Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Winner!

I recently won a great giveaway on The Tichenor Family blog sponsored by Lauren Train, Stella & Dot Consultant. 

Stella & Dot Maya Pendant in turquoise, $39.00
I was so excited to receive this beauty in the mail yesterday!  I know I will get so much wear out of it this spring.  Turquoise will go with anything, but I especially will living in Texas with Rodeo season coming up...yes ma'am! 


Thank you Meredith and Lauren for hosting this awesome giveaway!  If you haven't jumped over to Meredith's blog yet, please do.  It's one of my faves and her boys are simply precious.  And if you are looking for a Stella & Dot consultant, check out Lauren's page and go shopping! 

Have a happy Wednesday,
Chelsea

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Holy Grail of Flats

I know we all love our Tory Burch flats, but honestly, my Revas just aren't very comfortable.  I've tried all the tricks to break them in which made them better, but still by the end of the day my feet hurt.  Not what you want when you wear FLATS. 



I discovered these b.o.c by Born Beale flats at DSW last weekend and as far as I'm concerned are the holy grail of flats...cute, comfortable and affordable!  You can buy these in all 4 colors and still be less than one TB flat I've been lusting after.  The patent leather cap toe and heel cap make them dressy enough for work and the padded lining inside the shoe make them heaven to walk in. 

Macy's has them for $80.00 in red and black, but even better, DSW has them online for $59.95 in red, black, taupe and navy! 

Rocking my black flats at work today!

I purchased them in black and taupe and am seriously considering the red. 

Sizing disclaimer:  I am a tried and true size 8, but had to size up to an 8.5.  Not sure if the shoe runs a bit small or if I'm experiencing pregnancy feet, however all of my other 8's fit perfect so I would suggest sizing a 1/2 size up if you're on the fence. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Weekend Recap

Yet another fairly laid back weekend.  I know we need to cherish these while we can.  As soon as March hits, we are jam packed up until baby's arrival.   

Friday, 1/25
I left work a little early to get a much needed haircut and highlight.  I ended up chopping about 3 inches off just to make it more manageable.  My hair is super thick right now (pregnancy hair, I guess).  The added length was taking me far too long to dry.  It's now so much better!

Jason and I had dinner with my grandparents who we didn't get to see at Christmas finally!  Nothing like opening Christmas gifts at the end of January.  It was great to catchup with them (and eat Olive Garden salad).  Of course after dinner, Jason and I continued our Dexter marathon at home.  We are obsessed. 

Saturday, 1/26
J went bird hunting so I took advantage of some quiet time at home and puttered in the nursery and around the house.  I did my typical "Sunday chores" so I could enjoy girl playtime on Sunday.  I also managed to squeeze in a much needed pedicure, which of course I chipped within 2 hours of leaving the salon!  Jason was wiped after shooting birds all day (I know, that's terrible, but at least we eat the meat) so we did nothing Saturday night. 

I am reading Tina Fey's book, Bossypants at the moment.  I know it's old news, but it is so, so funny!  I recommend if you haven't read it yet, especially if you work full-time in a male dominated industry, or are a mother, or a woman, or just want a good laugh. 



Sunday, 1/27
After a lazy morning my mom and I had lunch at our favorite spot in town, Barnaby's (best Chinese Chicken Salad in the world) before heading over to Sara's for a Thirty-One Gifts shopping party she hosted. 

I had never even heard of Thirty-One Gifts before, but fell in love with the products, especially the Large Utility Tote after seeing Sara use it a few months ago.  They carry a wide variety of totes, bags and other pieces to help organize your life.  Most of the products can be personalized too!  So excited for the items my mom and I ordered to come in!  Sara caught me at a great time while I'm trying to get super organized for baby's arrival.  If you are in the Houston area and are interested in hosting a Thirty-One Gifts party, let me know!  I have an awesome consultant who I can refer you to.
Large Utility Tote in Black Pick Me Plaid, $35.00


Hope you had a great weekend too and a Happy Monday!  And for those of you who I heard from who went out and purchased Genie bras over the weekend, I hope you love them as much as I do. 

Chels

Sunday, January 27, 2013

24 Weeks



Instead of a growing belly, Jason wanted to document his growing 'stach...yes, he curled it up for the pic!

