5 Minute Makeup Routine

August 27, 2018
Happy Monday friends!! Hope everyone had a great weekend! Gary and I were able to get out for a little date night - more like one hour at a sushi restaurant near our house, but we knew with my mom leaving today it was one of our only chances of getting out - so we did!! Other than that, we've been getting out daily for walks and that's really wonderful! I'm not really doing a full face of makeup these days, but I'm doing my best to get ready, even if that means just wearing athleisure around the house! I thought I'd share my new 5 minute makeup routine! I am pretty pumped that the Sephora Sale is going on right now and opens to VIB members (aka I can finally shop it) on Thursday! I'm also sharing a few things that I'm going to try out / stock up on. 
new mom makeup routine

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I start with the Drunk Elephant Bronzi serum mixed with my Aveeno Moisturizer. This gives my skin a little glow, without needing bronzer. No surprise here, but I follow it up with the IT Cosmetics CC cream because it's my holy grail and I've gone through at least 10 tubes of it at this point! Concealer is my best friend right now and I'm on my second tube of the Maybelline Age Rewind concealer and seal it with Kat Von D setting powder. This has lasted me for 3 years and I'm finally ready for another one, but it does come in a mini size which I'm going to get because it's much easier to travel with. I skip the bronzer and add a touch of my Tarte Cosmetics Amazonian Clay blush. It lasts for 12+ hours without loosing it's intensity of color. Last step is the eyes, I use my trusty Jordana eyeliner (I get mine at Walgreens) and then add a swipe of my creamy eye shadow. I'm still using the L'Oreal Voluminous Lash Primer and the lash paradise mascara by L'Oreal and I'm all done! I've timed myself and this does take me just about 5 minutes. My final step is actually with my hair! I started using the new Batiste Dry Conditioner on my ends to keep my ends from looking dry and I don't have to worry about any buildup from in my roots! 

Here are a few things that I have in my shopping cart waiting for the sale to start for VIB members!! 
I haven't really used any palettes in the longest time, but I love the colors in the mini heat palette- especially the "wild thing"color. 
I'm repurchasing this primer because it's one of my favorites that I've used and it feels amazing on the skin. Not greasy at all and gives your skin a porcelain like finish before applying makeup. 
I've heard really great things about the Kopari brand and have been wanting to try their Coconut Melt for a long time - now is the perfect time to scoop it up! It's also part of the clean line at Sephora. 
This St. Tropez bronzing water mist has been on my radar since my favorite YouTuber, Lydia Millen talked about it. My friend Jackie used it and also swears by it now so I really cant wait to check it out. You don't have to worry about transferring the tan onto clothing or anything after because it dries immediately. 

Are you planning on buying anything during the Sephora Sale? What products do you use to make your morning routine quick and easy?

My Fall Wish List

August 22, 2018
Happy Wednesday friends! First off I would like to thank you all for the sweet and kind words on Sophia's birth story. It was definitely the most personal post I've ever written on the blog and one that I'm most proud of, so thank you a million times for your kind words. Also, I finally figured out why I wasn't getting comments to my email and I have also fixed that so I can finally reply back!! 
Fall is absolutely my favorite season and I'm so excited to get some new pieces in my wardrobe since I haven't really shopped since the winter for non-maternity clothes! The weather is sort of all over the place with some days in the 60's and other days in the 80's, but you can feel Fall coming! I shared this cardigan (currently on sale for 20!) from J.Crew on Instagram this past Sunday - I love the length and that it has pockets! Here are some pieces on my wish list! 

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Iconography Cuff || Not necessarily an item for the closet, but this cuff has all of my favorite things - including the evil eye and the Hamsa palm hand. 

Wedge Bootie || This wedge bootie comes in 11 different colors and styles. I love that you still get a little bit of height with the bootie, but you aren't sacrificing comfort. My sister has a pair of wedge booties and she has worn them every fall for the last few years and I just love them! 

Short Boot || I am pretty mad at myself for not picking up these Toms boots during the anniversary sale - but truth be told my feet were really swollen and I was worried that I wouldn't be my normal size anymore. Thankfully my feet are back to their regular size now and I can proceed with ordering cute shoes!! I love the little hint of pink! 

Pearl Sweater || I adore the pearl embellishments on this sweater and I can definitely see it being dressed up or down! 

Blazer inspired by Balmain || Balmain blazers can cost upwards of $2,000, but I love the look of them so this one that comes in 4 colors would be a perfect compromise - it's under $60! 

Corduroy Skirt || I love the look of corduroy skirts with tights and booties in the fall and this color is high up on my wish list. 

Convertible Cardigan || I love things that can be worn a variety of ways and this convertible cardigan can be worn as a fleece, a wrap, a makeshift sweater and also a cardigan. Also comes in 6 colors, but the grey seems to be the most versatile.

