April 5, 2014

Third Trimester: Healthy Eating Tips

Ah, the third trimester. For many women, including myself, it's the 'hardest' stage of pregnancy both mentally and physically.  But like many people will tell you (whether you believe it or not), the end is almost near! It's worth it!

What's also worth it is continuing to eat healthy in your third trimester.  Not only will it benefit the baby, but it will also benefit you during this last stage of pregnancy.  There's nothing wrong with sneaking in some treats for yourself every now and again, but if you can maintain a 80/20 rule (eating healthy 80 percent of the time and indulging 20 percent of the time), you will feel better while waiting for that precious baby to arrive.

Third Trimester Healthy Eating Tips:

1. Start off each day with a healthy dose of fiber for breakfast.

One of my favorite things to eat for breakfast is oatmeal.  It's full of good-for-you fiber and has many health benefits such as lowering your blood cholesterol and preventing heart disease.  Add some fruit, nuts, honey or cinnamon on top for a healthy breakfast during your third trimester.

2. Eat small healthy snacks in between meals that include protein.

 One of my favorite go-to snacks is Chobani Greek Yogurt. I find them more creamy than regular yogurt and you can add so many things to them like cut up fruit, cinnamon, honey, or peanut butter for a very filling snack.

3. Buy the largest liter of water possible to drink throughout the day.

One of the most important things you can do for yourself and your baby during the third trimester is drinking a TON of water.  Not only will this keep your hydrated but it will also help keep things moving, if you know what I mean.  If you find water 'boring' to drink (who doesn't?), try adding some lemon slices or a splash of cranberry juice to it.

4. Stay away from processed foods and eat your greens and veggies every day.

One of my favorite salads is Potbelly's Uptown salad that has grilled chicken, grapes, apples, candied walnuts and more. Ask them to hold the blue cheese and hold the dressing on the side for a healthy lunch for your third trimester.

5.  Treat yourself to small indulgences. Think 'quality' not 'quantity'.

It's very easy to allow yourself to think that you are 'eating for two' when it comes to portion size.  But believe me, you don't want to go down this road during pregnancy, especially in the last trimester when women usually gain the most weight.  

With my 2nd child, I gained 60 pounds (yikes!) because I wasn't watching my portion size and boy was it HARD to lose the baby weight. For this pregnancy, I've tried very hard to make sure I'm eating the correct portion and not going overboard. 

One trick I like to use is to eat off of a salad/dessert plate so that I'm not filling up a huge plate of food 'just because'. Be mindful when you're eating and you will feel better.

Hang in there moms-to-be!! You're almost there and don't give up eating healthy in the last trimester!


March 29, 2014

Postpartum Style: Top 5 Essential Clothing Items

As I get *very* *very* close to welcoming baby #3, I've started to buy a few pieces of clothing for what I like to call the 'transition period'.  This is the period of time where the last thing you want to buy is more maternity clothing (and mistakenly get asked 'when are you due?' which unfortunately happened to me after having my last child) and yet there is no way you will fit into your 'normal' clothing right after delivery.

Like postpartum beauty, I highly believe that every new mom should embrace a great postpartum style with clothing that makes them feel great after delivery and look great.

Postpartum Style: Top 5 Essential Clothing Items for Every New Mom for Spring 2014:

This is a great postpartum maxi dress for so many reasons:  it's black (and thus slimming and hides any spit up and/or newborn stains), can be worn with a nursing bra and has an easy cross front for those breastfeeding marathon sessions.  In addition, this dress can be worn with so many different color flats, flip flops and cardigans (for extra coverage).  A great buy for any new mom!

I am a HUGE fan of Lucy leggings and have been able to wear mine throughout my pregnancy.  They don't lose their shape (which is hard to find among different brands), are thick enough so that you don't feel like you are 'revealing' anything, and last through many many washings.  I can't sing the praises enough of Lucy leggings.  Go up a size from your normal pre-pregnancy size and add a tunic on top for a complete look. Speaking of tunics....

