Saturday, September 17, 2016

Recent Purchases | Nursing Purchases

Nursing Purchases

I thought maternity shopping was difficult, but nursing shopping is sometimes even harder. At least when I was maternity shopping, I could usually just buy a few sizes up and I would be able to cover my growing belly. But nursing clothes are a slightly different story. 

During the first month or so when I was hardly ever leaving the house, the Gillian O'Malley nursing cami really came in handy. They are pretty comfortable and I bought these in every color. I would typically wear them with loose drawstring pants like the ones from Old Navy. They are currently only $11 bucks!  Both these items are super easy to wash and wear. If I wanted to run out the door or was expecting some company to stop by to visit Riya, I would  just throw on an old button down shirt or a cardigan on for a bit more coverage. 

I'm headed back to work soon and although I won't be taking Riya along with me to breastfeed daily (I wish!)... I still needed tops that would give me easy access for pumping. The Express portofino shirts are by far my favorite. I wore them a ton pre-pregnancy as well and I just sized up while I'm trying to get back in shape. I'm loving the stripped one I recently purchased during the 40% off sale.. I also liked their long sleeve front zip blouse. I haven't had a chance to wear it, so I can't comment on how well the zip up really works for breastfeeding or pumping. 

I picked up a few tops from Loft as well. I've already worn the mixed ivy lace bib shell and it looks great with some work appropriate pants and a contrasting cardigan. The fabric is easy wash and wear so I bought them in two different prints. The olive jeggings were an impulse buy since I was getting quiet frustrated trying to fit into my old jeans again. I know it's a little too soon for that so I thought these pants would be perfect for the upcoming fall/winter season. Before heading out the door, I also grabbed a couple of their soft vintage tees in a size up. Although these don't provide full access, they are great to layer on top of the nursing camis. 

The last two purchases are both a necessity in my book. A nursing bra of course! This one from Target is super inexpensive and is functional as well as pretty. I have them in both nude and black. And the skinny credit card holder was a last minute purchase from Express. With having to take a diaper bag with me everywhere I go now, I needed to have a skinny wallet that I could easily throw in the bag. I brought it in this bright red color so it's easy to see and grab. 

These are all my purchases thus far. I think I'll make it through fall alright, but I'm struggling to find some nursing friendly sweaters for the winter. If any of you seasoned mamas have any advice, please do share below! 

What have you been purchasing recently?

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Hello Again

I have been contemplating getting back into blogging for a while now and today I've decided to jump right into it. Since the last post back in April (yikes!), a lot has happened in my life. I am now a Mommy to our sweet baby girl, Riya. Over the past couple of months there have been a few small hiccups. Thankfully, I've had almost 3 months of maternity leave to be able to give Riya my full attention.

In today's post I wanted to write about my thoughts and hesitations about blogging again. I'm sure all of us at some point in our lives have decided to start something new and exciting. Maybe it was a new hobby, a new diet plan, a new exercise regimen, or maybe it was a new blog. In the beginning it all seems very exciting and you're so consistent with it each and every week, but then life happens... you miss a day here or there and promise yourself that you will get back to it, but slowly those days start to pile up and you start to think that maybe it's just too late. Usually, it's been easier for me to get back into my hobby of painting no matter how long it's been... or get back on track with my "healthier lifestyle" after taking a few days or months off from working out. But for some reason it seems a bit more difficult with something more public like this blog.

During my pregnancy I had really wanted to blog about my journey, but after having a complication in my second trimester I focused all my attention on my health. Blogging took a back seat and slowly I just sort of lost interest. When I did feel like writing a short post here and there I told myself that it wasn't worth spending the time... no one is gonna care to read it... what's the point? I was embarrassed about my lack of consistency and laziness. A few months ago, I was worried this would turn into a pregnancy only blog and maybe now it'll be a "mommy" blog. I cared and worried too much about having a defined niche for this blog. But today I'm feeling reinspired by my little girl and I've decided to put those negative thoughts out of my head.

Ever since I was young, I have always enjoyed journaling and documenting my life... for none other than for myself. My blog is like a public journal for me. I'm reminding myself not to take this so seriously. Pretty much each and every post I write is for myself. But I have to admit that I get very excited and feel special when someone decides to stop by and finds interest in one of my posts. I started this blog one afternoon because I was simply inspired by my surroundings. I wanted to document my inspirations so that when I read an old post, like My Spiritual Master or Be Your Own Happy, I able to revisit the sentiment I once felt.