Ankle Skinnies || I actually really like ankle length skinnies because they look good with so many different types of shoes, but especially work well with high boots since they nicely tuck into the boots. Ann Taylor makes my favorite jeans - you get a fantastic quality for a great price! 

I'm sure being home for the next three months, I will be going to the mall for some of my walks with Sophia, so I plan on making a lot of purchases that I missed out on in the Spring and Summer! What's on your Fall wish list?

Sophia's Birth Story

August 20, 2018
I started writing this post with my phone in one hand and Sophia nicely nestled next to me in the hospital using notes on my phone. I must have read a dozen or more birth stories as I was getting closer to delivery and with each one I couldn't help but cry as mother's would describe their feelings and through them all I realized how different and special each one is.  These are probably not everyone's cup of tea, but I'm doing this not only for me, but so that Sophia can one day look back and read my words on how I felt the day she came into this world. 
Being 6 days overdue, I knew that I was only a few days away from being induced and while that wasn't my ideal choice, I couldn't really do much about it. I had been having steady contractions since Monday and even timed them, called the on call number twice to see if I should head in, but each time they would lose their intensity and I just knew that she wasn't ready yet. 

My mom had been staying with us for about 2 weeks at this point and my dad had flown up from Florida already because we were all confident she would come on time! On Wednesday August 8th, I told my mom that she should spend the night at my sister's house with my dad and visit with them a little more. She was reluctant, but went anyway. That night Gary and I had some dinner, watched TV and talked about how regardless of when baby girl decided to make her arrival, she'd be here soon. My contractions were sort of a normal daily occurrence at this point, so I didn't think much of them but I was doing Sumo Squats and bouncing on a yoga ball all in the hopes of having her make her move!

After going to bed at our normal time, I turned to Gary and said, I really hope my water breaks because then that takes the guessing game out of it - with contractions there was timing them and clearly that wasn't working for me! Around 12:30 AM I turned in my sleep and felt something was off - I got up and wouldn't you know, my water had definitely broken! I waddled to the bathroom and yep, confirmed that I didn't pee myself, but my water had indeed broken. Gary was actually getting up himself and I looked at him and said - I think it's go time. 

To be honest, we were both really calm. We'd had our hospital bags packed for weeks so we were ready to go! I called the on-call number to my doctor's office and they said I should start making my way to the hospital. I quickly rinsed off, put some makeup on - yep had to do it - and then we called an uber (city living!) to take us to the hospital! 

Before we left the house, we walked into Sophia's room and just took it all in - knowing that we would come back as a family of 3 was pretty exciting! I'm pretty happy our uber driver wasn't concerned that we were heading to the hospital in the middle of the night, although he did ask how close I was to delivering. I told him not to worry, it wouldn't happen in the 7 minute drive to the hospital! 
Once I was taken back to triage, the nurse examined me and put me on the contraction and fetal monitor. I was having steady contractions, but not that painful, yet! She did the initial swab to see if my water had broken and it came back negative. I looked at her and said, I'm really sorry, but your test is wrong. She was pretty understanding, but said that the test was 99% accurate. I said, I know what peeing feels like and I know what happened to me. I asked her to get a doctor and to reexamine me. I remember looking at Gary and saying, I'm so sorry if this is a false alarm and you're going to be tired for work tomorrow, but I promise you my water broke! 

The doctor came in and said my "story" seemed consistent with water breaking so she examined me, confirmed that my water had indeed broken (ha!) and that they were ready to admit me. There is apparently a 3 part test and the swab is just part one - she did all three tests on me and I passed all three to indicate that my water had broken. She explained that they would give me Cytotec to help my contractions become stronger and closer together and if my natural labor progressed I wouldn't need to be put on pitocin. I ended up not needing the pitocin. 

We were taken back into a pre-labor room around 3:30 AM and I was given the pill and told to try to rest while it worked it's magic. I think it's laughable that someone would tell you to try to rest through contractions! The magic it worked was literally the most pain I've ever been in my life. I wont sugarcoat the pain of a contraction and commend any woman that gives birth naturally. I was breathing through the pain with the deepest breaths I've ever taken in my life and then they would pass and I would have relief for about 3-4 minutes until the next one. I didn't scream, I didn't yell, but Gary said that he knew I was in serious pain because there were no words coming out of my mouth and I was just swaying back and forth on him trying to get comfortable! I knew that once I had my epidural I would be tied to the bed, so I was trying to walk as much as possible before then. At around 7:30 AM I called the nurse and asked her to check my progression because I really wanted an epidural - thankfully I was 4 cm dilated and they began preparing to me move to the delivery room. 

Backing up just a bit, we called my parents around 6:00 AM to let them know that surprise we're at the hospital and I'm in labor! I can just imagine my mom springing up and saying to my dad WE HAVE TO GO NOW! She probably also said a few expletives on how the one night she left, I went into labor! 

