Showing posts with label Maternity Fashion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Maternity Fashion. Show all posts

How To Transition To Fall Fashion (Without Melting)

Note: I received the dress below from PinkBlush in exchange for a blog post. All opinions are my own.)


Do you know that pumpkin spice flavors hit Starbucks this weekend?!

I can hardly believe it, but autumn is upon us.  I am not sorry to say goodbye to summer and welcome fall, because it means we are that much closer to meeting our baby girl!  (Plus, I love fall.)

What I am not so excited about going into September is playing the "what should I wear?" game.  I always want to break out the long sleeves and boots this time of year, but the truth is, the technical season of summer doesn't end until September 22nd - and the weather knows it.  It's hard to infuse a fall vibe into your wardrobe without also melting in the heat (especially when you are largely pregnant).



I have developed a few guidelines over the years though to help me walk that tricky summer-weather, early-fall line.

Switch to fall colors.  

For early fall, I look for lighter-weight pieces in fall colors or patterns - then I feel fall-ish without resorting to my sweaters and sacrificing a comfortable body temperature.

Add in a brown leather or suede bag.  

I have summer bags in various colors, but I save the brown leather bags for fall.  It's amazing how just switching the color or fabric of your bag can make an outfit seem more pre-fall appropriate.

Go with the booties.  

Avoid the tall boots until it actually gets cool enough to not melt your feet, and invest in some warmer-weather booties.  I like the ones with cutouts so my feet can still breath when the temperature is summer-like.

Wear summer on top, fall on the bottom (or vice versa).  

I think during these early fall days it's totally appropriate to go with different seasons for each half of your look.  Wear some shorts with a light top and cardigan, or wear something short-sleeved with long pants and boots.  Just make sure the colors are all fall-appropriate to tie it together.

Don't put away the dresses!  

I rely on dresses a lot in the summer heat, and I see no need to change that in the early fall when the weather is still warm.  I just apply tips #1 and #4 to my dresses and go from there.  I'm really liking this new dress from PinkBlush going into this fall!  It's short enough to keep me cool, but the long sleeves with the crochet really give it a fall feeling to me.









Does anyone else have as hard of a time knowing when and how to transition to fall fashion as I do?  What works best for you?






Capsule Wardrobe While Pregnant - Why And How




I've mentioned that I am feeling the need to organize everything right now, and a few weeks ago that manifested in the decision to create a capsule wardrobe.

I did a 30x30 challenge several years ago, but beyond that I have never tried putting together a capsule wardrobe.  I think the last straw for me was realizing that I have been wearing the same 10 pieces of clothing for the past few weeks, mainly because my dresser drawers are stuffed so full of clothes that it is too much work to pull everything out and see what's going to work while I'm pregnant.  What's the use of having all these clothes if I don't wear them?  Why do I even have all these clothes anyway?  I haven't worn some of them in years.

So I spent a couple days listening to podcasts about capsule wardrobes, which were really popular a few years ago.  I think the trend has faded some, but the underlying idea is still really useful - which is to create a mix and match wardrobe with a limited number of pieces.  To get the full experience, you are supposed to wear only those pieces for 3 months and not buy anything new.

Why?

I decided to give it a go with a couple goals in mind:

1. To clean out the old clothes that just aren't doing it for me anymore.  I tend to hold on to old clothes much longer than I should, hence why my wardrobe is outrageously large right now, even though I only wear probably half  of it.  I don't want the extra clutter around after baby comes, so this seemed like a good time to tackle it.

2. To give me some space from the things I'm holding on to "just in case".  My situation is a little unique since I'm pregnant - I don't want to get rid of everything right now, since some of it may be what I need for that postpartum transition when nothing fits.  However, once I'm over that stage after the baby comes, I'm hoping that working with a smaller wardrobe for so many months will give me a good idea of the things that are really useful in my wardrobe, and the things I can let go.

3.  To have less things.  The end goal (which will probably take me a while to achieve) is to have a MUCH smaller wardrobe with only things that I really like, and to give me more specific parameters to work within when I'm buying new things.  This will be a process because of factors like the need to have different clothes for different seasons, and not being able to afford to replace "meh" items all at once.



