Statement Boots for Fall

This blog post includes affiliate links 

This blog post includes affiliate links 

It's fall y'all and for me that means black on black on black clothing.  I break out my hoarder worthy collection of black leggings and cozy black sweaters. While I love a good black ensemble I also love a pop of color or fun print.   

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These boots were a belated birthday gift to myself and I have to say, for the price tag they are worth it.  Well made, comfortable and absolutely stunning.  Besides the compliments on Instagram, I had multiple women compliment them while I was out and about. The rich colored print ties into the popular red trend for fall, the embroidered texture makes them extra luxe and the heel height is perfect.  I've linked them below along with my other boot picks for fall to help jazz up any all black ensemble. 

Multi Wear Tiger Pants

This blog contains affiliate links 

This blog contains affiliate links 

Sooooo sometimes when I'm breastfeeding my son (which is about 20 hours out of the day) I'll rack up a pretty large wish list from on my phones go-to shopping apps.  Forever 21 has one of the easiest apps to shop with, which means more often than none I am browsing their site on a daily basis.  

Every now and then I tend to take a "risk" with what I buy.  These Tiger Print Pants were definitely an impulse purchase while I bought some cozy sweaters for fall.  I didn't know for sure if I was going to love them or hate them once they arrived.  Well...I LOVE THEM.  I love them so much that I reordered them in a smaller size if I happen to lose more weight post-baby. 

Below I styled them two ways so you can see that they are easy to dress up or dress down.

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For my casual look I knew I wanted to wear my beloved fisherman style hat so I opted to pair the pants with a loose tank top that I then tied in a knot to the side.  I added some wood clog wedges and a patch work bucket bag from a few years ago. 

Hat: Peter Grimm (Similar Click Here)

Pants: Forever 21 (Shop Click Here)

Top: Forever 21 (Shop Click Here)

Shoes: Forever 21 (Similar Click Here)

Bag: BCBG (Similar Click Here)

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To dress my look up I kept my bag but decided to add a lil sexy to the look with a cropped tank, open toe heel and statement earrings since I was wearing my hair back (aka had not washed my hair for 4 days...)

Sunglasses: I honestly forget but... (Similar Click Here)

Top: Pretty Little Thing (Shop Click Here)

Pants: Forever 21 (Shop Click Here)

Shoes: Forever 21 (Similar Click Here)

Bag: BCBG (Similar Click Here)

Yala Designs Bamboo Sheets

Sheets gifted by Yala Designs 

Sheets gifted by Yala Designs 

 

This weekend my family and I broke in our new bamboo sheets from Yala Designs.  Sleeping has always been one of my favorite activities.  Now with a baby it's also one of distant memories.....kidding!  Kind of..... 

Our bed now is so much more than just where we just sleep.  It has become where we snuggle as a family every morning, where I breastfeed at night, where my husband and I will watch murder mystery shows so we can cuddle, where I try to squeeze in a midday nap, where I take phone calls with friends, where I edit Instagram photos on my phone and where I get my occasional 3+ hours of sleep each night.  

I have always loved a cozy bed and never really thought a lot about good quality sheets.  Recently on our babymoon we had asked the front desk where the sheets were from and looked up the company to find out they were bamboo sheets.  I know about high thread count and how important that is but I never really looked into bamboo sheets.  These days I mostly see bamboo boasted about for baby clothing since it's so delicate on the skin and high quality. Yala Designs sheets are 300 thread count and contain no chemicals.  Plus the more you wash them, the softer they become.  That's a big step up from the other sheets we had where the more we washed them....the bigger the holes in them became.  

I love that now we have beautiful bedding for the lil haven we have created. They are so soft and dreamy that I teamed up with Yala Designs to gift a lucky lad or lady a set of their very own bamboo sheets. Visit my Instagram to see how to enter! 

Ig giveaways aren't your jam you can purchase your own set of bedding clicking here: Yala Bedding

And save 20% when you use code NICOSOLOVELY17  (this code is good SITEWIDE)

Cute & Affordable Breastfeeding Friendly Clothing

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There are A LOT of learning curves with breastfeeding and what you should wear really doesn't need to be an added stress.

While I know a lot of mama's are comfortable with breastfeeding in public, I am not.  Mostly because I cannot handle the side eye from strangers when I have attempted to do it. The first few times I tried I was less than graceful trying to wrangle my boob out in time before a milk leak stain appeared with my baby screaming at the top of his lungs.  By then all eyes were on me and I felt exposed in various ways.  Hopefully I will be more comfortable with my breastfeeding skills and be able to gracefully nurse in public instead of in my car (where people still stare at me through my windows -_____- )

 

 

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I love off the shoulder tops in general but they are extra perfect for breastfeeding.  I opted for this white one in case of a milk leak stain it wouldn't be as noticeable. I actual found I would pull the bottom of the fabric up and tuck it into the top of the shirt since it has the elastic top that goes around the bust line/shoulders.  It stayed in place nicely during nursing.  I wore my favorite strapless nursing bra underneath which is both comfy and super affordable.  Shop this whole look below, including my favorite postpartum underwear!

