Monday, December 19, 2016

Fall and Winter Bump Style

I have a few friends that are expecting (yay!) and have been asking me what maternity clothes I wore last year. Black leggings, black tank top, cardigan and boots was my "go to" look. I also wore these under the belly jeans frequently. Looking back I had my moments of frustration and boredom with my wardrobe... but the upside is I only had a small pile of clothes to pack away.

With the exception of a dress for my shower, I basically stayed away from the "this will work post pregnancy" mentality. And in all honestly, when I put that dress back on I feel pregnant and don't think I'll wear it again. I work in a casual office and didn't travel anywhere with a different climate, which made things easier. My babymoon to St. Thomas was cancelled due to the Zika travel advisory just breaking so I ended up returning a few things I bought for that trip (bikini tops and maxi dresses).

My go-to stores were Old Navy, Gap, Target and ASOS for decent priced, stylish options. I didn't have much luck at H&M but a friend of mine has been happy with her findings this year. What to splurge on? I think it's worth a pair of jeans that hold their shape or a dress for an event like your shower. For those items, check out Nordstrom and Shopbop.

Here is a breakdown of the basics that I purchased. You will see a theme... tight and ruched!

I bought clothes as I needed them, with the exception of the Bellaband to hold up my jeans in the first and second trimesters. I purchased those in advance because I didn't want to be caught off guard one morning trying to button my jeans. I had both black and white.

lululemon High Times Pant (non-maternity) $98
I definitely got my money's worth out of these and the brushed inside kept me warm in the winter. I'll admit I would wear them to work and then straight to barre class.  I went up one size from pre-pregnancy and wore them into my third trimester, sometimes folding over the top. (I also got the Power Y Tank in a size up for working out and to wear on the weekends... I was lucky to find one on sale.) These are non-maternity and the fit might not be for you because as you get bigger they won't go all the way over your belly.

These are very basic and just comfortable. Full disclosure... they don't do anything for your thighs and behind like lulu will. For me they went all the way over my belly, where the lulu pants did not as I got bigger.

The only maternity jeans I bought... great price point and I love the distressed look. 

I LIVED in this tank top style. I had a few in black and also in gray and navy and wore under cardigans. I also bought a couple of these

Always a sucker for stripes. Gap has a few striped styles, I also like this one.

I wore this dress to a few holiday parties, a bachelorette and also out to dinner with a cardigan over it.. I did have it hemmed right above the knee since I'm on the short side.

A few other things I loved that I don't see available... a gray t-shirt dress from ASOS and foldover yoga pants from Old Navy. I also bought a cute top at pea in the pod. One of the things that is noticeably missing is a jacket. I just didn't zip mine up if I couldn't and always wore a scarf. If you are in the city or outside a lot that probably isn't going to work for you but if you can get away with it, you'll save.

If you're expecting... congratulations! If you need registry tips, check out my post

Monday, December 5, 2016

Weekend Update

How is it December... and just a few weeks away from Christmas?! There is so much to do and never enough time. I can thank this drug store concealer for hiding the dark circles under my eyes, plus good lighting. I have been staying up later than usual trying to get organized for the holidays (and for life in general).

Speaking of drug store beauty... somehow I receive Teen Vogue in the mail and I flipped through and saw their 65 BEST Drugstore Beauty Products of 2016. I might give this other Maybelline concealer a try along with this mask when I have a teenage breakout. A few other things also landed on Allure's Best of Beauty 2016: Steals like the Tresemmé Beauty-Full Volume Pre-Wash Conditioner and Shampoo. If I add anything to my routine I'll keep you posted.

Lexi wore this adorable lobster sweater from her godmother Kate from The Red Wagon on Charles Street in Boston. I spotted a cute navy sweater with "BOS" or "617" on their Instagram for anyone in that area. I am already sad for when she outgrows this... I see a larger version for her future.

I recently got this 7 A.M. Enfant Le Sac Igloo for Lexi's car seat. Since it turned cold, I wanted to easily get her in and out of the car and quickly bundled up. It can also be used with her regular stroller seat. I purchased mine direct from their website during their Cyber Monday sale. My practical side said to order in grey in case we have a baby boy someday but I couldn't resist the rose pink.

Last year Ted and I moved in December and were also heading out to Colorado for Christmas so we didn't decorate... not the mention the fact I was starting to feel very pregnant. I had my decorations packed up in these Scout 4 Boys Bags. It's amazing how much they hold. Highlight recommend.


Monday, November 28, 2016

Cyber Monday

Most of the sales from Friday are still on (see the list here), but these two worth sharing!

