Valentines Day Lust List


I both love and hate Valentine's Day.

I really do believe that you should celebrate your loved one with sweet gestures and surprise tokens of your love all year 'round - flowers just because? Um, yes please! 

So you would think that a day dedicated to just that would make me a happy camper buuuuut sometimes Valentine's Day feels like a day full of pressure. Pressure + expectations + build up can leave a girl feeling a little sweaty (and sweaty is not romantic, or so I've been told). 

In the name of avoiding any unnecessary sweating, I've whipped up a little Lust List that would be perfect to print out and tape to your love's bathroom mirror (or tuck in their jacket pocket, or hide in their wallet...you get the gist.) 

 P.S. this list would be perfect for your bestie, too! 

and P.P.S. everything is under $65! 


Valentines day




lace bralette | ring dish | sunnies | necklace | phone case | leopard flats | love print | sleep shorts | blush

 I'm obsessed with this bralette! Soft, an incredible price point and super sweet. I started wearing one to sleep in my first trimester and now I love throwing one on under my mom uniform.

This ring dish is adorable. One of my fave designers, my fave color palettes and a perfect price point. This would be my go to bestie Valentine's Day gift.

My Ray Bans were sadly lost on the side of the road after our accident in Houston. I didn't have it in my budget to splurge on yet another pair of expensive sunnies, so I snagged these babies for pennies. They are super dark, perfect for the bright snow in Maine or for our travels south.

Truth: I've added this necklace to every.single.wish list for the last year or so. I'm just in love with the delicate shade of pink.

Am I the only one who goes through phone cases like whoa? I guess that's why I need one and if I have to have one, it better be cute! This one definitely fits the bill!

Moving South will mean that I can finally wear shoes again! I won't be sad to retire my Bean Boots if it means that I can rock these babies while running errands.

This print would be the perfect addition to our master bedroom. The graphic shape and metallic gold foil are just the thing for our neutral decor.

I may be one of the only girls under the age of 50 who seriously wears real pajamas. These shorts would be the perfect addition to my pj wardrobe.

My every day blush in my fave bright fuchsia color just happens to be the perfect Valentine's treat - useful, indulgent and glam. Perfection.

and don't worry, I found the perfect (not too cheesy) gift for the guys.
I don't know about ya'll but I would have Minted wrap this bad boy in this gorgeous frame and then force my husband to hang this in his man room. You know, because we're in love and all.


What's on your Valentine's Day wish list? 



8 Things No One Told Me About Having a C Section


I'll be the first to admit it:

I loved my C Section. 

However, despite knowing for quite a few months that my extremely Frank Breech babe would have to come out of my abdomen and not my lady bits, I was still in the dark for quite a few of the surprises that were waiting for me in that Operating Room. Luckily for ya'll, I have no filter and see it as my duty to help a mama out, so buckle up baby, we're talking C Section Secrets.
(if you are crazy squeamish - or my dad - just go ahead and stop reading now) 

1. Buzz Cut
If you have a scheduled C Section, a sweet nurse at your OBGYN office will most likely tell you that it is up to you if you'd like to do your own Prep Shave. At my doctor's office, it was mentioned so off handedly that I almost missed it. As in, "oh, you've gained another 20lbs, your baby might have cracked one of your ribs and you're welcome to do your own prep shave." 
Uh, pardon?
Flash forward a few hours and my water broke 2 weeks early and the prep shave had yet to be attempted. I say attempted because, let's be honest, at that stage in the game you haven't seen below your weird belly button in months. 
Anyways, I showed up to L&D freshly unshaved and out came the hospital grade electric razor. And, heads up, they shave you while you're laying down in your hospital bed. So, so awkward. 
After you handle your sheering, the nurse will roll up a piece of what looks like masking tape from her desk and press it against your skin to pick up your cookie's winter coat. Uh huh, it's as fun as it sounds. 

2. Ball and Chain
So, you'll get a catheter. It doesn't really hurt but it doesn't exactly feel normal either. 
The weirdest part is when you have to shimmy your 40 weeks pregnant self from your hospital bed to the OR table with your catheter in place. They'll remove it once it's clear you won't need any further medical intervention, you can feel your swollen ankles and after you beg them incessantly for a shower. 
Side Note: my catheter was still in place and very much operational when we had our first post-birth visitors....who happened to be my husband's boss and HR manager.