How far along: 24 weeks
Size of Baby P: 11.81 inches, 1.32 pounds (according to Pregnancy App)
Fruit/vegetable comparison (according to Baby Center): Eggplant (for weeks 22-24)
Gender: Boy
Showing: Yes
Maternity clothes: Yes
Unglamorous body changes:  This isn't an external body change, but lately I've had major rib pain.  I feel like there is too much crowding in my short torso already!
Sleep:  Good, except for a bad coughing fit on Saturday night

Movement:  Getting so much stronger and more frequent!
Food cravings:  Guacamole, rainbow sherbet, ice water with lemon
Anything making you queasy or sick: No
Wedding rings on or off: On
Mood:  Great
Best moment this week:  Jason felt Jack's kick last Sunday, 1/20 (24 weeks, 1 day).  So happy both of us are now feeling baby boy.  On Monday, 1/21 while watching quality TV (Vanderpump Rules) Jack went crazy...he must love reality TV as much as his mama.  Not only could both Jason and I feel him kicking up a storm, but we could see the kicks!!!  One of the best moments thus far. 
Strange experiences:  Seeing Jack's kicks on my belly!  He's gonna be a soccer player...name that movie Adam Sandler fans. 
Milestones:  Baby's hair color is starting to change to the color it will be at birth.  The lungs are developing more and the baby's weight will double in the next four weeks. 
Looking forward to:  Although this has nothing to do with the actual pregnancy, I'm really looking forward to attending Blissdom this year in Dallas.  No, it's not ideal that I will be 33 weeks pregnant and likely huge, but besides the conference, I'm really looking forward to spending the weekend with my bestie Ashley...who is also pregnant and networking with other expectant bloggers!  We are planning a little preggo blogger get together while in Dallas.  I have a feeling food will be involved. 

Thoughts:   Although I've felt big and pregnant for weeks, this week in particular I must really look it.  I was stopped by so many people this week asking about the pregnancy, what I'm having, including a table at Olive Garden who was placing bets on whether it was a boy or girl based on how I was carrying...and the strange thing was they only saw me sitting!  Even coworkers in other departments commented this week that they didn't realize I was pregnant until now.

The nursery is really starting to come together.  It's not quite ready for reveal pictures yet, but here a picture from Pottery Barn Kids to show you what we are going for (except our furniture is dark wood instead of white).  We are doing lots of elephants, gray chevron and some green gingham!  As the room comes together, it feels great and is becoming so real. 

 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Valentine's Wishlist for Her

In case you need some ideas of what to ask your special someone for Valentine's Day, use my personal wishlist below, although J & I don't normally go big for Valentine's Day.  We are usually still recovering from Christmas and this year focusing on baby!  Dinner and chocolates or flowers make me a happy, happy girl...and yes, I love the cheap, cheesy red heart, cellophane-wrapped box of chocolates from the drug store!


A new pair of flats...

Since being pregnant, I now live in flats, which is very strange for me being a die-hard heel girl...I need the extra height to slim me down.  However, comfort rules now!  I am dying for these Tory Burch Snake Printed Aaden Ballet Flat in Walnut.  I know $265 is ridic to pay for a pair of flats, but they are soooo cute and the perfect color for spring....they will go with EVERYTHING.  I've heard that if you aren't a fan of the Tory Burch Reva (me) due to comfort issues, you will love the Aaden Ballet Flat!  If you wear them everyday, I can justify the cost for you! Size 8 please shoe Gods!

A new pair of sunnies...


I love this pair in of Cat-eye Sunglasses from Tory Burch in Honey Tort color. 

A new pair of earrings...



Stella & Dot has some great new pieces for spring including these Capri Chandelier Earrings.

A new scarf...



Even though Spring is approaching, you can still rock a lightweight scarf.  I'm obsessed with this Bryant Park Scarf in Poppy by Stella & Dot.  Maybe it's because of the elephants, which is our nursery theme for Jack. 

A day of pampering...



Nothing beats a gift certificate for a mani/pedi or massage.  Spice it up and get each other a couples massage and private lunch & champagne at a local spa.  If you live in Houston, this must be done at Trellis at the Houstonian.   

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pregnancy Must-Haves

I'm only 24 weeks along in my first pregnancy, so I am by no means an expert, but these are the items that I haven't been able to live without thus far in my pregnancy.  I have heavily relied on other bloggers' pregnancy and baby must-haves so I wanted to share one of my own!

