Thursday, January 31, 2019

January Budget

Every month I post about my clothing budget. My budget per month is $350, which may seem like a lot to some and a little to others, but feels just right for me. You can read my thoughts on my 2018 budget here.

I've been counting down the days until my due date (eek less than four weeks now!!) but somehow this budget post still snuck up on me - I literally almost forgot! I really have barely shopped this month, and really it's because now I'm feeling like it's too late to buy anything else for while I'm pregnant, and most normal clothes are not going to work on me. I did grab a few new sweaters, but they're all things that will work post-pregnancy. I was really excited to score the sock booties though - they filled a hole in my closet and I got a ton of wear out of them until Chicago forced me into snow boots for what feels like eternity ;)

Here's what I bought in January:

Steve Madden Booties (also available here) - originally $109.95, on sale $79.96. I kind of shied away from sock booties when they came onto the scene just because I wasn't quite sure how to wear them. But now I've realized that they are amazingly comfortable. Just like the sock-style sneakers I've been wearing, there's absolutely zero rubbing at the ankle which is amazing because almost every pair of booties bothers me there. And in the winter, you can tuck the sock part into your jeans or tuck leggings into them, and still wear regular socks and not have cold ankles. Win win win. If you're considering these, snag them fast as they look to be selling out!
Target Sweater - $27.99. I was having a bad day last week and went on a little shopping binge (nothing like a little retail therapy!) and this sweater was one of the things that made it home with me. It is so soft and I love the pretty stripes, it reminds me of a Madewell cardigan I wanted all season but couldn't buy because of the wool content. I sized up to an XXL in this but tried on the XL too and could have gone with that as well.
Halogen x Atlantic-Pacific Striped Sweater - $59.00. Another gray and pastel striped sweater - can you tell what I'm feeling this winter? I wore this sweater here and love it, the stripes are so cute! I sized up to an XXL in this also to accommodate the bump, but I think it would run true to size if you weren't pregnant - it's meant to be pretty fitted.
Sejour Leopard Cardigan - $99.00, used Nordstrom Note $0. I've seen a few leopard sweaters around this fall and really wanted one, but again had problems finding one that wasn't itchy. This one is so soft and cozy, and I think the leopard pattern is the perfect scale. I've worn this a lot so far as I run out of clothing options, you can see it on my Instagram here.

Total Spent: $166.95
Total Saved: $29.99

I have a feeling I won't be doing a ton of shopping in February unless I start to get really bored leading up to my due date and start buying clothes for post-pregnancy ;)

Did you budget in January? Find any good scores??

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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Striped Cardigan

Sweater - Target / Maternity Tee - Old Navy / Maternity Leggings - Blanqi / Booties (also available here) - Steve Madden / Bag (similar) - Coach Factory / Necklace - Stella & Dot

Another week of sub-zero temperatures, another week of indoor photos! As you probably know, this has been my maternity go-to wardrobe lately - a tee shirt, my trusty maternity leggings, and a cardigan. 

I picked up this cardigan during a trip to Target last week, and honestly, I almost bought up the whole A New Day section, everything is so freaking cute!! I had been having a rough day between a bad night's sleep thanks to nightmares, being unable to get comfortable no matter what I tried, wanting to be done with the whole "being pregnant" thing, and being stuck inside due to the cold and ice - Mommy doesn't want to slip!  There may have been some tears involved. So I decided a Target binge was in order (plus a stop at the Starbucks in my store) and I really went for it, I came home with a ton of stuff for baby and the house plus a few treats for me ;) 

Of course, driving in the cold and ice turned out to be a mistake, because when I got back to the house Jeff and I both couldn't get the car back into the garage, even with me driving and him pushing! The alley was a mess thanks to snow and ice and deep tire rivets filled with slush and we were seriously stuck. I actually ended up running to CVS to grab a bag of kitty litter (since I remembered Red Foreman yammering about it on That '70s Show years ago - lolllll) and somehow while I was gone Jeff got it back in by himself. He says he just kept trying but I suspect neighborly intervention. Phew! 

Anyway, I probably shouldn't have taken that trip to Target, but I got this sweater out of the deal, so I'm still chalking it up to a win. 

Oh, and by the way, I officially hit 9 months pregnant this weekend! So ready for this baby girl to arrive - fingers crossed she comes just a little early!! 

