Thoughts By Natalie » pregnancy + motherhood honest talk about beauty, style, wellness and life Wed, 25 Jun 2014 15:01:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 11 Second Trimester Must-Haves Mon, 23 Jun 2014 12:00:56 +0000 Now that I’m in my third trimester, I thought it would be fun (and helpful) to share some of the items that helped me get through the middle portion of my pregnancy. Obviously every pregnancy is different, but these are the things that I’ve personally relied on over the past several months… ONE // Pregnancy Pillow If you plan to get any sleep at all without back or hip pain, do yourself a favor and get one of these (personally, I was sent a Bump Nest Pillow to try and am totally addicted). I even use it when I’m sitting on the couch watching TV, or reading in bed. TWO // Comfy Robe Perhaps I shouldn’t admit this, but these days I pretty much live in my robe. In fact, I can almost guarantee that every blog post written during my second trimester was done while wearing my beloved cotton robe. It’s so easy to slip on in the morning, and I really only change out of it when I need to go somewhere. I’ve heard a robe is also very handy to have around when the baby arrives, as it makes breastfeeding quite easy. Win-win. These are some favorites… ...]]> 4 BUMP STYLE :: Backyard Reading Thu, 19 Jun 2014 12:00:26 +0000 Featured here is The Lily Dress—a dreamy Greek-goddess like dress that is so dreamy and feminine. The draping of the fabric emphasizes maternal curves in the most beautiful way. On my body, I’ve found that it’s especially flattering when belted right above the belly, so that’s how I styled it here. Also, whenever I wear this dress I like to either brush my hair to the side or wear it up in a bun to show off the stunning detail around the neckline—that part alone is what made me fall in love with this dress! (These photos were snapped for my very first collaboration post with HATCH Collection for their Bump Project—a style diary to map a mama’s journey through the HATCH wardrobe as her body and her style needs change shape.) _________________ What I’m Wearing: HATCH Collection Lily Dress (c/o HATCH) Merona Double Prong Jean Belt Anthropologie Monogram Mug :) Photos by Joyful Steps Photography in collaboration with HATCH Collection]]> 5 BUMP STYLE :: Morning Coffee Tue, 17 Jun 2014 12:00:12 +0000 These photos were snapped for my very first collaboration post with HATCH Collection for their Bump Project—a style diary to map a mama’s journey through the HATCH wardrobe as her body and her style needs change shape. Featured here is The Bateau Top—perfect for casual wear in the morning or to wear around town to run errands. I paired this top with a pair of white maternity jeans for a neutral, fresh, summery feel. I love that the top is a tunic length, and also a bit longer in the back. And the fact that it’s striped :) _________________ What I’m Wearing: HATCH Collection Bateau Top (c/o HATCH) Liz Lange for Target White Skinnies Timex Weekender Watch Warby Parker Pierce Frames Photos by Joyful Steps Photography in collaboration with HATCH Collection]]> 2 Nursery Inspiration Mon, 16 Jun 2014 19:54:11 +0000 For some reason, I have totally been stalling on decorating the nursery. I know I should have this urge to nest and all, but the task is a bit daunting for a perfectionist like me. I want the room to be just right for Jack, and also feel cohesive with the decor in the rest of our home, but I haven’t quite decided what that looks like exactly. As someone who desperately needs ideas from other people (though I love personal style, I am not one to come up with brilliant decor plans on my own, that’s for sure), I’ve done a lot of exploring on the interwebs and am glad to report that there is some really good nursery inspiration out there. Whether you’re decorating a nursery in your own home, have a friend who is expecting and struggling with inspiration as much as I am, or have major baby fever and can’t get enough baby stuff in your life, here are several sources of good nursery ideas that I’m loving at the moment… Ivie Baby Nurseries Pinterest Board My friend Mary Beth introduced me to the Ivie Baby Shop last week and I became an instant fan of ...]]> 2 BUMP STYLE :: Stripes + Ssekos Thu, 12 Jun 2014 12:00:59 +0000 Once again, I’m participating again in Sseko Designs‘ annual style campaign, showing off how I wear my sandals. Much like last year, I’m sporting stripes—this time a super adorable tunic I received from HATCH Collection and my favorite J.Crew pants. Since Sseko’s hope is to connect women across the world and encourage them to empower one another, they also sent me a beautiful bangle with the name of one of the team members in Uganda on it. ‘Sofia’ is the name on mine, and I’m told that she has worked hard to overcome every obstacle placed in the way of her education. She’s passionate about women’s rights, and hopes to run her own catering company one day in order to employ ladies like herself. Sounds like a pretty remarkable woman :) Be sure to check out my Instagram feed this week to see how you can win a pretty bangle for yourself! _________________ What I’m Wearing: HATCH Collection Bateau Top (c/o HATCH) J.Crew Minnie Pants (also available in maternity) with Ingrid & Isabel BellaBand Target Purse (similar) J.Crew Link Bracelet Sseko Designs Mojave T-Strap Sandals Sseko Designs Bangle Shop similar items below… What style of Sseko sandals do you like ...]]