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I love a good jumpsuit (if you don't you need to fall in love with one).  This color is so fabulous for transitioning into fall and I love the elastic top and waist.  This means it will adapt to my body comfortably as it seems to be changing daily in size.  The elastic waist isn't overly tight so it doesn't cause any discomfort on my postpartum belly (I am wearing my waist trainer underneath).  The tube top type cut allows easy breast access and so far the most graceful way I can nurse. The fabric is breathable for all those fun hormonal heat sweats and I love the loose wide leg.  Plus the slider snake print sandals I have linked are seriously the easiest slide ons and most comfortable.  No toe rubbing blisters some open toe sliders can cause and you can easily slide your feet in them without any hands (hello multitasking while breastfeeding).

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The best part about a black maxi dress is it's easy to layer with multiple pieces....oh and you can't see milk leak stains!  Seriously, just when I think I am out of the danger zone for a leakage BAM!  I love this black maxi because it's a closet staple but also so friendly for breastfeeding.  The straps are  thin, stretchy and adjustable so I just drop the strap down my shoulder and the top part follows.  I then will drape my new favorite $14 cardigan (pictured) over my baby while I nurse (the fabric is super breathable) or my other new favorite semi sheer velvet burnout kimono (linked in the shop post below).  The maxi is a very soft cotton and has some support built in the in the bust so if you're feeling brave you could go bra free!  If you also haven't noticed I have been wearing my Portland Leather bag non stop since it goes with everything and is large enough for me to carry my newborn essentials in.  I find a large bag that goes with 90% of your outfits is also key to making breastfeeding comfortable.  Who wants to worry about carrying two bags while out and about and then having to switch out all your goods to a different bag every day? 

Postpartum Undergarments

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Postpartum body.........it took me by surprise. 

After spending 8 months watching my body slowly grow and change to have it suddenly feel like a squishy deflated balloon didn't feel so good. It felt odd and empty.  

I missed my pregnancy belly and the rest of me felt bloated and achy.  My boobs hurts from my supply coming in then they had a week of one being twice as big as the other as they evened themselves out (spoiler...the left is still slightly fuller than the right).  I had a tummy but it was squishy and my organs and uterus were slowly making their way back into their original place leaving my abdomen feeling loose and confused.  My arms and thighs felt like I had ziplocks of salt water taped to them.  Honestly, I just felt gross.  It's not that I felt "fat" but I felt misshaped.  I just wanted comfort and functionality while I transitioned from being a pregnant woman to being a new mom and to feel as much like "myself" as possible.

So below I linked some of my favorite items to wear postpartum.  I am still going through changes as I am just over 4 weeks postpartum now and have a few weeks before I can get back to exercising and hopefully my body adjusting better to the new changes. 

Belly Binders- I have two belly binders.  One I got for the first week postpartum that wasn't as tight and easier to manage with velcro and the other is more of a corset shaper that I like to wear under my clothing when I am out and about.  Note that I didn't transition into the corset until closer to three weeks since I found it very tight and uncomfortable while my organs settled back into place.  I feel the corset is best after using a softer belly binder.  Both offer the feeling of being held in and distract from that empty womb sensation and have AWESOME lower back support which you will need.  You'll find that as one of the most surpising discomforts the first month.

Nursing Tanks-  Mama, get ready to live in these those first few weeks while you're at home and especially at night.  I really underestimated the importance of these and I strongly, STRONGLY recommend grabbing about 5-7 of these for the week because you'll find yourself not being able to do laundry as often as you may think. 

Leggings-  Even after birth I still found maternity leggings to be the most comfortable for the first two weeks.  The elastic doesn't dig into your new squishy belly and I liked wearing them high up UNDER my belly binder to avoid any skin irritation.  They fit a little loosely but I found this more comfortable than spanx type leggings since my body just went through so much trauma and you'll be wearing those awesome depends diaper type things having extra room is key. Also at this price you can stock up on multiple pairs!

Underwear- For the first few weeks you'll find yourself wearing....basically adult diapers as you continue to bleed while your uterus settles back into place (FUN!).  Then you'll slowly start to bleed less and be able to wear normal pads.  If you're like me you were a thong girl before so wearing full coverage underwear is a bit daunting.  I found these awesome affordable multi packs of seamless underwear that feels less bulky and are transparent under clothing.  I strongly recommend buying two packs, because again, laundry doesn't get done as frequently as it used too.

Nursing Bras-   You would be surprised at the VARIETY of nursing bras you'll want and need.  I found not one bra did all jobs, especially once you start wearing "outside clothing" aka not just leggings and nursing tanks around the house.  I strongly suggest a mix of nursing bras that can be worn under normal tops, soft ones for night nursing and strapless nursing bras since you'll find strapless clothing is your new BFF.  I also included some nursing pads becuse you're going to leak a lot those first two weeks, YAY!