Sweater - Target / Maternity Tee - Old Navy / Maternity Leggings - Blanqi / Booties (also available here) - Steve Madden / Bag (similar) - Coach Factory / Necklace - Stella & Dot

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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

What to Pack for Spring Break

It's crazy to think that at this time last year I was busy planning for our trip to Charleston for my birthday! This winter has been rough the past couple of weeks (maybe an understatement with the -50 degree windchills we're supposed to have tomorrow!), and I think the worst part is knowing that there's no escape until Chicago decides it's time for spring. I currently can't travel (and we definitely won't be traveling once baby girl is here!) so I'm just living vicariously through everyone else's Insta-Stories and, of course, looking at all of the new resort arrivals. If I was taking a spring break trip, here's what would be in my suitcase:

Beach: Swimsuit / Bag / Shorts / Sandals
Nighttime: Dress / Earrings / Bag / Sandals 
Daytime: Bag / Top / Shoes / Shorts 
Travel: Suitcase

And here are a few more things that caught my eye:

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Monday, January 28, 2019

This Weekend...

This weekend I...

...didn't get down to a whole lot - assuming that's how it's going to be once the baby comes too?? We cooked some dinners at home, filled up the freezer with food for when the baby comes, made a stop at the neighborhood coffee shop, and generally vegged out. I also decided to treat myself to a mani pedi - I hadn't gotten one since my friend's wedding back in October and my toes were looking rough! Told Jeff I needed them to be prettier so that I could make a good first impression on our daughter ;) We did watch BlacKkKlansman which I thought was really good, a lot better than I expected based off the previews actually. So funny but a powerful story too. We've seen almost all of the big Oscar films this year which is particularly impressive for us.
...went to a Royal Rumble party at our friend's house. If you've been reading for a while, you may remember that Jeff and his friends are really into professional wrestling, which I find endlessly amusing. I refuse to watch normally, but the Royal Rumble is hilarious. There are 30 wrestlers and they each enter the ring one at a time with the goal of being the last one in the ring. But, let's be honest here, I really only went for a little social interaction and party snacks ;)

Here's hoping you had a good one!

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Friday, January 25, 2019

Friday Finds

one / two / three / four / five

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Thursday, January 24, 2019

10 Tips for Getting Better Sleep While Pregnant

It seems like a cruel joke to all of the pregnant ladies that in the months leading up to having a baby when all sleep will definitely go out the window, that it suddenly gets harder to sleep before the baby comes! For me, it started around 20 weeks in when I got hip pain that would cause me to wake up and roll over multiple times in the night, and now that I'm at 35 weeks (what?!??) I'm up all the time to go to the bathroom or try to get comfortable. Or, let's be honest, sometimes to get a snack ;)

I've always had a hard time falling asleep and actually have what I would call sleep anxiety, where if I start worrying that I won't be able to fall asleep then I definitely won't be sleeping. Now that I'm up all the time in the middle of the night, it gives me a ton of extra opportunities for that sleep anxiety to worm its way in. I've been looking for tips all over the place and have worked on a few methods for better sleep that I've found to work - some of them are definitely specific to being pregnant, while others will help you whether you're pregnant or not!

And no, none of these are counting, breathing, or meditation tricks. My worry-ridden sleep brain laughs in the face of techniques like that. You know that article that was going around about the military's tricks for getting people to fall asleep in combat situations? Ha yeah, pretending I was laying in a canoe in a lake definitely did nothing!

1. Never ever ever look at the time

The only benefit to ever looking at your phone or a clock in the middle of the night is that you might see you just fell asleep. Like that's ever going to happen. Seeing how much time is left until morning will just lead to a countdown of how much time there is left for you to sleep. Instead, just always assume it's early and that you have plenty of time left until morning.

I've banished digital alarm clocks from our room, and turn my phone upside down while I'm sleeping to remove the temptation. If you feel like you can't not look, try moving your phone further away from you or completely banish it from the bedroom! I promise you don't need to check your texts or notifications in the middle of the night.

Oh, and if you have a husband who weirdly really likes knowing what time it is, tell him not to ever ask you to check for him during a bathroom break. Not that I'm speaking from experience or anything.

2. Hit the sack earlier than you need to

I have always been an 8 hours of sleep a night kind of girl (which is probably why I still don't need caffeine in the morning!) but if I get into bed right at that eight hour mark, suddenly if I don't fall asleep right away I'll have half an hour less and then a full hour less of sleep in front of me and that anxiety will worm its way in and keep me awake. A few years ago I started getting into bed at least half an hour before I needed to, knowing that I could fall asleep early, or read or watch a show to help me relax, and it made such a huge difference. Sure, sometimes it leads to me getting 9 hours of sleep, but what's the harm in that?!

