Friday, March 6, 2015

Pregnancy Favorites

When you get pregnant for the first time, it's normal to research the must haves both for pregnancy and beyond (i.e. the baby). I know I'm not in this boat alone. After all, you're a first timer and there are a whole lot of other folks out there who have been through it before and have some useful (and dismissible) advice.


As I follow a lot of bloggers who I consider internet friends and whose judgement I trust, I did my research among those who had written about their pregnancy journey as well as navigated online reviews. Below have been some of my favorites over the last six months.

Elasticity Belly Oil by Belli - This stuff smells good, lacks parabens and plenty of other harmful chemicals, and so far seems to be working well (no stretch marks yet!). I put the oil on my belly in the morning and just before bed.


Bravado seamless nursing bra - It might seem silly to buy a nursing bra near the beginning of your pregnancy, but when you're looking at all the $$ you're shelling out, investing in a bra (or three) that works now and later isn't a bad idea. These aren't the sexiest, but they are incredibly comfy and again will serve you for those post-pregnancy months too. 

New/bigger underwear - Hear me out. For the first several months, you won't necessarily need bigger underwear, but eventually as the body grows, some of your old pairs may just feel restrictive. Around 16 weeks, I went to Target and bought six new pair, including a few that were a size larger. Hello, comfort.

Gilligan & O'Malley Women's Fluid Knit Pajamas - These are amazing. I just found them a few weeks ago and seriously, they are the softest feeling PJs on your skin! I would recommend these to anyone, pregnant or not. P.S. Until I looked these up, I have always pronounced the brand 'Gillian O'Malley'. Funny how your brain corrects things to make more sense to you. 

Old Navy tamis tanks - These are great because they are soft and extra long to accommodate the bump and yet they don't have the ruching on the side that most maternity clothes do. 

Gap Body Pure Body long-sleeve - light, ultra comfy cotton with room to grow. Plus, Gap often has sales if you're on their e-mail list. 

H&M MAMA slim jeans - For me, these have been the perfect skinny jean with a comfortable belly band (not too tight or loose). By chance, I found one pair of these at our local H&M, but would buy several more pair if I hadn't already bought some LOFT maternity jeans. 

New pillow - Many people swear by the Snoogle pregnancy pillow, but I opted to save the $$ and simply invest in a new comfy pillow so I had enough to put between my knees and one behind my back (to stop me from rolling to my back). 

Beyond the stuff, a few other things have been key:

  • Having a supportive spouse or family member. It is so fun to go through pregnancy with someone who is just as excited and fascinated about the whole process as you are. 
  • Being kind to your self, both body and mind. This was an area of accomplishment for me, for sure. I prepared myself ahead of time to embrace my body and its changes as they came knowing that I might look different post baby, but that I will have something much more important to focus on. But in addition to the massive body changes, I've also learned to relax my expectations for running and exercise in general. Some women can run just fine with huge preggo bellies until the final days, but I am not one of them. 
  • Having a friend that doesn't mind chatting about all things pregnancy or baby. Thank you, Lindsey! We're lucky enough to be just two weeks apart in our pregnancy journey. 

For those of you who have been on this journey, do you have any pregnancy favorites? OR Tell me about your weekend plans!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Second Trimester: Week 26

Hello and happy Wednesday! I hope things are well in your neck of the woods. And a big congrats to Julie of Peanut Butter Fingers who announced she is 17 weeks pregnant. I am currently 27 weeks along, so let's take a look at week 26.

How I'm feeling: Overall, pretty good. Emotions have ebbed and flowed a bit more these last few weeks, which I hadn't noticed earlier in my pregnancy. This week I started having random dreams every.single.night. that won't seem to stop. When I wake up I feel more tired than I would from a normal, non-dreaming night of sleep.

Baby: is the size of a head of lettuce (~13.6 to 14.8 inches, 1.5 to 2.5 pounds). Same height and weight range as last week! But it definitely feels like it's taking up some serious space inside my belly.

Weight gained:  16 lbs

Helloooo bump!

I have a hard time remembering what having my normal stomach looked and felt like at this point. I'm glad I took a few photos right at the beginning to document it. 

Week 5

Exercise: Lots of variety as my running miles become fewer and fewer. This week included a bike ride downtown, the elliptical, walks, yoga, and a few runs/wogs.