How pretty is this tunic?  Worn with Lucy leggings, this makes for such a chic postpartum style that is comfortable and stylish.  Again, if you'd like, go up a size from your normal pre-pregnancy size for an extra loose look but I believe tunics lend themselves for looking loose and comfy.

Another great piece to add to your postpartum wardrobe that is so versatile and chic.  Pair this black maxi skirt with a long cotton v-neck t-shirt and denim jacket or a loose t-shirt with a long boyfriend type blazer on top. So chic.

If there is ever a time to wear 'boyfriend jeans' (versus skinny jeans),  the transition period of time is a great time to wear this trend. The style is loose and relaxed--exactly what every new mom wants when her body is readjusting from 9 months of pregnancy.  However, loose and relaxed doesn't need to mean 'frumpy'. Pair these jeans with a cute pair of ballet flats or jewel embellished flats and a drapey T-shirt on top for a chic, causal postpartum look.

After having two babies (and one more to come very soon!), I know how hard it is to feel 'ugh' about your postpartum body and wanting to look anything BUT pregnant after having been pregnant for the last 9 months (which can feel like 9 years!). The outfit ideas above are great pieces to make you feel great while taking care of your newborn and look stylish.

Happy Shopping! Ciao!

March 28, 2014

Postpartum Beauty: Top 5 Makeup Essentials for Every New Mom

As a new mom, your daily makeup routine requires items that do double duty and are quick to apply.  Luckily with so many new products on the market, these items are fairly easy to find and great to use.

Not only can a little makeup make you look great postpartum, but I think they can do wonders for your mood when you feel bleary eyed and anything but sexy and attractive. As the old saying goes, 'fake it 'til you make it' so even if you're going on 3 hours of sleep (this is in my very-near future), I highly recommend trying out some of these products below to feel your best:

Postpartum Beauty:  
Top 5 Makeup Essentials for Every New Mom

1. Bobbi Brown CC Cream SPF 35, Pale Nude

I love this tinted moisturizer by Bobbi Brown.  I recently received a small sample from Sephora and loved it so much that I ordered a full-size of it for my own postpartum makeup routine.  I tried a few more popular brands but they looked a little too orange for me.  This tinted mosturizer is perfect though.  If you're fairly pale like I am, I highly recommend the pale nude shade.

If not, you can always go to any Sephora store to get a color skin match.  The bonus of course is not only great coverage after you have that precious baby, but also sun protection.

2. Laura Mercier Translucent Pressed Setting Powder

This is one of my all-time favorite products. I've been using this pressed powder for probably over 10 years and it never lets me down.  It doesn't appear cakey on your face and takes away any shine for a nice matte finish on top of your foundation or tinted moisturizer.

I have very sensitive, oily skin and this powder really does the trick.  I highly recommend this powder, even by itself to even out your skin tone for those quick trips with your newborn.

3. stila Convertible Color Dual Lip and Cheek Cream, Petunia

Another favorite product of mine is this stila convertbile lip and cheek cream. I've tried many cheek tints that many times feel greasy unlike this one. The stila cheek cream gives a 'I had the BEST sleep' look (which most moms are not getting!) glow to your face and add a great bit of tint color to your lips as well.

4. Too Faced Cosmetics, Natural Eye, Neutral Eye Shadow Collection

I love this eyeshadow palette.  The colors are very pigmented and look great on very skin tone. The shimmer in the eyeshadows gives your tired mom eyes a bit of pop and who doesn't love a little sparkle?

5. Clinique Almost Lipstick - Black Honey

Another fantastic postpartum makeup product when you little time or energy.  The black honey color can look sheer with one swipe to your lips or slightly with a few more layers of this awesome product.  It also add moisture to your lips which is always a great benefit.  I love this product.

Happy Shopping! Ciao!

