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McBaby!

No, that’s not the name of a new hamburger…  but there is a bun in the oven!

It’s been a tremendously long time since I’ve posted anything.  Life has been happening and it’s been wonderful albeit chaotic.   Since my last post we have moved from Colorado back to North Carolina and unfortunately, my husband has deployed yet again.  We miss him so much!  But having the happiness and anticipation of the baby has really eased some of the distance and loneliness.  We’re SO thankful for Skype and other forms of technology that allow us to communicate so frequently and even see each other as much as possible.  Though it’s a bummer at times that Will can’t be here in person to share in the pregnancy, we both agreed that we would rather he miss some of this than to miss our baby’s  first year of life.  So, given the circumstances the Army has presented us, we are making the best of it and are beyond excited for this little squish!!

Today* marks my 14th week (3.5 months) of pregnancy and my first “Bump Blog” of the bi-weekly series I hope to continue throughout my pregnancy and beyond.  *(I wrote this on Sunday, 12/15/13 but am late in posting it!)

I’m finally into my second trimester and it’s a huge relief from the very debilitating first trimester.  Weeks 6-11 were pretty rough with the typical fatigue, nausea, food & smell aversions and headaches.  Despite my greatest efforts to stay active during this time, mother nature usually won and I ended up in bed more often than not.  These days are better and I’m able to eat almost everything without any issues and my energy level is climbing (headaches are still pretty frequent but are becoming more manageable).  I started back at the gym last week and had a great lift after playing a few short games of one-on-one basketball with Jordan.  It felt amazing to break a sweat, run around and lift again… even though I was at 1/3 of the strength I had before the pregnancy and became short of breath really quickly.  My awesome SIL also loaned me some of her prenatal home workout DVDs and I’m looking forward to doing those on the days I can’t get to the gym.  I’m missing my favorite yoga studio (and yogi partner, Serene!) in CO so having a video to do is great until I find a place here that I love.

I also hired a doula who volunteers her services through Operation Special Delivery which is an organization that offers doulas free of charge for women whose husbands will be deployed at the time of their baby’s birth.  I’m so thankful to have this option as I know she will be be a voice of reason and calm and also speak up on my behalf for my needs and desires during L&D and for baby, when/if I’m not able to do so.  As much as I wish my husband were here to experience this amazing time, I am so thankful to have a doula in his absence.  The birth of Jordan was… an experience.  And while seeing your baby for the first time completely erases any pain or bad experience you just went through, his labor and delivery is not one I wish to recreate.  My hope for this go round is to be more informed, educated and prepared to help my labor be as peaceful as possible.  I’m also excited that my mom and bestie will be in NC around the time baby is due, so having them in addition to Will’s family will make for an awesome support system.  I’m very blessed!

As part of my Bump Blogs I plan to:

  • share my progress in both photos and with a questionnaire
  • talk about the labor and delivery I’m envisioning and planning for
  • research and share products that I like or plan to use
  • share information about natural parenting and overall lifestyle
  • talk about pregnancy exercise and wellness methods I use
  • any other miscellaneous pregnancy/baby/health/fitness/parenting/lifestyle/beauty things that come to mind

I’m excited to share this with you all and hope it can be both entertaining and useful in content.  Thanks for reading!

 

Little squish at 12 weeks!

No more abs…

14 weeks, large and in charge!

Please excuse the selfies!  I haven’t had time to get my real camera, set it up and have a photo shoot, maybe next time!

 

14 Weeks Questionnaire

Size of Baby:  Baby is the size of a Peach – about 3.5″ in length and weighing in at 1.5 ounces.

Symptoms:  Headaches, cellulite (yes, this is a symptom! and it reared its ugly head overnight it seems), dry skin, “pregnancy brain” – seriously, I do the stupidest things sometimes and am so absent minded.  The other day I put my keys in the refrigerator and it took me 45 minutes to find them.

Total Weight Gain:  3.5 pounds (I was up by 4, but lost 1/2 a pound somewhere)

Sleep: Good for the most part.  I do have very vivid, real life type dreams.  And of course it’s rare to make it all the way through the night without having to get up to pee... some nights multiple times.