Haven Life Insurance

This post is sponsored by Haven Life, all thoughts are my own

This post is sponsored by Haven Life, all thoughts are my own

Something shifts the moment you have a baby. You start thinking about things in the long term picture. The things your parents talked about like 401ks, finding a house in the best school district and life insurance becomes a top priority. Suddenly your life is no longer just your own.  You share it with your spouse and your child as a whole entity.

Finding the right life insurance for you and your family can feel overwhelming.  As a new parent I solely focus on things I need to do for my son. Anything for myself or my husband becomes a lower priority. But life insurance is for your child because it's the safety net that protects them if anything happened to you. 

Most of the time, you can't buy affordable, high quality life insurance coverage online. It takes weeks for a decision. Enter Haven Life- a startup backed by MassMutual. Haven Life makes it so easy to research and purchase quality coverage. Once you submit an application online, you find out immediately if you're approved for coverage and how much it'll cost.  If you're unsure of how much coverage you might need, you can also calculate your specific needs to view suggested options that best fit you and your family. Having access to affordable, high quality coverage where I can find out if I am approved for coverage in just a few easy steps online is such a relief and one less hectic process I have to stress about. Visit Haven Life to find out more. 

Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC15DTC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. 

Baby C with Shane Co

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I know I've kept you in the dark on baby C's name during my pregnancy.  I am so excited to finally share what C stands for with the help of Shane Co!

I knew I wanted a custom engraved pendant with my baby boys initials on it.  I'll be wearing this piece regularly as layering piece so I wanted something that would last and not risk tarnishing or falling apart.  Quality was the main focus for what jewelry company I would trust with such a precious and sentimental necklace.  I knew I could count on my friends at Shane Co to deliver exactly what I was looking for at an amazing price.

I chose this gold pendant in 14k gold: SHOP IT BY CLICKING HERE

I opted for his three initials, CLM for Caspian Lee Merlet

Bravado Nursing Bras: My first two weeks

This post is sponsored by Bravado Designs, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

This post is sponsored by Bravado Designs, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

What a whirlwind mommyhood is!  I'll be two weeks postpartum this coming Sunday and I wanted to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week by sharing my favorite nursing bra company along with the top two things I have learned about breastfeeding in these past 10 days.

If you caught my IG post featuring my Bravado Ballet Nursing Bra you read how overwhelmed I felt after taking a FOUR HOUR breastfeeding class.  By the end of class my eyes were glazed over and the only thing my brain cared to remember these past few weeks was that cold cabbage leaves can help reduce engorgement.  I had been told so much about the "breast crawl" and pumping and 289 other things but it was the few things I wasn't told about in our breastfeeding class that I wish I knew before hand. So below I am going to share the top two things I wish I knew about breastfeeding that wasn't taught in my class. 

1. Engorgement.  On day three of mommyhood my milk came in and I woke up with rock hard boobs.  I was in so much pain.  I frantically texted my other mommy friends and family asking them if this was normal.  They assured me it was and advised switching between hot and cold compression to relieve the pain.  I used warm washcloths and a frozen bag of peas. I did try to cold cabbage leaves but that didn't do squat. There was a point at the end of the day where I was crying on the couch with frozen peas on my chest and enjoying the feeling of relief.  I wore my Bravado Ballet Nursing Bra during this time and it was so silky soft.  It offered breast support without feeling restrictive or painful on my chest.

2. Night Feeding.  Night feeding took about 5 days to find our rhythm.  By rhythm I don't mean a time schedule for when my babe would need to nurse, I mean finding what positions worked best for me and baby without having to disrupt our sleep too much.  The first few nights I'd prop myself up with three pillows behind my head for each feeding and grab my nursing boppy pillow to support the baby.  Doing this song and dance would jolt me awake and I would find it hard to fall back asleep.  I also found myself not wanting to remove the pillows behind my neck and back after the first round of night feeding so I'd sleep sitting up and wake up with terrible neck pain.  Since we are co-sleeping I finally decided to try side-lying nursing.  WHAT A LIFE SAVER.  I wear my Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra.  It's super soft to wear at night and the clips on the strap are easy to unhook one handed (you will be learning to do a lot of things one handed while breastfeeding).  I find myself easily being able to fall back asleep after each feeding since I don't have to change my sleep position and baby doesn't need to be readjusted either. 

Shop my two favorite nursing bras by Bravado Designs below.  Both come in a variety of colors and are under $50!

Bravado Silk Seamless Nursing Bra  SHOP IT BY CLICKING HERE.

Bravado Ballet Nursing Bra SHOP IT BY CLICKING HERE

MiaDonna: The Eco Diamond

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They say diamonds are a girl's best friend.  I have to agree.

