Fashion, Pregnancy

Maternity Fashion Favorites

Maternity clothing has been more fun than expected. I’ve looked at my former wardrobe with sad eyes a few times, but I’ve been able to find great replacements for those pieces and even experiment with a few new styles while pregnant. There are several options out there and, like anything these days, sifting through the options can be overwhelming and expensive. It’s also a little more challenging for me because I am petite (which is just a nice word for short). Here are my favorite places to shop for cute, affordable, and, most importantly, comfortable maternity clothing!

LOFT: Prior to becoming pregnant, most of my closet was filled with items from Loft. I LOVE their maternity selection, too. New styles are added constantly, and you can pretty much always find a deal. The pieces are timeless and fit well. The shorts and white shirt pictured above are from the maternity line. Shop Here!

Stitch Fix: I order this clothing subscription box from time to time, and I recently discovered their maternity service. I was super excited to have a few surprise pieces arrive at my door. It’s always so much fun…like receiving a birthday gift every month! My favorite items from the boxes have been the shorts and pants. It’s definitely worth a try for a few months while pregnant. The jeans pictured above are from a Stitch Fix. Shop Here!

ASOS: This is a great option for super trendy maternity clothes. I hop on their website when I want a wardrobe shakeup. They also have petite (amen!) and tall sizing options for several of their items. I have a few new fun pieces on the way that I can’t wait to try! Shop Here! 

Poshmark: If you don’t know about Poshmark, you should grab your phone now and download the app. If you don’t mind gently used maternity clothes, then this is an awesome resource. It has also been a useful way for me to clean out several clothing items that I know I will not use after having the baby. I will also post several of my maternity pieces once I do not need them anymore. If you signup with the code “GFNED” you will get a $5 credit. Shop Here!

I also have a few great pieces from Old Navy, Motherhood, and a few items that aren’t maternity at all (although those are quickly coming to an end). I encourage you to shop around and checkout a few of the places mentioned above.

Where are your favorite places to shop for maternity clothing? I would love to hear what works for you!

Health, Pregnancy, Pretty Well

Prenatal Yoga

Prenatal Yoga has been such a blessing during my pregnancy. We are fortunate enough to have an instructor in Athens who works with moms to be and holds a class once a week for expectant mothers. I was very early in my pregnancy when I walked into the door for the first time, but I was determined to give my body the best care possible from the beginning. As the baby grows and my body changes, I am more thankful than ever for yoga and the difference it makes for my overall health and wellness. I don’t get to attend the class every week, but I have found many great online resources for prenatal yoga. I would just make sure you attend a class to understand proper technique before taking on a practice of your own from home!

Here are five ways I have personally benefitted from yoga while pregnant: 

  1. I get to connect with other expectant mothers at various stages in pregnancy. 
  2. I feel strong and empowered even as my body shifts and changes. 
  3. I get to have time to myself without any distractions (like the phone! Can I get an amen?). 
  4. It’s equipping me with techniques to use during labor. 
  5. And, most importantly, it helps me feel great both physically and emotionally. 

If you are a mom to be, I highly recommend checking your local area for prenatal yoga classes or even exploring online resources. It has been one of the best decisions I’ve made during this pregnancy, and I think everyone (as long as your doctor gives you approval) can benefit from an hour focusing on you and baby!

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My favorite little yoga partner…Chewy Man!
Beauty Products, Health, Pregnancy, Pretty Well

Facial Moisturizer Tips

Moisturizers.

There are thousands of them out there, especially in the clean beauty category. It’s a product we look to as the holy grail of beauty…the product that will make the most difference for our skin. It was only three years ago that I started wearing a moisturizer. I was terrified to put it on my already oily skin and, instead, constantly reached for my medicated acne cream.  The day I started using a moisturizer made the most difference for my skin. I put away the acne medicine and started focusing on nourishing my face. My skin is not perfect these days, but it’s so much better. I haven’t touched the medicated creams since.

There are many different types of facial moisturizers and they go by various names: serum, oil, cream, moisturizer, balm, etc. There are several different specific categories within these names that point more specifically to how the moisturizer works. It can be very confusing and overwhelming to even get started. I am going to share what I have discovered works best for my skin and make suggestions for other skin types. Everyone is very different, though, so keep in mind that this is not a one size fits all post. For example, I have 4 sisters and no two of us can use the same routine.

