The Home Stretch

Hello little hummus cups.

And thanks for being here. I realized the other day that I do not say that enough. I absolutely love my teeny tiny corner of the internet and the fact that you or anyone reads this makes it pretty darn special. At least to me. sothanks.

Welp. I am due in just about a month. Let’s talk about some sh*t.

Physical Health –

Overall I’m aight.  I have lower back and persistent tailbone pain and bad heartburn, but other than that things are not too shabby.

Mental Health –

My mental health game is surprisingly fairly strong! My therapist and I have tackled lots of issues together, such as:

  • Dealing with the mental side of putting on weight
  • Anticipation of losing my identity
  • Worry over the changes that will take place in my marriage and relationships
  • Anticipation of sleep deprivation
  • Medical procedures (such as getting an IV)
  • The pain of childbirth
  • The physical ramifications of childbirth
  • My body after childbirth
  • Childbirth

If it is not clear from the list above, I have a fair amount of anxiety surrounding childbirth. Man alive, how many times can I type the word CHILDBIRTH? Cripes. I think my anxieties are normal but the anticipation can be pretty crippling. Ya feel me?

Although I am (selfishly) quite nervous about the parts that involve MY body and psyche, I actually feel pretty okay about the baby-care part. Mostly due to the fact that I have a seasoned pro by my side (David) and a very enthusiastic junior mommy (E). She has already requested that the baby sleep in her room and volunteered to do much of the feeding. Sure thing, kid ;). Homegirl is excited and we cannot wait to see their little relationship unfold.

Here’s what else is going on:

We went on a maternity tour and took a Newborn Essentials class at the hospital.

The maternity tour gave me  a few minor panic attacks, mostly at the mention of blood clots and the hospital’s baby friendly policies. One part of this involves doing skin-to-skin RIGHT after the baby is born. As in, they pull the sucker out, do minimal cleaning, and set it directly ON YOU. You do this for one hour and then they take the baby away for measurements and whatnot. Mostly all of these things freak me out and I would rather have someone else do it. I called my Dad after the class and jokingly asked him if he would be willing. He replied, “Nat I’ve got my shirt off right now.” Baaaaaaaaahahaha.

*I also realize that my feelings about these kinds of things may totally change once I meet her, but this is how I feel right now.

The Newborns class was also pretty darn insightful. It was basically a 3-hr crash course on babies. Here were my favorite take-aways:

  • If someone comes to “visit” during those first couple of months, keep a list of chores on the fridge. When the friend/family member asks if there is anything they can do to help, you can say, “Sure, there is a list on the fridge. -OR-
  • Make visitors do a chore or bring food over if they want to hold the baby. *Not sure I would actually do this but it gives me a chuckle.
  • The phrase “sleeping through the night” for an infant is considered 5 hours.
  • Taking the baby for a walk between the hours of 10 am and 1 pm helps them start understanding that there is a difference between daytime and nighttime.
  • Tummy time is like, really important.
  • So is breastmilk, or breastfeeding.
  • Talking to the baby and explaining what you are doing early on, “I’m setting you down to change you,”, “It’s time to eat!”, etc. even as an infant is really good for them and helps them understand what you are doing sooner.

And while I have your attention…I have asked David multiple times if he would start taking hormones so that he can lactate and share the chore of breastfeeding with me…sadly he is not going for it.

I have also been trying to prepare for the busy life of primary caregiver to an infant baby by being as lazy as possible! Also being horizontal is just nice.

I like to binge watch Counting On! Gotta love those Duggar girls. I also folded my first batch of baby laundry!

Or nap in our big chair watching The Affair on HBO and staring at the Christmas tree.

Or walking around in the world’s comfiest pants c/o my homegirl Dana who got me these from Soft Surroundings.

In  my spare time, I also like to look at cute baby items that are out of my price range or completely and utterly unnecessary. Like this item:

Def do not need this but MAN do I want it. For myself 😉

Overall, I am tired and sore, excited, grateful, emotional, scared shitless and happy all at the same time.  I am so thankful for my David and my family, because without them I would be monumentally more worried than I am right now!

My 2018 Christmas List

Sound the alarm!

Gird your loins!

Pull up your boot straps!

My 2018 Christmas list is here!

BEHOLD!