3. Stop any form of work at least an hour before bed

Sometimes I'll get really excited about a project and work on it straight up until my bedtime (or even a little past) thinking I just want to finish one more thing. Bad idea. It doesn't give your brain enough time to relax before you're asking it to fall asleep! Inevitably you'll start thinking about whatever you were working on or running through lists of other things you need to do and wreck yourself for the night. I worked too late last week and literally woke up at two am still thinking about what else I could do for the project!

Instead, close your laptop at least an hour before you want to fall asleep, and find something relaxing you want to do instead. I usually do a five minute clean up of our living room or kitchen (we call it a "quick tidy" in our house - it's amazing how much you can get done in five minutes!) and then will put on my pajamas, wash my face and maybe put on a face mask, and then read or watch a show until it's time for bed.

4. Keep a pen and a pad of paper on your nightstand

If your brain starts going into list mode or trying to think of things to remember, it's better to get them out of your head and onto paper. That way you won't keep worrying or try to make yourself remember, and when you wake up you basically have a to-do list ready to go! I suggest a physical list rather than keeping one on your phone, since using your phone violates tip number 1!

5. Front-load bathroom trips

This is weird, but I've found that my body seems to sense when it's getting close to morning, and if I have to get up to pee any time after four am I'll just be up for the day. Bad body. But, now I try to go to the bathroom often at the beginning of the night and then ride on through until morning. I typically go to bed before Jeff, so for me that means I'm definitely getting up when he goes to bed, and then the first time I wake up to roll over I'll make myself get up too (and sometimes the second time too). It usually works and my bladder is empty enough that I can make it until morning! Plus I'm still tired enough that falling back asleep is easy.

6. Avoid drinking anything before bedtime or in the middle of the night

Man, pregnancy makes you thirsty!! I've always been a crazy water drinker but being pregnant has sent it out of control. Sometimes I get to the end of the day and realize I'm dying of thirst and chug some water before bed - never a good idea! Instead, I try to drink a lot of water right around an hour before bed, and then I'm usually set for the night. This helps keep those bathroom breaks early! If I wake up in the middle of the night feeling super dehydrated I'll let myself have a sip or two of water but never more than that.

When I wake up in the morning I'm usually thirsty, but I'll just drink a glass of water right away and I'm usually set.

7. Buy that pregnancy pillow earlier than you think you need to

I was really excited to buy a giant pregnancy body pillow, I think mainly because my sister raved about how much she loved hers and how she wanted a new one even though she wasn't pregnant. So I ended up ordering mine around 14 weeks (before I even announced to you that a baby was on the way!) and started using it right away. It definitely wasn't totally necessary in the beginning, but for me, it helped get me to sleep on my side instead of my stomach.

What I wasn't expecting was to start experiencing terrible hip pain around 20 weeks from laying on my side. Basically your body starts loosening up your joints for eventual delivery, and your hips can actually start to be pushed out of their sockets when you lay on them - yikes! But realigning your hips, knees and ankles with something between them makes a huge difference. I was traveling a lot around the 20 week mark and let me tell you, putting pillows between your legs is definitely not the same thing - the pregnancy pillow is so much better! Mine actually isn't long enough for me to also have my ankles supported (I'm 5'9") which was actually causing more pain, so I have another regular pillow down at the end of the bed for my feet.

This is the pregnancy pillow I use, I mostly love it but I think I'll write a full review letting you know some of the plusses and minuses!

8. Keep anything you may need on your nightstand

For me right now, that means Tums and a glass of water. I've been having terrible heart burn lately and sometimes just rolling over can cause it! Heading out to the kitchen to find Tums in the middle of the night was really waking my body up and keeping me up longer. Now, since they're right next to me, I can grab a couple without fully waking up my body and fall right back asleep. I keep a big tumbler of water next to me for the same reason.

9. Try watching, reading, or listening to something familiar

As my college roommate will remember (sorry Clair!), this is a trick I discovered in college. Re-watching an old show (in college it was always Gilmore Girls but right now I'm on Parks and Rec) gets my brain to relax just enough to fall asleep. Basically, watching something I've seen before is enough to distract my brain from thinking about other things, but not too much to make me want to stay up to finish an episode. If I try to watch or read something new, I can get drawn in and want to keep following the story late into the night. It's actually kind of amazing, and depending on how tired or stressed I am I usually fall asleep during the cold open for a show - so within two minutes!

Some people are going to pooh pooh this because of the blue light and the affect it has on your brain, but I just turn the brightness down so it isn't too much and have the volume really low. I also have my Netflix settings set up so that only one episode will play at a time, so my iPad will turn itself off if I fall asleep mid-episode.