Boppy Prental Total Body Pillow
A body pillow is a must when pregnant...or you can use a second pillow to put in between your legs.  It has helped me sleep on my side and in recent weeks has given me back pain relief.  My back feels so much better the next day when I use this.  My only complaint about the Boppy is that if you want to switch sides in the middle of the night, you have to flip the whole thing over.  I've got it down to a science now, but it was annoying at first.  Leachco makes a pillow that addresses the "flipover" issue, but complaints on this one is that it's more expensive and takes up a TON of room in the bed.  This might be good only for those with a King...or ones looking to kick hubby out of the bed!

Just be warned that little chihuahuas love this pillow too!



Ugg Dakota Slippers
These would be great for anyone, pregnant or not, but man do they feel great after a long day.  I pretty much live in these on the weekends too.  Plus, they have sturdy, rubber soles on the bottom so you can wear them outside, running errands and help clumsy people like me from falling down our slippery, wood stairs!


Genie Bras
I've had such a hard time finding a comfortable bra to wear all day.  I think my issue is that I'm short waisted so not only is my belly expanding, but that expansion creeps up into the chest area.  I took this issue up with a group of moms on babycenter.com and an overwhelming # of women raved about the Genie Bra.  These bras can be purchased at Target both in-store and online.  For only $20.00 you get a nude and a black bra with removable bra pads.  While they aren't great for every outfit, these are so comfortable and provide me with enough lining and support, while giving a good shape. 


Gap Always Skinny Jeans with Demi Panel
I need to dedicate an entire post on maternity clothing must-haves, but these have been my favorite jeans.  I have tried other styles of Gap jeans with full panel and other brands, but the Always Skinny with Demi Panel take the prize for most comfortable and best looking.  I love them because they stay put (I've found that the full panel rides down) and grow with your expanding belly.  My favorite is the dark wash (not pictured) because they are slimming and dressy enough for Fridays at work.  FYI, Gap also makes these in Ankle, Regular and Long length!



Bencheley Decaf Apricot Tea
Hello, my name is Chelsea and I'm addicted to coffee.  Or so I was until learning I was pregnant last September.  Silly as it sounds, giving up coffee was one of my biggest fears about being pregnant.  I drank it morning, noon and night.  I know I could be drinking decaf coffee now, but that would be like giving a virgin drink to an alcoholic...just a sad replacement or gateway drug.  I've now replaced my coffee habit with hot tea in the morning or right before bed.  I'm in love with this brand that my mom discovered.  Although hard to find this tea comes in a variety of decaf flavors and is so good!



Double Insulated Plastic Tumblers
I have to remind myself to drink enough water everyday and it must be COLD.  I've found if I make myself a cold ice water with lemon to take to work that I will drink and refill throughout the day and get enough water for me & Jack.  That's why I love double-insulated plastic tumblers (lid and straw are a must).  They don't sweat and keep your drink cold.  I love my 16 oz. chevron one that Jason bought me, but am dying for a monogrammed 24 oz. Tervis Tumbler....Valentine's Day, Jason...hint, hint!




Baby Bargains Book
One of the best reads I've had so far during the pregnancy, this book is a must read before trying to register.  Trust me.  You do want to make sure you buy the latest version to ensure you are getting the latest product reviews.  The 9th edition is what I read.  The next edition is set to release mid-April 2013. 



Clarisonic Mia2
Clearly this is another non-pregnant specific product great for anyone, but it's been a lifesaver for pregnant me.  Even if I can't control all of the changes going on with my body, at least I can have great skin!  I purchased the Mia2 version around Christmas time when I had a killer coupon for it, but honestly, would recommend saving $50 and buying the regular Mia version.  The only difference is the speed settings, which I never use. 



Prenatal Yoga
I started a prenatal yoga series last week and have already done 3 classes.  Not only do I feel amazing after the class, but I'm learning great stretches and positions to use everyday to relieve my constant back pain and to aid in labor.  I recommend trying to find a local yoga studio to take these classes so you can make sure you are doing all of the poses right, plus it's a great way to meet other moms to be in your area.  If you can't find a studio there are lots of Prenatal Yoga DVD's you can try!


Amazon Prime Membership
I purchased an Amazon Prime membership around Christmas time and it's already paid for itself between Christmas presents and baby items.  I know we will continue to get great use out of this, especially for diapers!  Who can beat free 2-Day shipping plus Amazon's awesome prices. 




Fellow Bloggers & Websites
As I said earlier, I have heavily relied on other bloggers' advice about baby products & maternity must-haves.  Some faves are Lucie's List, Little Baby Garvin, Baby Center (especially the group forums) and my sweet Pi Phi sister, Vanessa!

