Maternity Fashion 101

I am in my 22nd week of this pregnancy, and my thoughts lately have been on maternity fashion.

My hubby has finally unearthed my box of maternity clothes from storage, and I was excited to find some old favorites…classic pieces of clothing I am happy to soon wear again. I was also horrified at some of the items I found in the box, with thoughts of “what was I thinking” floating in my head. Needless to say, I’ve tossed a few old maternity clothes into my ever-growing donate pile of other clothing items, wondering why I’ve decided to keep them in the first place.

A lot of my maternity clothes from storage were summer clothes, since I was pregnant with Miggz in the spring and summer, and only for a little bit in the winter. I was happy to find two of my maternity jeans in there though…those would definitely come in handy.

Now that I am pregnant in the winter and will be through spring, I’ve set aside my summer pregnancy clothes for later on (and even post-pregnancy), and I am now loving all the inspiration I’m finding on Pinterest for winter-appropriate maternity clothing.

This would make for a cute, casual pregnancy outfit.

This would make for a cute, casual pregnancy outfit. Source: here.

I need to get me some similar riding boots NOW! Source: here.

I need to get me some similar riding boots NOW! Source: here.

This could totally work...minus the belt and heels. Source: here.

This could totally work…minus the belt and heels. Source: here.

The great thing about being pregnant in the winter in Arizona is I don’t really need to bundle up. I just need to be warm and comfortable, and to me, that translates into a whole lot of cute!

I love this mom’s ideas for dressing the bump in the 2nd trimester…

Check out this mom's post on her site for some inspiration on dressing your bump! Source: here.

Check out this mom’s post on her site for some inspiration on dressing your bump! Source: here.

And I didn’t know Forever21 did maternity clothing, but I hope they still do. Here are some 5 under $50 ideas from the Love21 line…

Maternity clothing from Forever21! Source: here.

Maternity clothing from Forever21! Source: here.

AND for some more tips and inspiration

Check out these outfits from this Maternity Fashion Guide. Source: here.

Check out these outfits from this Maternity Fashion Guide. Source: here.

I found skinny maternity pants similar to the above from H&M…they are SO comfortable! And reasonably-priced too!! One was on sale for $10 (I know…a steal!!), and the other was $35…still cheaper than most maternity pants I’ve seen, plus you can’t go wrong with H&M!

I have also found some cute new clothes from the Gap, some maternity and non-maternity, and…all on sale! Their stuff is really comfortable too, and I recommend scouring their sale racks–or online sale links–for some appropriate maternity clothing (buy a size or two up if non-maternity, or get your regular size in maternity wear).

If you read the tips from the links I’ve posted, you’ll find that you’ll get the most bang for your buck by:

  1. only investing in a few key pieces (comfy maternity pants are a must for me in the winter);
  2. buying some non-maternity clothing in a larger size–because you’ll soon find that just because something is labeled maternity, some stores charge a fortune for them like crazy, like Motherhood Maternity!! (I’ve found some comfy leggings at Papaya for $5!! Another MUST for winter pregnancy and beyond!!); and
  3. working with clothes you already own and wear. You’ll be surprised at the new levels of cute you’ll achieve by wearing your regular clothes on your bump. I’ve found this to be true for my tanks and cardigans.

Lastly…wear your bump proud! Pregnancy curves are beautiful and should not be hidden under balloon-looking clothes (unless absolutely necessary, like in the heat of summer)! Post-pregnancy clothing and fashion is another story…those I’ve got to find a LOT of inspiration for, but I’ll worry about that later 😉

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Thinking Up a Transformers Birthday Party

It is late June and plans are in the works for Miguel’s 3rd Birthday Party. His current favorite is Transformers, toting along his Optimus Prime toy robot everywhere we go since we went on a trip to D.C. in May.

See?

Miggz plays with his Transformers Optimus Prime Rescue Bot in our hotel room in Virginia.

On the way back to our hotel room after his Uncle Jomil and Auntie Stephanie’s civil wedding, Miggz has Optimus Prime again. Yes, the robot transforms from truck to robot and back. That’s why he LOVES it!!

And here, his Optimus Prime Rescue Bot even made it to one of our sightseeing stops in D.C.–the WWII Memorial.

