My Maternity Must Haves

This is a list of my maternity must-haves. These items have made life so comfy during pregnancy, which for me is key.

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1. Mama Bee Belly Butter – I love that it’s made from natural ingredients and it’s fragrance-free. This actually becomes my body lotion during the winter months ever since I discovered it during my last pregnancy. It is so moisturizing and non-greasy. I love this stuff!

2. Boppy Total Body Pillow – I like that it has 3 detachable pieces, so I can use them however I want. I love using the medium size for back support while Rus and I watch TV or while I’m gorging on ice-cream. The flat piece is perfect during the third trimester, just fold that thing in half and it’s the perfect belly support while you sleep without the bulk of a giant pillow. Or just keep them all together and it’s a comfy night’s sleep until my bladder decides it’s time for another bathroom run. Pregnancy pillows are a must and this one wins in my book.

3. Maternity Leggings – I wish I would have gotten some for my last two pregnancies, it’s so worth it! I imagine I’ll be using them after baby gets here too for that post-baby phase.

4. Belly Band – This has allowed me to wear my non-maternity jeans throughout most of my pregnancy, as well as offer a bit of belly support when I’m just wearing a dress or when the baby is sitting a little weird. These are also great for after baby gets here and allows me to get into my pre-pregnancy jeans a little sooner.

5. Bra Extenders – This is another one of those things I wish I would’ve discovered sooner. These have been so great and have kept me from having to buy a new bra every time my size changes a little.

6. Marc Jacobs Enamored Hi-Shine Lip Lacquer – A perfect nude shade. It’s minty with very little scent and actually quite moisturizing. My lip glosses have to have a bit of minty-ness to them and this one wins.

7. Everyday Dress – To keep it cute and simple! A casual every day dress should be in every woman’s closet, pregnant or not. A day dress is a no-brainer for me.

8. Ballet Flats – Ballet flats are a must. They’re just so comfy and these Tory Burch flats can dress up any outfit in an instant. They’re way comfy and super stylish. (Plus they’re on sale!)

9. Garnier Clean + Refreshing Remover Towelettes – For those nights I’m so exhausted and the last thing I want to do is wash my face. These. They’re wonderful and have saved me.

10. Amber Times Nine Eyeshadow Palette – If there is just one eyeshadow palette to live out of for nine months, it’s this one. It has neutral matte colors for everyday and offers a selection of shimmer for those days I want to spice things up a little bit. You can also mix and match the shadows for a more dramatic look. The warm tones are great to add just a hint of color.

 

Hope you all have a good week! Stay fabulous! Xoxo.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is going on right now.  They have a lot of their Fall collection out so it’s a perfect time to stock up on boots and jackets! I can’t believe we’re already talking about Fall. Anyways, here are a few of my favorites plus a little extra. They have a lot of ‘online only’ items so don’t wait until you pop into Nordstrom, head over to the website and check out the sale! Happy Shopping!

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‘Flint’ Distressed Ankle Bootie

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‘Linden’ Leather Bootie

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‘Paige’ Fringed Ankle Bootie

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‘Woodstck’ Fringe Bootie

Coats:

Faux Fur Trim Utility Parka

Faux Fur Trim Utility Parka

Faux Shearling Trim Anorak

Faux Shearling Trim Anorak

'Red Stripe' Hooded Duffle Coat with Faux Fur Trim

‘Red Stripe’ Hooded Duffle Coat with Faux Fur Trim

'Riza' Leather Moto Jacket

‘Riza’ Leather Moto Jacket

 

Accessories:

'Heartbeat' Station Bracelet

‘Heartbeat’ Station Bracelet

Feather Trim Panama Hat

Feather Trim Panama Hat

'Fire & Ice' Bracelets

‘Fire & Ice’ Bracelets

'Pyramid' Layered Necklace

‘Pyramid’ Layered Necklace

Men Coats: 

Diamond Quilted Full Zip Jacket

Diamond Quilted Full Zip Jacket

Waxed Leather Jacket

Waxed Leather Jacket

Trim Fit Triblend Jacket

Trim Fit Triblend Jacket

 Andrew Marc 'Stewart' Hooded Leather Jacket

Andrew Marc ‘Stewart’ Hooded Leather Jacket

Men’s Shoes: 

 

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‘Carlyle’ Plain Toe Oxford

'Popak' Plain Toe Boot (Men)

‘Popak’ Plain Toe Boot (Men)

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‘Hero’ Perforated Sneaker

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‘1000 Mile – McClean’ Leather Cap Toe Boot

Dressing The Bump: Red Maxi Skirt

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I bought this skirt during my last pregnancy and wore it all the time. Maxis are a maternity must. Finding new ways to wear old clothes is one of my favorite things to do, it’s like buying a new piece; suddenly the possibilities are endless. I wore this while I shopped the Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale. I can’t tell you how much I look forward to that sale, it is always a great thing for my wardrobe! This was my first time having early access and I’m even more hooked! All of their Fall Collection is to die for, especially the boots and booties. If you have a chance to make it out there you should! I’ll be posting my favorite finds soon! Happy Monday!