Once in the labor room, the anesthesiologist came in and asked if I would like an explanation of the procedure first or to do the epidural - I looked at him with serious pain and said I know what's about to happen, please just proceed! Within 15 minutes and breathing through the contractions that were now every single minute, I finally had sweet relief, at least on one side. I was still feeling the contractions on the right side and they came back to fix the epidural and then finally, finally I was pain free! Someone asked what the epidural felt like and honestly I didn't feel a thing. I didn't see the needle (probably for the best) & I didn't feel the needle go in - so to me it was a breeze. And to that point, any pain you feel from the epidural is nothing compared to a contraction in my opinion!

My parents came in around 9:30 AM and we were all confident that it would still be a long while before anything happened, so I told them to go to our house and relax and we'd call once things got started. My mom wanted to clean and have some food for us, so off they went!

I was watching Netflix (Young & Hungry was my show of choice!) & Gary was actually working when I started to feel this pressure that I really wanted to push. I called the nurse in around 11:30 AM and said that I felt a lot of pressure like I had to push and she said, I don't think you're ready yet, but I'll call the doctor. At 12:00 PM the doctor came in to do another check and I asked her if I was at least 6 cm dilated yet and she looked at me and said, you're a lot further along than that - let's get you ready to push! 

Both Gary and I were in complete shock - he immediately called my mom and I texted my sister and again so thankful we live so close to the hospital they were there within 15 minutes. Before the nurses and doctor came back in the room, Gary and I recorded a video for Sophia to let her know how excited we were to meet her. I actually haven't watched it because I barely got through talking to the camera while he was recording me. 

It was go time at 12:35 PM! Knowing that I was pushing to see my baby girl was all the incentive I needed. The entire time I was pushing felt like an out of body experience. I just kept telling myself that I could do anything for 30 seconds - sort of like a tabata workout, 3 really hard pushes for 10 seconds each. I was lucky that I could feel the pressure of a contraction starting so I was able to tell the doctor and nurse when I was ready to push. Each push they would say, she has so much hair and I was so ready to meet her! For 35 minutes I pushed until I heard the sweet sound of my baby girl giving her first cry at 1:12 PM. 
They placed her on my chest and my first words to her were Happy Birthday my sweet girl, I've been waiting for you. Tears, joy, elation - you name it, I was feeling all the emotions. I couldn't take my eyes off her and after counting all her fingers and toes, I finally looked up at Gary and saw the emotion on his face and knew that he would forever protect her. He was immediately just as in love with Sophia as I was. 

My mom and sister left us alone while we enjoyed our skin to skin time and getting to know Sophia. I had dreamed of what she would look like, what she would sound like & it was so much better than anything I could have imagined. She has my grandmother's beautiful pouty lips & my nose! The eyes are still up in the air because they look really light and both Gary and I have dark brown eyes. 
Throughout my pregnancy I didn't think about the actual birth, I really only thought of what it would be like when she was finally here. I think that actually helped me to not be nervous about labor. As much as I loved reading birth stories, I knew that my own experience would be different. I had toyed with the idea of getting a doula for the birth, but having Gary, my mom and sister there with me was all the support that I needed. 

The next 36 hours were sort of a blur of visitors, nurses checking in on us, learning how to feed her (she's an avid eater like her dad!) & a slew of diaper changes and swaddles - all of which Gary took charge of. 

If I didn't thinking about labor then I certainly didn't think about my own recovery. While I was "prepared" with the essentials I read that I needed, I don't know why I didn't expect to be in pain afterward. I was walking about 3 hours after the epidural wore off, but I felt really weak. I knew I had to eat, but I wasn't hungry for a solid day - I think it was the epidural wearing off. The nurse that put my IV in, had done a poor job and ended up blowing up two of my veins, so the bruises I still have from that are a little scary! I like to think of myself as having a pretty high pain tolerance, but with certain things i.e. birthing a child, I accepted that I didn't need to be a hero and taking the medicine they offered would be in my best interest. I also didn't shower at the hospital like I had wanted to, but let me tell you - that first shower at home was the best thing ever! 
I honestly can't believe that the tiny human I carried for 9 months is now ours forever. I am forever grateful that I had a healthy pregnancy & a healthy baby girl at the end of it. I can't thank you all enough for the kind words and well wishes you have given our family. I am so grateful for each one! Thank you for reading about what was without a doubt the greatest day of our lives. 

She's Here!

August 13, 2018
Happy Monday friends! Popping in super quick to let you know that our sweet baby girl, Sophia Aurelia was born on August 9th at 1:12 in the afternoon. We could not be more in love - she's pure deliciousness & we're soaking in all the baby snuggles! I've already started writing her birth story so that I don't forget any details & hope to share that soon!
I'm so thankful for all your well wishes and I'm so excited to share this next chapter of my life! 

