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Nursing Bras You Need!

Photo Credit: Kate Hauschka 

Post pregnancy, nursing bras are one of the most essential items to a new Mom. When shopping for a good nursing bra I always look for two things, comfort and support. They could literally match the bra of my 90 year old Nonnie and I would not care, as long as it is comfortable!

Then usually when I start to come out of the first month of post partum and actually feel like getting dressed I like to have a couple stylish nursing bras too (Like this Le Mystere Sexy Mama Nursing Bra, on sale now)!

I read several reviews, and took advice from my followers to compile a list of the best maternity bras out right now. See my list below!


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Favorite places to shop for nursing bras:

Target (beware of the sleep bras though, they tend to shrink)

Nordstrom

H&M

Amazon

 

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The Most Stylish Maternity Brand: Pink Blush

Getting bigger is never an easy thing, and dressing for a baby belly can feel difficult at times. When I was first pregnant with Willow, I had a hard time with my changing body. I constantly covered up with a giant muumuu. With this pregnancy, I have really learned to embrace and love my bump!

Since having more confidence in my pregnancy this go round, I have really enjoyed styling my bump. I have talked previously about how to shop while pregnant (see it HERE), but I wanted to share with you Pink Blush Maternity, a brand that has all you need for your maternity wardrobe.  Seriously they are a one stop shop, carrying everything from fitted florals, swinging maxi dresses, flattering wrap dresses to bathing suits for your growing belly.

I have worn their dresses to my gender reveal, on the red carpet and pretty much on the daily. They are stylish, yet comfortable making a Mama feel good! They have many on trend-items that won’t break the bank and help you keep your personal style alive!

Shop My Favorite Looks From Pink Blush:

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Gender Reveal Dress:

Photo Credit: Kate Hauschka 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Galentine’s Day with Priv

Valentine’s Day is full of red, pink, chocolate and overrated expectations. I always feel like you have to stress out making plans and restaurants are usually over priced and crowded. So this got me thinking, what if you could celebrate it from the comfort of your own home??

That’s where Priv comes in, it is the uber of beauty services bringing beauty and wellness to your door. They offer a plethora of services such as blowouts, facials, massages, make up, nails, spray tans and even workouts! You pick the date and time, and a stylist shows up to your house. Simple and easy.

Now being married to an actor sometimes means celebrating holidays at a later date due to crazy work schedules. So I thought this year I would plan an amazing Galentine’s Day with some of my closest girlfriends. I honestly do not get to see them enough, and I need all the girl time I can get before these boys make their arrival.

My Galentine’s Day had a pajama theme of course (I mean I’m 32 weeks pregnant, so pajamas all day is completely acceptable at this point). I found beautiful pajama sets and robes for the girls to wear while being pampered by Priv. I also made them gift baskets of beauty products as a Galentine’s Day treat.

Shop The Gifts:

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We had three stylists from Priv come and provide facials, manicures, and blowouts. It was beyond amazing and relaxing. When planning your next girls night, make some Priv appointments for you and your girlfriends! Use code “thechicmamas10” at checkout for a discount on your first services!! Happy Galentine’s Day!!

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5 Ways To Pamper Yourself While Pregnant

It’s hard work creating human beings and sometimes you need to give your body a break. Pregnancy comes with that glow, but can leave your body achy and your mind feeling a little overwhelmed with all the hormones. It is really important to take time to focus on just yourself as you prepare to meet this new baby. Here are 5 ways to pamper yourself while pregnant:

    1. Indulge in some nice undergarments or nightgowns that fit appropriately and make you feel sexy. I have always gone by the saying, when you look good you feel good. Even if these are under your clothes or only what you wear to bed, it subconsciously makes you feel more confident.

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2. Spa it up!! Prenatal massages, facials and mani/pedi’s are a great way to relax and soothe your body throughout your pregnancy. Some insurance companies will even cover some  prenatal massages! Call your provider to inquire about your coverage. Also there are so many apps now that offer these services in the comfort of your own home. I like to use the Priv app and you can use the code ” thechicmamas10″ for a discount at checkout!

3. Take a nap. I know this sounds like an obvious way to relax, but often as a Mom I put my own comfort last. When you are pregnant this is often the time to really listen to what your body needs. When you are exhausted, even taking a 20 minute power nap can give you a great energy boost. 4. Splurge on a nice accessory for yourself. I posted previously about how I usually buy basic, staple pieces when pregnant, that can be worn over again and grow with your belly. This way I’m not wasting money on things that I will quickly grow out of, and I can use that money to buy myself a gift! Jewelry, a nice hand bag, or maybe a beautiful pair of shoes… either way you deserve it!

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5. Exercise. I know this sounds exhausting, but it is actual really good for you. You can go take an exercise class with friends for a little girl time or go solo for some much needed alone time. Exercise helps release beta endorphins that give a sense of well being. It also helps reduce backaches, constipation, bloating, and swelling.