Skirt: Old (Bobeau via Nordstrom Rack)

Top: White Plum 

Shoes: Hinge via Nordstrom

Bag: Céline (In red)

Shades: David Yurman

Casual Dinner Night With The Fam

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I’m not sure how our family nights will shape up once the new baby comes but for now we’re enjoying as much time out together as we can. This little one is walking like a champ and keeping shoes on him is basically a losing battle. He is so not into walking in shoes and prefers to let his little tootsies hang out. For the most part it’s totally ok with me since I get to play with those delicious little toes.

Gavo still hates having his picture taken. We try to get him to pose in photos with us but he just makes weird faces or closes his eyes. Little bug head. We tell him that one day when he’s older he’ll wonder why we never captured his normal face but that doesn’t seem to faze him. So for now we settle with funny faces or photos from behind. LOL!

Dress: Hale Bob (old)

Sandals: Sam Edelman (Old, but these are cute too.)

Baby Clothes: Target 

Dressing The Bump: Black T-Shirt Dress

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Just a super casual outfit for a lazy day. This T-Shirt dress is a must have! My favorite outfits are usually the ones that can come together in 5 minutes or less. As I’m entering the third trimester comfy is key. This black t-shirt dress does the job right now, it’s basic enough to accessorize in a ton of different ways. It should definitely be a staple in anyone’s closet. Summer has been treating us well so far and thankfully it hasn’t been too excruciating out there. How has your summer been?

P.S. Did you see my post on instagram about my NuMe Styling Wand? This is me with 4 day hair. It seriously only takes me like 10 minutes to do my hair. I’m loving it!

Dress: ASOS

Kimono: Old (Similar)

Shoes: Sam Edelman (Similar)

Dressing The Bump: Summer Date Night Outfit

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Date nights are the best. I admit I get a little carried away when I plan my outfits for date night. Most of the time I’ll have an outfit picked out the night before and spend a good amount of time on my hair and makeup. Isn’t that part of the fun? I always pick an outfit piece that I could never wear around the kids, like an extra nice dress or tall heels. Getting all spruced up is a part of the experience for me, I tend to skew a little more dressy even for just a nice dinner or if we end up going to the movies. I think I spend more time getting ready for dates as a married gal than when I was a single. :) Rus is a good sport about it and it never fails, whenever he asks how much longer I’m going to take I always say 10-15 more minutes even if I think I may be a little bit longer or if I’m close to done. But he usually doesn’t have to ask more than once. I don’t like keeping him waiting too long! ;)

Cheers!

Dress: Ted Baker

Shoes: Bucco (Similar)

Bag: Balenciaga (Different color but same style)

About Struggling With Self Image During Pregnancy

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It went like this. I woke up, wobbled to the mirror and immediately knew what kind of day I was going to have. I felt bloated, huge, and so not cute. Finding something to wear that I could hide under was going to be a challenge. We had plans to be out as a family so there was no staying home for me. I picked out two outfits: One to hide beneath, and one that made me feel comfortable and somewhat cute, but was tight and I knew I would be feeling a bit exposed. Out loud to my husband I said, “I feel so gross and unattractive today, but I’m wearing the dress anyway because it makes me feel ok and this is the way I look and there’s nothing I can do about it.” Run-on sentence and all. He had no idea about my inner struggle. So I put the dress on. I did my makeup and my hair, and out we went.

As the day went on, the less self-conscious I felt. In fact I actually forgot about my feelings from that morning, I was thoroughly enjoying being out with my family. I knew it was mostly my own image issues that were rearing their ugly heads and deep down I knew I was just being mean to myself even if it didn’t make me feel any better. I found some peace as I quickly reminded myself that it was a miracle I was even having these struggles. To be pregnant, I mean. To have made it almost through my second trimester with a bouncy baby still in my body. My body that has in the past, failed two other babies and here I was being nit-picky while it was doing a good job of making a comfy home for this new baby. I have friends that wish they could carry their own babies and here I am taking it all for granted. Like that, it all vanished. In the form of gratitude for yes, feeling “gross and unattractive” I was able to accept myself just as I was and be present with my family and not in my head worrying about things that do. not. matter.