There is nothing like the sparkle of a diamond to draw the eye in.  I think diamonds are a classic, versatile gemstone.  You should be able to wear them with an evening gown or with your favorite jeans and t-shirt.

My favorite setting for diamonds: A pair of diamond stud earrings.

But at what cost?

It's 2017 and being aware of how diamonds are sourced is a common concern.  There have been blockbuster movies made about the dark world of diamond sourcing and countless articles published.  What I love the most about MiaDonna is their diamonds are conflict free and eco-friendly. 

How?

MiaDonna's diamonds are lab grown diamonds made in the United States.  Now before you jump to conclusions you should know they are chemically, physically and optically IDENTICAL to mined diamonds. The problem with mined diamonds is the sources are often in villages where the miners and their families can be abused and forced into mining.  This means even young children are unwilling made to mine and source diamonds.   Mining also has a huge impact on our earth.  Enormous amounts of soil are removed in the process and the long term effects of this could be devastating to our eco-system.

This is why I am so excited to proudly wear my MiaDonna Martini 1.00 carat earrings set in 14k white gold and even MORE excited to announce I have an extra pair to giveaway to one of my lucky readers!

Simply follow this link to enter our IG based giveaway: https://instagram.com/p/BWsrEtcgwww/

More to love about MiaDonna-

MiaDonna gives 5% back to the Greener Diamond Foundation, which you can read about here: https://www.miadonna.com/pages/the-greener-diamond

MiaDonna creates gorgeous engagement rings: https://www.miadonna.com/pages/ethical-conflict-free-engagement-rings

MiaDonna offers at home try on: https://www.miadonna.com/pages/home-try-on-jewelry

MiaDonna offers custom designs: https://www.miadonna.com/pages/design-your-own-ring

Nursery nesting with FreeShipping.com

Nesting is definitely one of those things I heard about but didn't really understand until this last month.  Every time I thought we were done with decorating the nursery I felt like there was a little something missing.  With my big 38 week pregnancy belly I am moving at a glacial pace these days and a trip to our strip mall with all our go-to stores seems impossible.  

I have been relying heavily on online shopping for last minute items.  One item I wanted for our nursery was a side table to put next to the rocking chair.  The one I fell in love with was from Target. I knew I wouldn't make it to the store anytime soon so I would need to order online.

So you're probably asking what the difference is between FreeShipping.com and just buying directly on the retailer's site. How about 10% cash back and automatic coupon codes?

I went to FreeShipping.coms main page and typed in the retailer I was looking for: Target

After putting TARGET into the search box I clicked on the "Target 10% cashback" option in the drop down menu

I saw in the next screen that they had coupon codes available below so I scrolled down to see what they were.

I clicked the "visit store" option and was redirected to the Target website where I was able to purchase the side table I wanted.  I got free shipping and 10% cash back!

My package arrived in 5 days and it was exactly the final touch our nursery needed!

I know with a newborn we will have even less time to make trips to our local Target and shop in store.  It's so helpful to have a site I can order from that provides free shipping and will help us save money with cash back options.  I hear diapers are expensive and FreeShipping.com is going to be a life saver getting them direct to my home while putting money in my pocket!

The loneliness of the first trimester

 

 

 

My therapist was the first person I told I was pregnant.

It happened on a Tuesday. I usually have therapy every Thursday but this week it was Thanksgiving so we switched days.  I walked into her office, calmly sat down and before she could ask me how I was doing I blutered out "I'm pregnant."  A month prior my husband and I were walking our dogs before heading out to dinner and a concert.  The leaves in our neighborhood were all this gorgeous fire red color and covered the sidewalks and streets.  Suddenly a feeling came over me that it was time to start family.  I turned to him and said "I think we should start trying for a baby."  I remember picking up a small autumn leaf that day and taking it home to remember that moment. 

I had no idea if conceiving would be easy or hard for us.  We had decided as a couple that going into pregnancy we wouldn't take any type of fertility tests prior to trying unless we were unable to conceive in the first six months. I have a history of hormonal imbalance and cysts on my ovaries so I knew there was a chance it could be tricky.  We had also decided to not tell anyone we were trying.  I didn't want the attention if I skipped a glass of wine at dinner with friends.  I didn't want anyone asking me about it every month.  I didn't want the self induced added pressure and anxiety. 

 I had decided to order a large package of pregnancy test strips to have on hand for the coming months.  I didn't want to obsessively be running to the drugstore monthly if I was a day late.  I knew for my personality it would be best to have them "just in case".  I noticed I was about 5 days late but I had no hope that I would see those double pink lines.  So when that second line appeared I started laughing. I didn't believe it.  There was no way it could happen that fast.  So I took another test.  And another....... Pretty soon my bathroom floor was covered in tiny double pink lined strips of paper.  "These things are expired" I thought.  I jumped in my car and drove the 10 blocks up the street to the drug store to buy one of those $30 three packs. The ones that basically use the exact same kind of tests I had at home but have an added plastic stick around them. The fancy expensive kind. I remember shaking at the checkout line and preparing myself for disappointment when I got home. Again, those two pink lines appeared on all three of my shiny plastic covered pregnancy tests.