I hope this list is a little reminder to that you are a rockstar, but even rock stars need a little rest and relaxation!

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Beauty Tips While Pregnant

There are so many do’s and don’ts once you find out you are pregnant. No more alcohol, sushi, deli meat and you have to limit your caffeine intake. Obvisouly these sudden exclusions deal with what we eat and drink, but did you know your skin care routine may need some adjusting as well. Your OB is your main resource for what you can and can’t use while pregnant. I had a long discussion with mine about what was safe to use while pregnant.

  • You know that amazing ingredient called Retinol, that is the anti-aging fountain of youth in most skin care products? Well, once with child you can no longer use this beauty product. However you can try Kojic or Glycolic acid and Vitamin C to brighten skin and cause cellular turnover.
  • Ask your doctor about salicylic acid during your pregnancy. Although the medication has been clinically found to be unsafe in the oral form for pregnant women, there isn’t much evidence to show how much the topical form would affect an unborn baby. None the less, many doctors advise women to steer clear of products containing salicylic acid.
  • Bye Bye Botox. I know some of my followers may not even use botox, but for those that do, it is now out of the question during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • Skin care treatments like lasers are also prohibited. Mostly due to the fact that there is no clinical data to prove what lasers would do to an unborn baby during pregnancy. Lasers use heat and energy to help break up the molecular bonds of targeted skin cells. So these are best to do after your baby has been born.

Now for the fun part, finding actual skin care products that you can use during your pregnancy! I found that with this pregnancy I really started to get bad acne, pregnancy plaques and melasma. Here are some products that I am currently using that have are very gentle, natural and help with all of my skin problems.

Tea Tree & Willow Clear Cleanser

Tea Tree & Willow Acne Clear Astringent 

Why I love 100% Pure products… they are made with 100% natural derivatives. They also make a great line of makeup as well, find it HERE. 

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Get Longer, Thicker Hair With Luxy Hair Clip-In Extensions

I have always been drawn to the idea of extensions that give you thick, luxurious hair. The more I researched extensions I saw so many people complaining of hair breakage, and inhibited hair growth. Plus, I am honestly the worst at hair maintenance so you know I would probably end up bald with any tape-in, sewn-in or glued-in set. I found Luxy Hair clip-in extensions through my girlfriend and fellow blogger, Ravayna Coe. I like to call her the mermaid, beauty queen, unicorn of hair. I actually never knew her hair was clip-in style extensions! She had me sold when she said, “they are so easy, it takes me 5 minutes to clip them in each morning”.

So of course I had to get my own and try them! I have to tell you this is not sponsored, but just an amazing life-hack I wanted to share with you all! Here are reasons why I love these Luxy Hair clip-in extensions:

 

  • After having Ravayna show me how to clip them in, they are really so easy to use. Quick and easy!
  • They add instant volume and length!
  • NO damage! You can clip them in and out whenever you would like.
  • Luxy Hair is cheaper than most hair extensions with little, to no maintenance.
  • You an easily brush them out and wash them ever so often.
  • Once clipped in you can style them with any hair tool, just like you would normal hair.

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I got the Dirty Blonde, ( 220g) seamless set. What I also like about the clip-in extensions is that they come with a tiny piece that allows you to try on the extension and ensure it is the match to your own hair. This way you can easily return them and try a new set if you need too!

Let me know if you have tried them. I have worn mine many times and feel like you really get your money’s worth without damaging your hair.

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How To Shop During Your Pregnancy

  1. Invest in at some staple pieces, like jeans and a black maternity dress. I have one pair of blue maternity jeans and one pair of black maternity jeans I purchased from Target. My other investment pieces were two black dresses. A tank top dress and a long sleeved dress that are comfortable for my growing belly. I like the following brands for black dresses. Some are maternity and some you can easily size up as long as they have the side ruching. These basic pieces are the foundation for the rest of my wardrobe and can easily be used when building looks.

Black Dresses:

Isabella Oliver

Michael Stars

ASOS

2. Make sure you’re comfortable in whatever you buy. Don’t fall into dressing to keep up with the latest trends. Comfort is key, and when you aren’t comfortable you won’t wear that piece more than once! Buy to be comfortable and to get your money’s worth!

3. Find the appropriate undergarments to grow with you during your pregnancy. This could also fit under being comfortable in what you are wearing. Buying maternity underwear and bras was a whole new level of happiness for me! Also look into Bellabands , this will help you continue to wear your favorite non-maternity jeans for much longer.

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Our Master Bedroom Makeover With Apt2b

AJ and I have been together for almost 8 years!! After we had dated for quite some time, and decided to move in together our home decor was a mash up of furniture from both of our past apartments. Needless to say it could use some updating and it was time to freshen up our Master bedroom. We were so excited to partner with Apt2b to give our favorite living space a much needed makeover. They have many modern and affordable pieces to choose from with a wide range of furniture and home decor perfect for your entire house!