I feel like this year is alllll about luxury. Which is funny, because I am about to yield a child who will inevitably humble, embarrass and otherwise de-glamorize me beyond recognition. Maybe that is why I am craving those items in life right now that say, “Hey – I’m comfy AND classy!” Those things that will make me feel kinda chic when life is kicking the absolute sh*t outta me. When I can wink a sparkly eyelid at the mom fresh out of barre class in her Lululemon cropped tank while I awkwardly maneuver the stroller with a crying baby and my postpartum muffin top showing and think, “You’re fine! You got this.”

Bobby Brown Face Base

To kick things off right, of course I want the same moisturizing primer that all the rich gurus like Jeffree Starr and Tati are using. I picture myself dunking a brand new beauty blender into this product and having skin JUST like theirs.

Camo Tee Shirt – Size M

Why it has taken me this long to finally procure a camo tee shirt, I do not know. I used to own THEE best one in high school and my sisters and I would fight over it. It was one from the Army surplus store and had been washed like a million times. It was so thin and SO soft. Hoping this will serve me the same way.

Lush D’Fluff Shaving Soap

I want a big ol’ tub of this stuff for two reasons. One: it smells strawberries and Two: the texture is like none other. It really is fluffy! Gotta hand it to Lush for always keeping things fun.

iRobot Roomba 690 Vacuum 

I have wanted a Roomba for a few years now but the price and the fact that I have a relatively small house has held me back. This year they are going on sale for Black Friday and I have decided that it is time. It’s time to say yes to having consistently clean floors (we have all hardwoods). It’s time I start realizing that shaving off an entire chore is worth $250. It is time to step into the light and get excited about a vacuum cleaner.

Kopari Body Care Set

I have really been enjoying the Kopari Coconut Melt in these chilly months. I use it on my belly, my face and my hair. It is kindof an amazing to have one product you really feel good about slathering everywhere. Since I discovered the Coconut Melt, the brand has expanded into all kinds of new products. I REALLY want to try the Coconut Shower Oil…and this set comes with a little bottle :).

Minnetonka Cally Slippers in Blush Suede – Size 10

Can you believe I DO NOT own a pair of slippers? It is a travesty I know. I had to special order a pair for David (he wears a size 15) and I get so jealous when he has them on for puttering around the house. In keeping with the theme for this year, I definitely need a pair!

Quay “It’s My Way” Sunglasses – Black

I feel like I have asked for a different pair of these sunglasses every year for Christmas. These ones in particular are just SO practical for me. They are GIANT, better quality than all the crappy ones I have from H&M and will be much needed to cover up the bags under my eyes in the coming months (which btw, are Prada).

Asymmetrical Snap-Up Fleece –  in pink and white (or any color) Size L

It just wouldn’t be Christmas without at least one item from good ol’ Abercrombie & Fitch amiright!? I have wanted this fleece for over a year now and right now it is ON SALE. I love the style of the neck, the quilted section and I mean, it’s fleece!                                                    (performance fleece….ooh it’s fine!) <- Anybody?!

Too Faced Twinkle Twinkle Liquid Glitter Eyeshadow – in Honey Please

I feel I owe it to you all AND to myself to compare this stuff to the Stila Magificent Metals glitters. I LOVE those ones and am curious to know how this formula compares!

Koolaburra Sylvia Boots – in Chestnut, Size 9.5

I ask for boots every damn year but I LIVE IN PORTLAND OK? Boots and coats, man. That’s all we get for so long. It’s just practical. And these ones have little fur and knit components. I MEAN. So cute.

Fall Happenings

Good Day Friends!

As you all know, I am a summer person through and through. Give me sunshine, sandals and vodka s’mores! Give me easy, casual outfits and slightly dirty hair! Give me watermelon with every meal and wet towels on the deck! Fall is gorgeous but to me, it just serves as a reminder that 6 months of drizzle is headed my way. 6 months of living in a rotation of 3-4 coats. 6 months of flat hair, LAYERS and wishing I had remote start for my car.

Despite the harsh reminder, fall has been absolutely gorgeous this year. Here is what I’ve been up to:

Pumpkin Patches!

I have a love/hate relationship with pumpkin patches…especially the ones that charge you to get in. The apple cider/pumpkin donuts are a love. The waiting in line to shoot a potato gun is a hate. Getting cute fall pictures…love. Parking the car in the middle of an alfalfa field…hate.

Also, pumpkins are cheaper at Fred Meyer…just sayin’.

