10/20/17

Friday Finds

Boots
Happy Friday! I must be in nesting mode because I find myself wanting to organize everything recently. My doctor's appointment was yesterday and it looks like I still have a few more weeks ahead of me and he probably won't be arriving any time soon. I spent a bit more time in bed this past week (which means internet window shopping LOL) so I have a ton of great finds for this week's post!

1. I've been using my T3 curling iron for the past year, but recently was sent this curling wand and it's completely wowed me! I have the set with all the different wand attachments, but the one I use the most is the 1.25" barrel which can also be purchased separately.

2. I'm thinking about wallpapering an accent wall in the baby's room and came across this site which has so many great options!!

3. I desperately hoped that this wrap cardigan would be back in stock before I give birth, but sadly it will not be. However, I still think I need it regardless - how fabulous is that draping?

4. Because they always sell out soooo fast, I have been eyeing a few winter beanies to add to my collection. Topshop seems to have some of the cutest ones this season - here, here and here are some of my favorite ones.

5. As if I don't already have enough leopard in my closet, this $15 leopard beanie is calling my name.

6. Since much of the first few weeks after baby will be spent at home, I have been looking at cute sweats and comfy sets to wear around the house. This star pair immediately caught my eye, though I just need to decide what color to get.

7. Though I don't wear a ton of belts, this one is such a splurgeworthy stunner. It would look perfect layered over a long cardigan or blazer.

8. I keep saying I want to get a new doormat for the front door, but have yet to do so. #distracted Lulu & Georgia has some of the best ones I've seen. A few of my favorites are this one, this one, this one and this one is hysterical.

9. I went on a Tom Ford lipstick shopping spree recently and will be filming a YouTube video featuring all the colors I picked up, but for now my favorite shade so far has been Paper Doll. It's a gorgeous beigey-nude that manages to not be too pale for my fair skin.

10. I was perusing Neiman's online the other day and noticed they added a Wellness beauty section to their site. I'm curious if this will be a permanent addition or simply a "pop-up" store. It would be nice to see them begin to explore and carry some luxury organic and natural beauty brands.

11. This Estee Lauder mascara has been one of my holy grail mascaras for a few years, but I noticed a new one the other day and am so tempted to see if it can match my favorite!

10/19/17

Cozy Sweaters + My 3 Favorite Clothing Stores To Shop At During My Pregnancy


Sweater - Loft (non maternity, loving this one from Loft and this one as well!) | Jeans - AG (maternity) | Shoes - Coach (similar here and here) | Bag - Proenza Schouler | Hat - Rag & Bone

Cozy clothing is one of the best parts of fall, amiright?! Sweaters, scarves, hats and all the hot drinks. I still like when it's cold enough for a sweater like this off the shoulder number, but I don't have to start layering it with a coat, vest, parka, etc just yet. I have mentioned a few times here and there, but Loft has truly been one of my favorite places to shop at during my pregnancy (remember this post, this post, this post and this post) . I've worn quite a few of their pieces these past few months and always manage to purchase them during their amazing sales. I think it's the fact that they offer petite sizing and the cut of the clothing seems to work with my bump without me needing to size up. It's actually quite remarkable because I know all of the things I've purchased can work after my pregnancy as well. 

In addition to Loft, my two other favorite places to shop have been Old Navy (loved these shorts the whole summer and lived in these dresses from this post and this post) and GAP (still loving and wearing this dress, this one, and loved the cardigans I've shown on Instagram). Both places have such great sales so I'm not breaking the bank with ordering pieces that may only work during pregnancy (but to be honest, I only have less than 3 or 4 items that fall into that category from them). And both retailers offer maternity options as well so I can often mix and match during my shopping trip. Obviously I've shopped at other places these past 9 months but as I look back those three have definitely been my standout favorites.

Shop more oversized off the shoulder sweaters for fall:


10/18/17

Review: Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look In a Palette Smokey Eye Beauty with Swatches

Charlotte Tilbury is known for her Instant Look in a Palette that she launched last year, and her most recent addition has a smokey eye focus. Everything you need to create a full face is contained in these palettes which make them super easy for daily use or even travel. There are 3 eyeshadows, a bronzer, 2 cheek colors and a highlighter though I find that I like to mix and match things around rather than using them exactly as intended.
I love using the two palest eyeshadow colors on my lid and crease but only feel the need to use the dark shade close to the lash line if I want to add a bit of drama. To be honest, in the palette the dark black shade looks like it would be too blue or gray which initially turned me off. Then I swatched it on my arm (as you can see from the above pic) and loved how inky black it actually was.

