5 non-maternity things that have made me feel pretty while pregnant.

Amid migraine headaches + trips to the porcelain goddess, it’s easy dwell on pregnancy woes. I’m now 14 weeks along cookin’ this baby, and my clothes are starting to get a little tighter in the tummy. I know that’s supposed to happen (I’m talking to you, baby who’s the size of an orange!), but still, growing has been a not-so-fun adjustment. It’s hard to feel attractive when you have to inhale deeply and get into a funky yoga position just to button your jeans.

Last week, I was just feeling icky. Like, tired and grumpy but at the same time I was itching to get out and about. But in a small town, there aren’t a ton of places to go to get your extrovert-fix. I kept pulling a Little Mermaid and singing to Jonny, “I want to go, where the people are…I want to see, want to see them daaannnccciing!" (You know you connect with your inner-Ariel, too. No judging here.)

My pining paid off + we went to a nearby city to partake in some much-missed shopping. It just felt, how do I say it? AWESOME to get out and be around all sorts of different types of people. I love our new (very charming!) town, but I also love cities and noises and diversity, and of course, shopping. Speaking of shopping…

I’m sharing my 5 favorite (non-pregnancy!) things that have made me feel pretty while making that transition from first trimester to second trimester!

  • Belly Bands. Thankfully, I discovered those belly bands I’ve always heard my friends gushing over. I opted for a tan one from Target, and it has been allowing me to wear all of my favorite (skinny!) jeans without buttoning them, and it also smooths out my little bump so it looks more like a baby bump and less like a burrito I had for lunch. I know, this one is a little bit pregnancy-related, but it allows me to avoid those awkward preggo pants, so I’m considering it a win. (And I know..that model in the pic looks weird. I don’t stand there wearing a one-piece bodysuit with my mouth gaping when I’m wearing the band.)
  • Skinny Belts. I stumbled across searched for some how-to-dress-your-bump blog posts (via Pinterest, of course) and one of my fave tips was to utilize the skinny belt. I stocked up (3 for $10!) and have been loving the look so far. The key is to wear the belt under your chest and over your stomach to cutely frame your bump. It’s nice to feel like I don’t have to wear big shirts + for the most part I can still wear all of my non-maternity shirts, even the tight ones! (Thanks, belly band, for smoothing things out!)
  • Slouchy Boots. Fall is my fave season, and boots are my fave type of shoe. I recently had to retire my tan boots I got 2 years ago from Old Navy for $25 (they were so awesome but also very cheaply made and I often got my foot stuck in them and Jonny had to pull them off…awkward). Anyway, they literally were falling apart, so it was time for some new ones! I decided to up the ante a bit and get some for a little (but not much) more money to hopefully up the quality. I finally settled on the Olsenboye Cale Slouch Boots. I love the camel color + I even got a belt to match. They look great with skinny jeans, leggings, and tights — perfect for fall layering!
  • A good DIY mani. Thanks in part to my prenatal vitamins, my nails have been growing faster than I can keep up with them! And they’re strong, too! I don’t wear my nails that long, but I do enjoy painting them. After experimenting with many drugstore brands, I’ve found that it’s better to buy a more expensive brand, and just buy less of it. My recent Target trip left me with Essie’s Sand Tropez. I love the tan/grey color and it stayed on for almost a week with no chips (and that’s with washing my hands 24/7 and chasing after a toddler!) There’s no way I can afford to have my nails professionally done, but a nail file + 20 minutes of me time leads to pretty decent nails + a happier mommy, which is happier for everyone. :)
  • Pretty jewelry. I’ve been eying the Chubby Bird Fossil necklace for a while, and on a whim, I found it clearanced for $11! Yay! I love the delicate chain, and as the blog title shows, I love what birds can symbolize. On days when I’m feeling frazzled, a pretty necklace dresses up my sleepy eyes and oatmeal-stained shirts.

So, there you go, ladies. Five girly things that have lifted my spirits lately.

Pregnant or not, do you you have some go-to garb for when you’re feelin’ low? I’d love to know!