March 24, 2014

Top 5 Essential Items To Pack in Your Hospital Bag

With baby #3 on the way soon, I've been recalling all of the things I wish I would've brought to the hospital to make it more comfortable during my stay. There are many things that you could bring, but I am only going to highlight the items that I think every mom-to-be would really benefit from having with them during their time in the hospital.

And I highly recommend purchasing everything online so you don't get funny looks (like I did) buying items like maxi pads when you are 8 months pregnant...

Top 5 Essential Items To Pack In Your Hospital Bag:

1. Always Maxi Overnight Extra Heavy Flow With Wings, Unscented Pads 20 Count (Pack of 2)

Not sexy, but very essential. The hospital will also have some pads on hand that you can use, but I find the Always brand much more comfortable.  I WOULD recommend though using the hospital mesh underwear during your stay in the hospital since they're free, disposable although, not super comfortable.  I recommend buying a pack of 2 because you will need to wear pads for a while even once you are home and who wants to run out to the store (or have their significant other do it for them and run the risk of getting the wrong kind) during that first week. 

 2. Dermoplast First Aid Spray 


Another essential hospital bag item that many pregnant women don't know about, but  can really help when recovering from delivery. This spray will numb your sensitive lady parts that might have torn during delivery. I used this spray like crazy after my first two pregnancies for a few weeks at home and it was a godsend. It relieves pain from an episiotomy, 2nd degree tear, and even hemorrhoids. All those lovely side effects from giving birth.

3. Bravado! Essential Nursing Bra Tank 

 Although not cheap, I love these nursing tanks for both the hospital stay and days at home with the baby. They come in multiple colors and a range of sizes. Each time my milk has come in, I have gone up one additional bra cup size so I highly recommend sizing up when ordering this tank.  If you chose and can breastfeed your baby, you will be thankful for a great nursing tank like this one that is not only functional but also looks great.  I slept in mine and rotated among several of them during those first few weeks when you are nursing...a lot.

4. Travel Size Toiletries Pack


I love this travel size pack of toiletries. Inside this clear reusable pouch is a travel size of the following items that will make you feel human again while and after taking that first glorious shower in the hospital:  shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, body lotion, toothpaste, toothbrush, and comb.

5. Clif Bar Mini Energy Bars Variety Pack - Box of 18


Another essential item to have in the hospital is this box of clif bars that will give you energy and nutrients. And they taste great!  Delivering a baby is hard work so you deserve some nutritional snacks to help regain your energy.  Hospital food isn't the most tasty so I highly recommend ordering these snack bars.

Need some more ideas on what to pack for your baby in your hospital bag? Check out my "What to Pack for Your Baby in Your Hospital Bag" Pinterest Board for ideas!

March 23, 2014

Feeling large and in charge....and motivated for the future.

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It's a cold and gloomy Sunday today as I quickly approach the end of my pregnancy journey. My LAST pregnancy to be precise (and yes I know, I've said that before). I am almost 37 weeks pregnant and feeling 'large and in charge' and very uncomfortable. Can I give this baby an eviction notice yet? Please?

I am normally a high-energy, Type A sort of person so lumbering around with this big belly and feeling constantly out of breath and just huge all around is taking its' toll on me.  I know that it's only a matter of weeks before baby #3 is here, but it feels like forever. And of course, like most pregnant women, it feels like I've been pregnant forever....with no end in sight.

To amuse myself on slow days like today, I've already started thinking about my 'postpartum style' which luckily will involve warmer weather so it will include lots of maxi dresses and loose tunic tops to hide my postpartum belly.  I just received my beloved belly bandit in the mail (I used it with my previous two post pregnancies) and can't wait to start seeing my belly shrink and tighten again.

We're finally all set with baby gear, clothing, and furniture so I'm feeling good about that as well.  As for becoming a mom of 3 (it still feels unreal to write that), I'm feeling much calmer these days about it then I did 8 months ago. I know it will be chaotic, messy, and at times stressful BUT I also believe that it will be fun and a new adventure for everyone.