My biggest piece of advice: stick to one brand at a time. 

Often, products within specific brands are meant to work together. You may actually do yourself a disservice by mixing several product lines together. As you make the transition to cleaner products, you will learn what can be mixed together. For now, I recommend sticking to one line. Keep it simple! I’ve tried several different product lines, and I always come back to these:

Favorite Safer Skincare Brands

Beautycounter

 Indie Lee 

One Love Organics

 Juice Beauty 

Another reminder, give products the time to work! It can take days to weeks for results to become visible.

My Current Routine 

My experience mainly consists of products to help combination-oily, acne prone skin with redness and discoloration.

Right now, I’m working on evening my skin tone, keeping breakouts at bay, and helping my skin age gracefully. Beautycounter is my go-to line during this season, and I am seeing great results with this combination. I was starting to develop a few pregnancy related skin issues, but they started cleaning up when I became a consultant and started using more and more Beautycounter products. I use the same combination both morning and night.

new-rejuvenating-toner-pads-40-padsRejuvenating Toner Pads 

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Rejuvenating Radiance Serum 

bc_bc_3-balancingfacialoil_selling01_webBalancing Facial Oil 

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Balancing Facial Mist 

You could also just use the Balancing Collection without adding the Rejuvenating line in. I love Vitamin C, though, and use the Rejuvenating line to get some Vitamin C into my skincare routine.

My mom loves the Plumping Collection along with the Rejuvenating Day and Night Creams. My friends with dry and sensitive skin love various product combinations from the Nourishing Line. If you’re interested in Beautycounter, I am happy to help you develop a custom routine for moisturizing and treating your skin!

So, what are some of my other favorites?

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Squalane Facial Oil by Indie LeeUntitled_design_46_large

Skin Savior Multitasking Balm by One Love Organics

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Redness Rescue Cream by Fitglow

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Green Apple Brightening Moisturizer by Juice Beauty 

Please feel free to comment below with any questions or if you want any advice on the products listed in this post! Happy Moisturizing!

Pregnancy, Pretty Well

Pregnancy: The Best Surprise

The day I found out I was pregnant will forever be frozen in time. My first instinct was to walk laps around the inside of the house. I just started walking and kept walking as I processed what was ahead. This was not planned so it was such a surprise! My mind was filled with delight and hope and shadows of fear. Fear of the unexpected and a path I had never walked down before. Yet, I felt so blessed that I had been given such a wonderful gift. When you have an autoimmune disorder, you never really know how your body will respond to pregnancy. I often questioned if it would even be possible for me to have children. Here, on this day, I was met with that reality and resounding YES. Yes, it is possible and it’s happening right now! I called my doctor to make the first appointment and waited for what felt like years before the day came. But, then it came.

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Hearing that heartbeat for the first time brought me much peace. The fear whirling around started to settle after seeing our little one and talking with the doctor. My midwife along with my rheumatologist developed a plan for care, and things have been great so far for our baby and me. We are hopeful and excited for the next few months as I finish up the second trimester and finish out the third. The autoimmune issues have only tried to flare a few times, but it’s usually taken care of with a little extra rest. I’ve been proactive in taking care of my joints and preparing my body for this time. We also made the decision early on that we would celebrate this pregnancy and not fear anything to come or any “might-be.” It has made a huge difference for me. Instead of spending time worrying about hypotheticals or statistics, we have rejoiced and celebrated the little life we already love so much!

My Pregnancy Self-Care Routine 

  • Biweekly prenatal massages. Find someone who specializes in prenatal massages in your area.
  • Prenatal yoga (group classes weekly and at home). I cannot recommend this enough! It’s a great time to connect with other expectant mothers and learn correct form for practicing at home.
  • Walks outside. Vitamin D + low impact exercise for the win!
  • Vitamins. I went the longest time without taking my prenatal vitamins. I’ve recently started taking them and notice a difference.
  • Salt baths. Epsom salt eases aches and boosts your magnesium. Add some essential oils for added benefits.
  • Quiet time to reading and writing. I love flipping through magazines right now. I also have started a Bible study on the book of James. It’s a great way to relax if you have a busy mind like me,
  • Give yourself some grace to rest. Growing a baby is no easy task! I’ve had to learn to let some things go (hello wrinkly clothes) or allow my husband to help.
  • Be joyful; fear less!

Whether your already a mommy or hope to be one, I wish you well on your journey!