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Friday, October 5, 2018

Fall Nursing Friendly Dress

Getting out of the house these days requires so many details! With 2 in diapers, 2 different types of bottles, eating times, etc., getting myself ready has to be as simple as possible. Especially when we have to leave the house in the morning like Sundays! 

Lately, my outfit requirements are nursing friendly, kind to the "leftovers", versatile, easy to wear and chase babes in, and bonus points for wrinkle free. 

This dress from Figure 8 Maternity checks off the entire list! The color is so perfect for fall. I also love how the twist is a little different from the common wrap top on nursing friendly dresses! It's flattering  with a bump or without one. ;) This is a time where I tend to stand in front my closet feeling like none of my normal clothes fit well yet, and many maternity clothes look silly.

This dress is so easy to grab and put on without worrying about having to layer anything over or under it, and no wrinkles! It could easily be styled for Spring and Winter as well. So, I'll just be over here wearing this for the rest of the year! ;)

Joslynne Dress: Old Navy, similar | Boots: Walmart

Happy Friday Friends!

This post was sponsored by Figure 8 Maternity. All opinions are my own. :)

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Undercover Mama Nursing Maxi Dress

I can't believe I'm at the halfway point! This pregnancy is going by so fast. :)

I just got my first piece from Undercover Mama and I'm slightly obsessed. I'd heard about Undercover Mama for their awesome patented nursing friendly designs, and couldn't wait to try their nursing maxi dress! It is so comfortable, it feels like PJ's, but its also still flattering, I got lots of compliments. ;) I feel so comfortable in maxi dresses, but some can make me look like I'm wearing a tent while pregnant rather than show off the bump. I love how this one still gives a flattering shape! ;)

The dress is a perfect pregnancy staple since it can be dressed up, or worn casually. It is also nursing friendly, so you don't have to give it up after baby comes! An amazing feature of Undercover Mama pieces is their hook and loop design that allows you to attach the dress to your favorite bra and gives one hand nursing access!

Since I just about wore this dress to bed, I feel like I'll be wearing this one ALOT over the next 5 months! :)  Today on my Instagram stories I'm sharing a few different ways to style a maxi dress making in super versatile!


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Surviving the 1st Trimester Blues

Finding out a baby is on the way is such an exciting time! Sometimes the symptoms that creep up during the first trimester can put a damper on things. Its discouraging to suddenly feel awful every day (all day for some of us!) and have no energy for weeks on end. It's a struggle to know how much to ignore the yuck and press on and how much to rest! There are a other few things I've learned that helped me through my 2 first trimester journeys. Since I just finished going through it again, I thought I'd share! I'm no expert, and I know there are lots of experienced mamas out there with amazing tips of their own. If you have anything to add that has helped you, feel free to share in the comments! We all are encouraged by help and support from each other!

**Another note, I am by no means a nutritionist, or doctor, so make sure to speak to your OBGYN before making any changes to your diet!

1. Eat what sounds good to you!

I know a healthy diet is important during pregnancy, but a lot of those great-for-you items are hard to eat at first. Carbs are so much easier! I found that rather than forcing something that didn't agree with me, eating a potato or crackers helped me feel better and I was more likely to be able to eat a balanced meal later on. My OB told me eating what you can is sufficient for the 1st trimester, so AKA, enjoy the excuse to carb load while you can! ;)

Baked potatoes or sweet potatoes are my favorite go-to for morning sickness! I just microwave one when I'm getting hungry. Ok, chips and fries work too!

2. Get out of the house.

Even though the exhaustion and ridiculous amounts of nausea make you feel like staying in bed, getting out of the house can actually do miracles! I felt so much better every time I was out and about. Errands, girls night, family time, even a walk worked like magic. I almost started to wonder if my house was giving me morning sickness! Haha, it seemed to return as soon as I pulled in the driveway. :P I think a distraction is just so refreshing and gets your mind off the constant, "This nausea will be the death of me!" thoughts.

3.  Mediate on Truth

Its so easy to get in a rut and start thinking this will never end. Devotional time helped me so much to focus God's promises, be reminded of His love and care, and the fact that He wants to help me through trials even little nausea ones! I feel like first trimester blues can seem like a small hardship since nothing serious is wrong. We tell ourselves to "buck up" and that its not a big enough deal to ask for help. But nothing is too small to talk to Jesus about!

The fact that our little one is in God's hands also helps during a time of just so much uncertainty during the beginning weeks. Its so hard not to worry, but His character and His promises are unchanging. I really liked going through Loving God with All Your Mind.