Waiting on Martha // 30% sitewide
How cute are those holiday ginger jar napkins? I also love these to mix in and use after the season.

Serena & Lily // 25% off everything (Code: BESTEVER)
I recently upgraded to these bistro stools, pictured above. Love them! Santa, bring me this throw.


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Round Up

It's that time... here is a round up of the best sales and a few of my favorites. Check back for updates through Monday!

Ann Taylor // 50% off everything (Code: CELEBRATE)

Anthropologie // Early access for Anthro members 30% everything (Code: LETSGO)
My favorite candles are Carpi Blue Volcano... I love this iridescent jar

ASOS // 30% off everything (Code: THANKFUL30)

Banana Republic // 50% off 5 items (Code: BRFIVE)

BaubleBar // 35% off everything (Code: VIP35)

Club Monaco // 25% off $150, 30% off $250, 35% off $400 (Code: THANKS)

Gap // 50% off everything (Code: TGIF50)
I'm wearing these slippers right now.

Express // 50% off everything

J.Crew // 40% off everything (Code: HOLIDAY)
See my pics below!

J. Crew Factory // 50-60% off everything

Loft // 50% off everything

Madewell // 25% off everything (Code: THATSALE)

Mark and Graham // 25% off your entire order (Code: Friends)
This lacquer tray is one of my go-to engagement gifts. Wouldn't you love to receive one of these in blush with your monogram?

Old Navy // 50% off everything

Serena & Lily // 20% off everything (Code: THANKYOU)
I recently upgraded to these bistro stools for our kitchen counter. Obsessed!

Shopbop // Up to 25% off (Code: GOBIG16)

Tory Burch // 30% off (Code: THANKS)

Tuckernuck // 20% off everything, 25% off $500, 30% off $1000 (Codes: GIVE20, GIVE25, GIVE30)
Unfortunately Barbour is excluded this year... but Canada Goose is a go.

The J. Crew sale is by far the best one of the bunch... so many things have sold out or have limited sizes left. Here are a few of my favorite things for gifts (friends, family and YOURSELF, ha).

Large Tortoise Hair Clip Please stuff my stocking with all of the clips. I can never get myself to pay full price for one!
Tassel Chain Necklace I bought this for my mom... not a surprise anymore. And I plan to borrow it...
Majesty Pea Coat This is a classic! I bought this last year... pictured here. If I had room in my coat closet I would get this in sandstone and this in dusk.
Cambridge Cable Turtleneck Sweater Wardrobe staple. 
Medium Leather Pouch The perfect pouch to pair with a gift card. Also comes in solid colors.
Gemma Cap Toe Flat I have these in the round toe.

Happy Shopping!


Monday, November 21, 2016

Sweater Weather

It's been mild weather in Connecticut up until now... it's safe to say it's officially sweater weather. I've got to bundle this one up and I love these sweater onesies at Baby Gap. I bought Lexi both of the stripe versions. Now is the time to buy with all of the sales!

I also went for the coordinating "crazy stripe" version for me. At first when I saw this sweater at Gap I thought... noooo. Then I changed my mind after seeing Blair Eadie wearing a similar Gucci version. The colors are almost identical. 

Atlantic // Pacific 

Since I can't pull off a full skirt I'll wear it layered under a jacket, with jeans and booties. 

I'll be living in this sweater this winter. There have been a few Free People sweaters that I have wanted but the oversized fit didn't look right on me. This one is boxy but not bulky. I love that it is slightly cropped in the front....

... and the zipper detail in the back!

J. Crew in Westport had an early access Black Friday event on Sunday morning with an illustrator from Chic Sketch. I haven't downloaded their app yet but it looks cool and you can get a video of your sketch. Of course I had to have one with Miss Lexi. She cooperated to the point where I asked Ted to take our picture for comparison. Go figure!

I went in looking for this necklace for a gift but didn't find it. Back to the sweaters...I wish I had found this one on the sale rack in my size. I have the cream and would love to add another color to my closet. Ted picked up a few things so we didn't leave empty handed. 

Are you ready for the sale craziness ahead? I hope to pop back on to share good offers. I'm making a list of what I want to buy for gifts (and myself...) to prep before I get completely overwhelmed!


Sunday, October 2, 2016

I Love Fall A Latte

My favorite month has arrived! It felt so good to be home with my little Lexi this past weekend after traveling most of the week for work. We spent Sunday afternoon at Terrain in Westport for lunch and browsing with my mom. I'll be heading back next weekend for little pumpkins and gourds once I figure out how I will display them.

TheSplendidBow (takes orders every Monday morning)
Baby Gap Sweater, onesie and pants.

