Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Graphic Floral Dress

Picking up cats in heels is hard ok. 

Shop the Look 

Dress: Alexis's Shop Stevie Shop (get it here, also love this and this) // Necklace: J. Crew Factory (get it here) // Purse: Tory Burch (similar here) // Heels: Saks off 5th (similar here) // Denim Trench: Who What Wear x Target (similar here

You guys know I love a good floral print (I would be embarrassed to tell you how many floral print dresses I have in my closet). So I simply couldn't resist this graphic floral print dress when I saw it! I mean it's just too gorgeous. AND STRETCHY. Double win.

I was planning on wearing it to church a few weeks ago just on its own but realized as I was looking at my jackets in my closet that this denim trench paired perfectly with it! I often forget to look at my jackets when putting together an outfit so I was really glad I spotted it before I left! Of course, the dress looks pretty fabulous just on its own but I think the jacket really helps pull the whole look together. Plus our church building can get kind of cold so the jacket helped in that department as well. 

One of the hardest adjustments to motherhood has definitely been the clothes I wear. I know I know it sounds dumb but hear me out. Prior to becoming a mom, I worked in two different offices so I always enjoyed putting together nice, professional-looking outfits for work and more casual outfits for going out. I felt like I had plenty of opportunities to wear cute outfits and that made me happy. When I'd get home from work, I'd change into my more comfy clothes while making dinner and doing stuff around the house. But now, my life is MUCH different so my wardrobe needs are much different. 

Henrik likes to stay up late and wake up late so I consequently also wake up later in the morning. I generally change from my pajamas straight into my gym clothes for my workouts. Once I'm home, sometimes it's hours before I get in and out of the shower, cleaned up, and ready for real clothes (babies like to distract you from doing these things). But by then, it's sometimes 4 pm and I have no plans to leave the house for the rest of the day so it feels pointless to change into a real outfit. More often than not, I end up in a robe (current status), a lounge dress, sweatpants, etc. Plus when I'm home and Henrik gets hungry, I like to be able to just take off whatever I'm wearing and nurse him and be comfortable. Changing in and out of pants/nice tops just isn't very practical for that. 

This means that on days when I have errands to run (grocery store, bank, Farmer's Market, etc.), I get REALLY excited to put together an actual outfit and wear it! Even if it's just for a few hours. But of course, this only happens a few times a week and I'm never in those clothes for very long. It's definitely kind of depressing to me. I look in my closet at all these great clothes and it actually makes me super sad that I don't get the opportunity to wear them as much as I'd like. 

I'm really hoping this is just a phase and that once Henrik is a little older and not eating/needing a nap every two hours during the day that we'll be able to get out more and do things together (thus necessitating real outfits for me). But even then, my wardrobe needs will be quite different from life pre-baby. I've been buying pieces that are comfy, easy to get on and off, no-fuss/low maintenance, and visually interesting enough that they don't need a ton of accessories. Of course, washable and flexible are important too since I'm always on the floor playing with Henrik. 

It's a process, but I'm figuring it out and trying to just accept and be happy with my life right now. I know this young baby phase is fleeting and will be gone before I'm ready so I'm trying my best to soak it up and enjoy it! Even if it means I don't put on real clothes all day ;) He's the best and I wouldn't change things with him for the world. 

As always, thank you for stopping by!!

About: To start making dinner! Trying out this recipe. Super simple dinners have been our jam lately. 
Confused: As to why Henrik has been napping like all afternoon?? Highly unusual but I'll take it. 
Loving: This beautiful weather we've been having! 70 degrees and sunny is the best, in my opinion. 
Days Until Christmas: 202!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Travels with Hunky: Tranquilo Mat

As many of you know, we took Henrik on two trips in two weeks when he was a little over 4 months old. I've gotten a lot of questions about how we prepared for our trips, how they went, what worked/didn't, etc. so I've decided to do a series called "Travels with Hunky" where I will talk about different products that helped us on our trips. I'll also do a general post in a few weeks where I'll discuss our overall strategy and organization for the trips (fully recognizing that I am NOT a baby travel expert haha but I'm more than happy to share what worked for us to help other mamas out there!).

First up! The Tranquilo Mat! I first saw this product featured on Shark Tank and was instantly intrigued. Portable, effective, soothing, what more could you want in a baby product? They offered to send me one for free to try and I was SO pleased with it!

To start, we used it at home a few times to get Henrik familiar with it. We would put it on his play pad and let him lay on it while he batted at his toys. We also put it in his bassinet and had him nap on it (the vibrations and noise it made was very soothing). Right away we could tell he really liked it and kept him from being fussy.