The face bronzer is gorgeous and so easy to blend/wear on my pale skin. I have actually been using it on my both my eyes and cheeks many days because it's such a soft and flattering color. The first cheek color swatches very subtly but develops when on my cheeks. The second cheek color is the most perfect neutral pop of color for the apples that I find myself wearing it a ton recently with any eyeshadow look I create.

The only slightly disappointing shade in the palette is the highlighter because it is SO yellow and frosted that it would only be suitable in the evenings for me. And even then, I need to use just a touch to create the look that I would want. In it's place, I have been using the palest eyeshadow color as a highlight and LOVE the way it gives a warm champagne look to the skin.

I don't think this palette would work on every skin tone sadly, but the pigmentation is stronger than I first anticipated so I think it would suit those with fair, medium and olive skin.
*pr sample included 

Shop more Charlotte Tilbury picks:



10/17/17

20 Over-the-Knee Boots At All Price Points

Dress - Loft (non-maternity) | Boots - Stuart Weitzman (more colors available here, very similar dupe here!) | Bag - Saint Laurent (love this budget option here

I love that OTK boots are still going strong season after season because I think they are so versatile with both dresses and jeans/leggings. And frankly when it gets ridiculously cold outside, they are an added layer of warmth! The only downside to OTK boots for so many years was how expensive they were but there are so many available now with a more affordable price point that look so similar to higher end styles. I've actually been bookmarking and pinning different ones that I see online and decided to round them all up in one post. I found styles from as low as $40 (I know!) to splurgeworthy pairs. Scroll through the widget below for all my picks!



10/16/17

3rd Trimester Bumpdate



Dress - Lou and Grey | Vest - Target (similar here and here) | Boots - Sam Edelman (from last year but similar here, here and here) | Bag - Chloe | Sunglasses - Fendi (similar here and here)

I'm only 3 weeks away from my due date so there is no better time than now to write my final bumpdate (read my prior one here)! Grab a snack, because this is a long post. :)

How I've Been Feeling

No surprise here, the third trimester has been much more challenging than the 2nd for me. Overall, I recognize that I have had a relatively easy pregnancy, but I still want to share my experience and symptoms. Fatigue took over almost as soon as the 7th month began and I felt much like I did during the first few weeks of my pregnancy. I had days where it was hard to even make it through the day, and I would need a nap for a few hours in the late afternoon. Swelling in my lower legs and feet has been a constant battle so I really try to cut out as much additional sugar and carbs as I can because I definitely see a correlation between the two for myself.

I have still tried to remain active though I had to stop doing yoga a few weeks ago because it was getting harder and harder to get into many of the poses. I go to pure barre 2-3/x a week and walk the other nights. While I didn't have much of an issue motivating myself to work out through the first half of my pregnancy, it has really been a battle these past 2 months. However, as I spoke about in this post, I remind myself that I feel soooo much better after and it does wonders for helping my swelling, energy, mood and overall well-being so that normally gives me the boost I need to go.

Sleeping has become virtually impossible over the past 3 weeks because I cannot find a comfortable position. Either he is up in my ribs if I sit up, or the weight of him pulls my stomach down (even with a pillow underneath) if I sleep on my side so I just toss and turn all night. My back will lock up occasionally and I often need to wake Stan up to have him help move me or get me up to walk around. My leg cramps have gone away for the most part which I'm grateful for because those used to really scare the heck out of me in the middle of the night.