Hope this list helps you as much as others have helped me.  What other items were pregnancy must-haves for you? 

Love,
Chelsea

Monday, January 21, 2013

Lazy Weekend

Jason just got back from Puerto Rico Thursday night from a work trip (poor baby) so we had a lazy weekend and watched lots of movie and TV. 

We went to the theatre to see Mama.  Us horror movie buffs just had to see it opening weekend.  The verdict?  Skip it.  I overheard a few people coming out of the theatre saying they thought it was scary, but we didn't think much of it.  It was pretty slow and an overall letdown.  The trailers are better than the actual movie.



I finally watched Pitch Perfect.  So cute.  Rebel Wilson stole the show as usual. 



We also continued our Dexter marathon.  We just started watching the show from Season 1 a few weeks ago and are now into Season 3.



I was a lucky girl and got breakfast in bed Sunday morning!  Best way to wake up ever.  Jason is taking great care of pregnant me...what a great husband!

Hope you had a wonderful and relaxing weekend too!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

23 Weeks



How far along: 23 weeks
Size of Baby P: 11.38 inches, 1.10 pounds (according to Pregnancy App)
Fruit/vegetable comparison (according to Baby Center): Eggplant (for weeks 22-24)
Gender: Boy
Showing: Yes
Maternity clothes: Yes
Unglamorous body changes:  Nothing crazy 
Sleep:  Good, but starting to have very vivid, weird dreams
Movement:  More and more and getting stronger
Food cravings:  Ice water with lemon, apple slices, eggs and I did crave a burger on Friday (yes, I gave in), M&M cookies...so healthy!
Anything making you queasy or sick: No
Wedding rings on or off: On
Mood:  Pretty good this week
Best moment this week:  Feeling Jack kick on the outside of my belly!  I was laying down in bed watching the Golden Globes.  I haven't been able to get Jason to feel one yet since it happens so fast, but I know he will soon enough.
Strange experiences:  Prenatal yoga.  Although I love it and recommend it, it is sort of funny to see a room full of pregnant women trying to stretch and meditate.  We are sight when leaving the studio!
Milestones:  At this stage, baby is weighing in at about 1 pound!  The next five weeks, baby will experience a major growth spurt (scary) and REM has started to occur when baby sleeps. 
Looking forward to:   Learning the gender's of Ashley's baby next week!  Jack will either have a best buddy or an arranged marriage. 
Thoughts:   I'm starting to feel really big and I'm freaking out about how huge I will be by 40 weeks.  With so many events coming up this spring, especially late in my pregnancy, I'm feeling anxious that I will be a freakshow.  I have two out of town conferences in March and lots of showers both for me and others.  I'm really trying to watch my weight gain at this point and incorporate working out into my daily routine.  Funny how just a few months ago I couldn't wait to show and now I'm anxious that I'm showing too much.  I guess there is always something to be anxious about!

Don't think I'm being selfish and it's all about me.  Most important to me is Jack's health so if that means I become a whale, then bring it on.  I just worry, and yes my looks are apart of it, that I will get too big and with that come all other implications for me and baby. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

22 Weeks

 
 


How far along: 22 weeks
Size of Baby P: 10.94 inches, 15.17 ounces (according to Pregnancy App)
Fruit/vegetable comparison (according to Baby Center): Eggplant (for weeks 22-24)
Gender: Boy
Showing: Yes!
Maternity clothes:  Yes, majority
Unglamorous body changes:  Just getting bigger...in all areas, not just the belly!
Sleep: Great
Movement:  Jack's kicks are starting to get stronger.  Based on our ultrasounds, he is a very active boy
Food cravings:  No particular cravings this week
Anything making you queasy or sick: No
Wedding rings on or off: On
Mood:  Very Moody...I cried in the grocery store parking lot last Sunday because I wanted to see a movie that night, but there was no good times, I'm very short with people, and had a case of the Sunday Night Blues bad.  Maybe this has less to do with hormones and more to do with the end of holiday and short work week season. 
Best moment this week:  3D/4D Ultrasound.  It was amazing! 
Strange experiences:  A few people have told me to tell Jason "good job" after learning we are having a boy.  As if he worked hard for that outcome...they were all men.  Go figure. 
Milestones:    Baby's movements are deliberate now and with the purpose of preparing baby's motor skills and coordination. 
Looking forward to:  Starting a prenatal yoga class series this week!  Jack and I are going to get our yoga on. 
Thoughts:   People are constantly asking me how I'm feeling and how my pregnancy has been.  All in all I would classify it as great.  I never had a major bout of morning sickness and now I have most of my energy back.  I'm starting to feel back pain towards the end of the day, especially a work day, but nothing too bad.  I was also having some major pain near my ribs, but I think I have that worked out as I switched to a larger bra without an underwire (TMI, sorry), but really if you are pregnant, make sure you have a proper fitting bra!  No matter what happens or how I feel, it's all worth it Baby Jack! 