I'm lucky enough to have a lot of great support around me and two kids who, I think, are really looking forward to having a new baby brother.  I also feel very motivated about the future as the thought of becoming a family of 5 just sounds expensive and busy. My number one concern has been and will always be that all of my children feel loved and that I am their number one cheerleader. I also hope that I am a good role model on living a life full of passion and having no regrets.

So here's to learning that life can seem very unpredictable at times, which gives us the great learning lessons as well.


February 19, 2014

The Third Trimester: It's okay to be cranky and tips to boost your mood.....

I knew it was coming. Having gone through two pregnancies and never really being that type of woman to love pregnancy, I knew the third trimester would be the toughest both physically and mentally.  But it doesn't make it easier, I have to admit.

This week, according to Baby Center (love this website!), I am 32 weeks and of course all of these glorious and amazing things are happening inside my womb. I should be giddy with excitement since I can now count down the weeks until my due date in single digits. And part of me is, believe me.

The other part of me though is plain 'ol cranky many days when it's a task just to get dressed in the morning and get to work. And let's not forget having to make sure I go to the bathroom (like I would tell my children) every.single.time before I leave the house. I get out of breath walking a few blocks (slowly no less) down the street and feel like I am a walking target since my non-maternity winter coat hardly zips up anymore so I leave it open...such a sight, I am sure!

But enough about my own third trimester crankiness, I'm here to help all of my DC Fashion Gal readers who may also be pregnant, in their third trimester and feeling cranky. As I've been telling myself all morning, 8 more weeks of feeling cranky is a long time so here are some tips for you (and myself!) on how to boost your mood to make it through these last few weeks of pregnancy:

10 Tips to lift your mood during the Third Trimester of Pregnancy:

1. Call a friend and vent or just gossip. 
It helps, believe me.

2. Go outside to get some sunshine.   
Vitamin D does wonders.

3. Check out Pinterest.  
Pretty visuals are always great. Check out some of our boards! 

4. Watch some funny You Tube Videos. 
I love this one with Amy Poehler & Billy Eichner.

5.  Browse your favorite stores for non-maternity clothing.
Easy way to day dream on the day that you WILL fit into normal clothing again. Heaven.

6. Crank up the radio and listen to your favorite tunes.
Music is a great mood lifter anytime, anywhere. One size fits all.
7. Check out the 'Babies' section of People.com to see all celebrities due AFTER you.
Am I the only one that feels better knowing that there will be celebrities still going through the third trimester once I'm finally through it? 

8. Do some light exercise.
If there's ever at time for good endorphins, it's now. Even for only short bursts.

 9. Look at pretty Birth Announcements.
I love Tiny Prints and Etsy for a great selection.

10. Join the Baby Center community and know you're not alone.
I love reading through the April 2014 Birth Club posts and nodding my head with all of the vents. It helps!

And above all, hang in there mama! I know how tough these last few months are, but as the old cliche goes, it's all worth it in the end. And you WILL wear heels again...believe me.


February 10, 2014

Gwen Stefani's Chic Baby Shower for Baby Boy #3

image from here
Like myself, Gwen Stefani is preparing and celebrating for baby #3! Unlike myself, she celebrated her baby shower with a roster FULL of celebrities, including Jessica Alba, Nicole Ritchie, and Gwyneth Paltrow. You know, no big deal, right? Ha!

Held at Hotel Bel Air in Los Angeles this past weekend, the soon-to-be mama of three received chic and practical baby gifts from her celebrity friends, including a Honest Company diaper cake made up of Honest skull diapers and baby outfits from Chanel and Bonpoint. Ahh, to be a celebrity!

The baby shower decor was modern and chic with lots of white roses in silver vases around the room. Desserts included blue-iced doughnuts, blue candies and a cake with a baby's head on top. Too cute. The shower was hosted by her manager's wife, Shelli Azoff. What a great friend!

Enjoy these pictures and check out DC Fashion Gal's Pinterest baby shower board for more ideas to host your own chic baby shower!

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