Thursday, November 27, 2014

So Many Reasons to be Thankful | 20 Weeks!

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Yesterday I hit the halfway point in my pregnancy. I am officially 20 weeks pregnant! I figure this is the perfect opportunity to utilize the "glass half full" motto in my life. I could allow myself to be depressed by the idea that I'm only halfway through (and the thought has crossed my mind), On the other hand, I can choose to be elated that I have made it this far-- I choose the latter. After all, it is Thanksgiving. I should probably try to  express gratitude... especially on a day dedicated to the virtue.

And I am grateful! Yesterday was a profoundly beautiful reminder of what is important in life, and of how blessed I truly am. I was able to watch my baby boy move around on the ultrasound screen. I saw his tiny feet that appeared to be dancing, his perfect little hands moving as if they were waving to us. If the sight of him wasn't wonderful enough, the findings from the ultrasound were all very favorable. As far as they can tell, he is perfectly healthy--fears eased, tension dissipated. Medical technology truly is a modern marvel. And the life inside me, my son (still trying to wrap my head around that one) is a perfect little person. I love him so much already!

I'm also grateful for the increased time with my little family. Sam finished up at his (now) former job on Monday, and he is taking the week off before starting on his next grand adventure at a new company. After all the travel lately, this break from work has been a very welcome reprieve for all of us. Sam doesn't really know what to do without a phone that's constantly buzzing and ringing, but he's grateful for the change of pace. It has been soooo nice to spend so much unstructured time with my husband and our baby girl.

Today we woke up and I made chocolate chip pancakes with strawberries (whole grain with hidden chia and flax seeds for added goodness). Baby girl was particularly pleased, as you can see in the photo of her. I asked her to smile and this is what I got. Cute little cheese ball! We then took the photos in this post, lounged around, and now we're off to celebrate the holiday with my husband's side of the family--we take turns and alternate between Thanksgiving and Christmas with our families every year. Earlier this week we invited my side over for a pre-Thanksgiving feast, and we thoroughly enjoyed the company.Tomorrow I have less responsibility--all I'm contributing is some homemade rolls and a dessert, and I'm really looking forward to spending some quality time with my in-laws as well.

I'm also (obviously) grateful for my beautiful baby girl. Klair absolutely adores all of our family and has loved seeing so much of them lately. She constantly goes through the list of people who love "you" (she calls herself "you") telling me that "grandma loves you, papa loves you, aunt so and so loves you, etc etc." She also randomly prays for our extended family members, taking over family prayers and loudly requesting "Heavenly Father please bless..." it's adorable, and I'm so proud. I am grateful to live close to all of our immediate family, and to have so many loved ones to share our lives with.

Did I mention the food? I'm really grateful for the impending feast. I decided on comfortable/flowy/stretchy attire for the occasion, because let's face it--I'll likely eat my weight in mashed potatoes and pie. Hey, I'm "eating for two" right? (Nevermind the 2nd person is only the size of a banana...we won't worry about such things on a day like today...)

Oh life. You are beautiful. And, when I stop to consider my blessings and the things for which I am grateful, you never cease to amaze. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I sincerely hope everyone is able to enjoy the holiday to the fullest.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Pink Blush Part 2

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In case you missed it in  my last post, I'm currently hosting a $25 giveaway to Pink Blush. There's still time to enter if you haven't already!

I'm maintaining the Pink Blush theme around here by sporting this maternity coat and boots which came from the online store and namesake of this post. I love these items and wear them both frequently--particularly the boots. They're the type of heels that are so comfortable even a preggo like myself can happily wear them for hours on end without complaint.

Klair came outside with us on the rather chilly day that we took these photos, and she was thrilled about the snow. We recently got a little more, but I'm holding out for a bigger storm so we can really play with baby girl in it. Thanks to Frozen she is dreaming of a day when we can build a snowman, and I'm excited to sled on the little incline in our yard. Last winter she was too young to really enjoy being outside in the snow, but I have a feeling we'll be spending a lot more time out there this year.

While we played Sam had to snap a few photos of her (naturally) and she even cooperated on the last one and gave us a smile! I love that mischievous little smirk and those baby blues more than I can say... and I love my talented husband who captures so many sweet moments for us to remember!

Pink Blush White Maternity Coat | Pink Blush Black Leggings | Pink Blush Tan Booties

Target Pink Toddler Coat (similar) | Carter's Toddler Jeggings | Target Minnie Mouse Purse (similar)| Crazy 8 Silver Laced Toddler Booties

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Pink Blush $25 Giveaway

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I recently posted about my experience with Pink Blush Maternity. They are an amazing company with so many options for us mamas-to-be. Their choices are constantly increasing--a breath of fresh air in an ever dwindling world of choice for pregnancy friendly clothing. Also, for those of you who are not with child and are looking for affordable, chic clothing--they also have a non-maternity line full of super cute clothing. Both are currently having a flash sale with items starting as low as $15--I got a super cute floral maternity dress for this much on one of these sales.

