Thursday, August 27, 2015

MY SECOND TRIMESTER MUST-HAVES (for a first time mama-to-be)

SNOOGLE - Having a baby percolating inside your body is exhausting! When it’s time to go to bed at night you’re A) tossing and turning trying to get comfortable to no avail B) your back feels like it’s on fire, or like you're being stabbed with a thousand little needles, or both or C) you’re getting up from bed every 10 minutes to go potty. Oh wait, you’re pregnant. ALL OF THE ABOVE APPLIES. Thus, interrupting you from precious sleep. This oddly-shaped pillow has been a godsend for me in all of those areas. I still go potty, duh, but because I’m able to sleep more soundly, I wake up less during the night. Makes sense in my book!

EPSOM SALTS - Another gem for those achy lower back pangs you may be feeling. A warm bath is just the ticket to relax you before bedtime! 

VASELINE - That whole “glow” I was looking forward to experiencing during pregnancy has been completely non-existent. Straight up, I missed the glow boat. Or the glow boat missed me, Either way, my skin has been all sorts of funky funk - in more ways than one. Let’s take my hands and feet for example. In the past couple of weeks, the inside of my palms and heels have closely resembled that of a small reptile. Out of nowhere, I woke up one morning with scaly, peeling hands and feet. It was wild! And although it’s still an ongoing battle, dousing those babies with vaseline has helped wonders! Before I go to bed, I slather some on my hands and feet and then slip on socks and gloves to lock the moisture in overnight.

NUTRIENTS - Pre-Natal Vitamins are of high importance to any pregnant gal (or planning to becoming pregnant gal), and this brand has particularly been my favorite. It contains all things that are vital to both you and baby, in addition to probiotics - which aid in restoring good bacteria in your weakened immune system.

NUTRIENTS X 2 - Chipotle. My obsession. Because it’s awesome and I can eat it 3 times in one day.  Seriously, ask Juston.

NATURAL SKINCARE - I told you my skin has been funky, but the breakouts I’ve been having on my face takes “funky” to a whole new level. It’s like I’m going through puberty all over again. Gnarly. Gnarly. Gnarly. So bad, I had to say it three times. In addition to pregnancy hormones raging through my body, I also have PCOS (Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) which in and of itself comes with its own hormonal imbalances. Thus, complicates treatment. SO, in addition to many many prayers and being a detective with my eating, I’ve also made a conscious effort to keep my skincare routine as natural as possible using organic washes and healing oils like tamanu, rosehip, and tea tree. I’ve been on a long journey with skin issues and hormonal balance, but for now, I’m feeling hopeful about natural approaches for both me and Baby L.

OILS - Since I’m on the subject and it is a seemingly perfect segway, I might as well make oil its own category as it applies to moisturizing those baby bumps!  While I have heard good things about Cocoa Butter and Bio-Oil, I have personally been using Grapeseed & Coconut oils to massage my growing belly and every other place a good moisturizer should go. Grapeseed oil specifically is also known for aiding in circulation and healing varicose veins. Which, sorry charlies, is something else you may also have to deal with during pregnancy due to increased blood flow. Stretch marks, spider veins, and cellulite, oh my! …..but so totally worth the end result. Hellooooo, we are bringing a life into this world. Of course it’s going to require some battle scars and growing pains. We got this!

DRY BRUSHING - Another one of those fabulous things you can do to help improve circulation, lymphatic flow, and prevent the accumulation of cellulite. Pre-shower!

MY MEN - Jesus and Hubs. Jesus - Because he’s awesome and has literally been the strength that gets my tired butt out of bed in the morning. I’m especially chasing hard after him during this particular season of my life - I need my little ole physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual self all sorts of prepped for what lies ahead of me with motherhood. 

Last, but not least, my amazingly supportive and serving husband - the man of my dreams and prayers. I'm grateful for your partnership more than you'll ever know. It's my life's honor to love you, dream with you, work along side you, and adventure with you. The best is yet to come! Parents of Year 2016? Haha, I hope so! 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Our UPDATED Kitchen Tour

Up until recently, our kitchen was the room in our home *most* neglected and *least* photographed. I love our home and I’m proud of everything we've done to it in the nearly two years we’ve lived here,but our kitchen area has been the hardest area for me to tackle thus far. Mostly in the sense that I just lacked inspiration. Prior to moving into this home, Juston and I agreed that this was not going to be our “forever” home, or a home that would even live in for 5+ years. It was simply going to be our starting home. One to get us off our feet, begin our marriage in, and bring our first born home to. It’s a home that was built in the 1980s and despite some of its outdated features, I absolutely love it. I love that it’s ours, and I love that is has been the perfect canvas for our creativity. It has been so much fun to make this house our home - especially since it’s been something we’ve done together! (all the bickering over paint color and nail placement has really strengthened our marriage :)  )

But I digress, what was I saying? Oh yea, this kitchen was a toughie! When we had made the agreement that this was merely our starter home, I understood that meant we would be doing little to no MAJOR overhauls or demolitions in this house. And that was perfectly fine with me! I love focusing on the cosmetic and aesthetic touches that can be done with a little elbow grease throughout a home. Which, as a matter a fact, was all this kitchen really needed. Yes, it came with popcorn ceilings, dim lighting, black appliances, outdated cabinets, dark paint on the walls, and tile countertops that we aren’t necessarily in love with, but it’s OURS, and it’s workable. We could do the best we could with what we had…we just needed a little inspiration.

(Insert Pregnancy Here)…..which subsequently then brought on my full on crazy “nesting” mode. Nesting….look it up. It’s a thing! Once I found out I was pregnant and that there would be another human occupying this home, it was all the inspiration and motivation I needed to get in gear to finally tackle the lagging projects on my to-do list. Cue…DIY project planning & farmhouse decor shopping galore! READ: But always always staying within our means. I am a budget friendly home stylist. Breaking the bank for home decor just ain’t my thing. If I don’t find what I want, at the price I want, I usually just end up making it. And by that I mean, my hubz gets involved ;)

Fast forwarding —— I LOVE our kitchen like crazy now - despite its poor lighting! And the best news is, it’s DONE!…Our overall changes to the kitchen include but is not limited to: adding a stainless steel refrigerator, repurposed and painted farmhouse pantry door, added a coffee bar, built a kitchen console buffet table for extra storage, replaced the fluorescent lighting with track lighting, created a memo and recipe board from an old screen door and chicken wire, and repurposed an a boring bakers rack into a stylish farmhouse shelving unit. Fun decor filled in the rest of the holes. 

Enough of my talking - please feel free to take a peek at our Before & Afters.