Here is what our bedroom looked like before we started this little renovation. Our bed, side tables and tv stand were all a dark black-brown color. Our bed lacked dimension and texture in my opinion as well. I mean we didn’t even have a dresser, and I’m ashamed to admit we even put some clothes in our TV stand drawers. I mean we needed help!

With the help of Apt2b, we were able to collaborate on a whole new room! We chose a new bed, nightstands, bedside lamps, bench, rug, and dresser. I wanted to brighten up the room and make it super stylish, yet functional for our family.

BED /NIGHSTANDS / LAMPS / BENCH / RUG / DRESSER
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I loved working with Apt2b so much, that I recently started remodeling my office with pieces from their line as well. I can’t wait to show you that space once it is finished!

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The Skinny On Stretch Marks

Products I use:

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Stretch marks. Some Mamas wear them proud, even tattooing them like a badge of honor and some Mamas want to act like they never happened. Even though your baby may not even be here yet, they are leaving their mark on your belly, and maybe even  your chest, hips, thighs or buttocks. When I was pregnancy with Willow, I got them on my chest in a nice purple color! Now, I know what you are thinking, will I get these lines of love and how do I prevent them???

Well here is the 411 on stretch marks… 50%-90% of women develop them during pregnancy. You are also more likely to get them if your mom, dad, or grandparents have them. So in terms of avoiding these linear beauties, genetics definitely trumps prevention. Now don’t go running to give your entire family a full body check just yet, there is some more information you need!

Stretch marks come from tiny tears to the underlying layers of tissue under your skin. There are many other factors besides genetics that determine if you or when you will get stretch marks. Such as weight gain during your pregnancy. Those that can maintain a steady weight gain throughout their 40 weeks have a less chance of developing stretch marks.

Age, this is my favorite factor in terms of stretch marks! It is the one time that it pays to be a little older! Studies show that women in their 30’s and 40’s actually have only a 30% chance of developing stretch marks, where as teens and women in their 20’s have a 90% risk. As a Mom in her 30’s this was music to my ears!

Finally, abdominal girth, and baby related factors like twin pregnancies and high birth weights may also contribute to those little linear lines. When babies begin to grow and your belly stretches to accommodate the little one it creates excessive tension on skin’s dermis.

Now that we know the factors and risks of developing stretch marks, let’s get on to the fun information…how can we prevent them???

Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to prevent your skin from stretching during your pregnancy, it is just a fact of life. However, there are some tips and tricks we can do to help our skin throughout our pregnancies.

  • Maintaining a healthy weight gain throughout your pregnancy is a great place to start in the prevention of stretch marks.
  • Hydrating your body will help your outer most layers of your skin maintain moisture. I cannot reach the deep underlying layers where stretch marks start, but it will help you feel less itchy as your body stretches to accommodate stretching. I have used Shea butter, coconut oil, and bio oil.
  • Nourishing and hydrating your body from the inside out is a must! I drink at least 4 Liters of water a day to help me stay hydrated. Also vitamins C, D, E, and zinc have been shown to help form collagen which can help prevent dermal tearing.

So you may say stretch marks are inevitable, but know that they do fade with time and can become less noticeable with each day. Let me know your experience with stretch marks and what you have found to help them!

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Intentions vs. Resolutions

We’ve all heard “new year, new me” before and though it’s nice to make new year resolutions, I’ve found it’s not the best way for me to enact positive change in my life. Resolutions can feel constricting and rarely last past January.

Intentions, on the other hand, have been a driving force for my happiness, fulfillment, and overall sense of well being. I came into 2018 armed with some new intentions that have provided me with focus and motivation for who I want to be and what I want to accomplish this year.

What’s the difference?

Resolutions attach us to a specific outcome so instead of being at peace with a new goal, we’re in fear of not completing it and the shame that may bring. Intentions free us from this pressure! You can put aside the challenge of a resolution. A new beginning shouldn’t be a challenge anyway!

Instead, intentions can help you invite these new positive things into your life. Intentions only ask us to be mindful, present, and aware of what we want. Setting intentions helps realign your energy and capacity.

How are intentions set?

Setting intentions for me involves starting my morning with a quiet moment of awareness where I consciously state to myself and the universe what I am inviting into my life. I try to remind myself of my intentions every chance I get so every possible action and moment is in the right direction.

Gratitude is also an important part of setting intentions. I conclude my day with a quiet moment to reflect on the ways my intentions helped manifest small positive change in my daily life.

This cycle of inviting and thanking has led to BIG positive changes over time and has never failed in uplifting me. It only takes quiet moments, awareness, and gratitude!

SO, what are my 2018 intentions?

  1. Good health
  2. Quality time with family

As you all may know by now, I’m pregnant with twins. Since twin pregnancies can be considered high risk and are more challenging to carry to due dates, I want to do everything in my power to help them stay put until April! Setting this intention of good health has helped me make healthier choices with excitement and happiness and not out of restriction. I’m also making my intention to soak up every moment we get as a family of three and preparing to do the same when we become a family of five!

What are your 2018 intentions?