Recent Purchases | Amazon & Other's

August 08, 2018
Admittedly shopping hasn't been as much fun for clothes recently, but accessories are another story. I've managed to pick up some things for transitioning into fall and we also have bought a few things for the house.   
These Ann Taylor prong flower studs in rose gold are seriously so perfect for every day wear. They are currently $19.99 with an extra 60% off making them...$8.00!  
I shared on IG Stories that I recently started jade rolling and while I have to be honest and say I'm not sure I've seen any results yet, I do love how it feels to use the roller in the morning and night - especially when it's cooled in the fridge. It does help your serums and creams sink into the skin more.

My Nordstrom purchases came in and I'm really happy with the few things I got. I decided to ditch the larger hats for fall and opted for this corduroy baker boy hat in a really pretty olive. I love the detailing on the front and can't wait to wear it. I also restocked on one pair of Zella leggings - I have the crop version but decided to do the longer one since I'll be home during the fall. Finally this reversible scarf by BP is probably going to be my most worn item once it cools off. I love both of the patterns and it's going to look great with my trench coat. 

Mark this under a very random purchase - a multipurpose cake stand that we're using as a fruit bowl. You can use it cake stand, punch bowl, salad bowl or dip tray - and in our case a fruit bowl. Fruit flies this year have been out of control and we keep bananas & avocado's out so we needed a fix. So far it's sleek on the counter and keeping little flies away! 
It's no secret I'm pretty obsessed with pens and stationary items, I saw these Pilot Frixion Erasable Markers  and they are perfect if you like to write in planners with pens / markers but are afraid to make mistakes, which I do, so these are great!
I can't wait to share the full nursery with you all, but one of the final touches we added was this sweet mirror in the smaller size right above her dresser.  Absolutely love how it looks!
I know I've already mentioned this Waterpik a few times since I purchased it, but now that we've used it for a few weeks I can give a really good review on it. Verdict is we absolutely love it! My teeth have never felt cleaner since starting it and before going to bed it feels like you're leaving the dentists office without the terrible part - the actual dentist visit! 

Any fun purchases you've made recently?

Weekending | 40 Weeks and counting

August 06, 2018
Happy Monday friends! This past week with my mom in town has been absolutely incredible. Of course we're anxiously awaiting the arrival of baby girl, but aside from 9 days in Greece with my mom when I graduated from high school, we have not had this type of time together! She has been cooking up a storm and keeping me sane while I don't know what to do with myself! Here are some snaps from our week & weekend! 

We walked pretty much all over the city, had lunches with my sister & did a lot of shopping!
 I heard that acupressure could help with natural induction so I found a foot reflexology massage spa and tested it out...unfortunately didn't work for me that day! 
We checked out She Village in the Seaport which is a pop-up village with a rotating collection of retailers. Currently it's got shops like Cynthia Rowley & Monica + Andy

Ruched dress (non-maternity) || Bow Sandals || Twilly scarf  (Dupe for mine) || Earrings on mega sale!
I'm amazed at how much the seaport has changed in a few short years - this part near Fan Pier wasn't there just a bit ago and now you have some of the best views of Downtown Boston!

We've been wanting to check out the food at Scorpion Bar for about a year now - glad we checked that off the list before baby. The food was perfectly delicious and just spicy enough to maybe move things along! 

As we not so patiently await the arrival of baby girl, Gary and I were having breakfast and he told me that living in this world of instant gratification it made sense that the one thing we can't control is one of life's greatest surprises. So that's the mentality that I'm heading into the week with - she'll be here when she's good and ready! 

Three Easy Smoothie Recipes

August 01, 2018
A couple month's ago, Gary and I traded in our bulky juicer for the NutriBullet.  We wanted something that would be really easy to use in the mornings and easy to clean - this absolutely checks off both boxes! The NutriBullet itself comes with a ton of recipes that we haven't even cracked open yet, but I'm really happy with the ones that we've created! 
I don't use exact measurements, except for the almond milk - that I fill to the max line, other than that I eyeball everything. Here are a few recipes that we absolutely love. 

Recipe One

  • Frozen strawberries 
  • Frozen cherries
  • Full banana
  • Tablespoon of peanut butter
  • Almond milk, unsweetened vanilla
  • One tablespoon organic flaxseed

Recipe Two

  • Handful of fresh spinach
  • Handful fresh strawberries
  • One fresh peach sliced
  • Full banana
  • Almond milk, unsweetened vanilla
  • Scoop of vital proteins (if I'm only making it for myself) 

Recipe Three

  • Half an avocado 
  • Frozen mangos
  • Frozen pineapple
  • Handful of fresh spinach
  • Two tablespoons of Siggi's vanilla yogurt
  • Almond milk, unsweetened vanilla

Do you like making smoothies? What are your favorite things to throw into the blender?