Author Archives: thebandwifeblog

April 5, 2017
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Why Choosing a Maternity Style Matters (At Least To Me…)

So, first off, let’s get the title of this post straight. Of ALL the things to concern yourself with in a pregnancy (health of Baby and Mama, proper maternity care, preparing for Baby, etc.), what you wear along the way really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. I think for me, however, what it did really help with was with some of the mental components that can come up with such a big life change. I know that adding “Mom” to my list of roles will be a huge addition (and will certainly have ripple effects into the other categories as well) but it was really important for me to still feel like myself as much a possible throughout pregnancy and that’s where the clothes came in. If you ever want to see me squirm and dance around anxiously, just put in an outfit that is reeeaally not my style and then make me spend time in public wearing it. I feel like my whole body is literally itching to get it off! On the opposite end, wearing clothing that feels like “me” gives me a comfort level that’s hard to match by doing anything else. It’s not that they are expensive items (and they are usually the same pieces over and over again) but I just feel comfortable and confident in certain things way more than others. Those of you who have that side of you too know what I mean.

Anyways, that was kind of a worry for me as my pregnancy progressed. It was not that easy to find maternity clothes that I liked when I looked at the beginning (I’ve always hated ruching as a clothing detail and they use it all over maternity items) so I wanted to come up with a game plan that would allow me to wear mostly “normal” clothing that I already had or could wear after Baby mixed in with a few essentials from maternity lines. Here are the basic categories I stuck with:

                                  white dress (similar) // gingham dress // pink dress (similar)

Flowy Tent Dresses: This one was an easy category for me since I love this shape anyways! Plenty of room for a big or small bump so you can wear them throughout the trimesters. Only potential problem is if you love short ones like I do, a few of them got too short in the front as the belly got bigger near the end!

Pink Jacket (similar) // Black Moto (similar) // (I got my two fave black leather jackets from Mango)

Moto Jackets: Probably the biggest item that makes me feel like me. I didn’t really start wearing moto style jackets until my mid 20’s, but once I got a really good one it was like “WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?” Always super cool and a little edgy. I usually buy motos that look best when open in the front anyways so they have been my secret preggo weapon for when I don’t know what to wear out but still want to feel kind of cool. They helped me hide the bump in that awkward in-between phase of early pregnancy and now I just let that big belly out the front!                             First two coats sold out from Shein // Black Furry coat (similar)

Long Open Jackets: Once winter really kicked in and a moto jacket just wasn’t going to cut it anymore warmth wise, I switched over to long coats (especially furry ones) to keep warm but still feel a bit glamorous. While it’s true that I already felt a bit “fluffier” in general just being pregnant, I still love a big fur coat and the longer open length is more flattering than a textured cropped coat with the belly (believe me!).

                                Grey Dress (similar) // White Dress (similar) // Pink Dress

Body-Con Dresses: I had a feeling I might be one of those preggos that was really into the body con dress and I was right! I actually find them really comfortable and they’ve all been non maternity ones so far. As long as I have my shapewear on underneath, I’m good to go! Those are a must for body cons weather you’re pregnant or not!

                                 Sweater Dress // Black Dress + Cropped Moto (similar)

Black and White: This is for sure a category that makes me feel like myself! Literally 99% of my days are spent in shades of black, white, and grey so it’s another easy way to feel comfortable in my own skin. When most of what you have are those colors, matching up outfits is wayyyy easier! Also, as you get (and feel!) bigger and bigger each month, wearing all black is a great way to make you feel a bit slimmer.

Maternity Items: The few things that I have bought that are specifically maternity are a pair of leather leggings (love them), a few pairs of black jeans from H&M,  and several of these tanks in different colors (so long and stretchy but no ruching!). Those tanks are great options to wear daily with an open flannel or button up shirt overtop. Easy and comfy!

So, again, clothing in general is not the most important thing to concern yourself with in pregnancy, but if you’re like me it can be a good way to feel as comfortable as you can in your own changing skin while everything else in your world seems a bit topsy-turvy. If you’re pregnant and feeling that big change as well, I hope you find whatever it is that makes you feel the most yourself as well!