Using it at home on his play pad. 

Then came our trips! It rolls up nicely so it was easy to pack in my suitcase (would definitely fit rolled up in a diaper bag) and didn't take up much room at all (VERY important when packing for an extra person!).

While in Florida and NYC, we used it in our hotel rooms and at my grandparents' house to give Henrik a sense of familiarity and distract him when he was upset. The vibrations would instantly calm Henrik down and keep him happy in his new environments. Whenever we kicked up the vibration mode he would giggle and it was adorable. We also put it in his pack and play during naps and used the 60-minute shut-off function (super handy). The slight motion and sound definitely helped him fall asleep in his unfamiliar settings.

Happily playing on it at my grandparents' house!

The mat is sooooooo easy to use (just two buttons) and has long-lasting battery power (we accidentally left it on all night in our family room and we still haven't had to change the batteries). Like I mentioned earlier, it's super easy to pack up and take with you, making it ideal for travel. We will definitely be taking the Tranquilo mat on our future vacations! We continue to use it at home too on his play pad. He loves the motion and sound so much! This product is definitely a win. I'd recommend it, especially if you will be doing a lot of travel when your baby is young. It's a great way to give your baby a sense of comfort and familiarity when not at home.

If you have any questions about the Tranquilo Mat, please let me know! I'd be happy to answer them :) You can learn more about this amazing product on their website here and purchase either size here!

Hunky loves his Tranquilo Mat and so do we!

This post was brought to you by Tranquilo. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Velvet Dress

Shop the Look
Dress: Shein (c/o, get the exact one here) // Necklace: J. Crew Factory (exact one here) // Purse: Coach (similar here) // Shoes: Target (similar here)

So I am super behind on blogging (quelle surprise), but hopefully the fabulousness of this dress will make up for it! I love that it's velvet/stretchy and a wrap so it's very forgiving and flattering on all body types. Plus the dark blue tone is absolutely gorgeous (not to mention a great backdrop for Bingley's orange fur). It totally reminds me of Kate Middleton in this dress! And we all know how much I love her. The price on this dress can't be beat either ($17!!!).

Feeling: Hungry.
About: To go to a friend's graduation party!
Happy: That it's almost my birthday!!!!
Days Until Christmas: 214!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Erin Condren LifePlanner

As a newly minted (mostly) stay-at-home-mom, you would think my life would be simpler in some ways than it was a few months ago. At least, I expected it to. I figured I'd just be home most days doing stuff around the house, taking care of Henrik, going to the gym, running by the grocery store, and that would be about it.

But of course, this has not been the case.

There is SO much to keep track of! Henrik's doctor's appointments, my doctor's appointments (I've had many with my recent health issues), meal planning, church assignments, blogging obligations, trips, family weddings, etc. etc.

My LifePlanner has been a serious life-saver for me. I thought my "pregnancy brain" would go away post-baby but it appears that "mom brain" is also a real thing and I find myself being quite forgetful these days too. Writing everything down in my planner has made a huge difference. It helps me keep track of when appointments are, dates that things are due, what's for dinner, and so much more.
I can write out what chores I need to do around the house each day so I don't feel overwhelmed. Sometimes I think I need to just do it all in one day but of course, that is not realistic. Picking one or two tasks (clean the bathroom, sweep the floors) to do a day is much more manageable and has helped me from getting too stressed or having expectations for myself that I simply cannot achieve.

These LifePlanners from Erin Condren are seriously SO great! You can customize them so they are the exact layout you want (I am super picky about this) plus they are gorgeous! You can even get them personalized (like I did). I also got some corresponding stationery and return address labels. I'm in love. I really might order some more matching items from their website. The quality is very high and you can tell that their whole company is very detail-oriented. Nothing has been overlooked in their planners. It's really helped me stay organized and because my planner is so pretty, I get excited to use it! Who wouldn't be excited to use items that are as beautiful as these? I feel so creative when I use them and like each day is a party or celebration of sorts. It's so fun!!

If you're interested in buying a planner or any other organizational item, be sure to check out Erin Condren's website here! They have some great deals going on and you can pick up some wonderful organizational tools that fit you and your lifestyle.

This post was sponsored by Erin Condren. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Year Ago Today....

A year ago today, something I was starting to think wasn't going to happen finally did. My prayers were answered and I knew I was receiving one of the greatest blessings of my life.