Naturally, we are making Transformers the theme for Miguel’s 3rd Birthday, coming up in August. Thankfully, I don’t have to think much at all about it. Pinterest abounds in inspiration, as usual. Take for instance, this pinner’s “Transformers Birthday Party Ideas” board. And here is another one. Also, if you do a Google search for “transformers birthday” and look at the images that come up, you are bound to see plenty of ideas as well.

I don’t plan on going crazy and spending much–if any–for Miguel’s upcoming birthday party. But I have some DIY ideas inspired by the Pinterest boards I’ve mentioned above to hopefully make his 3rd birthday a memorable one. I showed Miggz pics of those Pinterest pinboards and his eyes already lit up! What more if he sees what I plan on creating…

Stay tuned 😉

Working Out A Work-Out Plan

I had planned on starting to work-out again beginning this month of April. Somehow it felt wrong to start working out during Holy Week, so I postponed. It would have been pointless anyway, since Easter Weekend somehow just ended up being an eating fest this year–my parents hosted a party Saturday night to celebrate their wedding anniversary, then Easter Sunday lunch with fam + another party that late afternoon/evening, not to mention all the Easter candy!!!

Working out simply would not have worked out…

But now I am getting myself worked up to work out, especially since my brother and hubby (or so he says) are planning to start their Insanity / P90X work-out regimens again. I figured, why not start with them?

Don’t get me wrong…I don’t plan on doing any extreme workouts. Thankfully, I don’t need to. Just some toning up here and there to have an ideal swimsuit shape come summer is all I want.

My biggest problem area is my tummy (I’m sure a lot of mommies can relate). I wish fat stores would go straight to my hips (wishful thinking…LOL!!!), but unfortunately, all the candy and cakes and ice cream of the past few months just have somehow gone straight to my tummy area, leaving a muffin top (!!!)

I don’t have any strict plans…just a few work-out inspirations from Pinterest.

Here are a few, I hope you find inspiration using any or all of these:

The Starter’s Exercise Plan – this is a 20-day “warm-up” work-out of sorts, something I definitely can live with…

The Starter's Exercise Plan via Pinterest from http://downtownn.tumblr.com

Here’s some on How to get Killer Abs (I want!!) …another one from Pinterest, but the actual link is not working, so I am linking back to the pin instead.

And this one, to Combat those Pesky Cellulites

Combat cellulite using the "Tracy Anderson" method, from Cosmopolitan magazine, July 2011

And an image for some motivation to work out and get to your goal, also from Pinterest.

Other things I’ve used (and will probably use again) for getting toned are –

  1. Sketchers Shape-ups Shoes – not sure how effective they are, but I use mine when taking walks out with Miguel…they have a “bouncy” soft feeling when walking on street sidewalks.
  2. Zumba Fitness DVDs – a fun way to work up a sweat while grooving and dancing at the same time! Even better when you are doing it with girlfriends, sisters, aunts…even your mom!
  3. Brazil Butt Lift Workout DVDs – yes, that’s really what it’s called! I LOVE these…the work-outs from these DVDs are TIRING!! But they produce quick tone-up results.

How do you stay in shape and “not let go” of your body and beauty regimen?

Hobby Lobby

My hubby and I chanced upon this store over the weekend while out getting garden supplies.

It’s a place called Hobby Lobby…it’s a “Homegoods meets Michael’s” type of place. As its name suggests, they sell anything and everything you can think of that hobbyists do: home decorating (my hobby), scrapbooking (I do a little of that, too!), sewing (I wish!), and all sorts of arts and crafts.

I was surprised by the amount of home decor items that they had. I mean, they literally had rows and rows and rows of shelves with every home decor theme you can think of.

I wish I took pics, but we had Miggz with us and he was getting antsy in the shopping cart, and we had to keep him away from all the goodies to be ogled and touched–I have to admit, I was getting excited myself!

In one area, they had items for cowboy, race car, fire engine, Route 66, Americana, baseball, and other themed rooms! This is a baby room designer’s mecca! You can easily get carried away and pick up decorative items that will fit your theme.

Of course they had a safari themed area! It had animals, African masks, just gorgeous stuff! A bit pricey, but cheaper than you would get at name brand shops like Pottery Barn Kids.

The day that we came, Hobby Lobby was doing a half-off sale on all metal and wood decorative items (including all free-standing decor and wall art!) Naturally, I had to pick up something for Miguel’s safari room.