Every emotion I had ever felt in life rushed through me, but the one that hit me the hardest was guilt.  I felt guilty for being pregnant.  I felt guilty we had conceived so easily.  I felt guilty that others that were trying were not pregnant yet.  I felt guilty I had not told anyone that we were trying.

When I called my OB GYN's office and told them I had taken over 10 pregnancy tests that all came back positive I asked them if there could be a mistake.  They assured me that was not possible and congratulated me.  We set up an appointment for what would be my 9 week ultrasound and advised me to call them if I felt anything was wrong before then.  

That felt like a loaded statement.  How would I know if anything was wrong?  I had never been pregnant before.  So what else is a girl to do than rely on the internet for answers.  

What a HUGE mistake.  

I don't think I have seen a better example of "misery loves company" than on baby and pregnancy online chat forums.

For every first time mom that was posting concerns and questions were ten women hissing at her to stop complaining and that it sounded like "the exact same thing that happened to me before I miscarried."

Those first few months were the loneliest months of my life.  It was holiday season and I was doing a fun dance of avoiding friends and family.  My work was suffering and I had to lie that I was sick with the flu.  I had to lie to a lot of people I care about.  I had to lie to my best friend.  I had to lie to my dad. I had to make endless excuses of why I couldn't attend a party or why I hadn't called back.  I spent most of my time in bed feeling like I had the world's worst hangover while I read things online that I was probably having a miscarriage or something was wrong with my baby.  Nothing seemed helpful or supportive and I had no one to talk to about what I was experiencing.  

My husband and I decided to not tell anyone right away that we were expecting.  I didn't want very many people knowing in case I miscarried.  The fear had been installed that this would probably happen.   We ended up sharing our news with the tiniest handful of people (mostly because I couldn't stand lying to them anymore) but we made it very clear this was not to be shared with others and to not get too excited because we would not be in the clear for another few months.  We were both on edge and prepared for the worst.

Then we made it to our 9 week ultrasound.  A small fraction of relief came over us when we saw our lil ones heart beat on the monitor and the outline of what looked like a tiny peanut.  Suddenly it all felt very real.  I was pregnant.  Really pregnant.  There was photo evidence I was growing something inside me. The last weeks of nausea and fatigue were for a bigger purpose.  We were on the road to being able to confirm this exciting chapter in our life.

The next day we were scheduled to fly to Thailand for our very belated honeymoon.  While my OB said it was perfectly safe for us to go I still was half ready to come back no longer pregnant.  Our trip was bittersweet.  I was coming out of my first trimester symptoms but the traveling was rough on my body.  Every day I grew a little more confident in my pregnancy.  I had the signs of the tiniest bump (which was probably just bloating but it was still exciting).  I was feeling confident in our future as parents. We definitely had to forgo some things we had originally planned but we knew it was for the safety of our baby.  OUR BABY.  The little being that became more real, every day.

We had our 12 week ultrasound shortly after we returned from Thailand.  This was it.  This would confirm our baby was safe.  That the odds of me miscarrying after this were very, very slim.  That they could see and make sure the baby was forming correctly.  I don't know if I have ever felt such a heavy weight lifted off my shoulders than when I heard his heartbeat.  Than when I saw the actual formation of what looked like a person flicker on that screen.  Than the feeling of my heart bursting as his little hand waved hello to us.  This was our baby and we could finally tell everyone with absolute confidence. Our baby was no longer a secret. He would be a real human coming earthside soon.

Telling family and friends was supposed to be this amazing joyous moment for us but we were received with mixed emotions. I would love to say everyone was thrilled and responded with enthusiasm but that wasn't the case and unfortunately this seems common with other pregnant women/couples. It is disappointing since you don't know the feeling until you've experienced it.  You don't know the months of being sick.  The months of being paralyzed with the thought you'll lose your baby.  The months of keeping a secret from people you love in order to protect yourself. 

When there is a baby announcement there is so much more in the announcement than announcing a pregnancy.  We're announcing that we've made it out of the dark and into the light.  We're announcing our fears and dreams of becoming parents. We're announcing a leap into a new journey.  A journey that started very lonely but now is meant to be filled with family, friends and love.  A journey we are asking you to be a part of with us.

Our journey started with a walk on a fall day and will continue for many years to come. I no longer feel lonely but I ask anyone reading this to be kind to yourself or others who are just beginning their journey.  We don't have to go it alone. 

 

 

Weekly Round Up: Issue 4

Would you believe me if I told you that all these dresses are NOT maternity dresses?  They just happen to be bump friendly.  I rounded up these three you all seem to love and my new favorite designer dupe purse below! All the dress are $51 or under. Shop the looks with the direct clickable link or click the images in the carousels. 