How I'm Doing This While Pregnant

When I first started feeling like I wanted to try a capsule wardrobe, I thought maybe I should wait until after baby before attempting this.  But the clothing excess just got to be too much and I decided to go for it.  My friend Cassidy made a good point that pregnancy is actually the ideal time to start a capsule, because you are already working with a limited wardrobe anyway!  

The capsule I ended up creating is largely made up of things that I can wear whether I'm pregnant or not, with just a few maternity items mixed in - I think this will be perfect to give me more of an idea of what items would be useful in my wardrobe after baby.  I can replace the maternity items I really liked with non-maternity alternatives - either from my closet or the store.

One thing I am NOT doing while pregnant is actually giving away my "meh" items.  I do remember what things I liked before I was pregnant and what things I never wore, but that postpartum time can really throw you for a loop.  I want to have options when I'm working through that transition phase, before my body goes back to normal.  I'm putting all my "maybes" in storage, and then after I feel relatively normal again post-baby, I'll go through them and get rid of the things that I still don't want.



My Process

Here is what I did to assemble my capsule wardrobe.

1. Pile everything on the floor and start sorting.  

For my purposes, I sorted into a "Like It" pile, a "Maybe" pile, and a "No" pile.  The "No" pile was pretty small, sine I'm not getting rid of too much until I see what fits after delivery.

2. Store the "Maybe" pile, get rid of the "No" pile, and organize the "Like It" pile.  

I sorted the "Likes" into categories, so a pile for cardigans/sweatshirts, a pile for tops, a pile for pants, etc.  Since I'm doing this for a maternity capsule, I did a separate step in here and sorted each category pile into a group of things that would work during pregnancy, and things that won't.  I put the things that don't fit back into a separate drawer until after baby.

3. Think it through.  

At this point I was left with a bunch of clothes that I could wear while pregnant, so now the goal was to narrow it down to the things that I WANT to wear while pregnant.  I sat down with Caroline's capsule planner, and thought it through a bit before I started.  Some of the pages in this planner didn't quite fit my situation since the goal was to make a maternity capsule, but it was still helpful to slow down and think it through before I started.  

4.  Start narrowing it down.  

The capsule planner suggested to pick 8 items that you like and that you find yourself wearing a lot, so you can see what it is you like about them.  I did that and ended up with a basis for my capsule!  After I had those 8 and had thought through the rest of the planner, I grabbed the list in this post to fill some things in.  I tried to think through each item I added to make sure that it would mix and match with more than one other item, and to make sure I really did actually like it.  It's crazy how confusing a large wardrobe can get when it comes to my affection for certain pieces.  I had to think about whether I really liked the piece as a whole, or whether I just liked one aspect of it (the color, or cut, or whatever).

5.  Commit to the capsule.  

After all that sorting, I ended up with 40 pieces, not including shoes or accessories.  This is pretty large for a capsule wardrobe, but I allowed myself some wiggle room because 1) this is my first attempt, 2) I am working with a growing belly and changing seasons at the same time, and 3) I fully intend to further narrow it down as I figure out which pieces are my go-to's within this capsule.

Here is the final selection (excuse the fact that these items were hastily laid out and aren't exactly wrinkle free - done is better than perfect):

Tops






Pants


Skirts


Dresses




Finishing Pieces


Hopefully you can see how these will all fit together, but if not, expect to be wowed by my outfit-making skills! I'll try to post periodic updates on Instagram and this blog over the next few months.

What Now?

My goal is to only wear these 40 pieces until after baby comes!  I will allow myself to switch out a couple items when the weather turns cooler (short for pants, tanks for long-sleeves, etc.), but for the most part, this is it.  I am actually really happy and excited about the items I ended up with, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that I didn't have to purge my closet of patterns and color to make a capsule wardrobe!

(Update: It's been a few weeks since I wrote this post, and I've been sticking to my capsule.  I can already see which pieces are working for me, and which ones aren't, and I'll be allowing myself to make a few adjustments in the next few weeks as the weather gets cooler and the belly gets bigger!)

Have any of you tried a capsule wardrobe?  
(If you are a blogger, post please!  I'd like to see!)