David and I went to one in Kennewick with the Danielson crew and then took E to one here in Portland. Both were so fun.

Tate’s eyelashes in the above pic SLAAYYY me.

Our trips to Kennewick have been so much fun now that Tate is getting older and Meg is FINALLY starting to feel better (she is with child and has the Kate Middleton-style pregnancies).

Tate and David watching the Blazers.

Tate doing the “splits”.

We took E and pal Izzy to a pumpkin patch here in Portland the following weekend on theee most beautiful day EVER.

I die for how much Meira looks like a teddy bear here.

And then of course, it was Halloweenis.

No comment.

Meg finally bribed Tate to put on his costume! He was Curious George.

And then we had my baby shower. It was pretty much the cutest thing ever. I got a mountain of presents and ate two cupcakes in a row.

Of course spending the weekend with Tate was just dreadful ;).

His face in this pic, OMG:

Another random happening is my new specs from Warby! The color of them is called “rose water”. It may or may not have been the reason I chose them…

also, my real lashes:

 

Ulta Haul – The Essentials & Freebies

Bonjour babies!

I recently placed an order with Ulta and thought I would share this haul with my loyal readers, despite being filled with mostly boring essentials. Yess let’s go!

What I love most about ordering Ulta online, rather than shopping in-store is the amount of freebies! I have received their emails for years and unlike so many other emails that clutter up my inbox, the Ulta ones are actually worth a damn. Always a coupon, always a gift with purchase and always samples. If you do not currently get the emails from Ulta, do it.

Here’s what I got for $50 exactly: (apologies for the sh*t pics)

Makeup Revolution Renaissance Flick Liquid Eyeliner

I purchased this one based off a recommendation from the lovely Emily Noel. And MAN am I glad I did – this product is AMAZING.

Here is one tiny swipe, not even pressing down hard:

Black AF.

Covergirl Supersizer Mascara

This is my favorite mascara. YES it is tough to remove (just be patient!) but it literally keeps a curl, is separating AND lengthening AND voluminous. It is a freakin’ workhorse.

IT Cosmetics Celebration Illumination Powder Foundation

I decided to just bite the bullet and repurchase this absolutely stunning face powder. I also really like the Benefit Hello Flawless powder (seen here) for under my eyes, but this one just takes the cake in terms of face powder. I purchased the “light” shade if you are curious.

Ulta Cotton Rounds

Told you this was haul was going to be thrilling.

So Totally Clean Micellar Cleansing Water

I needed a new micellar water and since Bioderma is still not sold in the US anywhere, I went with this one.

And now for the freebies!

I received all of these items FREE for spending $50.

Here are a few of the highlights:

Covergirl Cheekers Blush in Iced Cappuccino

This blush is a TOTAL throwback. My girl Lacey and I used to pile this on in high school and I have to say – it is still such a good color! I am in love once again.

Winky Lux Highlighter in Charm

This bite-sized highlighter is almost too cute to use. The packaging? I MEAN. Be still my heart. The highlight itself is an iridescent pinky color, very creamy and very pigmented!

Maybelline Vivid Hot Lacquer in Charmer

I like the consistency and color payoff of this gloss but the color is horrible on me. I’ll be passing along!

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Illumination 

The sample size of this product is LEGIT. I have used it a handful of times so far and it really isn’t my fave. It is nowhere as good as the Celebration powders.

Annnd last but certainly not least….

Coach Floral Eau De Parfum

This was not a freebie. Haha I wish. David picked this up for me the other weekend while we were on a date and casually handed it to me at the movies. It smells amazing (you can tell I have already used it ALOT) and the bottle? COME ON. I die.

 

Baby Registries – A Rant

Hi pigeons!

So…baby registries. Registries in general. A list of sh*t you want people to buy for you. Unlike a wedding registry, a baby registry is not really about YOU so much as the human you are growing. But like, YOU are growing the baby and you own it so it IS kinda about you. And the baby does not get a say. Wouldn’t it be great if the doctors could tell you the baby’s preferred color palette and sleeping arrangement at the ultra sound? Is the baby more of a winter or summer? Would it prefer co-sleeping, a bassinet or something that rocks? I guess what I mean is, registering for your baby is a little cart-before-the-horse if you ask me.

When I asked my best friends with kids what ONE item they loved with ALL of their kids, the results were scarce. My friend Carey was like, “all my kids were so different! at first all they really need is you, diapers and a blanket”.

