Flashing Back this Friday for Upcoming Holidays (and for SHOPBOP sale alert!) xo

This was one of my favorite dresses to wear when I was pregnant and figuring out what worked best for me! See my original post about it HERE. I recently discovered it's available for the holidays in four gorgeous colors: pink, black, white and navy. I love color, but really love it in winter white. This is the type of strong, stretchy, textured material I could wear even now post-baby. I'll let you know if I decide to go white. ps- it's under $100 and if you are a SHOPBOP addict it's part of their MAINEVENT16 sale!  I have more to add...check back in later today. Off to work and bringing baby, wish me luck!

Prints Charming!

I love a good print. Especially one that pops (pun intended- re:baby) and makes me happy. The pink color and palm design make me feel like leaving for a vacation, which I won't be doing any time soon, so it's fun to pretend and let my mind wonder.  (Although, this IS non-maternity, so I'll be wearing it this summer and will definitely bring it on our first vacation post baby). It's longer in the back, which I love to cover my backside. Once I start working out again, I think this would double as a cute coverup over a bathing suit, too.  It come in other colors AND a maxi dress!

I've paired it with white bottoms, a statement necklace (that blends well here and looks amazing against this black and white printed top, too!)

...and some kitchy, incredibly affordable sunglasses for under $18 in both pictures!

STEPPING UP and VENTURING OUT 39 WEEKS PREGANT!

At 39 weeks pregnant and counting, I debated if I had the energy to venture out today, but some things are worth the sacrifice. Step Up Womens Network is one of them (read more about the event and see other pictures here!). I went back to my trusted, comfy tank dress (that comes in tons of colors- I'm wearing an XS-- I wore the purple version - and a few other styles HERE). Plus, I add in extra support and confidence with maternity spanx.  I wore these heels only on the red carpet (pictured below) and then quickly slipped into my fold up, go to flats that fit in my purse and save my feet, completely worth the money. 

Charming Charlie was one of the main sponsors of the charitable event... Ali and I sported a few of their pieces. Ali's wearing one of their maxi dresses (under $35) and several pieces of jewelry-- and I love her purse/clutch. It's only $25! I think I'll be ordering that one. I was excited to wear these fun (incredibly affordable) earrings!

 Ali (32 weeks pregnant here) and I took a few pregnant pictures together in the press line.

 Ali (32 weeks pregnant here) and I took a few pregnant pictures together in the press line.

I just started timing my contractions on the way home with my girlfriends...(more on that here). My husband is texting me demanding I get my hospital bag together! I can't believe we're in the last days.... better go get it together. 

 

JUMPSUIT? Pregnant?! Um... YES! Read WHY!

JUMPSUIT? Pregnant?! Um... YES! Read WHY!

No baby news, yet. He's still content in my tummy. So, I'm trying to stay relaxed at 9 1/2 months pregnant.  This jumpsuit I'm sporting in the picture (read more to see the lookbook of high to low pricing options) must be the most comfortable thing I've ever put on... better than PJs. It'll be added to my list of staples for the next pregnancy (eek! Lord willing, but, I know, let's get through this one first!)

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Finding what works for you...

Maternity wear is tricky... finding what works for your body and comfort level is crucial. Once I find a style that works, I  stick with it. And I'll wear it over and over. The dresses that are ruched tend to work well with my growing belly (here is one I own - pictured with Ali Fedotowsky at her shower if you scroll down below---for under $100 that you'll wear over and over...plus I love all the color choices! And, I add maternity spanx.  It's fun looking back wearing the same dress, watching the belly grow as the weeks go by. Also, textured dresses that camouflage a few areas have been great, like the one I wore (again, scroll down below) to the Milk and Bookies event recently.  What I've noticed is that these don't just work for me, but my other pregnant girlfriends are loving them, too. Take the picture directly below, for instance.  Lacey (how darling and gorgeous is she here!!) and I are wearing the same ruched Ellis tank dress... she is doing the whole black and white theme! I've been drawn to more color recently (Ali and I both own this dress in blue, as well), but loved the black on Lacey so much, I went and got that one, too. I must say, the fabric on the these thicker dresses is phenomenal. You may pay a bit more, but it's worth it. I like the "supported" feeling the fabric gives the bump.  ps- Yes, that's adorable Amy Davidson that recently gave birth! She has been wearing the ruched dresses postpartum. I love knowing these cute tank dresses will work all summer as non-maternity, too.