It also helps just to keep reminding ourselves that this will end! It doesn't feel like it, but one day with both pregnancies, I woke up and the exhaustion and nausea were gone! I know some mamas experience morning sickness the entire pregnancy, but eventually, you will be a person again! You will get you enjoy your favorite foods again too. ;) Although temporary, the symptoms are real, and you're not imagining them or being a baby. Another thing to remember!

4. Drink a Coke.

I don't know if this would work for everyone, but Coke is like my pregnancy cure all! Definitely to be drunk in moderation, but a Coke here and there helps my pregnancy induced nausea and headaches everytime. Worth a shot! ;)

5. Sometimes a little flavor actually helps.

I know the general thought with nausea is to stick with bland food. However, I found that sometimes a little seasoning I like (nothing spicy) helped a lot. I also got some veggies in when I mixed them with a carb that is pretty "safe" like potatoes or rice.

6. Avoid cooking and dishes with freezer meals.

When you feel awful, being in the kitchen to cook and clean for your family is rough! It was making me feel so much worse and miserable to cook (especially meat) for Wes and Jos. And the clean up was so dreaded! I knew they couldn't just live on potatoes though! Wes and I decided that buying a few frozen already prepared meals for them would be worth it. We tried to stick to healthier options, but they also ate a fair share of hot pockets, let's be honest. Your family rather have you in their lives rather than a great meal then mom outta commission for the evening, I promise! Besides, its a temporary season, so resist the mom guilt if you're not cooking as much. ;)

We found that frozen veggie and chicken/shrimp stir frys were great for our crew to still get some nutrients in!

The first trimester is also a good time for paper goods to make less dishes! We used lots of paper plate s and cups, but even disposable bowls and silverware too! :)

7. Give yourself some grace.

Just remember, it OK to give yourself a break! Additional rest and couch potato-ing is totally acceptable and doesn't mean you've suddenly turned into a sluggard. You're just growing a human! It's ok to take on a smaller work load and less responsibilities where possible, you'll get back to superwomaning soon!

Sometimes when something's gotta give, it ends up being the house and the mess can get discouraging. Just remind yourself that you'll get your groove back, take one day at a time, and you're NOT a failure. :) Asking for help is also ok to do!

8. Spend time with others.

Sometimes you just need some company. Asking a friend to come over or you know, your mom, can be just what you need. Talking to a loved one about how we're really doing  helps to feel so much less alone.

Speaking of support, I'd love to hear what's worked for other Mamas. Having a community of friends even through the internet is such a blessing!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Summer Staple Dress for all "4" Trimesters

The 2 hardest things I've found when it comes to maternity clothing is finding pieces that fit well and are flattering for the entire pregnancy, as well as what to wear for dressier occasions during the "4th" trimester.

There are many pieces I've found that I love during the first half of pregnancy when that bump is small and cute, but then by the end, everything seems too tight, too short and uncomfortable. It's such a temporary season in our lives, but going months without comfortable clothes and the ability to still feel pretty can be can be pretty disheartening. I feel like having a few items in your wardrobe that I can still feel confident and functional in, give me the encouragement I need to hang in there during the last stretch of a growing bump and anticipation for the baby's arrival!

This dress I found at Figure 8 Maternity is so comfortable and cute, but definitely also has room for me to wear it through out the entire pregnancy. I will be living in this during my hot summer months 3rd trimester for sure!

The other challenge can be dressing up once you have the baby and your body hasn't gone completely back to normal yet. After Joslynne was born, I kind of felt like hiding and avoiding anywhere I'd have to wear something besides yoga pants. My waistline wasn't ready for most skirts, but many dresses are impossible to nurse in! A maternity dress that is nursing friendly is just right! Another point for this dress. ;)

Pregnancy is a temporary stage of life, but one that comes with so many changes for a woman not only physically but also emotionally and even logistically. With so many moving parts and unknowns, I am a firm believer that feeling great, and taking the anxiety out of getting ready during pregnancy makes such a difference!

This post is sponsored by Figure 8 Maternity. All opinions are my own. 

Monday, March 26, 2018

Meaningful & Practical Easter Basket Gift Guide for Toddlers


Bunny Toys




Bunny Ears


Bunny Hat

Bunny Treats

We love giving Joslynne meaningful gifts that will last forever or become keepsakes for holidays! Easter is one of my favorite times of year too, so making her a basket of treats is so fun to me. 

I compiled some ideas while I was shopping this year for special gifts and also some practical things we needed anyways! I linked girl items since I was shopping for Josy, but most of these sites have boy versions of the same items. ;)

Swimsuits: I remember receiving a swimsuit as a little girl from my mom for Easter, and I just loved it and always remembered that day! We will need one soon anyways, so its a fun addition to a little girl's basket. Hope & Henry is a gorgeous children's clothing line that is new to me and available on Amazon! 