Goodbye Summer, Hello Third Trimester! 28 Weeks (Baby #5)




We took a little family trip to the zoo last weekend - kind of a farewell to summer, and (for me) hello to the third trimester!

Baby should be around 2 lbs. now, and over a foot tall! Baby Girl should be blinking, sucking, coughing, and hiccuping (I can confirm the hiccuping - it's so cute).  There is also research to suggest babies may start to dream around this age, which is really interesting to think about!



We are officially 2/3 of the way through this pregnancy, and I have to say, I'm feeling it.  I've been much more uncomfortable this past week.  There have been a couple nights where heartburn actually woke me up - I had to prop myself up on pillows so gravity would be on my side.  



Another big reason why I have felt uncomfortable is that this little girl has decided that now is a good time to practice gymnastics.  She actually flipped around last week and was in a transverse position in my stomach!  I was impressed that I could actually tell she had changed position (she's getting bigger), but it was so uncomfortable.  Finally later in the evening I felt comfortable again, and I'm pretty sure she settled back in the correct way because her kicks were up high.  

However, she ended up turning transverse again later in the week, and now I'm a little unsure if she stayed in a head-down position.  I'm going to ask my doctor to pull out the portable ultrasound at my next visit and check.  



Moving on to fun stuff though, I have been feeling little feet and knees and arms moving around inside my belly, and I love it so much!  She is definitely growing because I feel like I can distinguish body parts better now.  I can tell the difference between limbs and her little bum (or head...hopefully bum).  She doesn't seem to like it too much when I poke at her, but sometimes she'll give me a gentle nudge and I feel like we're bonding.

This week of pregnancy has long been my favorite stage - I think because the belly is just the right size.  And since it's my favorite week of pregnancy, it seemed like a good time to compare the baby bellies.



I think I definitely carry the girls a little different than the boys, and you can tell most this week - a little higher and bigger, I think.

I started on her baby quilt, and I'm hoping to get Clarice moved up to Gwen's room in the next week so I can start organizing the nursery...wish me luck on that!

 (I don't know what I was doing here, but you all would probably laugh at me if you saw how awkward I really am while taking these photos...)

I'm also trying to take pictures with each of the kids with these pregnancy update photos, so here is the biggest brother.  I am so excited to see him with this baby!


It's A GIRL! 22 Weeks (Baby #5)

 



In case you missed it on Monday, now you know - Baby #5 is a GIRL!  We are excited to have another little lady in our family!

We found out on Monday the 3rd, and then spent the next day celebrating 4th Of July.  I never got to write a post about that, so I thought, "Why not include it in this update?"  Little Girl's first fourth of July in the womb, and we announced the gender with a sparkler, so it seems appropriate!



Baby's First 4th (On The Inside)

We went to a fireworks show with my family on the 3rd after we found out the gender at dinner.  I coached the kids not to say ANYTHING about the baby, and they actually did really well!  They didn't let the secret out at all before our party, and I was pretty proud of them.  It's nice to know you can count on your kids not to say something when you don't want them to.

On the actual 4th we were invited to dinner with some friends, and they bought a bunch of fireworks to do in their culdesac - it was nice, because the fire ban was on by then so we couldn't do any sparklers or fireworks at our house!  At both fireworks show and the smaller fireworks with our friends, the kids were so into it.  They cheered every firework and jumped around and were generally just really excited.  Clyde loved the "little fireworks" (sparklers).  We left for the drive home right as a lot of fireworks shows were starting, and we got to watch three different shows from the car as we drove through town, with the kids cheering in the backseat!  It was so fun.  I have my eye on a good show for next year now, since we were able to scope out four different shows this year.






The only child not as into the fireworks was Clarice - she cried when it got too loud and wanted to be held every time a firework went off.  Poor sweetie.  She is generally fearless, so it surprised me a little, but I can't lie, I didn't hate the extra snuggles!




Alright, enough about Baby Five's first 4th of July, and back to the update!

How I'm Feeling

I have been feeling pretty good for the last couple weeks, but for some reason right around when we found out the gender my back started hurting!  I have been having such an easy pregnancy as far as back pain goes so far, so I can't complain too much, but my sciatic nerve pain is getting to me.  If I sit for too long on a soft surface, it's hard to get up without my lower back hurting.  I'm not sure what shifted in the last couple weeks to cause this, but something did.  I need an adjustment.