At Milk + Bookies event with my husband.

I've tried so many, here is a round up of some of my favorites below.

AFFORDABLE BIRTHING MAKEUP VIDEO TUTORIAL with Celebrity Makeup Artist Jamie Greenberg

Watch Celebrity Makeup Artist Jamie Greenberg give me a tutorial on "how to look good while giving birth." It sounds like a joke (and we definitely laughed a lot), but it's for real. I highly doubt any of us will be concerned with our makeup while we're in the hospital, but this tactic applies to any big event in life where you could break a sweat and need a lasting makeup look (could've used some of these products for my shower!).  And we used ONLY drugstore, affordable makeup. I found some new favorites (LookBook below!). Watch and let us know your thoughts! And subscribe to her channel! 

shop my favorites from the tutorial below! 

Because you asked! Blue Dress for Baby.

Even though I touched on the dress in another post, so many of you have asked about it via social media, I'm posting about  it again.

When the time came to pick a dress for the shower, I went through several options. In the final hour- and I mean, truly last minute, I wanted to go with blue for the obvious reason. This dress by Seraphine fit the bill.* I learned how to (attempt to) camouflage the bump at work, but for my shower, I wanted to almost enhance it. I was 8 months after all! The cool thing about these ruched dresses (besides all the color options) is how they will stretch while the belly grows, and shrink when the belly shrinks. So, I'll be wearing them postpartum, too.

Here are some other options you'll be seeing on instagram in the weeks to come. And some you've already seen. 

And yes, I'm liking blue right now- see the LookBook below that also includes the  maternity spanx that make me confident enough to wear form fitting dresses by smoothing out the extra bumps (not baby) that come with pregnancy. Okay, let's be honest here... I wear regular spanx even when I'm not pregnant! 

Showered with LOVE!

ClaudiaCraig.com Photographer

ClaudiaCraig.com Photographer

It seems so surreal that this is my life. You know the saying 'always a bridesmaid, never a bride'... well, I felt like I was always the 'auntie,' never the mom. But, here we are... and a very special thank you to the hostesses Kaley Cuoco and Marisa Coughlan. More details to come, but in the meantime, read a bit about the weekend here!

BABIES, BABIES, BABIES!! A weekend of #babybump #babylove

If I ever worried starting a family later in life would be lonely, last weekend took those thoughts away completely. On Saturday, my sweet girlfriends, Kaley Cuoco and Marisa Coughlan, hosted a safari- themed high tea baby shower for me. (It was a wonderland!) I'll be writing and posting later about not only what an emotionally charged, memorable day it was, but also how this past weekend transformed me. 

Then, on Sunday, we celebrated Ali Fedotowsky's little BabyManno in an ethereal, mid-spring day's floral setting.  As you can tell in the picture we had fun--and I'm really embracing the bump now in this dress (it comes in many colors, too!) Read more about the baby boom surrounding me HERE.

FEELING SPRING-Y... what to wear, how to feel it.

I have basically been waking up every night around 3am for a while now. If you follow me on twitter (HERE), you may have seen me tweet during these times. Is this my body preparing me for night feedings once the baby arrives? I also get these crazy leg cramps. I know it's normal, but it doesn't seem normal in the middle of the night when the pain wakes you up.  It's like a charlie horse on crack. I'm keeping active during the day and trying to remember to stretch, but they still sneak up on me! Needless to say, the lack of sleep and leg pain can leave you feeling sluggish the next day. Unmotivated. Slightly depressed.  It's nice to have something easy and bright to wear like this WRAP DRESS HERE.  I am obsessed with wrap dresses in general (thanks to DVF), and this one shows a little leg with a slightly higher cut in the front and lower in the back. It elongates the silhouette nicely. And it's under $75. It's not maternity, so I can wear it throughout the summer.  If you click on the picture OR HERE and see the model wearing the dress, it looks so effortlessly chic on her.  Seriously thinking of wearing this to my shower Saturday and calling it a day. I'll pair it with these heels HERE on sale that I'm wearing in the picture below (and bring THIS pair of flats that have been my go-to so far).