Food Cravings: Lil Cuties tangerines, organic whole chocolate milk (I normally never drink cow’s milk), Oikos Banana Cream yogurt, Swedish Fish candies, avocado toast (Udi’s GF sprouted bread – toasted, topped with Kerrigold butter, half of an avocado smashed on top, a squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper – NOM!)

Best Moment So Far: Seeing our little bean during the 12 week ultrasound.  Baby was very active – turning, bouncing, tumbling and stretching.  It’s INSANE that it can do so much at such a tiny little size.  I also saw the heartbeat which made me a little teary eyed.  Baby has really long legs and already sucks its thumb!

Movement: I’ve felt several flutters very low in my stomach.  I’m hesitant to say for sure that it’s baby, but I feel like it is.  I also think that since this is my second pregnancy I’m more in tune with all the little nuances that I probably didn’t notice as easily with Jordan.

Labor Signs: N/A

Gender: Still too early to tell.  But, when we do find out we will be keeping this information between just myself and my husband.  I want to tell Jordan, but I’m not sure he can keep the big secret!  If I had to take a guess at this point, my gut feeling is that it’s a boy.  Jordan says girl.  Husband has had feelings of both.  Soo… yeah, we’re all over the place with gender.

Belly Button In Or Out?  Still in.

What I Miss:  My HUSBAND!  I miss him terribly.  And I also miss the occasional glass of wine or beer in the evening (but I’ve replaced it with my chocolate milk).

What I Am Looking Forward To: Christmas with family, our next appointment when we get to hear the baby’s heartbeat, starting the new year with so much happiness on the horizon! (husband and baby will both make our home complete again in 2014),  Jordan’s 12th birthday in March! <— when did he get so grown?!

 

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas with those you love in remembrance of what the day truly means.  Happy Birthday, Jesus!!

X, Beth

 

December 19, 2013 - 3:18 pm

Gay Lynn Harris - Thank you Beth . . . how informative . . . enjoyed it all . . .

December 19, 2013 - 4:04 pm

Shawn - Love it Beth! I’m looking forward to hearing about your pregnancy goings-on! You look fantastic, and are fun to read!! I’ll be keepin’ up! ‘So happy for you!

Aunty Shawn

December 19, 2013 - 4:08 pm

Beth - Thanks so much! I look forward to posting more… it’s a great outlet!

December 19, 2013 - 6:10 pm

Amber - I love it! You’re an excellent writer, funny and sincere. I’ve never had a baby so it’s fun to live vicariously through friends.

December 19, 2013 - 6:21 pm

Beth - Thank you, Amber. I love writing! And I was just saying to Will that this post was rather bland and I hope future posts have more humor.

December 23, 2013 - 12:21 pm

Emily Settle - So super happy for you guys! Can’t wait to follow your blog!!

Fun & Funky Oxfords // Pretty & Pepper Wardrobe, Makeup & Hair

I love fun shoes!  From stilettos to sneakers I always naturally gravitate to the brightly colored or funky patterned ones.  I think a classic, neutral outfit paired with an awesome statement shoe is always a winning look.  Right now I’m really loving oxfords and here are some bold selections that I’ve found!

1.  Floral Oxfords – Bass // 2.  Navy & Glitter Fringed Oxfords – Croon  // 3.  Leopard Oxfords – Target

4.  Red & Charcoal Aberdeen Oxfords – Madewell (my favs!) // 5.  Nude & Turquoise Wingtips – Bass

5.  Red, Gold, Black & White Wingtips – Olivia Morris for Grenson  //  6.  Pink Wingtip Brogues – Office

Another great way to get awesome and unique shoes:  DIY those babies!  Here are some links to great tutorials for turning your regular shoes into crazy fabulous ones:

DIY Leopard Oxfords

DIY Studded Vans (I’m currently working on some of these!)

12 DIY Ideas for Shoes

Happy crafting… or shopping.  Both?  Yeah.

 

XOXO, B.

