Monday, January 19, 2015

Favorite Belly Oils & Creams.

Belly Lotions & Oils

I have used quite a few different lotions, creams and oils on my stomach and skin over the last two pregnancies. I use some sort of cream or lotion at least twice a day. I've narrowed my favorites down to these four. I've also listed the links below. (I buy all of mine on Amazon.)

number 1 is Bella Joi Stretch Mark Cream. This feels more like a lotion to me. It smells kind of citrus like and dries really quickly. I didn't use this one with Scarlett but it has really good reviews and have come to love it as well. 
Number 2 is another new one for me, Maroc100. This cream is the most expensive one out of these but it feels really luxurious and again, this one dries quickly. Number 3 is the one I tend to grab most often. Mama Bee Belly Butter was a favorite with Scarlett. It has a mild scent and seems very gentle. It also dries quickly. Number 4 is Mama Bee Oil. I use this one at home after my shower. I lather it on and just let it sit for an hour or so. It takes a really long time to dry but I can feel my skin soaking it up. Not really a good choice to use when putting clothes on in a hurry. I try to use this one at least 3 times a week. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Pieces Lately.

Oh winter... it's just begun and yet it's been cold for so long. I'm really done with the snow and ice and below freezing temps and the boots and get the point. We have an awesome back yard that I am really looking forward to using this summer. It's a lovely space for entertaining and spending summer days. I've been envisioning summer parties and some new plants/vegetables that I want to try and plant this spring. Unfortunately, we've got awhile before summer. Until nice weather decides to come our way, I've been trying to get some indoor things accomplished. I started an awesome new work-out routine that I am loving. If any of you Mama-to-Be's are looking for a good work-out that doesn't overdo it but still gets you really feeling it, I highly suggest Tracy Anderson, The Pregnancy Project. 
I've found myself also doing a lot of reorganizing of my house. Too much time indoors will do that to you. I have a couple rooms that I want to paint and a few rooms that I need to fill with some furniture. Right now, our dining room is my office. What else do you do with a room that has a table and no chairs? I will most likely turn one of our spare rooms into the baby's nursery. All of these things are on the to-do list for me this winter. I'm hoping to get these things done while we are stuck inside from the negative New York temps. 

My  belly is growing more and more. I can't believe that I am half way through this pregnancy! The time is flying by. I'm enjoying the second trimester and trying to savor these moments since this will most likely be the last time that I will ever be pregnant. It makes me a little sad when I think of it that way. I'm learning that pregnancies can be so different. I've been SO hungry all the time lately. I wasn't like this when I was pregnant with Scarlett. I had a much smaller appetite. This time, I could eat all day long. Because of this, I've filled our house with good stuff. You know, veggies, fruits, lean meats, whole grains and okay....I did buy some chocolate chip cookies but hey, I'm pregnant, I deserve a cookie;)  
For the most part, I've been filling this tummy of mine with healthy things. Recent cravings for me are cherries, cold smoothies and frozen yogurt. I've found some great Smoothie Recipes on Pinterest and they've been keeping my blender busy. I will share some of those recipes this week for those of you that are interested. I've also got a post for belly lotions and oils all ready to go! 

I hope you all have a great weekend! 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Scarlett Reveals Baby Number 2's Gender.

We were undecided whether we wanted to share the gender of this baby. Being our last, we wanted to do something fun and different than we did with Scarlett, which was find out asap. But we decided after thinking about it, that we couldn't wait to share our excitement on the new baby. Besides, I'm sure I'd slip and say...…


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Staying Fit While Pregnant…the 2nd time around.

I wrote this post here not long after having Scarlett. It is by far my most read, most reposted and most pinned post ever. Do you know what that tells me? There are quite a lot of women out there that are scared of getting pregnant for fear of what will happen to their body or feeling down because they are not where they want to be after having a baby. Women desperate to stay in shape during and after pregnancy.

I wrote that post because I remembering feeling the same when I first got pregnant.  I wanted women to know that you can stay healthy and fit while pregnant. The things that people would say to me when I was pregnant were so inconsiderate:

"Well, there goes the body." 
"You will probably get a lot of strech-marks. I did"
"Having kids ruins your body forever. I was never the same."
"You won't believe what pregnancy is going to do to you!"

