The first time I was pregnant, I spent most of my pregnancy in my regular clothes. I did purchase a few maternity items: leggings, tops, dress pants, jeans, shorts and tank tops. I didn’t however spend very much money. My reasoning is not because I don’t want to spend money on clothes (I have no problems doing that), but more so that I have a hard time spending money on clothes that you will only wear for a short period of time. This time around I have purchased some more maternity clothes because I plan on having at least one more baby after this one. If it was solely up to me, I would have 5 kids and my husband and I would have a starting lineup for a basketball or hockey team (haha).
I love a good deal, I mean who doesn’t. Within the past few years, I have really adopted the principle of not paying full price for pretty much anything. It angers me so much when I have bought something full price only to see a few weeks later its on sale! How many of you has this happened to?
Maternity clothes are very expensive and ugly…I mean ridiculously expensive. However, you can find some really good deals. Most of the maternity clothes I have seen and tried on I haven’t been a fan of They’re frumpy and I would never wear these styles when I am not pregnant, so why would I start now?!
That being said, I have also found some really cute things. My favorite stores to shop for Maternity clothes have been The Gap & Thyme Maternity. Here are some of my maternity must haves for the second trimester and some of my favourites that I have purchased!
1. Basic T-Shirts
Even when I am not expecting I am a huge fan of basic t-shirts. They are comfortable, can be dressed up or down and can be styled with anything. These Gap ones are my favorite. They have a little bit of stretch to them and can be layered underneath cardigans, sweaters and jackets.
Every pregnant momma needs at least one pair of maternity leggings. My favourites are these ones from Thyme Maternity. They’re super comfortable and they go with everything.
The struggle is so real to find a nice pair of maternity jeans. There are a lot to choose from, but also a lot that don’t fit properly, that are uncomfortable and also that aren’t stylish. I just recently purchased these ones from the Gap and I love them!
4. Pregnancy Pillow
I recently have been struggling to get comfortable when I sleep. I am almost into my third trimester, I cannot believe how fast it’s gone and I can’t seem to get a good night’s sleep. A pregnancy pillow helps with that and is so worth the money!
5. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter for Stretch Marks
When I was pregnant the first time I was worried that I would get stretch marks, so I searched high and low for a product that would work. I love this cream, the smell and the fact that I haven’t gotten any stretch marks from either pregnancy. I am sure that some of it has to do with genetics, but I lather this stuff on twice and day all over the place.
Hope this helps some of you momma to be's! I will be sharing my third trimester must haves too!
Let me preface this Blog post with this.
I know that my son isn’t perfect. He doesn’t listen some times, he cries and whines, he throws tantrums when he doesn’t get what he wants and sometimes he can be rude. He’s also two and a half. I also know that he is kind, loving, energetic, smart and sensitive. As a parent, it can be difficult to see your child’s faults.
What’s interesting about this concept is that as adults we have many faults too. We sometimes don’t listen, we whine and cry, we throw tantrums (in private- hopefully!) and sometimes we can be rude. The difference- we know better.
As a mother, not many things bother me. The unsolicited advice from others, the judgmental looks and the questions, unfortunately are all part of parenthood. One thing that really bothers me, however, is when other people try to parent and discipline my son. I will say as a side note, there are and can be some exclusions to this rule: parents, grandparents and child care providers.
I was recently at someone’s house, both my husband and I were there with our son. He was the only child there. There were other adults all there as well. The entire time two individuals in particular (who are not parents), who never really see my son or spend time playing with him spent the entire time disciplining him. They would tell him ‘no’, ‘don’t touch that’, ‘say please’…you get the point. Now, I would and could understand if my husband and I weren’t there the entire time or if he was causing harm to himself or others. Neither was the case.
What I really struggle to understand is why someone would even want to discipline someone else’s kids. It’s exhausting. I am sure that these types of people really believe they could be doing a better job, that their child will never behave like my son and that they will never throw a tantrum. To them, I say Kudos. Kudos for believing that, and for living in a world full of rainbows and butterflies. Enjoy sitting in judgment. Leave the discipline and parenting to the parents or those charged with the responsibility- that’s our job.