Bunny Stuffed Animal: Sweet bunny toys are some of my favorite types of stuffed animals. 

Sandals: We started the tradition of buying sandals for Josy at easter time last year. Its the perfect time of year to stock up! ;)

Books: Books are always a good idea! I love taking the opportunity to show Josy how different cultures do things like in Rechenka's Eggs

Sunglasses: Josy is getting to the point where she'll keep sunnies on if the sun is in her eyes while we're out and about! 

Bunny Ears: Obviously! ;)

Necklaces: Our little one absolutely loves dressing up and borrowing necklaces, so we're starting to build her own collection. 

Bunny Hats: Now's our chance while Jos is little to put her adorable floppy eared hats. :P

Organic Treats: Joslynne's absolute favorite thing on earth to eat is Annie's Fruit Snacks! Haha But, I love that they don't have things like corn syrup, so that's what we'll fill her eggs with instead of candy.  

What are your favorite Easter goodies? 


Thursday, March 22, 2018

10 Tips: What to Wear for Photo Shoots

10 Tips: What to Wear for Photo Shoots
A lifestyle Photographers perspective.

Hi! I am Elissa Egan lifestyle photographer here to help you decide what to wear on your next photo shoot. Deciding what to wear can be very tough. Especially if you are deciding for the whole family. But remember you are the most interesting, beautiful spectacular thing in the photo! It’s tough to decide but here are some do’s and don’ts for wardrobe that will help your photos look even better!

                  1.  Don’t be afraid of form fitting clothes 
         We typically tend to believe "if I hide my stomach under a baggy black shirt no one will see what I'm trying to hide" - but the truth is if it'll translate you looking formless and kind of like a blob so I'd encourage you to find something a little more form fitting. 
(Peplum tops are great if you're insecure about your torso they'll show of perfect your curves!

2. Where to wear your Jewelry
      If you wear a long necklace that goes down to your waist the eyes will be drawn to your middle instead of your face - So just be aware that when you wear a simple necklace on your neck it tends to draw the eyes up to your face. Try and avoid heavier jewelry like really chunky necklaces or bracelets that could take away from you - which is what we really want to see!. 

3. How much skin is too much?
      Just be aware - where the skin is showing most eyes will be drawn to. Personally I like timeless "modest" outfits (especially for family portraits).  A nice scoop neck points the focus to your face while a crop top might draw the attention to your torso. 
(but if you are going for an edgier look go ahead and talk to your photographer and get their advice. That's the fun thing about photography there's so much you can do. You can use creative license with photography - the world is your oyster!) 

4.   Simple is best and most timeless
      Prints can be fun and exciting but just be cautious with over doing it. Sleek and simple are typically what I sway my clients to wear for family sessions - but have fun with it! (again.. it's your oyster ;))

 5. Try and avoid logos 
When prepping my clients for a shoot I recommend not wearing big logos people won't be so focused on your  brand name shirt which could take the focus off of you.  
(Funny Story: My Husband has senior photos and he wore a white shirt with HUGE printed HOLLISTER logo up and down his shirt and baggy ripped jeans- to this day I won't let it go.... and never will.... haha!

6. Don't be afraid of lines (but be cautious)
  What I mean by that is - there are some necklines and slits of a skirt that can really help draw attention to your figure. You don't have to show no skin but with a modest approach the lines of your outfit can help promote your physique. (Lines that can slim the figure are vertical; lines that can widen figure are horizontal)

7. Keep makeup natural
      Portrait photography (especially family photography) it's better to be natural and just enhance your beauty rather than hide it. 

8. Cohesiveness is Key - Not Matching to a "T" 
      We all remember those pictures of all white shirts with all blue jeans but those are dated and your group turns into a massive blob of white collared shirts and denim – there isn’t much individual style there and it can make the pictures boring.

9. Utilize Pinterest 
      Personally I love Pinterest! I get motivated and inspired on there. It's like browsing magazines or having an art gallery in your phone. Not only is Pinterest great for those reason, but it is also great because you can find some outfits and ways to coordinate your outfits. There are so many great Pinterest graphics for finding your perfect outfit!

....LAST but not least... 
10. Ask your photographer - it is our job help :)
      If you doubt anything about what to wear go ahead and ask you photographer. It's our job to help you with our creative eye and there's a reason you chose your photographer because you like his/her eye or aesthetic - utilize it! 

Hope those tips help! And remember let loose and have fun on your next shoot :) It's so special -you're capturing time and memories that are fleeting!

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