And I feel girlie and alive and ready to face the day. What are your tips for feeling and looking fresh? I hear this only gets harder, not easier, with kids. Especially newborns. Do you have your own tricks to share?  I know it's always good to remember gratitude. Grateful people are joyful people. 

xo

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SHOWER DRESS! OH WHAT TO DRESS THE BUMP?? And look at this photo of the hostesses!

MY SHOWER IS THIS WEEKEND!! EEK.

I'm so grateful to my sweet friends hosting (Kaley Cuoco and Marisa Coughlan).  Look at this picture I found of us from years ago! What a different life! Marisa is pregnant with her fourth!! We're actually due the same day, can you believe? And I think this is pre- Big Bang Theory for Kaley...

Marisa, me and Kaley! How long ago do you think this picture was taken?

Marisa, me and Kaley! How long ago do you think this picture was taken?

I'm 8 months pregnant today! I'll never forget the day I took the test and saw the pink lines. And now I'm dressing the bump. I was talking to another preggers girlfriend yesterday about maternity clothes. I'm looking for something so specific- a fitted maxi dress.  She brought up that it almost doesn't exist.  I found this one that I love, it's non-maternity, so it doesn't "grow" with you. However, it is so affordable ($52!!) and darling and so comfortable, I'll be wearing it till I can't fit in it, then post pregnancy! I love the pockets and the v-cut back.  I'm out looking today for more shower finds, so may be asking for opinions later!

 

 

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EMBRACING CHANGE: body, life, work!

Dressing room shot after work March 8th- at 29 weeks

Dressing room shot after work March 8th- at 29 weeks

I haven’t openly talked about this yet.  By “this,” I mean the growing baby inside me.  I knew it would be the biggest change my body has ever gone through, but what’s surprising me is the inner journey I am experiencing. There is so much change. (Grant it, I am going through a lot of external change in life in general!) But, I’m being forced to learn some big life lessons quickly. 

For instance, acceptance.  I’m having to learn to relinquish so much control.  The obvious loss of control: my body changing.  The less obvious: the unknown. Right now, so much of life is up in the air. And the only thing I know for sure is —  for sure more change is coming.  

Some days, most days, I feel good and inspired and grateful for this experience. I like the days I get to work (update HERE).  The day I took this "dressing room selfie,"  I had just wrapped scenes with the talented Lexi Ainsworth for General Hospital. Some fun, shocking material.  Lexi's character, Kristina, is going through some big life changes trying to find, or possibly redefine herself.  Although my personal stage of life couldn't be more different, they are not entirely dissimilar. We are both attempting to embrace change.

And a special thanks to the wardrobe department for making me feel so comfortable in my "condition" of 7 months pregnant. I believe the words Shawn Reeves, head wardrobe designer, used were: "Embrace your bump!"  I loved the jacket I wore that helped me hide....er...embrace it! And I've worn the same pair of jeans for every episode! I own them in (non-maternity, too - on sale here), so I just graduated to maternity when I needed.  I love that Paige Denim designs for this stage of life.

I'm realizing how important it is staying focused and feeling productive. The days I tend to have more going on, the better I feel.  But, I have to remember balance.  My energy levels are completely different than normal. And they are harder to predict. I have to be ok with some downtime and not categorize downtime as “laziness.”  The more I push myself, the more I pay for it later. (I literally fainted at a coffeeshop my first trimester! Eek!) Type A, anyone? If you’re reading this and pregnant, I’m probably preaching to the choir.  Any advise? Thoughts? Please share! And stay tuned...