So as I sit here slightly ranting about the sheer and utter annoyance that I feel when people try and parent my son, I leave you with this. We live in a world where it is very easy to make assumptions and judgments based on very little fact, evidence and experience. My advice is to always remember, “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things” (Romans 2:1).
One of the most common questions that I got after I had my son and one that I still get is, “how are you in such great shape after having a baby?” I think there is a common misconception that as soon as a woman becomes pregnant and has a child, she is forever going to be battling the weight she put on during her pregnancy. The reality is that when you are pregnant, you’re going to gain weight. No question about that- I gained 28 pounds with my son and lost it all pretty quickly.
The amount of weight of course varies from woman to woman and each pregnancy is different. The recommended amount of weight gain during pregnancy relies on a variety of factors, your age, weight and current health condition. Medical professionals say that on average you should gain anywhere from 25-35 pounds. Most women that I know gain above the suggested weight gain, but that doesn’t mean they can't and don’t lose it all. I know a lot of momma’s who have and who look so fab!
Prior to becoming pregnant, I wasn’t too worried that I wouldn’t return to my pre-pregnancy size and shape. It’s funny how we tend to worry about things that are so trivial. I knew that I was healthy before my pregnancy that I would be healthy during my pregnancy and of course I would be healthy after my son was born. Any concerns that I may have had soon dissipated once I was pregnant with my son because all that I cared about was that I was healthy and most importantly that my unborn child was too. I wanted to make sure that I was eating the right amounts of nutritious foods so my baby would thrive in my belly. Here are some of my tips for Staying (not GETTING) fit when pregnant.
35 Weeks Pregnant with Jaxson
Stay as Active as You Were Before Pregnancy
Pregnancy is not the time to get into shape or start a new workout regimen. If you ran and did yoga prior to becoming pregnant than of course you can continue with that. Don’t start training for something while your pregnant. If you’re not a runner, don’t start now. Doctors recommend that you continue with whatever your daily activity was prior to your pregnancy to help keep you and your baby healthy. If you didn’t exercise at all, I would suggest doing some light to moderate exercise. Some great workouts for us pregnant gals are: walking, prenatal Yoga, Pilates and swimming.
10 Months Postpartum
Force Yourself to Exercise
Pregnant or not pregnant, there are so many days when we just don’t feel like exercising. Maybe you are tired or didn’t get enough sleep or just not feeling great and exercise is the last thing on your mind. As a pregnant woman and a mother of a 2 ½ year old (I’m sure many of you can relate) there are so many days when I don’t want to even move, but once I force myself, I feel so much better. This is essential for a pregnant woman, we really do need to force ourselves to exercise (whatever that may be), there are so many benefits during pregnancy, during delivery and once baby comes!
Two Years after Jaxson was born
Eat Healthy & Have some Treats too
Growing up I always had homemade meals, there was never a night that I didn’t. Both of my parents are amazing cooks, I am pretty good but I am working to be on their level. It’s so important to me that my children grow up with the homemade meals that I did. Because of the amazing meals that we always had and still do, we learned the importance of a balance diet. We ate healthy and fresh, but we would also indulge. I have always eaten what I wanted to, even before I was pregnant. If I wanted a Blizzard from DQ (my dad is my DQ partner lol) than I would have one. I was the same way in my first pregnancy and I eat that way now. I don’t believe in neglecting or ignoring what it is you want to eat. That said, I also don’t think that anyone should eat too much of anything- everything in moderation !So my fellow pregnant momma’s- if you wanna eat that bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream, than dive right in! (maybe just don't eat the whole tub in one sitting).
20 Weeks with Baby #2
I attribute my quick loss of my baby weight to a few things, the biggest being nursing. I remember waking up one morning about 4 weeks after having my son and I felt like myself again, my stomach was flat and I looked like I hadn’t had a baby. Nursing has so many health benefits for our babes, it also burns calories and reduces the size of your uterus after birth.I nursed my son for 11 months, the beginning was definitely a struggle, but I persevered and it was so worth it for both of us.
