Monday, March 31, 2014

2nd & 3rd Trimester Pregnancy Essentials & Book Reviews

After posting my 1st Trimester Pregnancy Essentials, I received lots of emails asking if I would also post my 2nd and 3rd trimester pregnancy must-haves! So without further ado...

2nd & 3rd Trimester Essentials

Bump Nest Pregnancy Pillow: I started out with the Snoogle pregnancy pillow and then quickly realized that the Bump Nest was the better option for me and totally worth the splurge. You can read all about my comparison between the two pillows {here}.

Stretch Mark Prevention Creams: I've officially gone through 5 jars of different belly creams/oils/butters and have decided on a favorite! So far I've tried Burt's Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter, Motherlove Pregnant Belly Salve, Belli Elasticity Belly Oil, Revitol Stretch Mark Prevention and The Spoiled Mama Bump Gloss Stretch Mark Oil. I liked all of them for different reasons, but my absolute favorite has been the Motherlove Pregnant Belly Salve! My mother-in-law actually purchased this one for me after some research and I love the consistency of the shea butter and the smell is heavenly.

Heat Pad: By the end of my second trimester I was already starting to have horrible upper and lower back pains. Heat pads (that plug into the wall with automatic shut off timers) have saved me. I use mine while sitting on the couch or while laying in bed.  I also have a second heat pad (a Preggie Meggie Pregnancy Heat Pack) that I use at the office that is much cuter and conveniently heats up in the microwave.

Tums: Once I got into the 30's weeks I started getting heart burn at night, especially if I ate a late dinner. Keeping Tums on my nightstand is a life saver.

Sleep Lavender Chamomile Luxury Bath Soap: My nightly bath is probably one of my favorite parts of my entire day. Not only does it relax me but it relieves so many of my pregnancy aches and pains.

Up & Up Prenatal Gummy Multivitamins: If I have to take vitamin every day, it should at least be in candy form! Plus I never forget to take these since they are such a treat!  

Exercise/Pregnancy Ball: Throughout the work day I'll swap out my desk chair for my exercise ball to help strengthen my legs, back and core muscles. If you're going to purchase a ball, make sure you purchase the right size for your desk so you don't sit too low/high. Towards the end of pregnancy, you can also use the ball for certain exercises to encourage the baby to drop and start labor.

 EOS Lip Balm: I have gone through so much lip balm in my first trimester it is ridiculous! I have to carry one of these everywhere {in the car, next to my bed, on my desk, in my purse, etc.}!

Pantiliners: Stock up. In fact, buy in bulk if you can. You'll use them.

Tumbler: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! It's so important for so many reasons so I always have a tumbler with me at work, running errands, next to the bed, etc.

Pregnancy Support Belt: Once my belly got absolutely huge I needed some sort of relief while on my feet and especially during long walks.

Slippers: The best slippers ever. They cozy, fleece-lined provide good support and relief after a long day in heels/flats/boots.
Next up, books! I felt like all I did was read, read, read during throughout my pregnancy. Now I am so sick of baby books. Here is a review of the stack of books that Matt and I read...
 Belly Laughs by Jenny McCarthy: This was hands down my favorite book I picked up. It was hilarious, informative and a very quick read. I highly recommend every mommy picking up a copy of this book! This is also a great gift to purchase for newly pregnant women who are freaking out about the months ahead!
Baby Names 2013 by Eleanor Turner: After going through this book cover to cover, Matt and I agreed this book was great for entertainment but still didn't help us narrow down boy names.
First Time Dad by John Fuller: Matt said this book was pretty common sense and uninformative. 
Praying Through Your Pregnancy by Jennifer Polimino and Carolyn Warren: This book is the inspiration behind the weekly prayers I include in my bumpdates. I love how the authors focus on the baby's weekly development and how to pray for him or her. There are tons of books out there on how to pray for your baby and I recommend picking one up that you feel connected to.
Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads: This was Matt's favorite book. It is hilarious, informative and a quick read. I am pretty sure this is the only book be read all the way through.
What to Expect When You're Expecting: You can download the app and skip on this book.
The Father-To-Be Book: Another book that Matt couldn't really get through. If you can get your hubby to read one book all the way through I would recommend the Be Prepared book.
The Girlfriends' Guide To Pregnancy by Vicki Iovine: I had higher expectations for this book. There were tidbits of informative information but none of it was "new" to me. I wish I would've just checked this one out of the library instead of purchasing it.
Secrets of The Mommyhood by Heather Alexander: If I only had time to read one book during my pregnancy, this would be the one I'd pick! I felt like this book covered everything I needed to know from pregnancy to the baby's arrival - all within 175 pages. And to top it off, it's hilarious and I found myself wanting to hug the author for being so awesome. I even read many chapters of this book aloud to Matt and he loved it! 
The top 3 winners for us...
Secrets of The Mommyhood / Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads / Belly Laughs
Outside of all theses books, some of the best advice I found was not only on parenting but on balancing your new life as a wife and mommy. I am thankful for these encouraging articles that have been sent to me along the way...
To Wives: Before You Were "Mommy"
The Questions That Will Save Your Relationships