I have also been eating too much lately, and I got on the scale the other day, which was rather alarming.  I haven't been feeling good about the way I'm gaining weight, and decided it was probably time I started to be a little more regimented about working out during pregnancy.  Derek's gym let me try them out the other day, and I had so much fun riding on the stationary bike, and I felt energized afterward, so we're going to add me to the gym and my plan is to go at least 3 times a week.  I think it will be a great stress-reliever for me and also hopefully keep the weight gain to a reasonable level!  Or as I told Derek, at least if the weight continues to come on quick, I'll at least feel healthier.



Ready For A Girl?

Then obviously the big news is finding out we are expecting a sweet baby GIRL!  I am excited to know another piece of the puzzle of who this little one will be, and I find myself trying to figure out her personality now that I know it's a she.  I think she seems like a pretty relaxed baby so far.  She doesn't kick too hard, and I feel like there are some good sleep patterns developing because she only kicks during certain times of the day.  She is also in the proper position already, head down and facing my back, which I am happy about!





Look at her cute little pixie chin!

I will say, for some reason we were not really as prepared in a practical sense for a girl.  You'd think I would have been mentally preparing for either either gender, but I actually was trying to not get set on one or the other at all, so this practical unreadiness is totally by coincidence.  We just had more stuff ready to go if it was a boy, and until this point I didn't want to make plans for a girl, lest I get attached to the idea of a girl and it wasn't a girl.  Does that make sense?  So here is the status:

-I had a whole bag of boy hand-me-downs, but I cleaned out a bunch of our girl clothes before we found out I was pregnant, so this baby definitely needs her wardrobe filled in.  

-We had a boy name ready to go (leftover from when we were expecting the other boys), but we have absolutely no girl name at all.  Not even an idea.  

-For some reason I had a vision in my head for a boy nursery, but I couldn't figure out where to take a girl's nursery!

At first I was letting all this stress me out a little bit, but then again, all this extra preparation and planning will actually be pretty fun.  I spent this last week shopping for girl nursery items, and I'm really excited about the direction it's going!  We started looking at girl names, and I am reviewing my previous baby-naming system.  And as for clothes...the budget is a little stressful, but how can shopping for baby girl clothes not be fun?

So here is to the next few weeks of fresh plans for this little girl!!  And if you think of any baby girl names that go with my other kids' names, send them my way!

Stay tuned for photos of our patriotic gender reveal party coming next week!


Dress: Would you believe I got this at Sam's Club?
Earrings: Charming Charlie



Maternity Fashion: My New Favorite Park Day Dress

(Note: I received the maternity dress I am wearing here for free from PinkBlush in exchange for this feature post.)


For this pregnancy (and my pregnancy with Clarice), I've received several comments to the effect of "Poor you!  Is it hard being pregnant through the summer?"

To which my answer is: no.  I actually enjoy being pregnant in the summer better than in the winter, and the major reason is cute maternity dresses!



When you are pregnant in the winter, you still have to dress winter-appropriately, which means lots of layers on top of my belly.  I hate that.  Summer pregnancies mean lighter fabrics, and comfortable, flown maternity dresses - and that's a huge plus in my book!

We took a quick trip to the park the other day, and I broke out my new favorite maternity dress from Pink Blush.  This dress is seriously the most comfortable dress I own.  The fabric is so soft, it doesn't restrict me at all while covering everything comfortably - which makes it the perfect park-day dress, because I can run after the kids and move around so easily in it!




















I dressed it up a little with the white leather vest for church, but I abandoned the vest pretty quickly at the park - I actually like the look of the dress even better without it.  The best part is that I think this particular dress is roomy and comfortable enough to last me through the rest of this pregnancy, and I'll be able to wear it post-baby too!

Where is your favorite place to buy maternity dresses?  
Have you ever tried PinkBlush maternity clothes?  And what do you think, aren't dresses the best part of being pregnant in the summer? (Unless you're not a dress kind of girl, in which case the "poor you!" might actually be applicable!)




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