I'm thrilled to be teaming up with this awesome company today for a $25 giveaway--just in time for the holidays! This would make a great gift... to yourself... or to someone else if you're feeling extra generous. After all who couldn't use a little spruce up in their holiday wardrobe? Simply enter the giveaway with the Rafflecopter Giveaway link below. If you're reading this, you likely already follow me which means you have automatic entry with a few simple clicks!

This giveaway will go for one week, it is open to international reader, and it's awesome. Good luck!

Also, in case you're wondering, the tunic featured above is from Pink Blush. I fell in love with the lace detail (which is also found on the arms) and I love how easy it is to pair with just about anything.  Oh, and it's on sale! My necklace and earring combo is also from Pink Blush--did I mention that they have awesome accessories? Well, they do. I love these particular pieces I've already worn them way too much... and I will continue to because the color is perfect for the holidays.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Life Lately | Forest Green + Printed Leggings

Admittedly, these pictures were taken a little while ago. I don't know why I never posted them. This post has just been around, lurking in my drafts, waiting for a good moment to make an appearance. 

...Okay, that's not entirely true. I know why I didn't post them. I didn't like these pictures at first. I was barely pregnant when these were taken, and I wasn't fond of the way my belly looked. But, now that my stomach is bigger and more pronounced, I see them in a whole new light! It's funny how perspective changes with an ever growing waistline. 

What is crazy to me now is that my body already feels so foreign and I still have sooo much longer to go, and so much growth to experience! I'm a little nervous to see how big I'll get. Not because I'm worried about my size so much as I am about how uncomfortable I'll be towards the end. With Klair, I felt like I was bursting at the seams. With my short little torso (I'm only 5'2") and her long body (she was 22" at birth) she was constantly in my ribs and every organ felt completely compressed, including my lungs. Breathing was a chore.

This time around I'm well ahead of where I was with Klair at this point in terms of belly size. If that's any indication of how big he is going to be, I am in trouble. Plus, I can already feel baby boy kicking! I felt him for the first time at 17 weeks when we were in Disneyland. The first movement felt like something a third trimester baby would do...and it completely shocked me. I was in denial that it could be him, but he did it again a few nights later. Klair and I were sitting in my bed. I yawned, he moved rather abruptly, and I exclaimed "whoa!" Klair thought my spontaneous burst was hilarious. I was convinced it was him. I looked it up, and apparently the startle reflex develops at 17 weeks, and that's exactly what it felt like--one large, startled movement. I suppose the noises of Disneyland and of my yawn surprised him enough to really move. Now I can feel him constantly with his kicks and movements, and at times we can tell exactly where he is by simply pressing on my belly. 

As much as I love it... it also scares me a little. It took until 22 weeks to feel Klair... that's a 5 week difference! And his kicks... well they're already pretty strong at times. I'm almost 19 weeks... doesn't it seem a little early for that? Once again, if these things are any indication of how big he is/will be... this pregnancy could get a lot harder. Klair was 8 lbs 3 oz... and it was a rough labor and recovery. I'm not sure I can handle a bigger baby. The third trimester and labor are looming a little for me...

But, I suppose on the flip side of that, I won't be sad if I have a big, strong baby boy. Klair was a bigger baby, and it was great. Despite the fact that she was born during cold season, she never got sick and did so well as a newborn. I think here size definitely helped her case. Maybe we can compromise and he can be right around the same size as Klair. That seems fair. I already know I can handle that. That's not too much to ask for, right? 

Haha, ahh the unknowns of pregnancy. It's such a trial of faith. I just have to continue putting one foot in front of the other, and hoping for the best. I feel grateful that things have gone as well as they have, and my fears have been eased by some very powerful priesthood blessings that Sam and I have both received recently which have promised good health for our baby. 

Speaking of which,  one such blessing actually took place today when Sam was set apart to be the Elders Quorum President. It's a pretty time intensive, and demanding leadership calling within our local congregation. Although I know he will do amazingly well (he's a born leader and one of the most spiritual people I know) it's easy to feel overwhelmed by it... especially in light of the fact that he's so busy with work. He's actually thousands of miles away on a business trip as I type this.