My next secret is; play with your kids. The amount of time I have spent chasing and running after my son is endless. We play so much and we always have- he is my greatest workout! Lifting a baby up and down as much as new momma’s do is an amazing workout; you don’t need to go to a gym!! When my new babe makes his or her debut, I will be showing you some of my workouts with babe- no equipment needed!
My last secret- don't stress! Each one of us is unique and so is each pregnancy. Don't compare yourself to others who are pregnant. As long as you feel healthy and you're eating well and your baby is healthy- that's all that matters! Once you have your brand new baby, you wont even think about weight loss. You will be too obsessed and consumed with your beautiful miracle that it won't and shouldn't be your first thought or worry!
I will be doing some Bumpdates on my Blog now that you can kind of see a bump. This is Baby #2 for us and we are so excited, well most of us are. My little boy doesn't really love talking about the baby but I know he will get used to the idea and be the best Big Brother!
How far along? 20 weeks! This pregnancy has definitely been flying by!
Size of Baby: Baby R is the size of a Banana!
Weight Gain: 8 pounds.
Maternity clothes: I have been wearing some maternity tops and some regular tops with my own regular legging bottoms. When I was pregnant with Jaxson I’m not sure exactly what I wore the whole time lol. I have gone and bought some tops though. I will be sharing some of my favorite maternity must haves in another post!
Belly Button in or out? My belly button is still in, with my first pregnancy it stayed in the whole time. We shall see how this one goes!
Sleep: I haven’t slept well since my son was born 2 ½ years ago. I mean how many parents actually sleep great anyways?!
Best Moment of the Week: Feeling Baby R move! One of my absolute favorite parts of being pregnant is feeling my little bundle doing somersaults. If this baby is anything like their big brother, my tummy is going to moving like crazy!
Challenges this Week: My little boy has been sick with the flu this week, which meant I got even less sleep than normal. Gosh, it’s awful when your babes are sick. You just wish you could take all of their sickness and pain away.
Movement: Yes, this little bunny has been hopping around in there!
Food Cravings: Fruit (same as my first pregnancy), Smoothies & Lemonade (also the same).
Gender: We don't know and we’re not going to find out! I think I am having another baby boy, but time will tell.
Looking forward to: Having my ultrasound in the next couple of weeks. It’s so nice to see your beautiful baby on the ultrasound, and to make sure that they’re doing ok and everything is growing and looking the way it should be.
On Valentine’s Day, I shared the cutest picture of my two and a half year old holding his “I Am a Big Brother” book. Yes, we’re expecting Baby #2! We have known for quite some time, but I was waiting for the perfect time to share our news and what better day than Valentine’s?! I am due with Baby #2 at the end of July (I am 19 weeks) my son’s birthday is July 26, so they could end up sharing the same birthday.
When I was pregnant with Jaxson we didn’t find out the gender. I did all along think he was a boy, and I was right. A mother's intuition I guess? We have decided again to not find out the gender, how often as adults do we get surprises in our lives?
I have been away from blogging and posting because I’ve had the flu. The flu is going around and it definitely is awful, but it’s even worse when you’re pregnant and have a toddler who always wants to be with momma. Thank goodness for my parents & brother who took care of Jaxson for me so I could actually rest and try to get better. I know that a lot of families have been hit with illness, I hope that your are all recovering too. Having such an amazing support system and being so close with my family really helps when you have children, I am really so fortunate.
Here are some other pics of my precious little man! Happy Friday Eve!
Avoid Too Many Prints
This, I think is crucial to having your photos look flawless. Unless you are doing a themed photo shoot, stay away from prints. I recently saw some photos where a large group was all wearing plaid, and all different plaid prints at that. While I am a huge fan of plaid, having your partner or your entire family wear plaid can be a bit much. I find that some prints can be very distracting and can really take away from the photo itself. If you love plaid or a particular print , I would suggest having one person wear plaid or a print and the others wear a solid colour. In our Christmas photos from last year, I wore a buffalo check plaid top, my son also had plaid on underneath the cutest little reindeer sweater, and my husband wore solid black.