Yay for fall!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

On My Radar

Hi everyone! So I am currently traveling for work in Hong Kong and my schedule is completely thrown off... what better to do when you can't sleep than shop? I actually started this wishlist a few weeks ago and can finally share it.

J. Crew Kiki Leather Cap Toe Ballet Flats
I hate to post about something that is almost sold out... but you never know these might come back in stock. I got them back in July when I first saw them because I knew they would go fast.They are also available in the Gemma style with a pointy toe. C-L-A-S-S-I-C!

Joie Alpina Dress
It pains me to see this dress selling out in most sizes but I understand why... I have been eyeing it for a few weeks and hoping to get during a promotion. I have a few dresses from Joie and they double for work and fun depending on how your accessorize. In fact, I have a couple packed on my current trip. (I am always on the lookout for mark downs on Saks OFF 5th, Nordstrom Rack and Rue La La. I have never paid full price...)

Tory Burch Small Fleming Quilted Shoulder Bag
I would like to upgrade my current little black bag. Perfect for date nights.

Rag & Bone Harrow Boot
I have these in black leather and will be wearing them for a 4th year. I had them resoled to extend the life and they have held up amazingly. Yes, they are pricey but have been a staple in my wardrobe every fall and winter. Time for a new color!

AG Ankle Jeans
Another wardrobe staple.

L.L. Bean Boat and Tote Bag
It's time to update Lexi's diaper bag from mint green to a fall color... I think the camo will look great with a girl pink monogram. Unless I am going to work, I have just been throwing my wallet and phone into her tote or stroller organizer. I really hate carrying too much around and overpacking the stroller. Stuff naturally piles up during outgoings so I like to keep it as minimal as possible when I head out of the house.

I have never been to Hong Kong... if anyone has any last minute recommendations when I'm not in the office let me know!

P.S. Beautycounter for Target has launched! More details tomorrow...

Monday, September 12, 2016

Baby Safety with Britax

Last week I attended an event with Britax and FairfieldCounty Moms Blog along with 10 local moms to raise awareness for Child Passenger Safety Month. A car seat is one of the top purchases you are making to keep you little one protected, and most importantly ensuring that you are using it properly in the case of a collision.

Our cars were lined up and ready for installation of the new Advocate ClickTight after a comprehensive demonstration. (If anyone had been in the market for a midsize SUV this event could have doubled as a car show.) The most difficult part was getting it out of the box and into the car on a hot and humid day. I’ll be honest, though I could install the seat myself I would much rather "supervise" and guide my husband next time around. 

An astounding 75% of car seats aren't installed correctly. There are two ways to secure - the seat belt or the LATCH system. Personally, I find the latches confusing since there are rules depending on the model year of your car and whether forward or rear-facing. Always read your car seat guide, check the vehicle manual and pay attention to weight limits (including that of the seat). This particular car seat utilizes the seat belt. 

The ClickTight technology is simple... turn the key to open, thread the seat belt through the slots, click it close. Pull the strap tight to secure (you will hear another click) and press the button above the key to loosen. The Anti-Rebound bar is an additional safety feature that reduces rebound rotation by 40% and stabilizes the car seat during crashes. 

We gave the seat a test run over the weekend on our way to lunch.  My only "complaint" is that Lexi fell right to sleep so when we arrived at the restaurant, which was less than 10 minutes away, I had to carefully move her into her stroller. At least we know it's comfortable. For now having an infant car seat carrier that can easily transfer from the stroller into a base in my car is the most ideal. However, I am happy to have the Advocate ClickTight for our other car. I had planned to go with a convertible car seat over a second infant car seat base, since it grows with your child making it an economical choice. 

If you are in the market for a new seat, now is a great time. Britax is having a sale through 9/30 for Baby Safety Month and you can save up to 25%. 


Friday, September 9, 2016

God Bless Alexa Lynn!

We had Lexi baptized over Labor Day Weekend in a private ceremony at St. Andrew's in Edgartown. We were excited to share this special day with Ted's family and Lexi's godparents, Mike and Kate. It was an absolutely beautiful morning on Martha's Vineyard and Miss Lexi was all smiles when we arrived at the church.

Lexi will cherish these personalized baptismal gifts from Kate. As always, Kate goes above and beyond. (I have to mention that the handkerchief came in handy and was much more presentable than our standard burp cloth!)

Lexi, you are our little angel. We are so blessed to have you in our lives!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Mom Life - Checking In (4 Months)

Lexi is growing up so fast! I swear each time I get back to writing this post another month goes by and I rewrite everything. So before we hit month five next week, here is a recap of #momlife thus far. Trying to hit on all the topics that people ask about, especially my mom-to-be friends.