A year ago today, I realized in 9 months everything was going to change in the best way possible. I felt overwhelmed but beyond happy and excited.

A year ago today, I read that you were the size of a poppyseed and I couldn't understand how I could suddenly love someone soooo teeny tiny that I hadn't even met yet, but I did. And somehow, I love you even more with every passing moment.

A year ago today, I told your dad about your impending arrival and it was one of the best moments. He cried and we hugged for a long time and talked and talked and talked about what our new life would be like with three of us. I knew he would make an incredible father, and I was right.

A year ago today, I thought for sure I was having a girl. And yet today, I cannot imagine having anyone else but you.

A year ago today, I wondered what you would look like. What color your hair would be (blonde), what shade of eyes you would have (the prettiest dark blue), if you would look more like me or your dad (jury is still out on that one).

A year ago today, I pictured what your birthday would be like. Would it be painful? Would I have a C-section? Would I be ok during it? It turned out to be one of the most amazing experiences of my life and I'd happily do it all over again a million times.

A year ago today, I wondered what it would be like to have my parents suddenly become grandparents and see them interact with you. It's just as wonderful as I thought it would be, if not more. You have a way of making everyone around you instantly light up and it's so fun to watch.

A year ago today, I started imagining your smiles and laughs. Wondering what life would be like with you and how we would navigate this new parent/child relationship together. I knew there would be hard days, but I knew there would be great ones too (and I was right).

A year ago today, I pictured what our life would be like. Even though you screamed at me quite a bit today (I think you're teething), you have been so sweet. I went to get you out of your bassinet this morning and you gave me the biggest, happiest smile as soon as we locked eyes. I instantly melted. Sometimes we just sit and stare at each other and I try to memorize every little detail of your perfect little face because I know tomorrow, you will look just a wee bit different and before I know it, you won't be a baby any more. While this makes me sad, I also am really enjoying watching you learn and grow and develop everyday.

A year ago today, I couldn't wait for you to arrive. You light up my world and I couldn't be more grateful to be your mom. It's the greatest privilege I will ever have.

A year ago today, I knew life would be good, but I didn't know it would be this good. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Leopard Dress

Shop the Look

Dress: Asos (On sale!! Get it here. Runs quite small, def size up 1 or 2 sizes) // Necklace: J. Crew Factory (get it here) // Purse: Kohl's (similar here) // Shoes: Target (similar here)

This dress was one of the first form-fitting pieces of clothing I have bought post-baby. I was quite scared when I ordered it because I didn't know if I'd like how it would fit (shapewear is your friend after baby), but after playing around with a few different sizes (it definitely runs small), I love it! Leopard print anything is irresistible to me so I'm really happy that it fits me well and I feel good in it. 

I was pretty lucky that my stomach never got terribly huge during pregnancy so losing pregnancy weight hasn't been too difficult. I've returned to my normal exercise routine and that seems to have helped most of it come off the last few months. I still have a few pounds to go, but if my body stayed how it is now, I'd be ok with that. It's definitely different and takes some getting used to though. My old clothes all fit again, just some of them fit a little differently (?) if that makes sense. I've enjoyed being able to wear my whole wardrobe again, it's helped me feel more like myself. 

There is soooooo much talk and pressure on women regarding their postpartum bodies and I can definitely understand why, but I have been trying to focus on how incredible our bodies are in general (sometimes easier said than done). I keep thinking about how amazing it is that our bodies can go through pregnancy and childbirth and still return to (mostly) their original state. It's truly miraculous what our bodies are capable of! And I feel so blessed to have experienced it. 

My advice to any woman after she gives birth is to get back to some form of physical activity as soon as you can do so safely and healthily. 3 days after getting back from the hospital, I started walking on a treadmill for 30 minutes a day. It probably didn't do much by way of helping me lose weight, but it did wonders for my mental/emotional health. I tried to focus on just feeling good rather than worrying about looking good. Even just doing that mild form of exercise helped me clear my head and boosted my self-confidence as I began my transition into motherhood. And to this day, it continues to help me. I'm a big believer in taking care of yourself first so that you can be the best mother to your baby as you can and going to the gym everyday has really helped me achieve that.

If you have any questions about exercise and health during and post-pregnancy, please feel free to reach out! I'd love to share more details of my experience with anyone that it could help. 

Finally: Got Henrik to sleep yaaaaay.
Wishing: There were just a few more hours in the day! It's hard to get much done haha. 
Just: Ate two chocolate Lindor balls. Sometimes (most of the time) I eat my feelings.
Days Until Christmas: 259!

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