All of these comments baffled me. While some women do get stretch marks and your body does change, clearly not one woman is the same. Just like the pregnancy/delivery stories that women tell, they are all very different. What made them think that what happened to them would happen to me, is still beyond me. Anyway, I decided that I would listen. Yes that is right, I listened to every one of them tell me this or that or give their advice. But instead of letting that scare me or bring me down, I turned it into motivation. Proving that I could do my best to stay healthy and in shape while pregnant. I started a pregnancy workout regimen and kept eating as healthy as I could. I did the best I could and my end results….well you can decide for yourself….I actually felt more comfortable in my body after pregnancy than I did before.

Before Baby:

After Baby:

So here I am, pregnant with my second child and this pregnancy seems to be more difficult than the last. For one thing, I will be honest, I hadn't worked out much leading up to this pregnancy. I was very sick in the beginning. Even more so this second time around. Or so it seemed. I also felt more exhausted. This makes sense since I have a three year old, I work full time and have a husband who works long hours. I had my challenges. Still, I repeated this to myself:

"I'm going to do the best I can do. Not the best that someone else can do, But 100% of MY best." 

 I refuse to compare myself to others. It's so easy to get on Instagram and see the women who post their 7 month pregnancy photos that look the size of me at 4 months. Not a single thing against them. But again, everyone is so intricately different. I am no exception. Comparing ourselves to others is not fair nor does it make sense. So don't!! I started working out as soon as I felt good again. This was at about 16 weeks. I began slowly since I hadn't worked out in quite awhile. Anything I could do, even if it meant I had Scarlett working out next to me with her mini weights, copying everything I did. At least I was doing something. I tried immensely to eat good but with the severe nausea, it was hard in the first 4 months. I basically ate whatever made me feel not sick, in moderation.

And that my friends is what I believe the key to staying in shape and keeping fit during pregnancy is. Moderation and balance. Now that I'm feeling better, I recently started eating a balanced diet that I keep track of in a journal. I monitor my intake of the food groups and try to stay eating a good balance, making sure that I 'm getting adequate calories according to the trimester and my original pre-pregnancy weight. What I don't do... is obsess over it. It's just a way to recognize what I am eating and make healthy choices. When I write down what I eat, it's easier to see where I might be getting too much of or not enough of something. And I definitely do not deprive myself. If I get a craving for chocolate, you best believe I'm eating it!!  I just make sure not to overindulge. One treat a day of whatever I want is my goal. (It's usually chocolate) And not 3 slices of chocolate cake! More like 2 cookies, or maybe some chocolate covered strawberries or a piece of dark chocolate.

One of my major focuses this time around is eating organic and non-GMO foods. That has been easier than I thought since we have gone almost all organic over the last year.

As for Working out, I was doing the same workout dvd's that I did when I was pregnant with Scarlett. Denise Austin has one that is broken down by trimester. Although I started to get bored of the same ones. If you are able to get to the gym, awesome! Some people have to actually go to the gym to be motivated. For me, I don't have the time, nor the energy to find someone to watch Scarlett (Ty works some late evenings) and then saddle up in my car and drive to the gym in the cold winter. With the negative temps, going outside is not happening right now either. So for me, dvd's work. I am super excited that I found and started Tracy Anderson: The Pregnancy Project this week! What I love about these DVD's is that unlike most prenatal workouts, Tracy is actually pregnant in her workouts and working out right along with you. There is a dvd for each month. I'm really into it!!! 

I'm taking some Prenatal Yoga classes that start soon, too. I know it is hard to get started in a workout routine, especially with kids or a busy schedule, but I promise you, once you start one, it gets easier and you will feel so much better! Although I think working out and eating right are both important, I think eating well is a bigger contributor to the weight gain and staying within the weight gain guidelines. Gaining weight slowly will help with stretch marks as well. I use the calculator here. 

Which brings me to the next topic. I have been trying out some amazing lotions, oils and belly rubs that I will share in an upcoming post. I started showing much quicker this time around so the oils and belly creams started early too. I really try to drink as much water as I can. It is annoying to go pee every 5 minutes, especially at work, but it's more important to me to be healthy. I suck it up and deal with it.