3. Bee Sting
The epidural really doesn't hurt as bad as you think it will. It does, in fact, sting, but considering the pain of contractions, an epidural was certainly not the Big Bad Wolf that I made it out to be in my mind. In case you're wondering, the bee sting feeling is from the numbing shot pre-epidural/spinal block. I got a spinal block and was the happiest girl in the world - I literally joked my way through my C Section. I spent many a night laying awake wondering just how badly that sucker was going to burn and I am pleased to report that you may be pleasantly surprised when it's all said and done. 

4. 12 Hours
So, if you have a scheduled C Section you aren't allowed to eat or drink 12 hours prior to your surgery. Why? Well, I'm sure there are lots of reasons, but the one that really stuck out to me is that it might cause you to vomit. While you are strapped to the operating table. By far the worst part for me was the panic right before I threw up...what's a girl to do? I was strapped down, flat on my back with my abdomen wide open. So I turned my head and barfed on my husband's cute little scrub shoe covers. Sorry, honey. 
The nurses will clean it up quickly, suction your mouth so you don't choke and everyone will be super sweet about the whole thing....except your husband who may or may not have been wearing his fave shoes under his scrubs. 

5. Cry Baby
C Section babies often don't cry right away. They weren't squished through your teensy little pelvis so they still have gunk in their lungs. They tossed my babe over that curtain and he was silent. Cue the hysteria. "Ooops! We should have warned you that C Section babies don't cry!" was the response of the surgical team when I began my first (but certainly not last) mama panic. 

6. Dad With A View
So, C Section partners will be spared the trauma of seeing a human head (among other things) come through your lady parts but they may get a view of an equally traumatizing nature: your internal organs. We didn't see that one coming but sure enough, my husband was escorted over to cut the baby's cord right past my open abdominal cavity. A hospital OR is only so big and I guess they hoped he would be drawn to our fresh little chick laying in his sterile little bed. Instead, my slightly squeamish husband caught sight of my intestines and had to take a moment to regain his composure. 

7. Time on Your Hands
I will warn you, once the amazing moment of seeing your baby for the first time wears off, you will find yourself bored out of your mind laying on the operating table. I literally wanted to ask what in the world was taking so long (you know, besides stapling my belly back together and all). I struck up a conversation with my doctor to pass the time. Your partner will be with the baby in the nursery and you'll just be laying there wondering when you'll get to hold your babe and what kind of pain killers you'll get out of this deal. 

8. All of the Heart Eyes
Every birth experience is important and special and, chances are, you will in no way feel cheated or disappointed that you did not have a vaginal delivery. The hardest part is not being able to cuddle your baby right away but you still showed 40 weeks of pregnancy what was up and successfully brought your off spring into this world. Who can turn their nose up at that? I loved my birth experience and that means that I loved my C Section. I loved that my water broke and I knew what the plan was. For the record, my son was delivered just 2 hours and 24 mins after my water broke at home. No guessing, no 30 hours of pushing, no tearing and (most excitingly) no poop! 

disclaimer: each mama has her own experience. this is solely a reflection of mine. 



Hunkered Down


As you may have heard, there's a small storm causing trouble in the North East today. Luckily, I made the necessary grocery run for blizzard staples (see above) and we are prepared. 

In all seriousness, Maine will mostly be spared and we should see about a foot of snow (not a ton for aroud here). The winds are already kicking - so much so that our WIFI is out and I'm using the 'ol family data plan to blog from my phone (sorry Mom). 

Our plan for today is to stay in our monster pajamas, watch really bad day time TV and make a batch of my No Bean Chili . As long as we don't freeze to death, it'll be a pretty solid Tuesday! 



Stay warm!  

The Crochet Swim Suit Fail


Oh guys, this suit.

So, ya'll know that I'm on the hunt for the perfect mom suit to lasso my ladies/wrangle my backside/work some miracles and I really, really thought this suit would be the one.

Fact: I have even seen it on other mamas on Instagram and thought "oh, look how fab they are!"

Yeah. 
Not so much.

If you are trim and slim, and want to be appropriate at the pool or disguise a few teensy stretch marks, then honestly, this suit is for you. It's really quite beautiful. I ordered the suit in navy because it's on sale but the classic black is just so chic.

BUT

and yes, this is a big BUT,
if you have any bulges, lumps or bumps in your midsection that you are hoping to disguise then please gawd do not try this suit on.

Why?

See that gorgeous crochet pattern?
Go ahead, take a look, especially around the model's belly button area...
Yeah, that pattern stretches out over lumps and distorts, drawing the eye to your puffier sections.