If you're looking for a chic and unique maternity look or if you just love this dress it's actually NOT a maternity dress.  I sized up to make sure my bump would fit.  The fabric is stretchy and the back is open.  Shop is for $51 and these awesome door knocker earrings.

Dress:  CLICK HERE TO SHOP

Earrings: CLICK HERE TO SHOP

Another non-maternity dress that just happens to be bump friendly.  I sized up to a medium and it still fit at 35 weeks!  Also fun straw hats for summer are a must and I linked a few favorites below, just click on any of the images in the carousel below!

Dress: CLICK HERE TO SHOP

Hat: CLICK HERE TO SHOP

How boho fabulous is this dress?!?! Also not a maternity dress but the adjustable open size makes it bump friendly.  I feel like I'll be wearing this alot when baby arrives too because it's so light and comfy.  I linked my new favorite sliders and even some parasol for you if you want an extra fabulous way to protect yourself from the sun this summer.

Dress: CLICK HERE TO SHOP

Sliders: CLICK HERE TO SHOP

Parasol: CLICK HERE TO SHOP

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Lots of love on IG for this designer inspired bag.  At $31 this is a major style steal since it looks hella expensive IRL. 

Bag: CLICK HERE TO SHOP

Labor Soothing Date Smoothie

I hate dates!  They are like raisins on steroids.  I seriously cannot get past the texture of them without gagging and on their own they are way, way too sweet for my tastebuds. 

When my midwives recommended I start eating 6 medjool dates a day (starting at 36 weeks) my stomach dropped a bit.  They say they help ease labor.  I have heard this both from midwives and other moms so I knew I was going to have to find a way to get them into my diet.

So first off I just want to rant on all the awesome benefits of medjool dates.  Please keep in mind when you make these smoothies to use medjool dates.  This was stressed to me by my doulas and midwives.

Fiber- dates are full of fiber which is something everyone probably needs more of but especially third trimester mama's because pooping is hard!

Potassium- An awesome natural electrolyte.  It helps balance water/salt.

Magnesium- You know those leg cramps you are getting, especially at night?  Magnesium will help sooth those.

Folate- Getting enough folate will ensure your baby's spinal chord matures properly.

Vitamin K- this maintains proper blood clotting which is important for mama's during and after labor and if your OB or midwife hasn't mentioned it yet you'll learn about a Vitamin K shot for your newborn.  If they have not brought this up to you by your 35 week appointment I strongly urge you to ask questions about it.  I'm still doing my reading and research on this. 

Ingredients:

-6 medjool dates (make sure to remove the pits)

-1 banana

-2 tablespoons of almond butter (depending on how you label honey as vegan or not I opted for this almond butter with honey and flaxseed)

-1 cup unsweetened almond milk

-a dash of cinnamon (I like a heavy dash to balance the sweetness)

-5-6 ice cubes

Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until desired consistency.  

This smoothie is delicious.  My husband got a taste and deemed it his favorite smoothie ever. The sweet dates balance with the almond and cinnamon really well.

Below I linked the medjool dates I bought along with two other 36 week plus must haves to help with labor.

 

Happy drinking mamas!

Oh Baby

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One month until baby C arrives!  What better way to celebrate than with sharing our maternity photo's.  

I knew with our maternity session I wanted something with a little glam and sophistication.  I am actually a bit moody in personality and since I am about to turn 32 and my hubs is 33 I really wanted a look that captured this era of age for us.  I also wanted to go almost full opposite of my boho baby shower look

I opted for a long black gown.  I wanted something dramatic.  Can you believe this beauty is only $51?!?!?! Such a style steal.  There are a lot of really pretty customized maternity gowns out there but most of them did not look wearable again for the future and are basic jersey stretch fabric.  I couldn't justify dropping $200-$300 on a dress I would never wear again when there's still items we need for the nursery.  

I sized up two sizes in this dress since it's not technically a maternity dress but the fabric is stretchy.  I wanted to make sure my bump had the room it needed.  For jewelry I opted for these statement lion door-knocker earrings (because baby C is due to be a Leo just like his mama) I managed to style my own hair in a mix of fishtail and regular milkmaid braids, which is a miracle because I am terrible at up-dos. 

Shop the look below!

Dress: CLICK HERE TO SHOP

Earrings: CLICK HERE TO SHOP

Photography: Christine Shields www.christineshieldsphotography.com

Location: Cistus Nursery, Sauvie Island, Oregon

High Fiber Raspberry Smoothie

Let's talk about pooping!  

Once I hit my third trimester I was blessed with constipation.  This is pretty normal in pregnancy but that doesn't mean it's ever fun.  Even if you're not pregnant not being able to go is a total BUM-mer (hahahahaha I've got the jokes) 

This recipe has four ingredients, is vegan, filled with fiber and a total cure for that sweet tooth. 