 

Runway Your Way // Ruffles! [NC & CO Makeup, Hair + Wardrobe Styling]

Don’t call it a comeback, they’ve been here for years.  Ruffles… they are coming back, and I am stoked.  I love them.  They’re feminine and flirty, and can be coquettish and sexy too depending on how or where you wear them.  Large, structured, asymmetrical and overstated ruffles were all over the runways during fashion week this year.  They were very major… maybe too major for everyday wear.  So, I’ve scouted out some fabulous pieces you can incorporate into your daily looks, rockin’ the runway your way!

 

1.  Black Ruffle Jacket:  Anthropologie // 2.  Beige Tweed Ruffle Jacket:  Viktor & Rolf // 3.  Oxblood Ruffle Military Coat:  Free People

4.  White Ruffle “Marlowe” Skater Dress:  Leanne Marshall // 5.  Skirt:  Lanvin // 6.  Gold Flats:  Jeffrey Campbell

7.  Grey Pumps:  Badgley Mischka // 8.  Black “Dillian Mary Jane” Pumps:  Christian Louboutin

9.  Grey “All Ruffle” Boots:  Jeffery Campbell

You can shop some very affordable ruffles at:  Forever21, Charlotte Russe, J. Crew, Gap, ModCloth, ASOS, NastyGal, Piperlime, H&M, Zara and Target!

And let us not forget about ruffles in accessories and dainties!  Possibly the cutest way to done them!

Handbags, scarves, fancy ruffle butt panties (my personal fav from this board), swimmies and boot socks.  Can ruffles be any cuter?

I’m going to go tear apart my closet and get all my rufflies together to create some fashion forward adorable looks!  Yayayaya.

XO, B.

The “No-Makeup-Makeup” Must Haves

You know those girls that roll out of bed in the morning with effortlessly tousled hair, glowy, even skin tone, bushy long lashes, and perfectly pink pouty lips… and you’re just like…

“Why do you exist?  And why do I look like a before picture for a plastic surgery commercial in the morning?”

Well, those girls are the blessed few, and we’ll just have to live with the fact that they do exist and be happy for them (ugh).

For the rest of us, we have to put in a tad more effort to look naturally beautiful.  But it really is an easy feat to get that “I’m not wearing any makeup, I’m just a stunning beautiful specimen of nature” look.
Here are a few of my tried and true must haves…

 No Makeup Must Haves

 

1)  Tinted Moisturizer – I love to wear a TM in lieu of foundation whenever I can.  It gives a softer finish and doesn’t completely mask your skin (remember, we’re trying to look like we were born this way).  I’ve tried upwards of 20 different tinted moisturizers and this one by Shiseido is by far the absolute best.

  • It gives a tad bit better coverage than most others and it dries to a soft velvety texture, yet it also has a very subtle dewiness to it.  It’s the perfect finish.
  • SPF 20 to protect from sun (this doesn’t flash-back in photos, despite it’s SPF.  Yay.)
  • I use my regular moisturizer, let it dry and then apply this with my fingers.  It moves about the skin easily and a small pea-sized drop is all it takes for a beautiful, natural, glowy face.
  • Remember that this is a moisturizer, not a foundation – it has a sheer coverage and a more emollient feel than foundation does.
  • Shiseido The Skincare Tinted Moisture Protection SPF 20
  • Laura Mercier is a close second and she just came out with a Tinted Moisturizer Compact that I’m dying to try.

2) Bronzer – Even when you’re going for a natural look, you can emphasis your beautiful bone structure and add a little warmth to your face with a bit of bronzer.  This one by Benefit is amaze.

  • It’s completely matte so you’re not going to look like Edward Cullen when you step into the sunlight (there’s nothing natural about glitter on your face, ladies).
  • It’s got a neutral base, so no orangey oompa-loompa happening here.
  • I apply a very (I mean very) light dusting over my entire face with a big poofy brush, then using a firmer brush I very subtley add more to my hairline, brow bone, cheek hollow, tip of nose and chin, and then blend from jawline down my neck a bit.  Again, this is very lightly – we’re not contouring like we would for a full makeup look.  We’re just looking for a bit of warmth to liven up the skin.
  • Tip:  I don’t suggest using the brush it comes with, it’s a very firm brush and it holds a lot of pigment so it’s easy to get streaks.  The only way to avoid this is to tap off the excess which I find wasteful.  So just use a medium weight blush brush.
  • Benefit Hoola Bronzer

3)  Blush – I don’t have a lot to say about using blush other than if I could only choose one makeup product, blush might be it.  This one by Rimmel is a gem.