10. When all else fails, just get up

Sometimes, despite my bests efforts, I still find myself just laying awake in the middle of the night. When this happens, I just get up and leave the room. It helps you stop associating your bed and bedroom with negative sleep. I'll typically go in the living room and have a snack or read or watch a show until I feel ready to fall back asleep again. Way better than letting your mind race in bed! And usually whatever activity I pick helps me wind back down and easily fall back asleep.

So there you have it, ten tried and tested tips for better sleep when you're pregnant! Is there anything you've done that helps you fall and stay asleep? I'd love to hear!

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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Sweater Blazer for Winter

Sweater Blazer and Earrings - J.Crew / Tee and Jeans - Old Navy / Booties (currently 40% off!!) - Steve Madden / Bag - Tory Burch / Necklace - Stella & Dot / Lip - Sugar Fresh (in Berry)

In case you don't live in the Midwest (or really, it sounds like the East Coast and the South aren't doing too great either!) it has been absolutely freezing lately. Yay, January! So since there's currently a tiny baby growing in my body who I'm trying to keep safe, I made an executive decision this week to stick with indoor pictures. The hallway in our bedroom may not be the prettiest location, but hey, turns out it gets pretty good lighting! 

I threw this on last week to run to a daycare tour (that, it turns out, was basically cancelled without anyone telling me - yay!) and realized it's made up a few of my favorite things as of late! 

J.Crew Sweater Blazer 

I'd heard people raving about this sweater blazer for probably over a year but never quite pulled the trigger myself. I mean, after all, I owned this remarkably similar one so I couldn't quite justify it. But this baby stayed on my wishlist and my sweet mom ended up buying it for me for Christmas! Thanks mama!! 

The fit on this is definitely oversized, but in a good way. I still got my normal J.Crew size (XL) and didn't think I needed to size down. I love the rich camel color since it seems to go with everything, and the fabric weight is heavy and warm without being itchy. I also like that the lapels stay folded down without having to adjust them, which makes this feel more blazer-y and work appropriate. It does have bracelet length sleeves which I find slightly awkward on me, but I just give them a quick roll which makes them fine. 

Steve Madden Sock Booties

I was really slow to jump on the sock bootie trend, but man am I glad I finally tried it! I've ordered countless pairs of booties but always end up returning them because I can't stand the way they rub on my ankles. Really, my TOMs booties I wear all the time are the only ones I've tried with a low enough profile to not rub. But sock booties? I mean, the top is sock material, so there's absolutely no rubbing! They're also great for Chicago winters because this style of bootie isn't meant for you to roll the cuffs of your jeans with or show a little ankle. I can wear thick socks underneath and no one will ever know! This particular pair also has a low heel that's really comfortable for walking everywhere. I've taken them for a few longer walks (a mile or two) and haven't had any problems, even the first time I wore them! Definitely some keepers over here. 

Old Navy Maternity Jeans

Okay, so these were initially not favorites of mine. I basically bought them when my bump was smaller, and I could not get them to stay up for the life of me. But suddenly this month, now that the bump has reached almost max capacity, they're staying up on me just fine. I particularly love this style because the fabric for the belly panel is sewn in about an inch below the waistband of the jeans and there's a real waistband with a button fly, so you can still do a front tuck if you want to! You know, for fashion and whatnot. Also, the real reason these jeans are winners for me is that they actually come in a long length! You would not believe how hard that is to find - shopping for maternity jeans brought back all of my high school jean shopping anxiety! 

For this pair of maternity jeans, definitely buy your pre-maternity size (or maybe even size down!) since they're really stretchy. I think if I had sized down I would have been able to wear them earlier in my pregnancy. 

Sweater Blazer and Earrings - J.Crew / Tee and Jeans - Old Navy / Booties (currently 40% off!!) - Steve Madden / Bag - Tory Burch / Necklace - Stella & Dot / Lip - Sugar Fresh (in Berry)

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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day always feels like a long way off (I mean, it's still January!!) but now is actually the time to start thinking about it. If you live in a big city and want to go out to dinner, you're going to want to start thinking about getting a reservation now. Seriously, I have had problems in the past looking a week or two in advance!

I don't like to do anything too crazy for Valentine's Day (and heck, this year we may be spending it with a brand new baby!) so I usually pick a lower key restaurant near our house so we don't have to go too far in the inevitably terrible Chicago weather and so that we don't have to deal with overpriced prix fixe menus. We've done the cooking something together at home, but since Jeff and I are both not the most relaxed chefs (I usually have forgotten to do some important prep work ahead of time and am scrambling, and Jeff is usually so focused on following the directions he won't speak!) so going out is usually more relaxing and romantic.

