the pair I found myself reaching for time after time over the many other pairs I have. Note: Size down!

3. Isabel Maternity Inset Panel Midi Jean Shorts
I’ve really loved these jean shorts for much of my pregnancy! Now that I’m nearing the end of my pregnancy and my belly is getting a lot bigger I find I’m reaching for my full panel maternity shorts (below) more often, but for most of my pregnancy these have been a favorite.

4. Gap Maternity Full Panel Denim Shorts with Raw Hem
My favorite full-panel maternity jean shorts! These are so comfy and as I’ve gotten further along in pregnancy I’ve appreciated the full panel.

5. Old Navy Dolphin-Hem Run Shorts for Women
These aren’t maternity workout shorts, but I’ve found them to work great for pregnancy when sized up! I’ve lived in them all of this summer – like I do when I’m not pregnant, too!

6. Hatch Collection The Slouch Dress
Make no mistake, this was a total maternity splurge and in all honesty I haven’t worn it a ton but it’s been nice for a handful of occasions to have it on hand and know that I have a dressy yet comfy option as the need has present itself.

7. Gap Maternity Ruffle One-Piece Suit
I have LOVED this maternity swimsuit – and trust me that’s not something I would have ever imagined myself saying about a maternity swimsuit. I ditched the option thin strap and actually ended up wearing the straps like normal on my shoulders vs. the off the shoulder look and it worked great + was super functional for mom life at the pool!

8. LOFT Maternity Mixed Media Shirttail Tank
I have this tank in two colors and LOVE it. It’s worked great throughout many stages of pregnancy and I love that it doesn’t look maternity in the least bit, making it something I could see myself wearing in the first few weeks postpartum, too. I’ve also tossed it in the dryer on accident and it still fits great. Total win!

9. LOFT Maternity Fern Mixed Media Shell
Another LOFT favorite this pregnancy – I’ve worn it so many times and love how comfortable it is and, yet again, non “maternity” looking.

10. Carly Jean Los Angeles Stella Half Sleeve Dress
I’ve worn this dress all throughout my pregnancy and LOVE it. I just sized up one size and it still has plenty of room for this growing bump.

Family, Fashion, Uncategorized

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

April 30, 2019

Hi Friends! I can’t believe Mother’s Day is right around the corner. Crazy right? I feel like it’s snuck right up on me – paired with the fact that Collins’s birthday is ON Mother’s Day this year and we are getting ready for Iceland, I’m helping run a preschool fundraiser the six days leading up to our trip and getting ready to spend this coming weekend with my Beautycounter team leaders on our yearly incentive trip. Whew!

So, I haven’t done a lot of thinking about Mother’s Day. But today I’m doing a little thinking for you so you can spoil the moms/aunts/friends in your life or make a wish list for your significant other to gift TO you. These are my favorite gift-worthy Beautycounter items that feel a little more special than, say, a face wash or face lotion.

Glow Shimmer Oil //
I LOVE this shimmer oil because it makes me feel so pretty + glamorous when I use it. I’ve been known to be totally addicted to using this during my pregnancies in particular because there is something about a shimmery body oil that makes me feel beautiful at a time when I don’t always feel beautiful. It’s also a sleeper favorite because I don’t think many people know about this product and others aren’t likely to splurge on buying it for themselves.

Lemongrass Sugar Body Scrub //
Another pregnancy favorite – but really it’s a fantastic product for any person on your gifting list. It smells amazing and works to gently exfoliate and moisturize the skin. I use it weekly!

Velvet Eyeshadow Palette //
We have this awesome nine-pan palette in three different color combos/versions but the Romantic Palette is my favorite for springtime. It’s so feminine and lovely!

Lip Gloss in Rosewood //
This shade is a bit more of a statement than one of our lighter pink shades, yet still functions as the perfect neutral. I can’t get enough!

Sheer Lipstick //
The sheer lipsticks are an absolute favorite of mine! I don’t love an intense lip color but the sheer lipsticks are like a balm meets lip color in one. Rose, Terra, Twig and Petal are regular rotation favorites of mine! (Rose pictured in the above photo)

Satin Powder Blush //
Nectar (pictured above) is, in my opinion, the most versatile shade of blush we sell, but I also love Melon, Guava and Sorbet! Extra bonus? They last FOREVER.

PS: You have until May 2 to order any of the items listed with standard shipping in order to guarantee Mother’s Day delivery!

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Espresso & Cream Weekly Favorites

February 28, 2018

TO BUY // Athleta High Rise Chaturanga Tight
These are THE BEST workout tights around. They are high-rise, comfortable, true to size and so comfortable. They stay put for workouts and look great for running around doing errands and playing with the kids. I promise you need these in your life.

TO LISTEN // Christy Wright’s Business Boutique 
My mom introduced this podcast to me and I love listening to it for business development and encouragement in my work. Christy is a champion of women and so savvy in business. I love her encouragement, authenticity and passion.

TO USE // Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion
This face lotion has totally changed my skin in a major way over the last six months. It’s designed to adapt to your skin’s unique moisture needs and has made my skin glowing, vibrant and hydrated throughout the winter months. It’s a must-have in my book!