> 2 Summer Motherhood Project Wed, 11 Jun 2014 12:00:54 +0000 I had an idea recently that I hope you’re all on board with. Obviously I’ve been blogging a TON about pregnancy lately, and while I’m sure some of you are sick of it, this blog is 100% based on what’s in my brain at the moment, and that mostly has to do with growing a person. (Have confidence: I am not planning to make this into a mommy/baby blog once Jack is born! Yes, I’ll share a bit, but I plan to be more private about his life than I’ve been about my pregnancy.) Moving on…my brilliant idea for the summer…the Summer Motherhood Project. Here are the details… What is the Summer Motherhood Project? Well, it’s basically a linkup. The topic we’re covering? Anything and everything related to motherhood and babies: pregnancy, birth, challenges and joys of being a mom, miscarriage, infertility, pregnancy style, baby/kid style, why you don’t want to have kids at all, and the list goes on and on. How do I participate? 1. Swing by this blog on Mondays to see the most recent linkup post. 2. Write your own post, using the suggestions above as a guideline. 3. To add your post to the linkup, ...]]> 6 BUMP STYLE :: Swing Dress Wed, 04 Jun 2014 16:51:29 +0000 Surprise, surprise, another black dress :) But seriously, I can’t help myself. It’s neutral and versatile and classic, and pretty much my favorite color to wear. I absolutely love the cut of this dress because of its flowy nature. Swing dresses move so beautifully when you walk, and it’s fun that it clings to the bump, too. I specifically bought this one from ASOS to wear throughout my entire pregnancy, and also because it’s going to be easy to hem a bit shorter once I’m no longer pregnant, making it a piece that stands the test of time. (Not pregnant, but love the look? Here’s the non-maternity version). _________________ What I’m Wearing: ASOS Maternity Swing Dress Madewell Ensign Necklace Timex Weekender Watch Hobo Shiela Bag Old Navy Studded Ankle Boots What’s the most versatile piece in your wardrobe these days? P.S. More neutral, comfy swing dresses to check out… Photos by Joyful Steps Photography]]> 8 My Pregnancy Life Saver Thu, 29 May 2014 12:00:14 +0000 Let me start by saying not only that I am a MAJOR sleep advocate, but also that pregnancy has gifted me with the desire to sleep several more hours a night than usual. As a deep sleeper, I have pretty much always gotten a good night’s sleep—but with all of these pregnancy body changes, I’ve found myself waking up several times a night, often in some kind of minor pain. Enter the Bump Nest pregnancy pillow. I jokingly call it my “candy cane pillow” to Brian, because let’s be real—it looks like a massive, fluffy candy cane. And that’s exactly why it works so well. The shape works wonders to support my neck and shoulders and sort of forces me into side sleeping (much-needed for a natural back sleeper like me). I guess the reason I love this pillow so much is because my nights of aches and pains are behind me. In all honesty, the first night using the pillow I really didn’t sleep that great because the wrap around pillow was so strange—but thanks to soft filling that is repositionable, the pillow has learned my body’s most comfortable sleep positions and feels totally customized to me. After several ...]]> 0 Your Guide to a Fit Pregnancy Tue, 27 May 2014 17:07:26 +0000 Hi Ladies! I’m so excited to have the chance to pop over to Natalie’s blog and share a few tips on having a healthy pregnancy. First a little introduction: I met Natalie several years ago at a Bible study. I was immediately drawn to her because of how genuine and approachable she is. Plus, she has adorable style and always looks so put together, which is something I am constantly working on. We recently reconnected to chat about her blogging adventures and discuss our shared passion to redefine beauty to be about more than the outer appearance. I was so excited to learn that Natalie was expecting! I am mom to this 19 month old pumpkin named Sienna and motherhood has been one of the greatest blessings and adventures of my life. Through my own pregnancy, recovery, and journey to find my best post-baby body, I learned a lot about the benefits of exercise for moms to be. I have made it my mission to help women live a healthy lifestyles not only for themselves, but so that they can give their children the incredible gift of healthy example to follow. That’s how my company Tailored Fitness was born. We ...]]> 8 BUMP STYLE :: Black Maxi Fri, 16 May 2014 12:00:40 +0000 Much like my striped maxi, this black dress is an absolute go-to. I bought it very early on in my pregnancy and knew it would be a favorite piece. Since it’s neutral, I can mix it with all kinds of accessories. And as with pretty much any black item of clothing, I can wear it over and over and nobody really notices the repetition. This look is the “it’s so hot outside I’m melting” look, and I’m okay with that. Hair in a top knot, sandals on my feet and simple accessories on my wrist are perfect for toasty afternoons when sweating is unavoidable. _________________ What I’m Wearing: Mossimo Racerback Maxi Dress (not maternity) Timex Watch J.Crew Link Bracelet Mossimo Sandals H&M Sunglasses / Similar P.S. Catch up on other bump style photos here >>]]> 2