  • Super affordable
  • Looks great on almost all skin tones
  • Has just a smidgen of shimmer to add a little highlight to the cheek
  • When applying blush for daily wear, less is more!  Don’t overdo it.  Big pink streaks does not say “natural rosy glow”, it says “Hi, I work in the Circus”.  The only time you should be able to really see your blush is when you’re on stage or in a photo shoot (even then, it’s sometimes not necessary).  For photography, you have to apply more makeup or the camera won’t pick it up.
  • Quick Info:  The human eye sees, let’s say, 25 shades of pink for example, whereas a camera can only see 6 shades of pink and lumps them all into the color category it best matches.  This is why your makeup sometimes gets lost on camera and also why when you’re applying makeup for photography specifically you should apply more.
  • Rimmel Blush in Autumn Catwalk

4) Powder – Not everyone needs to use powder the same way.  If you’re skin is oily, it will help keep any shine at bay for awhile.  But if your skin is dry, it can accentuate that and draw attention to lines or flakiness.  Either way, I recommend using it, it’s just all in the application.  I love loose powders and they have their purpose, but I also love the convenience and ease of use with a pressed powder compact.  Maybelline Dream Matte is amazing!

  • Matte finish, but not overly drying
  • Versatile color options for easy skin matching
  • Photographs wonderfully
  • Keeps skin shine free without eliminating dewiness. (Dewy = good, Shiny = bad)
  • If you’re oily, use the puff that it comes with – pat puff on powder (don’t get a lot at a time) and then press and rock the puff into skin (like you’re taking a fingerprint), focusing on the places you’re most oily (typically the t-zone) and the places your makeup tends to fade the fastest (around nose and forehead).
  • If you’re dry, use a powder brush to gently dust around face.  Don’t “rub” the brush into the skin or you will accentuate any flakes and stir up the dryness.  Just lightly pat or dust the brush around the skin focusing on only the areas that might become shiny over time.  This will be enough to set the makeup without drying out skin.
  • Maybelline Dream Matte Powder

5) Sheer Eyeshadow – I know, I know, no one wakes up with shimmery gold eyelids.  Not the point.  The point is, this will brighten the eye area helping you look more rested and youthful without looking like you’ve really tried.  The best for this is something super sheer in a very nude or neutral tone with a fine shimmer.  I love Bobbi Brown products and this shadow is no exception.

  • Sheer, pale gold suits any skin tone
  • Great texture, easy to apply
  • Stays put despite it’s ‘barely there’ appearance
  • I apply this to my entire lid, concentrating on the inner corner and fading upward and outward.  I just use my pinky finger for this (mostly because it’s just the easiest thing to ‘grab’).  Sometimes I put some on the outer lower lash line as well.
  • Bobbie Brown Beige Shimmer Wash Shadow

6) Mascara – I know I said blush would be my makeup of choice if I only had one.  Well, I lied.  I can’t just have one!  I need mascara.  NEED.  Even if I’m wearing zero makeup, I can swipe some mascara on and I feel at least 5 times prettier.  Dior Show and L’Oreal Voluminous are hands down the best mascaras there are.  I don’t care what anyone says!

  • Never clumps
  • Huge, bushy, ‘grab-every-last-little-lash’ brush (every mascara should have this brush)
  • One coat wonder
  • Tip:  This mascara is really pigmented and thick, but it still glides on easily.  It can sometimes wind up with a lot on the tip when you pull it out of the tube, so just make sure you look at the wand before applying and remove any excess with a tissue if needed.
  • Dior Show Mascara
  • L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara

7 + 8) Sheer Pinky Lipstick – Look at babies – they always have the sweetest, pinkest, soft and dewy little lips.  That’s the look we’re going for here. You can go from pale and drab to youthful and fab with just one little swipe of a pink lippy.  MAC makes my favorite lipsticks.