Thank goodness for Oiselle! This is likely the only exercise gear I own stretchy enough to grow with the belly until the end!


With the weather being as nice as it's been here (don't throw anything at me), I'm really missing the opportunity to run on the trails. This has me itching to want to drive to some of my favorites and just commit to some long hikes.

What I'm wearing: Much of the same. Stretchy, comfortable everything.

Baby preparations: Date night! Not directly baby related, but the manfriend and I took advantage of the fact that we will not be able to go out easily for dates after Baby Moe is here.


We went out for pizza slices and salad downtown with a side of people watching and then stopped by Red Wagon Creamery for dessert. A tasty (and fun) night indeed! 

Do you and your significant other plan date nights out or are they more spontaneous? Best date idea?

I'm a planner by nature, but if the manfriend suggests going out for dinner (like he did this week) on a random night, I try to be flexible and find a fun, affordable way we can head out on the town. I think some of our bike dates still hold a special place in my heart as my favorites because the bike adds a little freedom and fun to the whole experience. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

My Five Minute Makeup Routine

I don't know about you, but I don't have much time in the morning to do much beautifying (which is just fine with me, BTW). And now that I'm a student (and soon to be mom), I'm more on the go, less dressed up and a little more relaxed about my outfit, hair and makeup.

Some mornings, I don't wear any makeup, but most days I do as it makes me feel like I look a little more awake and just makes me feel good about myself in general. Do what makes YOU happy, right?

I don't wash my hair every morning as it doesn't get too greasy if I'm not running miles upon miles, so running a brush through my hair a few times is about as sophisticated as it gets some mornings.

My morning staples


Naked Bee SPF moisturizer (right after shower or rinsing my face)
This is a requirement for me, even if I'm not wearing makeup as I want to have SPF on my face. I love the feeling and the ingredients. This is a brand I found at our local kitchen, home, and garden store, Down to Earth.

Origins eye shadow in soft touch 
swept all over my lid for a little brightening

Origins eye shadow in copper penny
swept along the eyelid crease for some oomph

Bare Minerals Original powder
a light sweep all over my face

Bare Minerals bronzer
a light dusting on my cheeks to act as blush/color

Bare Minerals Mineral Veil
this supposedly "sets your face", so I sweep it on after I've done my eye shadow, powder and bronzer

Bare Minerals flawless definition mascara in black
one easy coat on the top lashes only

Burts Bees tinted chapstick
I rotate through my grapefruit clear chapstick, hibiscus tinted lip balm, and the apricot shimmer (my favorite). 

For the body, I use the Belli Elasticity Oil on the bump and hips and Naked Bee Ultra Rich Body Butter for the legs and arms.

This routine probably takes me about three to five minutes. My other morning staple is adding a pair of earrings, usually some kind of simple stud.

And of course, eating a balanced breakfast, taking my multivitamin, and brushing my teeth are morning requirements.

What are your morning beauty requirements? Do you have any makeup/beauty favorites or tips to share?

Tip: If you're looking for ingredient details or safety ratings on beauty products you're using or looking to purchase, the EWG Skin Deep Cosmetic Database is a great resource. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Second Trimester: Week 25

Happy Thursday! I hope your week is going well. Here's a look back on week 25.

How I'm feeling: This week I started feeling more connected to the little nugget growing inside me. It might sound a little odd, but as the baby is kicking more and more, especially when I'm in class or driving to Corvallis, I feel like he or she is trying to communicate a bit with me.

At this point, I could really use a shoe tying assistant! The belly is making crouching down difficult, so I often do this awkward lunge to tie my shoe.

Baby: is the size of a head of cauliflower (~13.6 to 14.8 inches, 1.5 to 2.5 pounds). We're talking pounds now not ounces!

Weight gained:  15 lbs


Exercise: Hiking, yoga, running and weight lifting. I'm done with burpees, but still able to do things like jump squats. I have to be careful of not overdoing it as my low back gets tender if I'm doing too much intensity in one day (i.e. a hike and a run).

What I'm wearing: I like my new straight leg LOFT jeans that are a little more casual and cute when I peg-leg them and pair them with these slip on Converse. Also, all my regular t-shirts are nearly too short at this point. I look like I'm trying to wear children's clothing or something, so it's likely that most tops will be maternity from here on out.