I happened to have a crocheted flower just over my belly button that went from a sweet knit daisy to a Venus Fly Trap the second it hit my mama belly. 

Enough said.

And the hunt continues. 



Post Partum Body: Hike 'em up

Guess what we're talking about today??

Your favorite topic:

My Post Baby Boobs! 


So, as we all know, my ladies went rogue during my pregnancy.
I loved my old boobs - symmetrical, sweet and round, very unassuming and easily lassoed into a bandeau bikini top. 

Somehow, despite the fact that they produced zero (and I mean zero) milk, my ta-tas took the brunt of my pregnancy weight gain. I am slowly coming to grips with the fact that they will never be the same again....and that I now need to dress them appropriately.

In all seriousness, I never wore a bra prior to getting pregnant. 

Now I sleep in one.

disclaimer: I was provided a bra and panty of my choice by ThirdLove but all opinions in this post are mine and based upon my experience wearing the products. 



It seems that word of my tee-ta decline reached the folks at ThirdLove and they were sweet enough to let me know that they could help me hike my ladies back into place. I'll be honest, I was super skeptical that I could ever find a bra that wasn't a result of an in-person fitting, but I thought I would put ThirdLove to the test in the name of research. 



I chose the Lace Full Coverage Bra and Lace Boyshort - mostly because I felt like the black lace would make me feel a teesny bit like my old self while controlling the parts of me that now need to be controlled (including my hips). I need a bra that can corral my ladies and stay in place, no matter what. I don't have an extra hand to spare for constant bra rearranging. 


I was super smitten with the mint accents while shopping online and so pleased to see that they are even more beautiful in person. From the graphic black and white print on the packaging to the sweet gold hardware on the straps, I felt like the ThirdLove detail experience was well thought out from start to finish. 


Ok, so let's get down and dirty:
How did the bra fit?

So, I had the luxury of being professionally measured not long ago and therefor am very confident of my bra size BUT I have to tell you that I downloaded the ThirdLove app to size myself and (miraculously to me) the app nailed my sizing. 

I really don't know how an app can accurately measure you, but this one did and I am so impressed. The app walks you through taking a series of photos so that an algorithm in their system can calculate your size - literally, the app talks to you as you're taking the photos so that you get the ideal shot.



Yes, 36 E is my size in ThirdLove language....I have no words. 

If you're a new mama and unable to get to a store where you can be professionally measured, I highly recommend using this app. I had absolutely no faith that an app could measure my bra size but I am pleased to report that I was completely wrong. My tip is to wear a black tank and not a nude bra - that will save you some time! 


Once you know your size, you can filter your search to pull products that are available and recommended for your ladies. If you want a giggle, check out the ThirdLove Breast Shape Directory - gawd, I love a company with a sense of humor! The Breast Shape Directory and Fit Issue Guide should cover all of the concerns you might have with your boobies and will suggest the right bra for you. 


As soon as they arrived, I wrangled myself into my new bra and undies (on a lazy Sunday, no less), and ya'll, this shiz is comfy. The bra I chose has an underwire and a fairly thick waist band for support but no cup molding - so the only thing against my skin was the lace. I'm into it. 

No matter how much lounging, baby entertaining and Target shopping I did, the bra and undies both stayed put. And, most importantly, nothing wriggled into a bunch or managed to work itself over/in between any lumps. Let's be honest, that's a win in my book. 


The lace is incredibly high quality, soft and sans snags or pulls in the fabric. To be honest, I've slept in the bra on two different nights and have been incredibly comfortable. 


ThirdLove offers cup sizes up to size G and even offers half cup sizes starting with A 1/2 (jealous). 

Ok, so now ya'll try it - give the app a go and let me know if it sized you correctly. 
And if you're shocked with your size (like I obviously still am), then spill the beans - I need to know that I'm not alone in the wild lady lump department! 

And P.S. I don't think my wedding monogrammed has ever looked so ready for Valentine's Day 
(wink!)







The Mom Suit Search


As promised, I'm bringing ya'll along on the search to find my first ever one piece. 

Wanna know a secret? 
When I was two weeks postpartum, I took the baby to TJ Maxx and tried on bathing suits. I was obviously high on C- Section pain meds or baby smell or just plain out of my mind, but it seemed reasonable at the time. It was late July and my parents were spending a month at a lake house just down the road from us so they could see the baby. I happened to text Meg a sneak peek of a fitting room rack full of bathing suits and she immediately called me and said, "get the hell out of there before you hurt yourself." She was only half kidding - my stitches were still healing. 