If you've got Valentine's Day on the brain already, here are a few cute things I found!

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Monday, January 21, 2019

This Weekend...

This weekend I...

...went to another baby shower for our little girl, this one hosted by my mother-in-law! How sweet are the little cookies she got from Cookie Camelot?! The shower was great, nice and chill with lots of snacks and sips and conversation but nothing in the way of games - just the way I like them! I can't believe baby girl is just five weeks away now - so crazy! We spent the rest of the weekend getting things in order and pretending that we definitely know how to fold up the stroller.
...met a bunch of friends out for bowling at Burnt City - well, at least hanging out at Burnt City haha. You know I wasn't getting anywhere close to the lanes, what with being 8 months pregnant and my pregnancy-related carpal tunnel ;) But, the bartender didn't laugh when I ordered a Shirley Temple at a brewery, so I was a happy lady!
...did a lot of eating at dive bars - the baby really wanted french fries and wings! Enjoying these last few weeks of eating whatever while I can ;)
...spent a lot of time cuddled up on the couch hiding from the snowstorm and then the below zero windchills. I ended up watching the Fyre Festival documentary on Netflix which I thought was fascinating and watched the first episode of Yummy Mummy's which is so bad but also so good hahaha - perfect if you're a Bravo fan!

I hope you had a good one!

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Friday, January 18, 2019

Friday Finds

Happy Friday!! Sometimes my Friday Finds feel super random, but sometimes they somehow are really cohesive - toss in a pair of jeans and you've got everything you need for a spring weekend away!! Last year we went to Charleston in February for my birthday and it was such a fun little getaway - I could see packing all of this if we were going again!! Of course this year for my birthday we're getting a baby girl, so I think my wardrobe will be a little different...

one / two / three / four / five

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Thursday, January 17, 2019

LOFT Try-Ons

I was running past LOFT last week at the mall and had to stop in and try some things on, there were so many cute things in the window! Sharing now, which is excellent timing because everything at LOFT is 50% off with code WANT.

Here are a few items that I loved:

Cozy Open Cardigan - wearing size large

The color was so pretty on this I had to grab it - how cute is the shawl collar and the curved hemline?! Didn't realize when I grabbed a tee to try on with it that the tee also had a shirttail hem - definitely pair this with a tee with a straight across hem instead! This is incredibly soft too, definitely cozy like the name suggests.

Shimmer Striped Shirttail Tee - wearing size large

And here's the tee I wore underneath - it's a really pretty subtle shimmer stripe. I always find the curved hems on these tees really flattering. If I wasn't pregnant I'd like the fit, but I always recommend sizing up in LOFT tees as they tend to shrink! 

This. Is. So. Soft. If you're one of those people who need to be wrapped in cozy, then this is for you. I've really been gravitating to these wraps lately, they're like wearing a giant blanket. Just a note that this is one size fits all, so if you're petite it probably won't work on you, especially since it is long! It also is open on the sides, which I actually like because it means you can easily wear it as a scarf too. 

Diamond Lace Clean Cami - wearing size large

I grabbed this to wear under a few things and love it - how pretty is the lace detail? This also has that flattering shirttail hem. I would definitely choose this size if I wasn't pregnant. I love this for layering under cardigans or blazers. 

Drapey Open Cardigan - wearing size large

I love the drape on this cardigan, plus it's warm but on the thinner side so it's easy to wear under coats. The only knock I'd give it is it's slightly scratchy to me versus super soft. I'm really sensitive to fabrics though so that might just be me! 

Drop Shoulder V-Neck Sweater - wearing size XL

I thought the v-neck would be too deep on me but it actually was perfect, and I loved the oversized fit. This would be perfect with a little front tuck into some jeans. This was also a teensy bit itchy to me, but not enough that it would stop me from wearing it. 

Jetsetter Sweater - wearing size large

I really wanted to love this, how freaking cute?! But I would say it definitely runs small, and it's that thin, itchy material that Loft uses sometimes that I hate. If you live in a warmer climate and don't mind itch then snag it!  

Cable Knit Trim Stitchy Sweater - wearing size large

I love the little cable knit detail on this sweater, it gives it a little something extra. This is also super soft which I love. The fit on this is supposed to be closer to the body as opposed to oversized, so I would say it fits true to size. The only thing I didn't love is that the sleeves are a little short on me. 

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