Choosing clothing items that have texture always photograph so beautifully. Whether that be a sweater, top, or an accessory like a hat or scarf, it always adds dimension to your photos. In our fall family photos, my sweater had some texture in it, as did Jaxson’s. Knits are always a great choice and look lovely in photos.
Stay tuned for next week, I will be sharing my last two tips!!
Once a year we take family photos, well usually just once. If it was up to me, we would take photos for every holiday and made up holidays alike. My husband is actually a great sport and complains very little about my antics, so I am a lucky gal. The issue with taking photos really comes from my little man and his commitment to doing everything and anything but smiling and looking at the camera. It is so difficult (impossible) to take pictures with him nowadays, that's why he doesn't make many of my pics on my Blog and Instagram, cause he has a mind of his own! I was a little worried as you spend money and really hope that they turn out. I couldn't be more thrilled with how they did. This was the first time we used Kathy, and she did an outstanding job! Continue reading below for my first tip on what to wear to a photo shoot...
Engagement Photos, Family Photos, Maternity Photos, Newborn Photos, Christmas Photos, Fall Photos...So many photos, so what do I wear? There are so many milestones in life that we want to have photographed but a lot of us can be stuck on what we want to wear, but most importantly what will look nice.
Coordinate your colours, but don’t be matchy matchy.
This one is so important because being too matchy matchy just looks wrong. When a couple or you’re entire family is wearing the exact same colour top, that is all that is noticed when you look at the photos, not you in all of your happiness and beauty. If you want to stick with a certain colour palette, that’s fantastic, just don’t have everyone wearing a purple top for example. If you love purple, then maybe decide on different shades or accessorize with that colour...you get the point. Also, when selecting a colour take a look at the time of the year and what is appropriate for that season.
In our photos, I wore a neutral cream-greyish sweater, my husband had a burgundy top and Jaxson is wearing a lighter blue dress shirt and a navy cardigan. We are all wearing jeans which always looks great, and something I always recommend especially if you're unsure (depending on the time of the year & event). We weren’t all wearing the same colour, but our colours coordinated and looked so chic and classic. If you want to match just a little, match an accessory or a shoe to a top like I did with my shoes and my husbands top.
I always decide what my son and husband are going to wear first because picking what I am going to wear is usually pretty easy. It's the littles, but mostly the husbands/men that are the most difficult. You really want your photos to look effortless and natural, so go with whatever is easiest and what you, your spouse, kids and family are happy in!!
Stay tuned for Tip #2 on What to Wear to a Photo Shoot!
My Outfit: Sweater: Dynamite, Jeans: The Gap
Jaxson's Outfit: Top & Cardigan: H &M, Jeans: The Gap, Shoes: Old Navy
Steve's Outfit: Top: Old Navy, Jeans: Old Navy
The cliché ‘time flies’ is one I used to roll my eyes at. I remember when I was 19, I was so excited to finally be considered an adult. And now 12 years later, I still feel like I am 19 and there are definitely some things that I wish I could of told my younger self.
The first being that 30-something is not old, 30 is the new 20 after all. All joking aside, 'hindsight is wisdom'. I never actually seemed to understand this until I was older and I guess had more life experience. I think this especially came to light after I had my son. When I was younger, I seemed to care about things and people that truly are insignificant and not important in life. Its funny how as people it’s easy to get wrapped up in things that are trivial. Having my baby boy really put everything into perspective and made me realize who and what really matters.