That sounds easy.

But then hundreds of baby websites and apps and Pinterest start popping up and make you feel like you NEED a bottle warmer. Or a freakin’ WIPE warmer.  They focus on taking all of your money! I feel I cannot rely on those resources. I decided I would approach this subject as I do with most things in life, in a practical manner.

I am 34. My husband already has a kid. It is not amateur hour over here. We have a smaller home and ideally I would prefer it not be hemorrhaging baby crap. So what does that mean?

  1. Stick to the necessities.
  2. Try to get things that are multi-purpose.
  3. If our home has to contain ugly baby stuff, lets make it the cutest ugly baby stuff we can find.

Additionally, KNOW THYSELF. I know my kid will have an abundance of clothes, books and toys. Why? Because – my mom. Because – Goodwill. And because – baby girl stuff is very hard to resist  due to rampant cuteness. THEREFORE, I will not be registering or buying items like toys, HOARDS of clothing, books or random contraptions. And speaking of contraptions…

The amount of apparatuses (not apparati, I looked it up) to hold, swing, rock, vibrate, swaddle or otherwise contain a baby is astounding. You’ve got your rock’n’plays, your pack’n’plays, your dock-a-tots, your bouncers, your walkers, your freakin’ mamaroos. It’s  a little ridiculous. Is all this sh*t really necessary? I mean, our little house is already going to be taken over by baby stuff – why add more unsightly, primary-colored gadgets with smiling lions and elephants into the mix?

And I know they are starting to make nicer looking ugly baby stuff, more sleek and modern.  Believe me, I know…

hhhhelllo lover…

nice to meet you 😉

But you know how much these items cost? $1,200 and $200 respectively.

To put it into perspective, here are examples of items within my budget:

Do you see the distinction?

Can you say, Restoration Hardware taste on a Craigslist free section budget?

And it’s all a gamble! The baby could hate being in a swing or being rocked. A white noise machine could make the crying worse. The baby may hate being strapped to my chest in a Baby Bjorn.

My point is, there is so, SO much . It seems to me that a baby registry should happen like 3 months after the thing is born. But how practical is that Natalie?!

C’est la vie.

In creating our baby registry, of course David’s expertise came in mighty handy. We talked through what kind of sleeping, feeding and diapering situations to shoot for, knowing perfectly well that all of it could go flying out the window based on the level of asshole our baby decides to be. Here is a random sampling of some items from our registries (Target and Amazon).

A Pack’n’Play

Our hope: She will sleep on top in the bassinet for awhile. Then we can move her halfway down when she starts rolling over and moving more. Then we can move her to the bottom when she gets bigger. She will get used to sleeping/existing in it and we can take it with us everywhere.

Stokke High Chair

This expensive MF-er looks nice and apparently you can have it forever. It grows with the kid.

Nose Frida

This thing completely grosses me out but David swears it works amazing.

Diapers

We have decided to do disposables because when it comes right down to it, I don’t feel like carefully dealing with baby excrement. We registered for Pampers too, but the designs on these Honest Diapers are completely to die.

Clothes

I KNOW I will have cartloads of clothes but I could not resist adding  a few things. You’ll understand why…

And yes, I threw in the white onesies too.

Random Crap

One thing I have absolute power over is the decor of our extra room she will (fingers crossed) eventually sleep in. I’m going full-bore ballerinas, swans, shabby-chic blush pink AND I AM NOT LOOKING BACK.

And of course we need Little Mermaid bath toys. This girl will be singing Les Poissons with a perfect french accent by age 2 SO HELP ME GOD.

Loungewear 

Full disclosure: I registered for some new nursing/post-maternity pajamas and lounge clothes for myself because DON’T I GET SOMETHING?! I almost added some Sunday Riley Good Genes serum but thought that might be pushin’ it.

In all seriousness though, having some cute new lounge clothes to wear home from the hospital is going to make the fact that I am wearing an 8-inch thick diaper a little easier to swallow.

And if you’re interested in all the items we registered for, check them out here:

Target

Amazon

*I did register for a bottle-warmer. Haha.

Nostalgic Beauty Haul

Lately I’ve been feeling quite nostalgic.