  • Both pictured are the MAC Lustre formula
  • Sheer, but long lasting.  Even after you wipe it off it can leave a soft “stained” look to the lips, which I sometimes do intentionally.
  • Gives a moist finish – not dry, not glossy… kinda like you just licked your lips
  • #7 is “Plumful” a pink with purpley undertones.  Better for olive and darker skin tones, but I am really fair and use this and it looks great.
  • #8 is “Sweetie” a truer baby pink and I think it looks great on everyone
  • For the “no-makeup” look, I take my ring finger and rub directly onto the lipstick to get a decent amount.  I then take that finger and blot it onto my lips and then rub lips together to blend around.  This will give a sheer, natural finish.  I rarely apply lipstick directly from the tube unless I’m going for a really bold lip.
  • Both look a lot darker and more pigmented in the tube than what they look like on the lip, so don’t judge a lipstick by it’s cover, lovely.
  • MAC Lustre Lipsticks

9) Lip Gloss – If you’re a glossy girl, so be it!  You can still have a great natural look with a punchy glossy lip.  This one by Benefit is my absolute fav!

  • Super softening and slick, smooth texture (I hate a sticky gloss!)
  • The peachy coral tint looks amazing on everyone
  • Sheer, long wearing and not shimmery
  • Smells and tastes sorta fruity, but not over the top
  • Benefit Coralista Lip Gloss

Ok, now you have all the ammo needed to to say “Oh, makeup?  No, I just always look like this….”

And as the fabulous Calvin Klein so truthfully said:

“The best thing is to look natural, but it takes makeup to look natural.”

XOXO, B.

 

Breaking up with Eyeliner (at least for today)

Eyeliner.  Sometimes I really hate applying it.  So, I’m taking a break.  Eyeliner is wonderful, don’t get me wrong.  It can completely change your face and your attitude.  And it can really bring out the best in your eyes, drawing attention to your lovely little face.  But, there are other ways to do this as well.

Playing up your brows or lips, using a great blush or bronzer, or going for an allover soft vibe are all great ways to look amazing without applying a lot of eye makeup, particularly eyeliner, which can sometimes be a daunting task.

You can get great definition in the eyes by simply using shadow and mascara, giving a soft natural eye that still pops and allows your other beautiful features to shine.  Here’s a walk-thru of one simple look you can try:
  • Start by priming lids from lash to brow with a neutral base color (I love MAC paint pot in Ochre or MAC shadow in Vanilla)
  • Next, choose a sheer, shimmery eyeshadow – this can be pale gold, peachy champagne, bronzey brown, silvery grey… whatever you like and whatever best accentuates your pretty peepers!  Apply this from lash to crease and then blend it into the brow, creating a fade effect.  This will add just a touch of shimmer and highlight on the brow bone.
  • Depending on your eye shape and desired look, you can also apply this color to the lower lash line and inner corner of your eye for a little more brightness.
  • For more definition, take a shadow in the same color family that’s 1-2 shades darker than what you already applied (I prefer a matte shadow for this) and lightly apply to the crease.  Blend out any harsh lines.
  • Next, curl those lashes!  This will really open up the eye helping you look bright eyed and bushy tailed.
  • Last, apply mascara.  This is the most important part for this no-liner look!  Start as close to the base of your lashes as you can and rock the mascara wand back and forth (left to right) as you make your way to the tips.  Repeat if needed.  This method of application works well because it creates the effect of a lined eye by filling in any spaces in the lash line.  It also helps keep the lashes separated, avoiding clumps and lashes that look too heavy.  Apply a very thin coat to lower lashes, applying the same way as the upper.
  • Dunzo!  Super easy, super fast and super fab.

These four looks are great examples of how subtly gorgeous an un-lined eye can be.

Makeup is all about experimenting! There is no right or wrong… okay, I’ve seen some pretty scary makeup looks, but you know what I mean.

Try a no-liner day and see how fresh your face looks!

XOXO, B.

November 29, 2012 - 6:01 pm

Samantha - I never wear eyeliner!

November 30, 2012 - 9:26 pm

juniabford - And you’re gorgeous!! XO