Last year, I dreaded turning the big 3-0. Maybe it’s just the stigma that goes with no longer being a 20-something. Maybe its vanity. This year as I enter year 31, I couldn’t be more excited. As I look at my life, I am so blessed. I am blessed with a healthy, happy and beautiful little boy. I am so fortunate to be his momma; he is my greatest success. I am blessed with a kind, supportive and understanding husband. I am blessed with THE best and most selfless parents and kind and pure hearted brother a girl could ask for. I am blessed to have a job that I love to do and family & friends that are always so supportive and kind. I am blessed to have the confidence to make anything, cook anything, do anything, and be anything I want. Clearly, I am not lacking in the confidence department (thanks Mom & Dad). So, here’s to you 31, I know this year is going to be an amazing, exciting and special one for my family and me!
P.S.- How pretty is this dress?! I am so in love with the sleeves...and these shoes were my wedding shoes, my something blue!
Hope everyone has a great weekend!
Dress: BCBG, Shoes: Enzo Angiolini
I am super excited to be featured on Diapers & Lipgloss run by two beautiful momma's Vanessa & Melissa. They have a blog, webisodes and a TV show! I am so glad that I got an opportunity to collaborate with these two beauties, they're funny, relatable and so sweet. My feature was a Story that I shared about a day in the life of me and my son Jaxson...here is the story! Check it out, hope you like it!
And while you're at it check out Diapers & Lipgloss , you can find them on Instagram: @diaperslipgloss, You Tube, Facebook: Diapers & Lipgloss, Twitter: @diaperslipgloss.
Tip #2- Don't Starve Yourself
You are what you eat. How many times have you heard that before?
It is true. What you put into your body is exactly what you're going to get out of it. I am a huge believer of eating everything, but in moderation. I think many women fall into, "I need to lose some weight". Goodness, I hear that so often from my family and friends. Most women's solution to losing weight are cutting things out or going on a diet. Both are bad ideas.
Although most people have good intentions, most times they don't work. Depriving yourself or cutting out certain foods definitely isn't the way to go. Most people start with cutting out breads, pastas, sweets and alcohol. Unfortunately when people do this they end up being miserable and unhappy, they binge eat and are up and down with their weight like a Yo-Yo.
According to research it is believed that 75% of weight loss comes from diet, and 25 % from exercise.
75%, that's a lot! I have always eaten well, and eaten whatever I want. If I want bread, I will eat it. If I want a Blizzard, I will eat it. I think what's important is if you want to have these treats, then make sure you do some exercise too. But don't starve or deprive yourself of things that you love.
If you're hoping to get in or stay in shape, then try some of my suggestions below!!
1. Drink A Lot of Water
This one I know you've all heard before. It is essential that you drink lots of water to keep you hydrated. When you're dehydrated you get headaches and tend to feel lethargic. Plus, a lot of people mistake thirst for hunger and tend to eat junk when they're not really hungry at all. If you don't like water, and some people don't, add some sliced lemon, cucumber or berries. It's so refreshing & delicious.
2. Don't eat past 7:00 p.m.
This is a good one for people who are trying to maintain weight loss or lose some weight. It's easy for most of us to fall into a routine of watching some T.V. in the evening and having chips, chocolate or both. Most people eat dinner between 5:30 and 6:00, so by 7:00 you really shouldn't be hungry. If at 9 p.m. you're starving then have some fruit, veggies or yogurt.
3. Sleep & Rest
Your body needs to rest and sleep is essential to getting in and staying in shape. This may be difficult for a night hawk, but it is important that your body can repair itself. Make a green tea and watch some Real Housewives!
4. Keep the Wine for the Weekend
Most of my friends love red wine, well really any wine. Although red wine is believed to be good for your heart, having too much of it like anything else isn't. Wine, especially red wine is extremely dehydrating. If you drink your calories it's very easy to put on weight. Save wine as a weekend treat and you'll notice a big difference in not only how you feel, but also in how you look.
5. Be Positive
Most people stress about life: their jobs, their children, their finances, their relationships etc. It's very easy to be brought down by negativity. Having a positive outlook on living a healthy lifestyle and getting in and staying in shape will help you mentally as well. Surround yourself with people who enrich your life, not people who are negative or make you feel bad about yourself. Like they say, misery loves company and no one wants negative Nancy in their lives!
Top & Shorts: Lululemon, Runners: Nike