Friday, March 28, 2014

Five on Friday!

Happy, happy Friday! Keepin' it short and sweet today...
ONE. I swear Auntie Anne's pretzels taste even more amazing pregnant TWO. Don't forget to enter my Baby Aspen giveaway {here}! THREE. Just started the last chapter of "What to Expect..." on labor. Absolutely crazy to think we are getting so close! FOUR. My seester was in town for work earlier this week and stayed with us. She even spent a half day working with me in my office. FIVE. Loving my new MAC paint pot in "Bare Study."

Wanna join  Darci, April, Natasha and I on the Friday fun? You can link-up on any of our four blogs every Friday! All you have to do is...

  1.)  Write  your post about five things you're lovin' this week (or any five things you want to share!). 2.)  Share the logo on your blog and link back. 3.)  Link-up at the bottom of the post so some new readers can check out your five things and say hello!


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Nothing Cuter Than A Beach Bum Baby {Baby Aspen Giveaway}!

Surf's up! Time for all little beach bums to show their stuff, and this three-piece diaper-cover gift set is making waves! Baby Aspen's cute crab and adorable octopus make a whale of a tail! This is the perfect gift for shore! Features and facts:
  • Deep-sea diaper-cover gift set includes three seersucker diaper covers
  • Pastel orange-and-white-striped diaper cover has a smiling blue octopus with 3D legs on the bum; pastel blue-and-white-striped cover's bum sports a friendly, orange crab with 3-D pincers; on the pastel green-and-white-striped diaper cover, a big blue whale with a white, 3-D water spout floats on the bum
  • Secure elastic waistband
  • Gift presentation includes ocean-themed, blue box with the octopus, crab and whale peering out of portholes, and a white-rope bow
  • Available in size 0-6 or 6-12 months
- See more at:
I am officially hosting the cutest coastal giveaway ever on my blog today and could not be more excited. Long ago I stumbled upon Baby Aspen's "Beach Bums" Bloomers on Pinterest and fell so deeply in love. We may not have known at the time what the gender of our baby would be, what name we'd pick, what the babe's personality would be like or what he/she would look like, but what we did know without a shadow of a doubt is that our little one will totally be a beach baby. I mean, Caroline isn't even born yet and her Grandpa has already gifted her a pink baby fishing pole and we have two week long beach vacations planned during my maternity leave.
Growing up minutes from the beach, my surfer dad made sure to take our family fishing, surfing, boating, etc. pretty much every weekend as kids. We had permanent tans, waterlogged toes and sandy bottoms year round in Florida and it was amazing. So when Baby Aspen contacted me recently about hosting a giveaway I almost fell out of my seat in excitement!
See? How could you not totally freak out at the cuteness of these seersucker bloomers and sun hat with spa booties set?
And guess what? Baby Aspen carries boy versions too!
 "Coastal Cutie" Sun Hat and Spa Booties
 "Beach Bums" 3-Piece Diaper Cover Set

Are you hooked yet? Well two lucky readers have the chance to win! Baby Aspen has graciously offered to give away one set of Beach Bum Bloomers and one set of Sun Hat with Spa Booties!! 