I don't know how things will end up this second time around. I know that each pregnancy is different and we can't predict the outcome for anything. My pregnancy this time is different than my last, physically and emotionally. Either way, I'm going to do the best that I can. I will keep you posted with my tips, things that I'm doing along with food journal samples as I progress through pregnancy number 2.

Congrats & Good luck to all you Mama-To-Be's!!!


You can follow my journey on Instagram: itslaurenrebecca

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Pieces of December. The Last of 2014.

  This was our first outting in about 3 months. I was finally feeling well enough to go out for breakfast with these two. Scarlett insisted on carrying this basket around the entire day. 
 I'm getting good use out of this jacuzzi tub.
 Ty's birthday was this December and we celebrated by going to dinner at the place where he proposed on the anniversary 2 years ago.
 Scarlett built this snowman that had it's arms stolen by a pup who shall remain nameless……But not to worry, we found him some new ones and Scarlett seemed content with that.
 Being pregnant calls for pampering. Christmas Mani/Pedi with my sister.
 The great thing about Scarlett attending a learning based daycare, they make the best gifts/artwork. In love with this plate that we used for Christmas Eve Cookies & Carrots.
 And some photos of Christmas this year. Christmas morning was a quiet one which mostly revolved around Scarlett and her sheer joy that Santa arrived. We tried not to get her too many gifts. I can notice a difference between Scarlett's gratitude at the beginning of Christmas and the change that comes by the end of the holiday. It becomes a, "Where's the next one?" game. Less is more. Remembering this for next year as family always gets her a lot of gifts as well.
 She loves these bug-eyed creatures. 
 Christmas Morning Brunch: Stuffed French Toast which was amazing! I used the recipe HERE, Frittata, Sausage and Mimosas. 
The first time I've felt presentable in months…ha. By the way, The Loft has great maternity clothes!
A wonderful family photo taken by my brother-in-law, Peter. Thank you!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Home Tour: Our Downstairs.

 I finally got around to taking some photos of our home. Of course it's not completely done and these photos were taken during the holidays, but it's well on it's way to feeling cozy and more homey to us. When we bought this house, I wasn't fond of the red walls in the kitchen but the shade is really nice and has grown on me. I may still opt to paint them later on, but for now, they work. We really love that our kitchen is so open and looks into the living room space. It makes for great entertaining. Outside of those windows in the photo below, is a view of our pool and I'm really excited to have some great summer parties out there. (Thank God this baby will be here before summer!)

We bought a new sectional for our living room. It was much too big of a space for our old smaller sofa. The old sofa moved downstairs into our finished basement….or as Ty thinks, the man cave. We really love this home and although there are a few changes that I want to make when we get the time, it has become a great place for us to grow our family. Just in time actually!!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Home Tour: Scarlett's Room

Scarlett's room was one of the very first room's that I finished. We moved into our new house the day after coming home from Florida and a week or so before I found out that I was pregnant. 

I didn't have energy to do much with the house besides lay on the couch and wish someone would miraculously come put it all together. That didn't happen. Our house laid empty for quite a while actually. In the very few hours that I did feel somewhat mediocre, I put all of Scarlett's room pieces together in hopes that she wouldn't feel out of place. Knowing that moving is a big transition for kids, I wanted her to feel that she had a stable place to call her own and know that this was her new home. 

Scarlett's new room is much bigger than her old room here. I actually opted to put her into what was the prior owner's home office/guest suite. She has her own bathroom, walk-in closet and a sink/wetbar area. I'm sure she won't appreciate that part of the room for many years ;)  Unfortunately, I then found out I was pregnant and the idea crossed my mind that I may want to switch Scarlett into one of the guest rooms and make this large room the guest suite as it used to be.....I'm sure you can imagine how that turned out. Scarlett refused to let us move a thing. So, if we find out we are having a girl, then they will share a room and we will keep the other two spare bedrooms as guest rooms. If we find out we are having a boy, well then I guess baby brother will have a smaller room and we'll only have one spare guest room. We have family/friends visit a lot which often requires more than one guest room. I guess we'll manage as this family grows.
I took all of these photos with my iphone. One of these days I will start using that Canon...