Thursday, September 27, 2018

How I Fight Acne While Pregnant

My teenage self would have certainly thought breakouts and acne would be a thing of the past at this stage in my life, however my skin is just SO susceptible to hormonal breakouts.

When I can feel a deep breakout forming it is a tell-tale sign that my period will arrive within a few days. At this stage in my life, I’ve kind of figured out a routine to catch and treat them early. However, most of the products that treat acne contain ingredients, such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid that are not safe during pregnancy.

When I think about that gorgeous “pregnancy glow” I certainly don’t think of hormonal acne. But in reality, it has been a struggle for me in both of my pregnancies. When I was pregnant with Madeline, I used this bundle by Belli, a brand of skincare specifically formulated to be safe for pregnant women. The spot treatment uses sulfur instead of salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. While it really did help with acne, I feel like it didn’t really make my skin feel great overall and I just wasn’t very comfortable with my skin in my first pregnancy.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Coffee + Conversation

Happy Monday, friends! I hope you all had a great weekend.

On Friday, we went to Lowe’s as a family and picked up a couple items we needed for some projects around the house, like gold spray paint to freshen up some dresser hardware, and stepping stones for the back yard. Wild Friday night I tell you! But Madeline enjoyed looking at all the inflatable Halloween decorations and we went out for dinner and frozen yogurt as a family afterwards. 

I sure won’t be sad when all these projects are completed! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

5 Things I'm Loving Right Now

Happy Wednesday, friends! We are finally back to preschool and our regular routine today and I have to say I am really looking forward to settling back in to our new routine. With the storm and being trapped in the house, it was the perfect time to focus on a little online shopping. Here is what I am loving right now.

I missed these in the Nordstrom sale this year but still really wanted them. I kept hearing how comfortable they were, which is always a win for me. I kind of feel like at this point in my life I am over wearing uncomfortable shoes just for the sake of cuteness. These have been cycling in and out of stock (not on sale, though) and I finally caught the gray pair in my size. They arrived just before the storm and I love them. They really are so comfortable and perfect for this time of year when it is basically fall but won't feel like it for quite some time in North Carolina.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Coffee + Conversation

Happy Monday, friends! I hope you all had a great weekend and that if your area was in the path of Florence that you are safe this morning. We were very lucky that Charlotte didn’t get quite as big of a hit as they were expecting and that our house sits up so high that we didn’t have any of the flooding that other parts of town, and even other parts of our neighborhood, experienced.

Preschool is cancelled again today so we aren’t quite back to our normal schedule today but still getting off pretty un-scathed considering so I have no complaints. Except taking Madeline with me to my glucose test appointment since that’s a long time to keep a toddler entertained at the doctor’s office! 

Friday, September 14, 2018

My Second Trimester Workout Routine

Happy Friday! With Hurricane Florence on track to cause a lot of rain and flooding in our area over the next few days, this has been a busy week as I prepared and then had to rearrange some projects and appointments I had planned so my posting has been a little sporadic this week. This post was originally scheduled for Wednesday but I have been running around like a mad woman this week. Corey made it home early from his travels this week, which instantly relaxed me, knowing I won’t be home along if we do have bad weather or lose power. Now, we just relax and use the excuse of days of rain to finish some tasks at home.

I’ve shared before that a big personal goal for me for this pregnancy was staying active and continuing to exercise appropriately throughout. I shared my first trimester workout routine here. The end of my first trimester coincided with the end of Madeline’s preschool year, which caused me to switch up my workout routine just a bit since the gym I use for cardio equipment does not provide childcare.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Our Family Beach Trip

Happy Tuesday, friends. I hope the day finds you well and you are safe if you are in the path of the storm. Before I delve into the post I had planned for today I wanted to take just a moment to send out my love and appreciation for all the families who have been deeply effected by today. I feel so blessed to have grown up in the United States and to have the opportunity to raise my daughter here with all the freedoms our nation provides.

Today, I wanted to share a little recap of our end of summer beach trip. The week before last we took off the later half of the week and headed to the beach. It was our family’s only trip this summer since Corey and I traveled for a couple weddings back in June.

We went to Wild Dunes on the Isle of Palms, which is about twenty minutes from Charleston. I had never stayed at this resort even though I’ve been vacationing at the Charleston-area beaches my whole life but I have to say it was so family-friendly and was definitely the perfect choice for our family and super active little lady.

Friday, September 7, 2018

22-26 Week Bumpdate

Happy Friday, friends! This week has been a busy one as Madeline started back to preschool (just two hours at a time this week) and I delved into alllll the projects at home. I'm technically 26 weeks, 6 days right now but I typed this out earlier in the week so we will still call it a 26 week bumpdate and it will be my last one of the second trimester. Things are getting real!

How far along: 26 weeks (less than 90 days to go!)

Baby is the size of: a rutabaga

Weight gain: 18 pounds. I've gained more weight much faster this time, which is so interesting to me because I've eaten healthy most of the time and have stayed much more active. Not that I am worrying over a number, I have just found how totally different this pregnancy has been in almost every way from my first one so fascinating. Pregnancy is such a mystery sometimes!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Our Screened-In Porch Addition

Over the winter we crossed off one of the biggest projects from our wish list for our home - we built a screened-in porch. This was high on our list when searching for a new home but our house checked off so many of our other important boxes that we compromised with the intention of adding one later.