No matter what direction this blog takes I know that each and every post will be true to where I am currently in my life and it will continue to evolve as I do.

I appreciate you stopping by and hope you'll continue to visit every now and again! :)

I'd love to hear your thoughts...Have you ever felt this way?

Thursday, April 14, 2016

April | small goals

March was quiet a month! As much as I expected it to be one of the best months of the year... it wasn't exactly as peachy as I had hoped. I won't bore you with the details. Overall, I feel that I did fairly well on my goals. Here's a quick recap.

1. Drink 64 oz of water a day.  I can't say that I drank 64 oz a day, but I did do a much better job of increasing my water in-take. Small progress is better than no progress at all, so I will be continuing to make this a goal an important goal in April as well. 

2. Upper body exercises 15-20 mins a day. I didn't do upper body exercises with weighs every single day in March, but I was able to do it more frequently than before. In addition, I incorporated more walking, yoga, and meditation into my routine this month. There are tons of helpful videos on YouTube and I've linked two of my favorites below. I'm trying to really listen to my body and being extra careful during these last few months of my pregnancy.

3. Complete my project for my nephew's playroom. I am so happy to report that this project is complete! I really enjoyed drawing and painting baby Loony Tune's characters for my nephew's playroom. My SIL plans on ordering square canvased photographs of my nephew to alternate on the wall with these cute paintings. I think it'll be adorable!

4. Continue to keep my gratitude journal.  Another goal accomplished this month! :) I've tweaked my routine a bit. Instead of writing in my journal at night, I've started to write in it during the mornings. I've made it a point to clam my mind, sit down, and enjoy my breakfast for at least 5-10 minutes instead of literally eating while I'm heading out the door. During this time, I like to reflect on happy moments from the day before and get in a positive frame of mind for the day ahead.

I realize that we are already two weeks into April, but I've had these goals listed on my phone since late March and have already gotten a head start. So, onto my April #smallgoals.

1. Start on our annual Shutterfly scrapbook. I have been scrapbooking since I was in high school. I really love it and Shutterfly makes it so easy! I've been creating an annual scrapbook since our first year of marriage and this one will be last one with just the two of us!

2. Pick out a color for the nursery. You would think that it doesn't take a whole month for a person to select a color for a room, but when you have two very opinionated parents, this can be a very difficult process. I'm leaning towards a more of a mint or soft turquoise color and my husband is more for a neutral gray or soft pink.

3. Complete our baby registry. We had previously put everything for the baby on hold at the end of February, while I was admitted into the hospital and then put on bedrest. But we have officially been cleared so we still have some time to get together with my friends and family for a small shower. I've really been putting off completing our registry because I just get so overwhelmed every time I start! How can something so tiny need so many items?! And why are there are billion options for every single product?!

4. Improve my diet and exercise. Pregnancy has been a great excuse to let myself go. Although I'm not looking to loose weight or fit into a particular outfit, I do want to be as healthy as possible... not only for myself, but also for my baby. My sweet tooth has definitely been getting the best of me lately. So, my plan is to cut down on sweets and continue to incorporate more walking, yoga, and light weights into my daily routine.

What are you goals this month?

Thursday, March 31, 2016

March | Few Favs

March is one of my favorite months of the year! Besides being my birthday month, it's a month that typically marks the beginning of Spring, my favorite of the all the seasons. I love the beautiful sunny, yet breezy weather which is perfect to get back to running outdoors. The leaves on the trees are bright green and the beautiful flowers start to bloom everywhere you look. It's also the best time to go shopping since the stores are filled with refreshing new styles in cooler colors and lighter fabrics. Plus, I'm one of those people who actually enjoys a little spring cleaning to help recharge myself. What is there not to love about March?

So, this month I thought I would write a post to share a few favs I've been enjoying all month long. I'm not quiet sure if this will turn into a series of monthly posts, but let's live in the moment and just get started, shall we?!

1. I have absolutely been loving this desktop wallpaper on for my laptop all month long by Dawn Nicole. Besides doing some spring cleaning around my house this month, I also did a little digital spring cleaning. It feels good to have a clean desktop and organized folders so I can easily find all my documents. I just feel so happy every time I open up my laptop and see this beautiful calendar.
I've already downloaded the April Wallpaper, which is just as pretty. Dawn even has free a high resolution 8"x10" size calendar printable as well as a phone wallpaper. She is so talented and I'm so thankful that she offers such amazing art every month for FREE! 