 

Ingredients:

- Bob's Red Mill Chocolate Protein Powder

- Raspberries

- Unsweetened  Almond Milk

- Ice Cubes

 

I start with 1 cup of frozen raspberries (8 grams of fiber)  You can opt for non-frozen but I think frozen ones add that extra thickness that makes the smoothie almost desert like.  Continue with 1 cup unsweetened almond milk and 3-4 ice cubes.

Then add two scoops of Bob's Red Mill chocolate protein powder (9 grams of fiber)  This will put you at 17 grams of the recommended 37 grams for the day.  If you click the highlighted blue links they will take you to a shoppable Amazon link.  I opt for Bob's Red Mill protein powder because it's filled with so much good stuff.  I love that it's vegan, has added chia and probiotics which everyone could use more of.

Blend everything in a Ninja blender or  Vitamix until desired consistency.  Top with option raspberries and cacao nibs

This is a great treat for the AM or a late afternoon snack.

Weekly Round Up: Issue 3

Forever 21 is having an awesome sale right now.  They have styles for up to 20% off with code: SUMMER20 at checkout.  This week I decided to link some Forever 21 items
I love right now and are inspired by my looks from this week that I shared on my IG.  The sale ends on 6/18 so grab up your goodies while you! 

Another mama-to-be asked me what size I got this jumpsuit in for my bump so I wanted to relink it.  I sized up to a medium and this was taken a few weeks ago at 32 weeks.  My bump has grown one inch since then and I'm happy to report the jumpsuit still fits! I also linked two bags with a similar hue that are both under $30.

A lot of summer and fall abies are coming so that means all the baby showers!  I recreated my baby shower look with Forever 21 pieces and YES that includes flower crowns!

This look and my next one are my "Let's pretend we live in the French countryside" looks.  I think it's all the gorgeous roses we have blooming right now that's put me in the mood for lots of flowy floral dresses.

Here I am thinking about all the brie and wine I wish I could eat and drink.  Are you sick of off the shoulder dresses yet?  I was for about a week then I got over it and bought two new ones.  

Summer Beauty Products: June Edition

I'm hella lazy these days with my beauty care routine.  One, I'm pregnant and two, it's hot out now so basically everything feels like it runs off my face.

I've been mixing and matching new and old goodies for the summer heat and lazy girl mirror time.  Here are a few of my favorite products.

 

I did a full blog post on Live Botanical in the past and this toner has been my go to since then.  I spray it on my face in the morning when I get out of the shower for a nice pick me up.  The citrus scent is especially great for summer.  Live Botanical is a Portland based company that is organic, GMo-free and fair trade. 

Blood Orange Restoring Toner $18, shop it here

I switched out of my matte lip glosses and lipsticks and opted for some gel lip stains for summer. I have all three colors.  These are easily buildable and won't dry out your lips like the other stains. They give you that perfect "cherry popsicle" look for summer and at $4 a pop you might as well get all the hues! Shop them here.  

My under eyes have been feeling rough lately.  My sleep patterns are off and I needed something that would help with my puffiness and hollow look. This gives that extra little plump effect I was looking for. I saw results in as little as three days!  This is extra hydrating so I suggest using it only at night and skipping for day wear/under makeup.  Shop it here for Prime shipping. 

I'm really into not doing my hair lately.....My routine has been washing it and letting it air dry.  I have a slight natural wave and if I am looking for extra texture I'll braid it while it's still wet and let it dry that way.  I love this spray because it gives that cool girl beach texture without leaving my hair crunchy.  It also smells super yummy so I can easy use it during the week without having to wash my hair every other day.  Yay!  Shop it here

I naturally have oily skin that is also uneven.  I have always had issues with powder or liquid blush sitting correctly. I love this illuminating stick from NYX.  I opted for the color Coralicious and use it like a cream blush on the apple of my cheeks and blend upward to my cheekbones.  It goes on super light and gives you the perfect amount of tint.  Shop it here.  

This product was a suggestion from a Sephora employee.  I am absolutely obsessed.  I have been looking for a face primer and he had suggested this to help hydrate without over drying my oily skin.  This is the first time I have found a primer that keeps my foundation matte without it creasing.  The green tea is also great to combat any redness from the heat.  I apply this after my Live Botanical toner.  Shop it here. 

This was an accidental purchase when I was visiting LA and the California sun had burnt and dried out my lips.  I was at the drugstore and picked it up at random but I am addicted now.  IT's super hydrating without being sticky and adds a nice gloss.  I apply it every night before bed and it can be applied over lip stain easily as well.  I love that it's 100& natural too.  Shop it here

More under eye help!  Some days my dark circles are more tragic than others.  I have tried every under eye gel patch under the damn sun (yes even model and Kim K approved Skyn ones) but these are my favorite.  I keep them in the fridge for extra cooling power and apply them in the mornings when needed for 20-30 minutes.  Shop them here with Prime shipping.

