Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Things

As my pregnancy comes to a close, I thought I'd share some of my favorite things that I've grown to love and got attached to throughout these last 9 months. From beauty products, to clothes, to popsicles, here are the things I've loved.

Burt's Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter
I started using this around 14 weeks when my belly began to pop out, and I love it! It's super thick, so a little goes a long way. I rub this on my belly once in the morning and once before bed. It keeps my stomach moisturized all day and I'm not sure if it's because of the lotion or genetics, but I never got one stretch mark on my stomach. I'm about 3/4 of the way through with jar #2 and will probably keep using it even after he's born. It's easy to find, too. I buy mine at Target, but most maternity stores or drug stores where Burt's Bees products are sold will carry it. Runs about $12 a jar and worth every penny and then some.

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Massage Cream for Stretch Marks
Though I never got any stretch marks on my belly, I have some on my lower hip area that are genetic (my skinny, 24 year old sister has them too). Since my skin was stretching even more these last few months, I bought a tube of it and I've noticed that the marks are reduced. It's so cheap - about $5 - and sold at most every drug store. It's thick, so you don't need a lot and bonus - it smells like chocolate!

The Body Shop Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask
Early on in my pregnancy, my skin did a dramatic change and got really oily. I used to have very minor problems with a slightly oily T-zone in the summers, but this was full out oil (God bless oil absorbing papers!). This stuff is really good since it helps draw out all the excess oils and impurities out of your skin, yet won't dry you out. Fortunately, the oil didn't last too long and my skin went back to normal, but now that I'm back in Florida, I'm sure I'll be getting use out of the rest of the jar once he's born and the true humidity hits.

Pea In The Pod Secret Fit Belly Jersey Knit Maternity Leggings
My mom got me 2 pairs of these for Christmas and I practically lived in them! Maternity leggings in general are beyond comfortable, but there was just something about these that felt soooo good. Totally worth the investment since these have been a staple in my maternity wardrobe. Comfort is everything when you're pregnant!

Old Navy and Gap Maternity
I tried not to spend a fortune on maternity clothes since you only wear them for a few months (if that). Even though I had been lent some maternity jeans by a friend, I got the most use out of my jeans from these 2 places. I got a pair of skinny maternity jeans from each store and wore them all the time. Most Old Navy stores carry their maternity line in-store now. The department may be small, but you can find some cute and inexpensive things like tanks and cute tops for under $20. Some Gap Baby stores will have a maternity section in them, but most of their stuff is online. They do some great sales and even have free shipping promos. I got several nursing tops from them that can be worn now and after he's born. And what's great is that lots of their sales (like 40% off promos) will apply to clearance items too!

Liz Lange Maternity for Target 
Another pregnancy go-to. Most of the Liz Lange line is designed to wear during and after pregnancy. I got lots of basic tees and tanks in different colors, as well as a couple of sundresses and a long skirt. During the winter up in Atlanta, they were great for sweaters since they were stretchy and didn't even look like maternity wear. Target always has great clearance rack sales too, so lots of the stuff I got ended up being 30-50% off.

Your feet WILL swell at some point...and it sucks. Fortunately, mine didn't start until around 35 weeks. Living in Florida again, I've pretty much worn flip flops every day since I've been back. There's something about Havaianas though, that make them so much more comfortable than regular flops. Plus, you want a good quality flip flop to wear when your feet feel like you've just completed two back-to-back marathons (unless it's winter, which I guess will make Uggs your best friend). They're not as cheap as flip flops from Old Navy, Target, etc., but you can find them at Nordstrom Rack for $12 or online for about the same, if not, less. Your feet will thank you.

SoBe Coconut Water Pops 
Staying hydrated is a big part of being pregnant, and coconut water is a great source of hydration. I discovered these gems at Publix up in Atlanta early on, and even ate them when it was 20 degrees outside. I would eat 2 every night while watching TV. Not kidding - I'm tempted to have Mike bring them to the hospital while I'm in labor. I've only found the regular (my favorite) and the yumberry pomegranate, but they also come in strawberry kiwi and pomegranate cherry.

Zico Chocolate Coconut Water
Another solid coconut water find. It tastes like YooHoo! It's a great source of electrolytes and potassium. I've found them everywhere - Publix, Target, etc. Most grocery stores should carry them.

Carnation Instant Breakfast 
I actually didn't drink these for breakfasts, but would have them as an afternoon snack. They're loaded with vitamins and a great source of calcium, which you need for those growing baby's bones! I preferred the chocolate one since I felt like I was drinking a chocolate milkshake, but the strawberry and vanilla are super tasty too. They comes in pre-made bottles for on the go, but I would just get the box of the powder mixes and mix them with milk.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Changes Galore!

Hello friends. Man, have we had a lot of changes these last few months! First off, we moved! We loved, loved, loved living in Atlanta. Even though we weren't there long, I feel very lucky that we had the opportunity to experience life there. There's so much to do and it's a really pretty place. I won't miss the 30 degree temps in March, but I will miss the four seasons - especially fall. If you've read my blog before, you know how much I absolutely LOVE fall. The weather, the farmers' markets, pumpkins, changing leaves...sigh. However, once we learned we were having a baby, it seemed like the right decision to make the move back to Tampa. Most all of our close friends have young children and babies, not to mention I know more people who are pregnant than I can keep track of (seriously - I have to stop and count by month since there are so many). It also just so happens that this is the year of the boy! I'm due in June, and I have 3 other friends due in July, August, and September - all with boys! Plus, one friend just had a boy last month, so Baby G will have no shortage of little buddies his age. It also allowed us to be closer to family. We felt it was really important for the baby to be close to his grandparents, aunts, uncle, and cousin. We decided to continue renting out previous house out, and bought a home in a different part of town that we used to live in - an area known to be very family friendly and have some of the best schools in the area.

So far, we love it here! We lucked out on our house (and I mean, lucked OUT!). It's perfect for us and it's within walking distance to a great park/playground. Our neighbors have been very welcoming, and there are lots of little baby boys around here as well. The only gripe I have is the lovely gator who decided to sun himself on our lawn about 2 weeks ago...We live with our backyard facing a huge pond, and he graced us with his presence one afternoon. Supposedly, they haven't been spotted in this pond before, so Florida Wildlife got a phone call from me, and hopefully they can take him away to a place where alligators can frolic and play...preferably very far away from here. Anyway, the house itself is awesome. The lady who lived here before us took incredible care of everything, and upgraded a lot. Before we moved in, we re-painted the inside colors to our liking, but other than that, the house was good to go! We also have a screened in pool which is coming in very handy since we've had lots and lots of 89 degree days (God bless all you ladies who have to go through Florida summers being pregnant!). Penny's been in a few times, except she apparently forgotten that she likes to swim (I have video proof of her at the beach and pool in the past). She'd prefer to run around the perimeter of the pool and spazz out over the floating chlorine holder that looks like a duck wearing sunglasses.

I had my baby shower about 2 weeks ago and reality is starting to set in! I'm 34 weeks now, and Baby G is growing beautifully. He kicks and moves all the time, and gets the hiccups several times a day. We're almost done decorating his nursery, and I could just sit in his room and stare at everything for hours. I love it and I can't wait to meet our little man. We have just a couple finishing touches, and then I'll post pics on here once it's all done.

That being said, I'm off to fold some more baby laundry. Just wanted to post a little update on what's been going on lately!