TO EAT // Quick Brown Rice and Lentil Salad
I love this recipe that’s from the Espresso & Cream archives. It’s quick, easy, satisfying and filled with nutrients. Easy meals FTW.

TO READ // The Clean Label Project
This isn’t a book but a really helpful website. They use data and science to reveal the true contents of consumer products, like baby formula, baby food, and more. It’s a really helpful site if you want to know what’s in the food that you’re buying – especially for baby formula!

Family, Uncategorized

Cute & Crafty Christmas Gifts

November 13, 2017

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This post is sponsored by InComm s as part of the #SaveMoneyGiveBetter2017 campaign. All opinions are my own and I so appreciate you supporting the brands that make Espresso and Cream possible! 

Since it’s only November it may seem like I’m jumping the gun a little bit on Christmas, but for some reason this year I’ve felt especially festive. Maybe it’s the fact that my toddler is finally old enough to understand the concept of Christmas, or because it’s Collins’s first Christmas or a combination of both, but I’ve been humming Christmas carols since Halloween.

I fully believe the point of Christmas is not material things or gifts, but for me gift giving is such a joyful process. To me, the holidays are the perfect time to make sure that those in our lives are recognized and appreciated for what they do and how much they mean through gifts and words of affirmation. It’s probably because I’m such a words of affirmation and quality time person, but it’s always less about the gift and more about the fact that someone took the time to write a sweet note and purchase the gift that means the most.

Also, as someone who is a habitual procrastinator, I’m bound and determined to make this year the year I get my cards out on time, my gifts wrapped in a leisurely fashion and don’t forget a single person on my list – from music teachers to childcare providers to friends and family.

While grocery shopping at Walmart last week, Ainsley and I took a detour through the Christmas section. She got all excited about seeing “Olaf!” (aka a giant blow up snow man) and I got sucked into the giant gift card display. Since we live in a small town, our local shopping options are pretty limited and most of my Christmas shopping is done online, so I was excited to see how many different gift card options there were to choose from. Some may say gift cards are impersonal, but I LOVE receiving a gift card. It feels like forced shopping, in the best possible way.

Ainsley is just getting to the age where she has a few more teachers, so we picked up a 3-pack of $20 Vanilla Mastercard Gift Cards to dress up and gift to people on our list. While there were a lot of options to choose from, I opted for a gift card that could be used for practically anything, since, like I said, we don’t live near a lot of stores and most of the people I know do plenty of online shopping.

To make our gift-giving a little more special, we also snagged some of the cutest gold glitter gift bags, gift tags, mini snowflake ornaments and some candy to fill the bags with in addition to the gift card. Seriously, I’m not a crafty person by nature but I think these little handmade gifts turned out pretty cute. Hopefully Ainsley’s teachers feel the same!

Madison

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A Little About Sponsored Posts

November 6, 2017

Hi friends! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and are feeling ready to tackle whatever your week has in store. I wanted to hop on today and talk with you all about sponsored posts. In the coming weeks/months, the way the editorial calendar and brand calendars aligned, you’ll be seeing a handful of sponsored posts and I wanted to take a minute to talk through my sponsored post selection process.

First, sponsored content is what keeps the lights on over here. Blogging is part of my “wears many hats” career, and while it’s certainly not going to make me rich any time soon, I continue to blog because I LOVE writing, sharing, and being creative. That said, as my blog has grown it costs money to house the site on an adequate server, buy equipment for taking photos, props for recipes, etc. There are a lot of hidden costs that go into blogging and sponsored posts cover that for me throughout the year.

I think there is an assumption that sponsored posts require the blogger to “sell out” and compromise themselves, watering down their opinions and voice in the process. And I understand that! Opportunities pop into my inbox frequently – I work with various influencer marketing agencies who send opportunities my way, brands sometimes reach out directly, and other times I reach out to the brand myself if I really love and use a product and think it would make sense to work together.

Sometimes the opportunities that are presented to me are financially lucrative but I say yes to very few projects in the name of being authentic to the way my family lives, the products we actually use, and what I think you, my readers, would be interested in hearing about. Just recently a clothing company reached out and offered to pay me in $750 worth of high-end clothing in exchange for a shout-out. But when I looked at their website most of the blouses were more than $250, a price I knew most of you wouldn’t or couldn’t afford, so I declined the offer. Sometimes it’s hard to say no to opportunities like that, because who doesn’t want expensive clothes for free? But ultimately accepting sponsored posts that aren’t a good fit for Espresso and Cream would undercut my credibility with YOU. And you all are the most important part of this whole thing.

I tend to gravitate toward sponsored posts that incorporate places I regularly grocery shop (Walmart, in our area) or that allow me to use my expertise and experience as a recipe developer by giving you a new recipe to try. I try to always ask myself, “Would I buy this product in my daily life outside of this sponsored post?” or “Would I normally shop at this retailer?” If the answer is “no” then I pass every. single. time.

So, with that said, I just wanted to lay the groundwork for the upcoming sponsored posts that you’ll be seeing on Espresso and Cream!

Madison