To Enter:

Like Baby Aspen on Facebook {required entry}
Follow Baby Aspen on Instagram {bonus entry}
Follow Baby Aspen on Pinterest {bonus entry}
Follow Baby Aspen on Twitter{bonus entry}
Leave one comment per entry and make sure to include your email address (if it is not listed on your blogger profile) and your choice of boy or girl version. The contest ends Wednesday, April 2 at midnight and the winner will be announced on Thursday, April 3. 
Good luck!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Week 34 Bumpdate

{maternity session sneak peek by Allison Kuhn}
How far along: 34 weeks

Baby Size: A cantaloupe {17inches, 4.5 lbs}!

Weight gain: 26 lbs

Maternity clothes: Excited that our weekend was beautiful and warm enough to wear my new non-maternity lavender maxi dress {pictured in bump photo} for my maternity shoot. Love it? You can find it in 26 different colors from Zappos {here}!

Stretch marks: Nope.
Sleep: Some nights I sleep like a champ. Some nights I wrestle my Bump Nest for hours, play on my iPad at 3 am while baby girl dances in my tummy and consume Tums like candy to keep my heartburn at bay. Wouldn't trade it for the world though.
Gender: Girl!

Movement: Tons!

Best moment this week: Celebrated getting a new position at my firm, our maternity shoot and touring the hospital's maternity center in preparation for our delivery day!

Looking forward to: Meeting our pediatrician and our 34 week check up today.

Food cravings: Same - fresh orange juice (with lots of pulp), egg sandwices and pineapple!!
  Anything making you queasy or sick: No.
Labor Signs: Eek! No, but crazy that we only have 42 days left!
What I miss: Not having back pain.
Symptoms: Back pain, heartburn, shortness of breath, tiredness, random belly pains, etc.
Nursery: Finally got around to putting all of our shower goodies away in the nursery, hung our shelf and started decorating the walls. 

Belly Button in or out? Still even and super sensitive.

Wedding rings on or off? On and no swelling!

Mood: Excited!

Workouts: Ehh, slowing down on working out with my back pain. 

Prayer for Caroline: 
Dear Lord, Thank you for blessing Caroline, Matt and I with amazing friends and family. We are so grateful for their generosity, love and support throughout this amazing pregnancy journey. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name; proclaim His deeds among the peoples. - Psalm 105:1-2
 {34 week bump}

 Twelve / Thirteen / Fourteen
Fifteen / Sixteen / Seventeen
Eighteen / Nineteen / Twenty
 Twenty-One / Twenty-Two / Twenty-Three
 Twenty-Four / Twenty-Five / Twenty-Six
Twenty-Seven / Twenty-Eight / Twenty-Nine 
Thirty / Thirty-One / Thirty-Two

Friday, March 21, 2014

Five on Friday!

Happy Friday! First of all, thank you so much for all of your sweet comments on our BaByQ Shower! Y'all are the best! 
- ONE - I am so excited that SPRING is officially here!
- TWO - Tomorrow I have an appointment for another blow out at Blo Blow Dry Bar for my maternity shoot and am ridiculously excited. My blow out from my baby shower lasted 4 whole days and now I am obsessed! The girl who did my hair did such a good job and even added a little surprise twist to the back. I'm pretty sure I'm just going to ask her to do the exact same style again because I loved it so much!
- THREE - Last weekend my dad was so excited to surprise us with Caroline's first pink baby fishing pole. She is totally going to be a water baby and he is so excited to teach her how to fish and surf.
- FOUR - My new favorite Greek frozen yogurt flavor...PINEAPPLE COCONUT. Every night I've been shoveling scoops of this creamy goodness either in a cone or in a bowl topped with fresh pineapple...because apparently I can't get enough pineapple right now.
- FIVE - Picked up a new candle from Target yesterday and am loving this scent! Right now this line of candles is on sale for $4!
Wanna join  Darci, April, Natasha and I on the Friday fun? You can link-up on any of our four blogs every Friday! All you have to do is...

  1.)  Write  your post about five things you're lovin' this week (or any five things you want to share!). 2.)  Share the logo on your blog and link back. 3.)  Link-up at the bottom of the post so some new readers can check out your five things and say hello!

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