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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



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:

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? 

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Holiday Gift Guide For Him

I always think shopping for Aj is the hardest out of all of the family members! So I thought I would share some gift inspirations when shopping for that special man in your life!! There are some great sales and deals still going on. One of my favorite places to shop is Nordstroms, they usually have a great variety of options to choose from, FREE shipping and returns.  See my gift guide below, and let me know if you find something you like!

Shop Each Item Below:

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Winter Fashion Trends

Can you believe it’s already December?! I can’t, especially with the weather still being so warm in LA! Even though it’s not as cool as other parts of the country I still try to adjust my wardrobe to fit the winter season as much as I can. I love the winter trends that come out every year and I try to incorporate them as much as possible.

Here are some of my favorite winter fashion trends to try yourself:

Statement Jacket

The easiest transitional piece going into winter is a jacket. When it’s cool enough at night I throw on a leather jacket over a tank top and instantly feel chic. Leather jackets will never go out of style to me so I love wearing them as much as I can!

Seasonal Patterns and Colors

Another trend for me I try to incorporate in the winter is the patterns and colors that I tend to see a lot of during the holidays, like deep reds and gingham. I love the combination together! If you feel intimidated by patterns try wearing them in small doses, whether it be a scarf or in an accessory.

Boots

If I’m not wearing sandals in California I’m definitely grabbing some boots! Winter makes it acceptable to wear boots of any length. I love thigh high boots for a night out or dressing up a cute daytime look.

Chunky Textures

I can’t leave the winter season without wearing some chunky sweaters or anything that has a cool texture to it. I love knitted sweaters or anything with wool. There are a couple of days in LA where I can get away with wearing something warmer so when I can I love mixing it up with these.

What winter trends are you loving right now or think I should try?

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Get Covered With Oscar Health Coverage

 

As a nurse working in many different facilities over the last 10 years, I can’t tell you how many times patients came in with worsening conditions due to the fact that they would avoid needed hospitalization because of their health care insurance. At a time where they should have been focused solely on their health and working on getting better, they were worried about how much their care would cost.

 

How crazy is that? So many of these patients worked out on a regular basis, ate healthy and were proactive about their overall health in so many ways, but stopped short when it came to health insurance coverage. Make sure you have your health covered today! Open enrollment is still going on until December 15th, and is an open period of time in which you can apply for health insurance coverage for 2018. Oscar Health has created resources that help break down complex health terminology to make health plans and getting covered easier to understand. Go visit Oscar Health Coverage for more information.

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Using Your Wardrobe To Appear Leaner and Longer

I’ve been embracing this bump so much more than my last pregnancy. With Willow I was so self conscious with my changing body, but with the twins I have been trying to rock it more. With that being said I’m still human and get self conscious about my growing hips, legs and belly. So I use some tips and tricks from my wardrobe to appear a little leaner, and a little longer (rather than a little wider).  Here are some tips I have picked up over the year to help elongate my frame.

    1. Layer a long vest over tailored jeans and fitted shirt. The long vertical lines of the vest make you appear taller.

Photo Credit: Kate Hauschka

2. Nude Shoes, especially pumps with pointed toes and thin heels. Find a pair that matches your skin tone, and it will give the illusion of legs for days.

3. Wear all black, the oldest trick in the book. Wearing all one color helps create one long vertical line. Ensure each piece in your ensemble is well fitting.

Photo Credit: Kate Hauschka

 

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Skincare Tips for Seasonal Change

This time of year is fun for so many reasons! Pumpkin flavored everything, sweater weather (not so much in Los Angeles yet), and gearing up for the holidays BUT cooler temps tend to wreak havoc on our skin. I’m here to bring you some skincare tips that I’ve learned throughout my years as a dermatology nurse that will save your skin from dry cool weather and indoor heaters without having to completely change your usual routine.

 

Tips

 

Tip #1: Apply moisturizer, retinols, and benzoyl peroxides to a moist face. This helps the products lock in extra moisture to your skin. The key during these cool months is keeping skin hydrated so try and keep all the hydration you can! This may want you to slather on extra creams but also be mindful that too much can cause breakouts or make existing breakouts worse.

 

Tip #2: Decrease frequency of retinol creams and other drying products. If these are usually part of your daily routine, maybe start applying every other day to give your skin some extra time to recover and retain moisture.

 

Avène Eau Thermale & Avène XeraCalm

Tip #3: Don’t forget to apply moisturizer to your body! We’re all guilty of rushing out of the shower into our work clothes because hit the snooze button one too many times but we cannot skimp on taking care of our bodies! This will prevent itchy dry patches and dermatitis. (Pro tip: I really like Avene’s thermal spring water spray to stay hydrated and XeraCalm on dry skin)

 

Tip #4: Keep wearing sunscreen! Just because we don’t get the sunshine does not mean we are protected from skin damaging rays. Cloudy weather can even intensify the worst rays for our skin so it’s even more important to not leave out SPF from our morning skin rituals.

 

Tip #5: We’ve all heard it before… stay hydrated! It’s easy during colder months to forget our 8 glasses of water (and maybe replace them with an extra cup of coffee) but keeping our water bottle count is just as important now than it was during the summer. (Pro tip: herbal teas are a great way to stay warm & hydrated!) When it’s warm, we may sweat more but that also causes our bodies to produce more oil which keeps skin hydrated. Since we produce less oil during the winter, we should be extra mindful of water intake.

 

Tip #6: During the winter skin peels produce faster results. Since the air and our skin is drier, skin reacts faster to peels. One whole day could be knocked off the peeling time frame so it’s good to keep this mind when scheduling these appointments. 

 

Tip #7: Eat pumpkin. Seriously! Our October porch decor is actually super rich in antioxidants that are incredible for our skin. Carotenoids are abundant in those jack-o-lanterns and this antioxidant is a powerhouse in protecting our skin from UV damage and other skin related disorders. Pumpkin is also filled with Vitamin C, B, Magnesium, and Beta-Carotenes.