2. In addition to doing some spring cleaning for my home and computer, I've also been trying to spring clean my mind. Although I have had so many things to be thankful for this month, there have also been days that I've really struggled to look on the bright side and keep the bigger picture in mind. I could easily blame it on pregnancy hormones, but I've been feeling like it's more than just that. So, I've tried to incorporate more yoga, meditation and soul healing practices into my daily routine. This spotify playlist: The Soul of Healing Affirmations by Deepak Chopra has really helped me declutter my mind and focus on long-term goal of becoming a better version of myself. I listen to it both on my morning and evening commute. It really helps me get in a positive mindset for my day ahead and reflect on my experiences at the end of work day, plus relaxes my mind for the evening once I've reached home. 

3. This month I rekindled my love for painting. I find painting to be very relaxing and therapeutic. Chirag actually found a great way to incorporate this into my birthday this year (birthday post?). While I was put on bedrest in late February, we moved in with my SIL for a short while. Since my husband was at work most of the time, it was nice to have my SIL and my nephew Anand's company during the day. My BIL is a big fan of looney tunes and so I decided to draw and paint baby looney tunes characters for Anand's soon to be playroom. I thought it would be special gift all three of them would love. I've finally completed the project and really happy with the results. If you're interested in making similar prints, there are some great YouTube videos to help guide you - like this one

4. While on bedrest earlier this month, I spent some time catching up on reading blogs and watching youtube channels I like to follow, as well as discovering some new ones. Miss Louie's youtube channel definitely caught my eye and I pretty much watched majority of all her videos in one day. This Austin-based blogger and youtuber has a great sense of style, not only when it comes to her wardrobe but also her home. I've gotten some great inspiration for my spring shopping list from her latest video on Transitional Spring Outfits.

5. Since the beginning of my pregnancy the one question that often gets asked is "What are you craving?" Honestly, I really wasn't craving much of anything until this month. After going through about 3 or 4 boxes of Halo Mandarin Oranges in the past few weeks, I guess it would be right to say that I'm craving these little cuties quiet frequently! If you haven't yet given these a try, I would definitely recommend them. They tend to be sweeter and juicier than regular naval oranges. Just one is never enough!

What were some of your favorites this month?

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Second Trimester Capsule Wardrobe

Second Trimester Capsule Wardrobe

As mentioned in my previous post, I'm now into my second trimester of pregnancy. Although looking cute and fashionable during pregnancy should really be the least of my worries... I'll admit that it's still pretty important to me. Somehow all the little discomforts and pains seem a bit more bareable when I feel and look good on the outside. 

I was able to get through my first trimester in most of my regular clothes. A few first trimester essentials for me were my Luxe Essentials Maternity Leggings and a slightly thicker, more expensive version by Pea in the Pod for the cooler days. I also found myself reaching for this Beband from Target for those days when my precious leggings were in the wash and I literally had nothing in my closet that fit me. I would wear it over my dress pants for work or jeans on my days off. The Beband was a perfect solution during that in between phase before I really showing versus looking like I just had a big fat meal.  Besides that I probably only bought 2-3 tunic style maternity sweaters on sale to help me get through the cooler months. 

Second trimester has been a bit different. I have definitely popped and squeezing into my regular clothes has become quite a challenge. I'm still trying my best to stretch my current wardrobe as much as I possibly can before spending money on maternity clothes. My job allows me to be fairly casual. So, my go to items have been pre-pregnancy loose fitting tee-shirts and stretchy tanks which layer well under cardigans. Maxi dresses have also been a great versatile item in my closet. I can wear them on their own, with completer pieces (cardigans, jean jacket, or vest), or as skirts with a tee and a belt! 

Prior to getting pregnant I was really trying to invest in a few key pieces a month in an effort to minimize my wardrobe to only those items I truly loved. Although it's harder to do so now that I'm pregnant, I'm still trying to keep a few principles in mind when building my second trimester wardrobe.

1. Items must be stretchable and last throughout the majority of my pregnancy - I'm sure this is going to get extremely tricky towards the end
2. Items must be versatile - work and play appropriate
3. Items must be reasonably priced - you will not believe how expensive maternity clothes can get!
4. Invest in completer pieces and accessories - these can be used post-pregnancy and keep me from getting bored with the basics
5. Don't be boring - add some color!

