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?