The one symptom/issue that has been the most challenging to deal with has been the mood swings. I'll be very transparent here and say that there are some days when I feel so anxious, overwhelmed, frustrated or depressed that it makes it very difficult to just get through the day. It really plagued me during my first trimester as well, so I have been extremely open with my doctor about all these symptoms. I know this isn't an indicator of postpartum depression or postpartum issues, but I have already prepared myself as much as I can that it could be something I struggle with after he is born. When I am having a major down episode or feeling like I can't handle what is going on at the moment, I am very communicative with those around me that I am having an episode and to try and bear with me. This way they understand that it has little to do with them and please not to take it personally. Because it has been so prevalent for me during this trimester  and early on, I can often identify when the shift is beginning to happen and try to remind myself that this is not permanent, I will not feel this way forever and try and ride out the "storm" so to speak. It's easier said than done, but it has helped me not feel like something is wrong with me, rather this is something I will go through temporarily and try to separate it from who I am as a person. This has worked for me most of the time but it can still be tough if I'm feeling this way for many days. My doctor and I do discuss this at each appointment and I try to give her a reading on how things have been since my last visit.

I'm excited for his arrival, but I would be lying to you if I said that the unknown doesn't scare the heck out of me. I have been doing my own thing for so long that I am nervous how my life, schedule and routine will change. I do not thrive well on a chaotic, crazy or unorganized lifestyle, but I have been lucky to have many of my friends give me feedback on how they have still managed to keep a structured life with kids. I'm actually quite comfortable with change and try to remind myself of all the major curveballs life has thrown at me over the years that I navigated successfully, so that brings me comfort.

The most emotional thing however I still face is thinking that my Dad is not here to meet my son. Being so close to my parents my entire life, I couldn't wait for them to be grandparents and be in my children's life as they grew up. To be honest, I truly can't even think about it most days because it hurts too much to even bear. I know people tell me that he is "still there" and will get to meet my son in spirit but I guess I'm just selfish and want him to be here physically to experience the whole thing with me. Even now as I type this out, I can barely breathe because the pain is still so intense and I miss him so much. I hope in time I can tell my son about him without feeling like I may break in two from all the hurt.

Clothing/Hair/Skin During Pregnancy

Switching to a lighter subject (though I had to come back to this post a few hours later because writing about my Dad had me in tears for the rest of the afternoon), the third trimester has definitely presented more challenges when it's come to getting dressed. I have dabbled in maternity pieces here and there (my favorite maternity jeans were in this post, and I have been living in these tees from the GAP), but I have stuck mostly with fitted pieces throughout these remaining months since I do find that they are more flattering on me.

I do get questions from readers asking me about my preference towards heels versus flats in my final months and while I am always someone that has worn heels, I have been shocked at how much discomfort I feel when I wear flats right now. A slight heel often helps my back and I notice less swelling in my lower legs by the end of the day. Additionally, I really do find that I feel so much better about myself when I'm dressed up and have on heels. And I am of the mindset of doing whatever makes you feel your best during pregnancy! It's such a challenging time that I think it's better for a woman to choose those things that make her feel happy, comfortable and allow her to enjoy this time as much as possible.

My hair hasn't changed that much, but my skin has continued to move away from being oily, though it's not as dry as it has been. I'm not sure if that is because I added in an additional omega 3 supplement to my diet a few months ago or I'm eating a ton of good fats, but it's more normal to dry now. Dark spots are still popping up on my cheeks and my neck scar (from my spine surgery in December 2015) has gotten so much darker. I am confident that most of these pigmentation issues will go away after pregnancy so I try not to obsess over them. I do have a Linea Nigra down the front of my stomach, but no sign of stretch marks yet. I've used whatever body creams and oils I have on hand rather than something specifically geared towards pregnancy and have found that to work fine in keeping my skin supple and well moisturized.

Baby Products I'm Excited To Use and What I'm Packing In My Hospital Bag

I obviously don't know what will be his favorites but there are things that have arrived in the past 2 months that I am looking forward to using. I talked about a ton of things in this bumpdate, but I have some things to add to the list. While we did receive this carrier from our baby shower, I did also purchase one of these wraps which I have heard great things about. I'm wayyyy behind on decorating the nursery, though I have the major furniture pieces purchased. I got this crib and dresser, and then this glider. However, I plan to keep him in our bedroom for the first few months so this bassinet was a must have! I love all the features that it has and it is the perfect height so I can get to him easily. 

