Saturday, April 27, 2013

Not so Mellow Yellow

Finally! A bright, sunny day! We're going for a walk in our soon-to-be new hometown (more details on our upcoming move to come), and visiting with family & friends.

Top: Old Navy
Jeans: Abercrombie & Fitch (old)
Flats: JCPenny
Bracelet: Express (last year, I think)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Recent Spring/Summer Purchases

So there's a little gem of a store that I discovered re-discovered with a great selection of spring/summer pieces--- and guess what? They're all marked at a great price point too! I never think to go to JCPenny when I'm at the mall but after getting a catalog of current trends in the mail, I decided that I needed to make a trip there to check things out.

I didn't pick up any clothing items but I did get some flats, sandals, and earrings. I should also mention that they have several JCrew-esque necklaces (including the bubble necklace) for $20 and up too. Unfortunately, I had to refrain from buying any because those types of necklaces just aren't practical with a little one that is always tugging on everything in sight but one day, one day, I'll get reacquainted with my beloved statement necklaces.

So here's what I picked up...

...and here are some of my top picks from the catalog.

Disclaimer: I was in no way, shape, or form compensated for this post. This post contains nothing other than my own personal opinion. I am not affiliated with JCP in any way. I chose to publish this post for the sole purpose of informing my readers of some current items that I adore. Simple as that.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Dear Prenatals, I Love You

Can I just tell you what wonders those little, well actually big, prenatal pills can do for your hair? My hair has been so strong and extra thick and I'm loving every second of it. I know it's just a matter of time until I start the "postpartum hair-loss" phase of it all but until then, I'm enjoying it. I really haven't shed much hair throughout my pregnancy and coming from a person who emptied her drain after every hair washing, emptied her brush every week, and vacuumed after every blow-dry session, this is a big deal. It wasn't until the other day that I noticed a little more hair coming out in the drain so I anticipate the end being very near.

In other hair news...
I haven't had a cut since November so I was definitely due for a trim. My cousin is in beauty school and she just reached the part where you practice in the salon. I went to visit her a few weeks ago and while I was there I got a trim. She did a great job! It's so nice to have a family member who can take care of your beauty needs. No more searching for "the" stylist...

I also took the plunge a few weeks ago and went for a more intense ombre. I went to my regular salon for the color and I'm so happy with the results. I didn't think I could ever pull off such a light hue but she blended everything perfectly and I'm really happy with it. The down side of the ombre look is that wearing your hair up in a pony isn't the best look. Ponies show too stark of a color contrast and hide the gradual change in color. Anyone else have this problem too?

Friday, April 5, 2013

MMR: March 2013: Personal Style

Question of the month from Alison & Noelle: How would you describe your own personal style? How has it evolved over the years?

This is such a great question and such a great opportunity to reflect. My style has definitely evolved over the years but some things have stayed the same. I've always been a fan of basics and classics. I've always loved black and white, a little too much actually. Over the years, I've incorporated a lot more color and more printed fabrics into my wardrobe.

During my college years I spent my days in jeans or sweats and even a velour sweat suit here and there. Those were my party days too so at night I was wearing the shortest skirts, the tiniest tops, and showing off my belly at every opportunity that I had. I've learned over the years that if you're going to show some leg then you should keep your cleavage covered up and vice versa but back then I didn't know that little rule. I just got a new computer and I'm in the process of going through all of my backed up stuff and of course, I can't find my photos from 2008 and earlier. You're lucky, or maybe I'm lucky...either way there were some pretty trashy outfits back in the day. So I'll share what I do have:
2004-when I first met my husband. That top was from Express, I remember buying it before I went out that night. 
2008- another outfit from Express, I lived in that store but I haven't stepped foot in there in years now. 
2009- Juicy bag and Victoria's Secret top
I loved, loved, loved Juicy but now I'm over it. Funny how some brands just phase out.
I think I would call my personal style classic-feminine. I wear a lot of basics still but I accessorize with big, bold jewelry. I wear a lot more belts and scarves now than I ever have. I still have a major shoe obsession but now that I don't go out as much anymore I tend to buy more flats and lower-heeled shoes.   I've traded in my Juicy bags for Coach bags. Overall, I think my look has gradually transformed from girly-girl/party girl to classic/casual/feminine. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Postpartum: Weighing In

<-------1 week postpartum 
6 weeks postpartum-------> 

Let me first start off by saying that I am not a health/fitness expert, I'm far from it. The information that I'm about to share with you is based purely on my own experience.

I'm not much of an exerciser, that's one facet of my life where I seem to be extremely lazy. I will get into a routine usually around this time of year to tone up and prepare for bikini season but my interest slowly dissipates the further into the season we get. So I guess you could say I exercise, but in cycles, and quite sporadically at that.

I told myself when I first got pregnant that I would incorporate some mild exercise into my routine but the extreme tiredness and constant nausea that I had during the entire first trimester prevented that plan from taking off. Then the second trimester came and I felt a lot better, the nausea was gone and I wasn't nearly as tired but I just didn't have the motivation to start any sort of an exercise routine. Then toward the end of my second trimester I found out that I had gestational diabetes. You can read more about that in my post here.

That diagnosis was the game changer for me. This was all the motivation that I needed because not only was my own health at stake but the health of our sweet baby girl. I saw a nutritionist, followed a low-carb diet and was able to keep my levels under control without any medication or insulin. That was an accomplishment in itself but I got there by not taking anything lightly. I stuck to a strict diet and only gave in here and there to my intense chocolate & sweets cravings. In addition to following a diet plan, I walked a mile and a half or two miles right up to the day that I went into labor. I actually walked two and a half miles every day for a week leading up to her arrival in hopes of getting the labor process rolling.

Exercising and watching what you eat during pregnancy will put you ahead of the game after you deliver. I gained 29-30 pounds while I was pregnant and three days after delivery I had already lost 10 pounds and by a week and a half postpartum I only had 5 pounds to go until I was at my pre-pregnancy weight. I guess the word "had" isn't really appropriate though because that 5 pounds is still lingering. I need to tone up my stomach a bit and loose the last 5 pounds.

My plan of attack? Well it's hard enough to find time to wash my hair let alone squeeze in some "me time" so I hope to find some time to get back on the treadmill and get some ab exercises in in the near future. I'm also banking on the arrival of the nicer weather so Aubrey and I can get out and take some nice, long walks.

I don't have the answers to speedy postpartum weight loss but I can leave you with some tips to get you there:
1. Water. Drink lots and lots of water. Sometimes when you think you're hungry you're really just thirsty. Plus you need to drink lots of water if you're breastfeeding, anyway. Which brings me to number two...
2. Breastfeed. It's not for everyone but it is the healthier way to go for both you and your little one(s) and it burns calories! Oh, and it speeds up the process of shrinking your uterus back down to size.
3. Watch what you're putting into your body. Also remember what you are eating can affect your baby if you're breastfeeding- So, hold the broccoli! Also, if you're breastfeeding remember how important it is to get all of your calories in (and then some) because that keeps your milk production up.
4. Keep temptation out of sight. You know that expression "out of sight, out of mind?" I need to have something sweet after I eat dinner, it's my thing but I keep my sweets out of plain view (ie.: in cabinets, drawers, etc) that way I'm less likely to grab something sweet when I'm looking for a snack.
5. Don't drink your calories. It's a waste, we all know that.

*Next Postpartum Check-In post: Going Back to Work (as requested by a few readers)*