I'm always intrigued by capsule wardrobe posts by other bloggers. Editing a wardrobe down to 30 something pieces and mixing them so effortlessly is a skill I'm constantly trying to master. Although I love a great basic capsule wardrobe, I also crave color and personality. So I definitely think it's important to have a few pieces with some great color, a versatile pattern, or just a basic item with some unexpected interest. A few of my favorite items is my polka-dot maternity top, the simple blue maxi dress, and a recent addition - my lace-up flats.

One tip I also recently learned from the Mademoiselle blog was to leave a little room for growth in your capsule wardrobe. Instead of selecting all 30 something pieces at the beginning, select only about 15-20 items upfront. Then add additional pieces as you slowly progress through your capsule and figure out what works and doesn't. I think this is also great way to help me shop for only those few specific pieces I might have had my eye, instead of everything and anything currently on sale. Plus, this tip is especially helpful if you're pregnant, as you always need a little extra room to "grow" - quiet literally. 

I plan on doing a separate post to show the outfits I've been creating with my current capsule. Although it can be challenging at times, I've had fun working with these pieces. Whether you're pregnant or not, I hope this post will be helpful if you're looking to try a capsule wardrobe this season! 

What are some of your essential capsule wardrobe items?

Monday, March 7, 2016

{Rewind} Early 2016 and March | small goals

So, it's been a while... but I'm back! I've missed blogging, but quiet honestly there was just too much going on in the past few months. This post is a bit of a quick recap, sharing some exciting news, and setting a few small goals for the month of March.

First, let's recap the goals from December! Seems like forever ago, but I'll make this quick.

1. Host a holiday party. We hosted a small dinner party with our dearest friends. I wanted it to be a bit fancy, yet still fun for some of the kids who would be attending. We did a chocolate fondue and hot coco bar for the kids, decorated an elegant dinner scape for the adults and had fun with a white elephant exchange. 

2. Bake and decorate holiday cookies. Chirag and I both visited my family in GA right before the holidays and had a great time with all of my family. I thought this would be an excellent time to host a holiday cookie decorating get-together with all of my cousins. Everyone loved the idea and we're thinking of making it a holiday tradition.

3. Create a gift idea to give to extended family.  I decided to make the raspberry-chocolate-chip banana bread as a little gift to give all extended families in GA this year. I was hoping to get a lot more creative than this, but everyone still loved it. 

4. Drink at least 48 fluid ounces of water a day. Can't say I did very good on this goal. Increasing my water in-take is something I struggle with still. I think for me it will always be a goal in process.

5. Continue keep up with my gratitude journal. I did well through most of December and early January, but I totally slacked off in February. So goal is to get back this in the month of March. 

Again, 3 out of 5 - not too bad. I'm pretty happy overall with how December went. January and February have been a bit of a blur. So we will just start fresh with my birthday month - March! 

Before I get into my small goals for March, I would like to share some very exciting news. Chirag and I are having a....

Overall, the first trimester was a breeze. No morning sickness, just feeling quiet tired with some back and hip pain. I'm currently in my second trimester and although this trimester has had some complications, we are still hanging in there strong. We are both super happy, excited, nervous, and anxious to meet our little baby girl! 

Now onto my #smallgoals for the month of March.

1. Drink 64 oz of water a day. Since my water goals have always been a challenge for me and it is now more important than ever before. I've decided to make small goals through out the day to ensure that I complete my 64 oz in a 24 hour period. 

2. Upper body exercises 15-20 mins a day. While I was quiet active in my first trimester, my doctor has put me on bed rest for now. Although I'm not allowed to go on long walks, run, or do squats, I'm trying to focus on building up my arm strength. My goal is to start with 15-20 minutes of upper body exercises daily with 3-5 lbs weights.

3. Complete my project for my nephew's playroom. I have started a small project painting baby Looney Tunes characters for my nephew's playroom. His Dad loves Looney Tunes and already has a print currently in the area they plan to turn into this playroom. My plan is to complete a total of 6 characters. I hope my nephew will love and enjoy them for years to come!

4. Continue to keep my gratitude journal. These past few weeks have really made me realize that although things got a little tough, I still have so much to be grateful for. I want to make sure that I continue to count my blessings daily and stay strong and positive for my baby girl. 

Although a couple of the goals for the month of March are repeats from December, I think they are extremely important. I really hope I can follow through with all of these goals and hopefully stay positive, motivated, and on track for this month.

What are your goals for March?