I researched for quite some time about what stroller we wanted, and finally decided to go with the Uppababy Vista. However, I felt the carseat that worked with the stroller was too heavy and was really impressed by the Nuna when I went to see it in store. I ended up going with the Nuna and hope I will like it as much as all the positive reviews I have seen. Clothing has obviously been one of my favorite things to buy for him, and I have picked up a little bit of everything to be honest. We have some outlet stores near our house so I have had some success at GAP and Saks Off Fifth, and then bought one of these onesies which I will promptly be buying more of because they are seriously so soft! 

As far as my hospital bag, that is a bit of a hodge podge of things. I bought more of these tanks that I have worn most of my pregnancy, a nursing bra, traditional nursing tank and more of these leggings which have been my favorite during pregnancy. For something a bit looser, I grabbed these joggers from H&M as another option to wear home. My mom bought me a maternity robe for the hospital but I have already been wearing it non-stop and wish I had purchased it sooner because I love it! I decided to buy a corset as well and went with this one which seemed to have good reviews. I also put together a makeup, hair and skincare bag, and then some other necessities like flip flops, depends (yup, I heard these were a necessity), cozy socks, my own pillow, headphones and my curling iron. I'm sure I'll be adding things last minute, so if you have any great suggestions feel free to send them my way! :)

The countdown is on and we are so looking forward to meeting our little boy! For all of my past pregnancy related posts, click here to read them. Also, I have all my maternity outfits tagged so you can click here to see what I have worn throughout my whole pregnancy. Thanks again for all your kind words, comments, messages and emails - it has been wonderful sharing all of this with you and I feel so grateful to have a community of readers that have been so supportive. 

Shop more striped dresses I am loving:


10/13/17

New In: May Lindstrom Pendulum Potion Cleansing Oil

Review of May Lindstrom's Pendulum Potion Cleansing Oil
Cleansing oils - they will always hold a special place in my heart since they were one of the first skincare products I dabbled in when I began blogging. Prior to blogging, I would basically use skincare from whatever brand I was working for at the time and there was no rhyme or reason with how I treated my skin. Then I began using cleansing oils and saw such a drastic difference in breakouts, oiliness and overall appearance that I started to take a more invested approach in my routine. Fast forward a few years and they are a staple for me both to remove makeup and to condition/cleanse my skin. 

Though I have tried a few things from May Lindstrom's line (read prior reviews here and here), I had never experienced her Pendulum Potion Cleansing Oil. My first thoughts when using the cleanser on my face was 'this is more like a treatment than a true cleanser and I want to treat it as such'. The texture is thicker than a majority of my cleansing oils so this is not a makeup remover/first cleanse/break through dirt, grime and sunscreen type of cleanser. This is the type of cleanser that I would use as a second cleanse so I can massage it in, let it sit for a minute or two so all the glorious oils and ingredients can fully work their magic on my face. I did need a washcloth to remove this since it is quite thick, but my skin truly felt like it just had a facial afterwards. In fact, the first night I used this I actually skipped the rest of my skincare (3rd trimester exhaustion is real, ugh) and my face still felt nourished and moisturized as if I had continued my full routine. 

This cleanser is truly for the avid skincare lover who will really appreciate the rich texture formulated with camellia oil, avocado oil and wild botanicals designed to expertly condition the skin. The scent is strong with notes of jasmine, ylang-ylang and raw cacao so the whole experience using it is quite sensorial. 
*pr sample included

Shop more May Lindstrom products here:


10/12/17

Leopard Sweater Options




Sweater - Asos (regular version here) | Jeans - Paige (maternity) | Heels - Manolo Blahnik | Bag - Mansur Gavriel | Sunglasses - Le Specs

Today marks my 9th month of pregnancy and boy do I feel like it. Ha! At this point, I am toggling between some maternity pieces and some regular pieces depending on the fit of the item. Asos just like regular clothing for me can be hit or miss but I do love that they have some styles available in traditional cuts and maternity like this leopard sweater. I initially saw it online and loved the print and oversized fit and then saw it came in maternity which was perfect! 

We are headed to our doctor's appointment today and will be going weekly at this point. I am hoping she can give me an idea if she thinks I will make it to my due date or go a bit early (fingers crossed for a tad bit early - I am exhausted LOL). Stay tuned for my final bumpdate next week where I will share the good, bad and the ugly from this last trimester and some remaining baby things I have picked up.

Shop more leopard pieces:


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