Baby preparations: I spent several hours cleaning out and organizing our spare bedroom closet and our attic, which felt so good. The manfriend and I went to the local midwifery center for an orientation to see what we thought. I am leaning toward switching to the midwives for my birth, but it's a hard decision.

We also went to Portland and bought a car seat and a dresser for Baby Moe, and we have also decided on a jogging stroller. Lots of preparation going on this week!

Snack of the week
I wanted to whip up something sweet and semi healthy last night to have around for snacks. I had some shredded zucchini in the freezer, so I whipped up this recipe with the addition of 1 large shredded carrot and 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips.


It actually turned out really well and was enough for two loaves. Yum! After letting them cool (and enjoying a few pieces), I sliced the loaves and separated them into single servings putting some in the freezer for later. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Second Trimester: Week 24

Oh where does the time go? Today marks week 26 of the pregnancy, so I better get caught up on week 24! Also, I'm glad you guys liked the Best of Lately style post. It seems like something I should do a bit more often if even to remind myself of life's little highlights. 

How I'm feeling: There is no denying I'm pregnant with the belly I'm sporting. I went to the OB this week and heard the heart beat and had my belly measured, which was right on track. My next appointment will be the lovely glucose test to screen for gestational diabetes. Heartburn is a regular occurrence in the evenings and papaya extract has been a savior (easily found in the vitamin aisle).

Baby: is the size of a cantaloupe (~10.5 to 11.8 inches, 12.7 to 20.8 ounces). Interestingly, the same length and weight range the app said baby was last week.

Weight gained: 15 lbs

Ran 20 min straight without stopping to walk! #preggovictory

I am honestly surprised that at this point (where my skin is stretching quite a bit) I'm not seeing any stretch marks. I'm guessing they are still coming as I have a hard time believing I could escape without any. I've been using this Elasticity Belli Oil 1-2 times per day.

Exercise: Thankfully, things have been a bit more normal in terms of being able to run and not feel a ton of pressure and pain in the pelvis. This week I did a good mix of yoga, running and weight lifting. I really like how this combo of workouts makes me feel strong, a little sore at times, and relaxed too. Still doing some of the Fitnessista's strength workouts!


What I'm wearing: Much of the same, but I did buy a pair of regular Zella yoga pants from Nordstrom Rack that just feel so much better around the belly than my Lululemons. The waist band is wider and the fabric is just really comfortable.

Baby preparations: Ordered a breast pump through insurance (yippee skippee!). The manfriend touched up the baseboards in the spare bedroom so they wouldn't drive me crazy anymore. And we looked at rugs yet again. I can't seem to find any I like that are soft and in the price range I want to pay. Any ideas? So far I've looked at Home Depot, West Elm, Pottery Barn Kids, Ikea, etc.

Cravings: Nothing really. Just my normal eats.

For a little Friday Fitness...
I dare you to try this 'Thailand Tush' workout from the Tone it Up girls. I know it sounds silly, but you won't be laughing when you get to minute 8 or so of this video. Your glutes will be on fiiire. Don't say I didn't warn you!

And with that, I hope you're having a fabulous Friday. I'm heading to Portland to see my friends Taylor and Randie get married at the courthouse! 


Related posts:
Pregnancy announcement
The First Trimester
The Second Trimester: Weeks 14 and 15
The Second Trimester: Weeks 16 and 17
The Second Trimester: Weeks 18 and 19
The Second Trimester: Week 20
The Second Trimester: Week 21
The Second Trimester: Week 22
Chocolate, Please: Week 23

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Best of Lately

The weekend was a busy one, but awesome at the same time. As it seems to happen cyclically, I'm struggling with school/life/career decisions. But there are a few things that have really filled me up lately and these are just a few of the highlights.

This big salad after a day light on veggies. My plate included mixed greens, microwaved sweet potato, organic free-range rotisserie chicken, zucchini, hazelnuts, feta and balsamic with a side of whole grain sourdough.


This fog sun (and the five miles that went with it). Beautiful morning to be out with my thoughts and the crisp air.


Foam rolling tight calves. Much neglected, but much needed. I then proceeded to roll down the foam roller all the way into my upper back. It was a nice little self massage.


This muesli from Ikea. Random purchase after buying a dresser, but the Swedes know what they're doing. A whole lot of variety, pumpkin seeds, dried fruit, and very low in sugar. Why America, can't we figure this out? It reminds me a lot of the cereal you find all over Europe.