Starting off with this topic because almost everyone initially asks if she's sleeping well... and the answer for now is yes.  I would like to think it's a combination of luck plus all my crazy research on scheduling, but it's just luck. She has been sleeping through the night since 8 weeks, giving me and Ted a break for first time parents. Lately she has occasionally woken up but fallen back asleep with her pacifier. I know things can change at anytime but my fingers are crossed.

The first few weeks she was fed on demand, but I never let her go more than 3 hours without feeding her during the day. One of the pediatricians at the hospital suggested trying to feed her every 2 hours during the day so the intervals at night were longer. We started to give her a bottle of pumped milk every night at two weeks. It was great to have Ted help out and also know she was getting a full meal before "bedtime" each night. It was definitely hard at first and I have never been so exhausted.

Most message boards and blog posts mentioned Moms On Call when talking about scheduling and sleeping through the night, so I bought the book and roughly followed their plan. I started to give Lexi a bath followed by bottle every night at around 6-7 weeks. She was sleeping from around 9PM to 5AM at 8 weeks and started moving back her own bedtime as the weeks went on. Although I don't follow the advice in the book to a T there was lots of other helpful information. 

For the first 3 weeks she slept flat on her back in a Graco Travel Lite Crib. A lactation consultant then suggested that we move to the Rock 'N Play to help with reflux symptoms since it kept her at an angle. We then went to the bassinet again to get her used to sleeping on her back at 14 weeks and will be moving her to her crib soon.

I didn't have the same luck with a daytime routine since I was primarily nursing and didn't know how much she was consuming. A routine came naturally after I returned to work at 3 months and eased into exclusively bottle feeding. I started to mix formula with pumped milk at 12 weeks. I gradually increased the amount of formula and transitioned fully at 15 weeks. It did take her system time to adjust and we also ended up going on medication for reflux. I had planned to pump for another month but this is just how it panned out.

3-4 Month Routine (Bottle Fed)

5:30 - 7:00AM - Wake Up
If Lexi wakes up before 6:30 I sometimes move her into bed with me if I'm snoozing. Otherwise, she will typically fall back asleep with her pacifier. I try to wait as close to 7 for her first bottle.
7:00 AM - Bottle #1, play, nap
10:00 AM - Bottle #2, play, nap
1:00 PM - Bottle #3, play, nap
4:30 PM - Bottle #4, play
5:30 PM - 6:30 - Walk outside around the park/cat nap
6:30 - 7:00 PM - Bath
7:15 PM - Bottle #5
7:45 PM - Bedtime

This is just a general idea of how the day goes, we are flexible. Sometimes she naps for 2 hours, sometimes she doesn't at all. We may only do 1 bottle in the afternoon, it just depends. The one thing that doesn't really waver is the bath. She is like clockwork and ready to start her nighttime routine. 

I had 3 months of maternity leave, which went by so fast. The first month was a complete blur and by the third when I was starting to function it was time to return. I'm really fortunate to live down the street from the office and depending on my schedule go home during lunch. My mom has been watching her, which helped with the transition back. Lexi will start daycare in October across town, which will be a tough changeover for me. I will miss those mid day meet ups! I am also traveling internationally next month for meetings... another big change to be away. Thank God for Facetime.

Instagram Stories

Getting myself out of the house has always been a production in itself. Shockingly I have done much better than I thought packing us both up. I carry around way less stuff for me and joke that I don't even need to wear my own bag anymore since I use the "stroller fanny pack" for my wallet and phone and just throw anything else in her bag. I find it helpful to always have the diaper bag ready to go, so unpack and repack it after each outing. Now is an appropriate time to give a shout out to Ted... always happy to jump in and help! I was in J. Crew and came outside to that cute scene on the bench.

I know that I paint a pretty picture on Instagram and my blog, but want to be honest that I have bad days and the occasion meltdown. At first I felt like I had no idea what I was doing... but it got better and like everyone says you just figure it out. It is more than worth it.

As I mentioned above, I have found Moms on Call to be very helpful with basic care and scheduling. I googled a million things about breastfeeding and always ended up on KellyMom. I like receiving emails each week from The Bump on baby's development and milestones.

The world of Facebook mom groups is so intriguing to me. So many moms, so many opinions. If you are in the NYC area, I encourage you to join UES Mommas. I've gotten some great tips on there, as well as some good laughs. Definitely find your town's group page and ask your mom friends if they recommend any or can add you.

I can't stress enough this is what worked for me. Every baby is different and you need to do what's right for you!

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