Maybe it’s because I am growing a female human and am therefore having elaborate fantasies about the person she will one day become. Will she prefer Berenstain Bears or Amelia Bedelia? Will she be a lipstick or lipstain girl? Blue-razz or cherry icees? Tube tops or Carhartt bibs?

And it’s also got me thinking about the kind of girl I was. As an example, I was the girl who kept a steady supply of Malibu Musk, Exclamation and Love’s Baby Soft body sprays in her gym locker. I was the girl who begged my mom for a green Covergirl compact, for Lip Smackers peach shampoo and sparkly shirts from Abercrombie to pair with my low-rise L.E.I jeans. I wanted clear skin, perfectly curled lashes and a cloud of Charlie White to follow me wherever I went.

And lately, I have picked up and been sent a few things that have swept me back. Transported me to a time when my biggest worry was the possibility of my Loveable Beginnings training bra showing through my ONLY white Roxy tee shirt. When my college-ruled, 5 Star binders and pee chees organized my life, a good day was getting picked up first after basketball practice and sipping a Wild Cherry Clearly Canadian was the perfect accompaniment to any meal.

Here’s the highlights:

Honestly Margo Roll-On Lipgloss in Alexis Watermelon

OK GUYS. How cah-ute is this packaging?

For real though.

I love the 70’s vibe and the fact that this brand is women-run. All of their products are super unique (hello unicorn fizzy bath dust!)and contain wholesome, natural ingredients. I love that they came out with roll-on lipglosses because the last time I owned one of these was in 7th grade.

As a matter of fact, my pencil pouch from 6th-12th grade was STOCKED with Bonne Bell. I pretty much kept them in business. And I used to put on SO much of this specific gloss, it would literally drip off my lips:

Needless to say, as SOON as I applied the Roller Girls Roll-On Lipgloss it brought me right back!

Check out that shininess!

Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser

Due to the current state I am in (pregnant), my face has decided to rebel against me and break out. Annnnd again, I am right back in 9th grade! Shopping for acne products and realizing they still make Oxy Pads has been quite fun, actually. I decided to switch my face wash to this work horse of a face wash and so far I am happy to report that my skin has been A LOT better!

Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Eliminating Spot Gel

In addition to the Cetaphil face cleanser joining the battalion, I have also enlisted the help of a salicylic acid spot treatment. Prior to being pregnant (or B.P.), my skin had always reacted best with benzoyl peroxide but now I am alll about that salicylic baby. I basically dab dab dab a good amount of this all over my forehead (my most problematic area) and am usally substantially more clear in the morning. And if putting on a spot treatment every night doesn’t remind you of 9th grade, I don’t know what will.

Abercrombie & Fitch 8 Fragrance

I know everyone is shaking their heads at me for this one, but frankly I could care less. This was MY signature fragrance freshman year of college and sometimes you just need to go with what works. I caught a whiff of this stuff last time I was actually in an Abercrombie store and knew I had to have her again. If you have never smelled this before I would encourage you to do so. It is a very unique, feminine scent.

I also picked up a couple of samples at Abercrombie of their other women’s fragrances and so far I really like the Wakley scent.

Essence Get Big Lashes Volume Boost Mascara

I bought this one based off a recommendation from Casey Holmes but I should have stuck to the Lash Princess because this mascara is TERRIBLE. The amount of product that actually gets onto the lashes is dismal. It is a decent second mascara at best but I will never buy this one again.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish

I nabbed two of these polishes for less than $3 each at Freddies which is a STEAL considering that they are $10 a pop at regular price. You do need to have the gel topcoat for these polishes and often times the stores will carry a duo-pack containing the top coat and a color for a special price. I find that while the formula takes FOREVER to dry, the polish actually lasts on my nails for up to 10 days and can withstand dish-washing, warm laundry folding and bathtub scrubbing. HIGHLY recommend these polishes.

 

Treets Traditions Nourishing Spirits Hand Lotion + Revitalizing Hair & Body Wash

I was sent these two products complimentary for testing and have very much enjoyed them both so far. As a side note, I have noticed the brand popping up in T.J Maxx so that is a WIN in my book!

Tate is Three

To the tune of “Oh Christmas Tree”.

Oh Tate is three, oh Tate is three

he makes us smile and laugh with glee!

Oh Tate is three, oh Tate is three 

he makes us smile with glee.

Not only does he love his cars,

but he can jump not very far.

Oh Tate is three, oh Tate is three!

He makes us smile and laugh with glee!