Regardless of how I felt about myself, there were several encounters with other women throughout my day whom went out of their way to tell me how lovely my belly was, how nice my dress was and how pretty I looked, cementing that how I felt about myself did not match up with what others saw. Don’t misunderstand me. I firmly believe that what you think about yourself should hold more weight than what others think, it should not even be a close call. But this was a huge wake up call because even though I was able to find some peace within myself, there was still that nagging feeling in the back of my head that I could not completely come to terms with. But here were ladies that were so sweet and kind enough to speak nice things to me, a total stranger. I wish I could say that their compliments turned my feelings about myself around but it wouldn’t be true. This is a personal struggle that can’t be easily stomped out by a few nice words, even if they were the nicest words in the whole world which happened at just the right time, it’s more complicated than that. And I’m so embarrassed to even admit all this. When I see the pictures from that day, in my black and white stripe dress, I don’t see a person who is “gross and unattractive”. Which is so bizarre and I can’t fully understand how this all makes sense. I just see a normal sized pregnant person who, dare I say as objectively as I can, could be glowing. It is the strangest phenomenon to try to connect the negative feelings I had about myself that day, what I saw in the mirror, with what I see in the photos. Maybe what I’m actually seeing is myself through my husband, the photographer’s eyes, and it’s so not the same person who was looking back at me just hours before.

The point of all this is this… How I feel about myself does not reflect what the rest of the world sees. I don’t know if what those ladies actually saw was a person who was struggling with inner demons and felt a conviction to make me feel a little better, or if it was my little snippet of acceptance despite my insecurities, or if they simply just liked my dress. All I know is that they had no idea what I went through that morning and as short-lived as it was, the image I had of myself is so wrong and straight up mean. I somehow am not releasing my negative image into the world because somehow these few strangers were able to look passed my imperfections and touch me with their act of love. Or maybe my imperfections are just out there and it’s ok and lovely. It’s a hard pill to swallow either way.

But can I share something else? The same goes for you. Your struggles may be different than mine (or maybe they’re exactly the same), but whatever negative thoughts you have about yourself, it’s untrue. I know because I am that stranger that sees you and silently compliments your eyes and smile. I see the beauty that you probably can’t see within yourself. I see it clear as crystal and I think you’re magnificent. I wish I had your hair, and your creativity, and your sense of self. And I’m secretly hoping you’ll catch my eye so that I can ask you where you got your shoes, or tell you that I see you struggling with your kids and it’s really ok. You are more than ok. And you’re beautiful. In your humanity and your imperfections, you are the most beautiful thing that has graced this earth. You are. And I can easily say that to you because I believe it with my whole heart.

Wouldn’t it be swell if we could see ourselves through someone else’s eyes for a day?

But since that will never happen I, with my dirty tee and unwashed face, I tell you this… You and me, we’re totally ok.

Xoxo.

Dress: Windsor

Shoes: Converse

Dressing The Bump: Summer Days

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Just a week away from the third trimester! Time is flying! I love how loose and comfy this dress is; a simple casual outfit for a day at home with the boys. We spend a lot of time in our backyard, mostly playing with the hose and going on walks. It’s the simplicity of summer that I love so much. Crisp veggies, delicious fruit, and soaked boys. That is what life is made of. 

Dress: A Pea In The Pod Maternity (Similar with a cutout back

Sandals: Sam Edelman (Similar); Steal 

Bag: Neiman Marcus (old) 

Shades: Prada (old)

Dressing The Bump: Luxury Maternity Outfit

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I’m in total dress mode right now. As a warning, my next few posts will probably be more dresses. This one is a bit more jazzy than my everyday wears, but it’s a perfect vacation outfit or nice for a night out. It has the right amount of playfulness, and while I don’t see myself wearing this to the grocery store I may find any other occasion to throw this on; it is so light and free. It’s actually been dubbed the butterfly dress by a certain young boy, lol. And the name totally fits!  The colors are so vibrant and beautiful. It’s a statement on its own but I just had to pair it with these shades. The pop of pink was too perfect not to throw it in. The fabric is so soft and flowy with just the right amount of room for a growing belly. It just screams summer vacay, and what could be better than that? Well, maybe that it’s non-maternity. :) So go ahead and spruce up your every day, a little luxury never hurt anybody.  Cheers, love.

Dress: BCBGMAXAZRIA (Similar  and Similar)

Shoes: Lucky Brand

Shades: Ray Bans

Wristlet: Kate Spade (old) Similar (STEAL)