After many moments of ogling, we decided to give this little giraffe a home…

[Clock-wise from top right] The giraffe is actually made of resin, not wood, but the clerk was nice enough and gave us half off anyway, talk about meant to be ours! | I LOVE the little cologne bottles. They are from Bench (a popular brand store of trendy clothes in the Philippines). | The top of Miguel’s storage drawers. The giraffe completes the look, don’t you think? | And his “explore” garland that I made. I relocated it from its original hanging place by the window…with the blinds and valance I thought it was just too much. It is now hanging by his closet doors, which I think is perfect.

Like many of my projects, Miguel’s room is a “work-in-progress.” It grows with him.

Just recently I finally put away his changing pad, which we haven’t used in ages.

[Below] This is now the once changing area…those DIY storage box and tray now have a home. Also seen here is the framed printable I got from Pinterest, and those plain storage boxes that I made “un-boring” by adding a little safari flair.

How do you keep your little one’s room growing with your child?

Bedroom Corner Makeover {Before & After}

A few months back my husband and I–along with little Miggie’s help–did a quick make-over on one of the corners of our bedroom.

I desperately needed a place to study for my real estate exam (because sitting at the lounge chair in my son’s room was not cutting it for me). Studying on our laptop desk also wasn’t working out…it was simply too distracting.

Our solution was to turn this neglected part of the bedroom into a bookstore/cafe-bar inspired little nook.

Before…

The corner used to have some leftover boxes from our move, a couple of bins and keepsake boxes, and our laundry basket.

After…

I didn’t want to buy anything new for this space. A few items that have been put away in the garage for storage did the trick.

My hubby installed a wall shelf to house some books. A bar-height stool and table (that used to be in our apartment kitchen in Jersey) made for the perfect sit-down study area for me (a bonus is that my little one can no longer get to the stuff on top of my desk).

Here are some shots of the made-over office corner:

The bar-height table-top area provides ample space to spread books + a refuge to keep tools and trinkets away from a toddler.

The only thing we bought for this space…a poster of the Holstee Manifesto I featured in my post entitled, “And So I Turn 30…

Favorite books grace the small shelf over the table. These days, most of my reading is done on the iPad.

A friend and former co-worker of mine brought me this carved elephant from one of his trips to India. It’s one of my favorite gifts. If you look closer, there is a baby elephant inside…it’s a Mommey!!!

A printable I got from Pinterest…

Dove Dark Chocolates…always a must-have on my desk…

I hope this post has inspired you to create a little nook for yourself, for whatever purpose it may be.

Here are some *behind-the-scenes* look at how this make-over came to be…

Miggz helping out...

Daddy's eager helper.

The Inherent Value in Pinterest

Raise your hand if you can relate to any one or more of the following scenarios:

– You’ve put buying a house–your dream house–on hold.
– You’re waiting to have another baby (or considering having your first one in the near or distant future).
– You’ve learned to curb your lavish expenses and make do with modest lifestyle changes.
– You are putting off financial splurges like grand vacations, big parties, and expensive home remodels.
– You’ve pushed that pause button on your career and decided to concentrate on other pursuits (finding yourself/becoming a mom/starting up your own business, etc.)

If you’re me, you’re likely to relate to most (if not all) of the above. You might say that it all comes with being a mom–and that is true to some extent. But I can bet the above apply to a larger portion of the population these days, whether mom or not.

The thing is, in the current state of our economy, most of us average folk are in this frame of mind right now.

The dream state.

The non-splurge state.

The state of modesty.

Enter Pinterest, a social networking site that allows you to “grab” images from the web and within other user boards and “pin” or “repin” them onto your own self-created vision boards.

It’s pretty amazing what you see on Pinterest…all the beautiful, interesting, crafty, creative, delicious, monumental, massive, and smart photos users have gathered and pinned. They are ideas of–and inspiration for–anything and everything you can think of: dream home spaces, stylish outfits, travel destinations, thoughtful quotes, beautiful people, life events grand and small, etc., …each photo a possible inspiration to your own vision.

It is perfect for the now most of us are in. The now when we are planning, rebuilding, restrengthening. The now when we can benefit from the most inspiration and vision.

The now when–one can hope–we are working happily and not wearily in achieving that vision.

Whether it be for a dream home, dream trip, dream job, dream wedding, dream outfit for the evening, dream room for the baby, dream office, dream every day reality.

Vision is everything.

Have you pinned lately?

My virtual vision board on Pinterest.

A few of the images I've pinned onto my vision board.

So true! Photo credit: milenuts.tumblr.com

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