This sunset. I've counted three evenings in a row of epic sunsets in our area. I'm pretty sure we have these warm temps and lack of rain to thank for this. 


Checking off a few things on the baby list. We now have a dresser/changing table in the baby's room thanks to the manfriend's hard work and Ikea. We also have a car seat! 


Biking in the sun. I had told myself I would continue to bike through my pregnancy, but weather and timing just haven't worked out. But yesterday, in the midst of 60 degree weather, I hopped on my commuter bike and headed downtown for a little studying. I do have to ride with my knees a bit wider than normal, but it's still comfortable. 


Tell me: What's filling up your cup lately? 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Chocolate, Please: Week 23

Our What to Expect When You're Expecting book says I'm officially in month six of the pregnancy. Holy cow! Somehow, month six seems so much further along than 24 weeks does. Funny how that works, eh?

Here's a look back on week 23...

How I'm feeling: The belly seems to be growing almost daily. Sleep is mostly good and I typically have to get up just once a night to use the restroom. My low back was pretty cranky with me this week, so I called my massage therapist for an appointment. I had to lay on my side during the massage, but other than that, it was just as relaxing as always.

Baby: is the size of a grapefruit (~10.5 to 11.8 inches, 12.7 to 20.8 ounces) and is moving a ton.

Weight gained: 14 lbs


Exercise: I decided that I really need to stick to running every other day if I want to stick with it a while longer. My pelvis area just seems a lot happier with more rest. I've been incorporating Gina's winter shape-up workouts into my weeks, which has been a fun change. For the HIIT workouts, I'm making modifications as necessary.

What I'm wearing: For a few weeks now, jackets have been getting a bit tighter, but I've started wearing them unzipped most of the time because they are more comfortable that way.

I ordered a few pair of LOFT maternity jeans (50% off!), which should arrive soon. It will be so nice to have another pair or two to wear.

Baby preparations: I searched for cribs online, bought a new pillow for between my knees as I'm trying not to buy a Snoogle, and I started working on our baby registry, which is harder than it seems.

Cravings: As noted above, I may or may not be craving chocolate these days. While I'm normally a sweets girl, I rarely give in to full on treats. This week, I purchased some chocolate crackle cookies at our local market and then a few days ago, I bought some Coconut Bliss dark chocolate ice cream. Yum.

Tell me, how's your week going? What's the best thing you've made this week? 

Meal of the week for us? These meatballs over rice noodles and zucchini.

Pregnancy announcement
The First Trimester
The Second Trimester: Weeks 14 and 15
The Second Trimester: Weeks 16 and 17
The Second Trimester: Weeks 18 and 19
The Second Trimester: Week 20
The Second Trimester: Week 21
The Second Trimester: Week 22

Monday, February 9, 2015

Week in Workouts

The last few weeks I've decided to play it a little smarter in terms of listening to my bod and not just running or working out because my ego tells me I should. So, I made a rule that I can't run two days in a row unless a really perfect opportunity comes up (running with a friend or in a cool location) or I'm feeling awesome.

So without further ado, last week's workouts:

Monday - 30 min barre strength {as part of winter shape up}

Tuesday - 2.6 a.m. miles in the pouring rain - there's something about an early morning run that just makes the day a million times better, no matter the weather!

Wednesday - 20 min HIIT workout + 15 min upper body strength - so hard after HIIT! 

Thursday - lower body leg burner, 2 rounds + 4 mile lunch run


Friday - power yogaglo flow {w/ focus on core + upper back opening}

Saturday - power yoga + 30 min walk with the dog

Sunday - 5 mile run {with only a few stops to walk}

Tank - Old Navy (sized up), Shorts - Oiselle rogas, Shoes - Brooks Ravenna

+ A few weeks ago, I thought I was totally losing my push up strength to the pregnancy, but I'm happy to say I pushed through and feel like I'm back! No, I can't do the 10-15 in a row straight push ups from my toes that I used to do, but I can still do ~5 before modifying.

+ Sunday's run felt kind of magical because I ran 20 min with friends at run group before I opted to walk. These days, that is a rarity, so it felt great to just keep going rather than having to stop every few minutes to walk. Thank you, pelvis, for not being cranky with me.

What was your best (or favorite) workout in the last week or so?