So after that near fatal shopping excursion, I shelved the whole bathing suit thing.... until yesterday. 

It wasn't pretty, but it wasn't terrible either. 


When I ordered this suit, I thought it was navy based on the listing photo. I was surprised but not disappointed to see the deep eggplant color when I opened the package. The pro of this suit is obviously the belly rouching. It is super forgiving and comfortable. I most certainly do not feel like I need to hold my tummy in. The backside coverage is what I would consider full but cute. A little cheek peeks out on each side but my chunk is covered (and that's saying something because my Dad lovingly refers to me as Khloe Khadashian). 

The con would have to be cleavage. Back in my pre baby days I only ever wore bandeau tops (I have a deep hatred of tan lines) but now Mama needs her ladies lassoed up, so I thought the double straps of this suit would do the job. They do indeed hold the suit up but the V is so low that you can tell that my boobs have been flattened thanks to the miracle of childbirth. From the side, it's not my best boob angle. 

Verdict: I'm on the fence, but leaning towards keeping it.
Despite my slightly saggy cleavage, I thought the suit was super comfortable and perfect for 
swimming with Gray in the pool. It does make me feel like a soccer mom so I'd need to reserve it for mom activities like watching my kid float in his floaty thing while sipping a cocktail. 


Holy strategically placed piping!

From the listing photo, I could tell that piping on this suit would be flattering. The white waist band hits at my natural waist and is very, very forgiving. The suit comes with removable white straps that help keep my ta-tas in place when they need to be but can be removed to keep the suit chic. I love that the straps are white and connect just wear the white pipping ends, creating a streamlined effect. 

Pros: the piping. the end.

Cons: I'm tall - 5'9"- and I think I'm just the teeniest bit too long waisted for this suit. I felt the need to pull the suit up a bit while I was trying it on/not really moving around at all. This will certainly not be the suit to splash around with the baby in, but I sure will feel like a Bond Girl (in my mind) when I'm laying flat in a lounge chair during nap time. 

Verdict: I'm keeping it. 
 despite the slight urge to pull it up every so often, I just can't resist the piping. I feel like I look pretty cute in it and that's worth keeping. 




I still have one suit on the way that I'm hoping doesn't make me feel at all mom-ish and one (from Meg!) that may go toe to toe with the purple number for the numero uno position in the mom suit arsenal. I'll keep you posted on which lady wins out! 


Weekending

I'm back! I thought I would be an original and get my life together the second week of January - I mean everyone else is all "oh,  it's January 1, time for goals and resolutions!"  but I'm not one to follow the crowd. So here we are on January 12th and I'm blogging for the first time in the New Year. (If you think that's bad, then don't sneak a peek at my laundry pile. I haven't tackled that beast in 2015 either.) 

This weekend was cold but sunny and around here we call that a success.
I dressed my baby up in the dumbest hat ever and he repaid me by refusing to look at the camera



We ventured out only to find sustenance 
(because grocery shopping hasn't been on the top of the 2015 to do list either)




I ran away to get a much needed polish change and a gigantic coffee 

side note 1: I thought I was choosing a navy shellac polish but instead the color turned out to be a very dark teal....I'm hoping teal becomes a trend in the next few days because otherwise I'm not so sure that I'm into it. 


side note 2: a polish change is my new favorite way to take 20 mins or so for myself. It should cost around $20 for shellac and only involves the removal of the old gel polish, shaping/buffing of the nails and new polish. Add a quick run to the Starbucks drive through and I'm home long before nap time is over. 

We have a new weekend morning routine that I love:



as soon as the baby wakes up, I rescue him from his crib while Justin makes him a bottle, and then we all act like lazy bums and lay around in bed until G needs his morning nap. We play, read books, watch Gray do all of his new tricks and spend time together (mostly) without our phones and definitely without TV or the computers. 


(serious faces during Dr. Seuss story time) 

I am definitely not a morning person so I love starting our mornings slow and easy, just the three of us. On the weekdays we've implemented a mini version of the routine where we spend a few minutes together as a family until Justin needs to get up and get ready for work.  

It's been a while since I made the time to read (sadly) but I finished this book in record time over the weekend.  I found it incredibly fascinating and if you're into medical mysteries or love a (crazy) true story, then this one is a must.  


(obviously, this was before the polish change)

And, like any true Mainer, I made a Sunday coffee run in my long johns.
 I'm not even sorry and I sure wasn't the only one.


| puffer similar | long johns | bean boots


Hope ya'll had a great weekend!