We have two beautiful sets of French doors in our living room that opened out onto a large deck. The deck was original to our older home and had been well maintained but still wasn’t in the best condition due to its age. We purchased a large outdoor umbrella for our first two summers in the home while we saved for such a big project. Then, last year we moved our focus to the outside of our home. All of the must-do projects inside are complete. Of course there is more I’d love to do one day (kitchen and bathrooms, I’m looking at you), but we were finally ready to create the outdoor space we’d been envisioning since we purchased our home. And even before actually!

We interviewed several builders before choosing the right one who shared our vision of a beautiful outdoor entertaining space that looked natural as a permanent addition to our older home. 

Our porch is the same size as the deck before except that it is a perfect rectangle now and the door is in a different location than the previous stairs. This gave us such a large entertaining space and it really has been a dream come true. 

We chose dark Trex composite decking (in the color spiced rum in case you're curious) on the floor so that it would never need to be restained or painted, aluminum railing, and an off-white for the walls and beadboard ceiling. Then we added a dark beam and bronze hardware for a little contrast. I am so pleased with how it came out and it does look like such a natural addition to our home as if it was always meant to be there.

We repurposed the furniture we had before, using our old conversation set on the small open porch, turning our old coffee table into a child-sized table for Madeline and her friends, and keeping our old dining set just as it was. 

We did purchase a large new sectional. We purchased it sight unseen online after reading dozens of reviews and just crossed our fingers. We needed something large - at least eight feet on each side yet didn't want to spend a million dollars! While I'm a believer in "buy it once and buy it right" I also really try to balance that with practicality and this sectional gave us so much bang for our buck. We are so pleased with it and it really is perfect for the space. The blue color ties in so nicely with the decor inside our home, too.

I recently purchased this rug. It was such a steal price-wise and now I feel like our porch is complete. Or almost complete - I do have some outdoor curtains on my wish list for the fall so we'll be able to block the sun while watching afternoon football games. I picked up the tall rattan planters for next to nothing from Aldi and stumbled upon the lantern at HomeGoods. We have spent so much time out here already and it might just be our favorite room of the house. Or at least my husband’s!

Transforming the outside of our house has been a labor of love and we are still not quite done. The front landscaping needed to be ripped out to just the foundation plants and is finally almost finished and the backyard is so completely different from where we started! We previously had tunnels and archways cut into shrubs to create kind of an English garden. It was beautiful when perfectly trimmed and I know it was a labor of love for the previous owners but unfortunately it was just too segmented and high maintenance for us as a family with young children. Landscaping is far from my specialty but I have learned a lot about it and am so pleased whenever I sit on the porch and stare out into the open, green space that Madeline and Riley so love to play in. 

Next year we hope to add a small grilling patio over to the left before calling our outdoor project complete!

Now, what fun is any room tour without showing you where we began? So, here’s a few “before” photos from our house’s listing.

Obviously lots of overgrown bushes and a few trees were removed to make this project possible but I am so pleased with the finished result. And in the spirt of keeping it real, I snapped these photos in a hurry and shared them with you in all their unedited glory - leaves, dead parsley, and toddler toys and all. But such is life!

You can view more home posts here

Monday, September 3, 2018

5 Goals for September

Happy Labor Day! I hope you all have a fun day planned and are enjoying a little relaxation. We spent the last few days at the beach with Madeline and had such a fun time, even though it was hot! I sure hope the start of September means fall is around the corner because I am really looking forward to some cooler weather soon. 

I can’t believe September is here already but I’m not sad to see it either. Here are my five goals for the month: 

Finish the nursery! This is number one on my list. I have all the pieces except for a replacement light fixture and the handles I want to swap out for the dresser but now I need to put things together and hang art.

Rework my schedule. I’m a paper and pen planner type of girl for staying organized. Even so, it has certainly been a challenge over the summer with no reinforcements. Now that preschool is starting back, I am looking forward to a little extra time - at least for a couple months until Baby Boy arrives. I’m hoping to rework my time to make myself a little more efficient. 

Plan a mini babymoon with Corey. The last time we had a solo trip away was back in February even though we did enjoy time in New Hampshire and San Francisco for some weddings this summer. We love taking long weekends together just the two of us each quarter so I am excited to plan one last little weekend away in the next couple months before baby boy makes his debut.

Start sourcing and ordering items for Madeline’s big girl room transformation. I have a treat for you guys because I think I am going to share her room makeover as part of the One Room Challenge. I can’t wait to get started on this project as soon as the nursery is finished. 

Meal plan! This was the only goal from last month I didn’t fully accomplish. I did get back into the swing of cooking more but I still did a lot of flying by the seat of my pants. I’m hoping with the return of preschool I can get back into my regular routine with this because I feel like I spend way less money and eat much healthier when I plan our family’s meals out for the week ahead of time.

What are you hoping to accomplish this month?