Before he left, I was able to be present as our Stake President (a leader over a large area and a number of wards) set him apart and conferred keys of the priesthood upon him to aid him in his ministry. It was an intensely spiritual moment, and the spirit conveyed to me so strongly that Sam's calling really had come from the Lord. It's exactly what he should be doing. In the blessing, I was surprised by how much our family was mentioned--and by how much I was mentioned as well. It seems that we will be very blessed because of Sam's service, and the promise of health and happiness for our family--particularly our children--made my eyes well up with tears. Sam has given me a few blessings of comfort during my pregnancy, and through him the Lord has promised that this baby will be healthy. Today was another confirmation of that. The baby will be well. Klair will be well. Our family will be well... these are the things I pray for most, and God comforted me personally today. I love the priesthood! 

Ok wow. That was a bit of a tangent from the original post about some pictures I didn't initially like. Ah well, that's what blogging is all about right? I can write whatever in the world I want to. I think in light of Sam being gone writing this all out is proving to be a little therapeutic for me. It's good for the soul. 

In case you're wondering, below are some outfit details. 

I bought the gold and black printed leggings last year at Forever 21 for $5. They were on sale, and I instantly fell in love with the gold detail and the fact that they're map inspired. Blame it on the geography teacher inside me. I've actually received a lot of compliments on them, and one girl thought they were designer leggings. Score! The forest green sweater came from a local little boutique. I love that it is flowy without being bulky. I hate bulky sweaters. I find them so unflattering on me. I also think the color is perfect for the holiday season! Under the sweater I layered a little striped jumper dress that I've had for years. I honestly don't even remember where I got it. And last but not least the brown lace-up booties also came from a local boutique. So, although you can't buy any of these exact items, here are some similar ones I've found: 

Happy Monday! Well, as happy as a Monday can be :) 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Pink Blush Maternity Maxi + A (Cute) Photo Bomber

I recently had Pink Blush reach out to me for a collaboration, and I was able to choose some items from their vast and amazing maternity line. I was giddy to say the least, because I've been a fan of their clothing for awhile. It seems like most companies these days are discontinuing maternity clothes or, if they do have them, it's a tiny little section of the store with a handful of options. Pink Blush is a breath of fresh air in this regard. They have a huge inventory, affordable prices, and so many fashionable options for the mom-to-be! Also, if you're hesitant about the idea of ordering online, they offer free exchanges/returns and include a shipping label just in case. I've been really impressed with both their clothing and their friendly service.

When I first saw this dress, I fell in love. I've really been drawn to purples and reds lately. I like how dramatic they are, and so perfect for the fall season. This particular Pink Blush burgundy maternity maxi dress is both comfortable and flattering, and it's basic enough to wear in a variety of ways. I'm sure I'll be wearing it a lot throughout my pregnancy... and afterwards. 

Also, this post wouldn't be complete without mentioning my little photo companion. She was busy playing independently while we were outside with her until she noticed that Sam was taking photos. She then marched over, demanded to have my purse, and threw a tantrum until I gave in. After that she was surprisingly happy, which made for some cute photos. We even got her to kiss her baby brother! This is one of her favorite things to do now, and I'm so glad Sam captured such a sweet moment. Cutest photo bomber ever. 

Happy Friday! What plans do you have for the weekend?

Outfit Details

Klair's Outfit
Floral Dress (similar) | Leggings | Boots 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

My Sister's Tee | Comfortable Stylish Fashion

Pregnancy is hard. That is my profound thought for the day. What's really been getting me lately (apart from the morning sickness that hasn't ended yet despite the fact that I'm well out of the normal time frame for it) is the lack of clothing that fits my body. I don't even enjoy shopping anymore, because I can guarantee that I'll hate 99.9% of everything I try on. Not just a "meh, it's alright" but I'll hate it... the way it fits, the way it feels... am I the only one who only lives in comfy pajamas and nightgowns around the house? They're all I can stand to wear. So, when I find something that I actually like wearing (and is socially appropriate for leaving home) it feels like a pretty big accomplishment.

I was recently introduced to an awesome online t-shirt company that fits both my demands--comfort first (obviously) while still being fashionable. The brand is called My Sister's Tee, and it's an online t-shirt company that was started by two sisters. They design shirts (and hoodies) with positive and stylish messages for women. Their products come in a variety of fits and colors, and they're extremely soft and comfy. I recently got the "Lover of Life" dolman style tee that I'm wearing above, and it has become a staple of my wardrobe. It works so well for pregnancy (long, flowy, stretchy, soft material) but it's not strictly a maternity shirt so it will be great afterwards too. Regardless of whether you're pregnant or not, I highly recommend checking them out!

What are some comfortable fashions that you like? I'm definitely open to suggestion!