Our nursery is also taking shape this week.  The majority of the furniture is in and put together.  I'm trying to hold off on starting to "Dreft" what we already have!  My mom called me a "super-nester" the other day.  It's true.  On Friday, I was whining to Jason because I desperately wanted to purchase a crib mattress after work, but he needed to work late.  He asked me why it was so urgent and I said well, if we don't do it tonight when are we going to get it done (thinking we had a very busy weekend).  Pause and then Jason said, anytime between now and MAY.  Guess I was being a little silly. 

But don't worry...a crib mattress was purchased this weekend.  Super nester!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Maternity Lifesaver

Reversible Seamless Tank by Eloise, $24.00
 
I have worn these tanks from Anthropologie for years and they are not maternity tanks, however they have been maternity lifesavers for me!  I wear them almost everyday as a layering tank underneath regular tops, maternity tops, dresses, etc.  They provide a nice smoothness, even thin t-shirts, long length at the bottom so I'm not self conscious, and good coverage in the cleavage area!  I did this before I was pregnant, but with a growing belly, they have been lifesavers to give my bump a little more coverage and smoothness.

I love them for the stretch, they stay in place and are reversible!  One side is a vneck while the other is a scoopneck!

Since I wear them almost everyday now, I have two in the basic colors: black, cream, and white.  They almost never go on sale and are a little pricey for a tank, but they last forever (if you wash them on delicate cycle and hang dry).  I definitely get my money's worth on these! 

Get the basic colors here for regular price of $24.00 OR hurry and snag some bright colors for $9.95 on sale here

If you are unsure about sizing, size up.  Also, I've found the heathered colors don't fit the same and are not my favorite...they seem smaller and shorter. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

21 Weeks

 
 
 

How far along: 21 weeks
Size of Baby P: 10.51 inches,  12.70 ounces (according to Pregnancy App)
Fruit/vegetable comparison (according to Baby Center): Cantaloupe
Gender: Boy
Showing: Yes!
Maternity clothes: Yes
Unglamorous body changes:  I don't think so, although I am starting to see a faint linea nigra
Sleep: Great
Movement: Small movements in the afternoon and evening
Food cravings: Spicy food, apple slices, grilled cheese, eggs, wing sauce
Anything making you queasy or sick: No
Wedding rings on or off: On
Mood: Good
Best moment this week:  Doctor's appointment.  It's always comforting to hear Jack's heartbeat.  It was also comforting to hear from the doc that I'm measuring normal...take that neighbor who thinks I'm too big and having twins!
Strange experiences: Can't think of any this week
Milestones: Baby boy is now starting to grow hair and his facial features are forming.  He is able to blink and even has eyelashes and eyebrows. 
Looking forward to: Doing a 3D ultrasound knowing our baby is a boy this time, having Jason be able to feel kicks
Thoughts:  This week I have been obsessed with baby products trying to figure out what is best for Jason and I to buy and register for.  During lunch and after work all I've been doing is reading reviews and blogs with product suggestions. I am definitely making progress though!  Jason thinks I might need an intervention.   

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Calling All Moms: Diaper Genie vs. Arm & Hammer

I promise this blog will not turn into a 100% Mommy Blog, however, that is what I'm going through now so you have to expect some of it.  I'm starting to tackle registering for Baby Jack.  Just the thought of all of the things we need makes my stomach turn in knots.  The hardest part is the shear number of options.  It's usually nice to have options, however in this case it is just too overwhelming. 

With that said, I've been heavily relying on friends and family with babies to help recommend products that have worked for them and now I'm calling on you!

Today's question is which diaper pail is better...

Image via


The Diaper Genie or the Arm & Hammer?  I've read a TON of conflicting reviews which leads me to believe that both are probably great, but since I can choose only one, which do you prefer?  Prices seem to be fairly comparable. 

Thanks and if you are tackling similar questions, I promise to report back the responses I get for you on this and other products I'm researching. 

I have a feeling this will be a weekly post on The Perfect Catch!

Love,
Chelsea
 

Site Design by Fabulous K