My 7 Summer Essentials:
My Mother’s Day gift from the boys was something I’ve been pining over ever since I saw the infomercial: Bare Minerals foundation starter kit! Before this, I wore the cheapest-of-cheap drugstore makeup that I think most women stop subjecting their skin to when they turn 12. I love that the light, airy powder foundation lets my skin breathe. It’s perfect for summer, and the no parabens or phtalates is a huge plus. PS: The primer is awesome for helping the powder stay. I think I’m hooked!
Sunglasses from the Jersey Shore. I am not kidding. They were $6 on the Atlantic City boardwalk. I usually go with the big Jackie-O shades, but these are fun and quirky and plastic and perfect for going to the wading pool with Joseph.
In my attempt to start buying less-chemical-laden cosmetics, my latest Target trip landed me with Burt’s Bees Radiance Exfoliating Body Wash. The lather is so-so and the exfoliation is kind of weak, but it smells pretty and has lasted me a long time, and of course, it’s free of parabens, phthalates and petrochemicals.
OK, clearly this nail color isn’t derived from natural ingredients. But the pretty magenta is so perfect for a warm-weather pedi, and Essie means it’ll last a full week on my hands without chipping, which is pretty miraculous. The color is “Big Spender” but you can nab it at Target or Wal-Mart for around $7.
I’ve heard rave reviews of Born shoes, but I thought comfortable = ugly, until I happened upon these sandals at Marshall’s. Since I’m outside or on-the-go all day with an almost-two-year-old, my feet were starting to hurt in my $2 Old Navy flip-flops. These provide pillowy-goodness for my high arches and the aqua color is super perfect, especially against a summer glow.
Everyone knows that makeup is fun, but it’s important to wash your face at the end of the day. And then you moisturize. Except for me, because I’m historically lazy and cheap low maintenance when it comes to a beauty regiment. These Yes to Blueberries Cleansing Facial Towelettes are a good cure-all for lazy ladies like me — they remove makeup and moisturize with one a few quick swipes, and a month’s supply is less than $10. Plus, the wipes are derived from 99 percent natural ingredients.
I’ve been curious to see if Gud, the Burt’s Bees scented offshoot, is actually, well, good. When a coupon came my way, I opted for the Vanilla Flame scented body lotion. You guys, it just smells like summer. It brings me back to my life-guarding days. And it works well enough to moisturize my dark-skinned son, which earns it some major kudos. 
So, tell me: What are YOUR girlie, kind-of-unnecessary essentials for this summer? And where I can score a good deal on them? ;) High-res

My 7 Summer Essentials:

  1. My Mother’s Day gift from the boys was something I’ve been pining over ever since I saw the infomercial: Bare Minerals foundation starter kit! Before this, I wore the cheapest-of-cheap drugstore makeup that I think most women stop subjecting their skin to when they turn 12. I love that the light, airy powder foundation lets my skin breathe. It’s perfect for summer, and the no parabens or phtalates is a huge plus. PS: The primer is awesome for helping the powder stay. I think I’m hooked!
  2. Sunglasses from the Jersey Shore. I am not kidding. They were $6 on the Atlantic City boardwalk. I usually go with the big Jackie-O shades, but these are fun and quirky and plastic and perfect for going to the wading pool with Joseph.
  3. In my attempt to start buying less-chemical-laden cosmetics, my latest Target trip landed me with Burt’s Bees Radiance Exfoliating Body Wash. The lather is so-so and the exfoliation is kind of weak, but it smells pretty and has lasted me a long time, and of course, it’s free of parabens, phthalates and petrochemicals.
  4. OK, clearly this nail color isn’t derived from natural ingredients. But the pretty magenta is so perfect for a warm-weather pedi, and Essie means it’ll last a full week on my hands without chipping, which is pretty miraculous. The color is “Big Spender” but you can nab it at Target or Wal-Mart for around $7.
  5. I’ve heard rave reviews of Born shoes, but I thought comfortable = ugly, until I happened upon these sandals at Marshall’s. Since I’m outside or on-the-go all day with an almost-two-year-old, my feet were starting to hurt in my $2 Old Navy flip-flops. These provide pillowy-goodness for my high arches and the aqua color is super perfect, especially against a summer glow.
  6. Everyone knows that makeup is fun, but it’s important to wash your face at the end of the day. And then you moisturize. Except for me, because I’m historically lazy and cheap low maintenance when it comes to a beauty regiment. These Yes to Blueberries Cleansing Facial Towelettes are a good cure-all for lazy ladies like me — they remove makeup and moisturize with one a few quick swipes, and a month’s supply is less than $10. Plus, the wipes are derived from 99 percent natural ingredients.
  7. I’ve been curious to see if Gud, the Burt’s Bees scented offshoot, is actually, well, good. When a coupon came my way, I opted for the Vanilla Flame scented body lotion. You guys, it just smells like summer. It brings me back to my life-guarding days. And it works well enough to moisturize my dark-skinned son, which earns it some major kudos. 

So, tell me: What are YOUR girlie, kind-of-unnecessary essentials for this summer? And where I can score a good deal on them? ;)