Expectancy Rings Giveaway

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNER @dearmomme!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

I'm so excited to share an amazing giveaway opportunity I have for you with Expectancy Rings

Win a ring you can customize yourself to help celebrate your bundle of joy!

Rules:

-Follow me on IG @nicosolovely

-Follow @expectancyrings on IG

-Find the original post here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BVQqTfFABlR/?taken-by=nicosolovely  and tag two friends in the comments

Giveaway ends on June 22nd at 11pm PST.  

Open to all moms-to-be or new mothers.

Open internationally 

I found my love on the internet

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I had just recently moved back to LA to pursue a career in wardrobe styling.  I was working part time in clothing retail, part time at a styling house and trying to grab freelance opportunities for styling gigs anywhere I could.  In this world you don't meet very many straight men.   While I wasn't actively searching for The One I knew I wanted to date and maybe, just maybe I would meet someone I actually connected with.  I was building new friendships with coworkers and catching up with old friends in my free time.  Going out to bars and events wasn't where I was looking to meet anyone.  I had mixed experiences dating online back in Portland but decided to give it a whirl in Los Angeles.

I am genuinely first attracted to men by their face.  It's just how I roll. I'm a visual person. I love squinty eyes and a little bit of a goofy smile.  I also really like that white bread.  While I was on the dating website I saw a face flash on my screen of this dark haired, blue green eyed guy.  I checked our "match" rate and it was 80ish%.  I'm not sure how they calculate that but I was going to put trust into the system. The rest of his profile photos were of him out with friends, a Halloween party, playing darts, at a birthday party and at a park.  His info was pretty minimal but nothing sent me red flags.  Then there was a question on the site that every profile has "What do you spend most of your time thinking about?"  His answer: What I'm going to eat next.  SOLD. However,  I didn't message him.  I think I was in this headspace where I was going to try and be more formal with my dating strategy and let the men pursue me.  I've sort of always been the aggressor.  So true to my nature I aggressively stalked his profile for the next week but I still didn't message him.  All the while the website sent him a notification every time I viewed his profile.  This was information I didn't know until he told me and I am still surprised he decided to message me after all those email notifications but he did!  We made some light small talk online and he was quick to set up an in person date.  

Our date was set for June 12th at Cat and the Fiddle in Hollywood.  I don't remember if I was nervous other than the superficial fear that comes with online dating where the person looks nothing like their photos. When I walked in he was sitting at the bar watching the basketball game.   I remember the exact shirt he was wearing ( I regularly slept in it at our sleepovers and then turned it into a handkerchief for our wedding day) He was tall and had the same beautiful eyes I first was captivated by online.  We moved over to a booth and ordered drinks.  His side of the story was he was intrigued when I ordered a Guinness.  We had our small talk over careers, other dating horror stories and chatted a bit about my time in Portland.  I found out his two friends (one of which married us) had actually set up his profile for him much against his will.  

After a few drinks he suggested we play darts.  Growing up in Las Vegas it's second nature for me to make any game a gamble. I asked him what the bet terms were and he replied, with a smirk, "Loser has to plan the second date."  SNEAKY SNEAKY.  I was already committing to a second date.  Much to my competitive nature I did not give up easily, but I did lose by half a point.  I was a woman of my word and I planned the second date......which turned into a third date and after that we were pretty much inseparable.

6 months later we moved in together.  We got a dog together.   We got engaged.  We went on trips.  We changed careers.  We got married.  We moved to Portland.  We made a human (due in July).

All these things I would have never expected from online dating but I am so happy I didn't listen to the stigma of it.  That I brushed off the creepers that messaged me.  That I trusted the websites 80ish% compatibility match.  I don't know any other way I would have met my amazing love.  So thank you internet.  You are filled with a lot of crap but you are also filled wonderful surprises.  Some that lead to a winning game of darts. 

 

Weekly Round Up: Issue 2

Time for this weeks round up of my featured outfits on Instagram.

A lot of these looks are non-maternity items that just happen to be bump friendly but I've also linked some specific maternity options if you're looking for that bump hug. 

This dress isn't maternity but the built in slip has some stretch and is long enough for my 32/33 week bump. I'm usually an XS in this paticular brand but sized up to a Small for the baby belly.  It's also on sale!

I wrote a blog post about pairing olive green with black and white that you can read here and shop this EXACT dress (for under $16) , but I've also linked some other dress options (maternity and non) with these olive green sliders and hat below. 

My "on the whim outfit" was my favorites this week.  I'm surprised how incredibly comfortable these sandals are and my beloved duster I thought I lost I found a few weeks ago!  It's the perfect summer layering piece.

If you follow me on IG you'll know what a thrill it was for me to finally find a jumpsuit I can cram my bump into without any discomfort!  This jumpsuit is non-maternity so I'm excited to wear it after baby as well and at under $18 it's such a great wardrobe staple.  My bag was gifted to me by Skagen and I had a lot of compliments on the color.  These shoes are a great pop of print and come in pink if you want a lighter hue for summer.