 

March 31, 2017
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Zappos Friends with Benefits Roadshow (In Nashville!)



*Sponsored by Zappos*

So, for those of you who saw my Instagram and Insta stories this past weekend you know that Friday night Todd and I headed out to the Nashville leg of the Zappos Friends with Benefits Roadshow event! It was a great way to start the weekend and begin to unwind a bit with games, free food and drinks, and curated shopping of course!
Since I could see in the weather forecast that Friday was going to be a pleasantly warm day I wanted to pick out a few spring-like things from Zappos things to wear to the event and I knew that these blush block sandals would be perfect for that night as well as the rest of spring and summer to come! I’m a bit obsessed with mid-height block heels for summer…And since being 8 months pregnant limits my clothing options just a bit I opted to pair it with this adorable light blush moto since I know I can always throw on a cute jacket over something and just leave it open in the front. Thankfully, Zappos’ super fast & free shipping, 365-day return policy, free returns, and 24-hour customer service made ordering the items easy so I could have what I needed before the event night.
Cutest ring toss ever?
It only took about 10 seconds for me to find the grilled cheese + tater tots at the event. Hey man, a girl’s gotta keep her strength up, right??They had several stations where you could drop off shoes to be donated for charity—love that!The free pet adoption portion of the event didn’t start until the next day, but there were a few cute puppies walking around with their owners and I at least pet this grumpy cat doll to get in a bit of what the vibe would be like over the next few days.I know I’m a “cat person,” but even I loved these puppy/palm print yoga pants in the shopping area! So cute!The event also had the fanciest portapotty I’ve ever seen and it even gave you a toy once you washed your hands which was hilarious. I was excited to get a watermelon airhead candy but Todd ate it before I could which I was not happy about! I love watermelon flavored candy.
 We also listened to the live music for a while as we played one of the many yard games they had set up for everyone, and while I didn’t win (so hard to beat Todd at any game!) I came pretty close which is good enough for me. Overall we had a blast stopping in and enjoying all the treats that Zappos had to offer! You also can now vote here to have the Roadshow come to your town if they didn’t stop through this round. Don’t forget to sign up for the Zappos Rewards Program if you haven’t yet to get expedited shipping, earn points, and gain early access to sales. It really has been one of my favorite places to shop for a while now and I bet you’ll love shopping there too!

March 29, 2017
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My Palm Springs Themed Baby Shower!

YAYYY!! I finally get to show you guys my baby shower today!! Elsie has literally been asking me for years what I wanted my baby shower theme to be but I couldn’t decide until I was actually pregnant so I had a big decision to make this fall. I thought long and hard about a cat-themed shower, but technically I had a kitty birthday party about 3 years ago so I felt like I’d already done that relatively recently. Besides cats, what else am I really into these days? A Palm Springs and cactus theme it is then!

There was a whole flock of cutie flamingos waiting to greet us as we walked in the front door. I figured they had just come out for the party, but knowing Elsie they may actually live there year round now!What a hostess! I know she worked so hard to put it all together and I really loved every detail…The cupcakes, cake, and cookies were literally over the top amazing!! Leeuw Bake Shop did such a fantastic job and I heard her husband even made a custom cookie vintage car cookie cutter just for the shower—what dedication! And they were delicious too. I took home as many leftovers as I could and continued to eat them over the next few days…A lot of ladies opted to leave the babes at home with their husbands to enjoy a girl’s afternoon out since it was a girls shower but we still got to have a visit from the King girls (sweet Scarlett above) and my baby buddy Jack was there to represent the kid group. I know Scarlett was really excited to come to the shower anyways (she’s one of our main kid buddies that we love) but I think the mounds of cookies and sugar being served really helped make it extra exciting!I loved hearing all the Mom Advice when opening presents like, “Ohhh, we LOVE those wipes!” or “You’ll use that all the time!” and that sort of thing. Since it was girls only I got to hear some honest tips that maaay not have been said aloud if the boys were there, and that was part of the idea so I was happy they felt free to speak up!
Stuffing my face with cookies in between greeting friends!Seriously though, how beautiful is that cake!?!My cutie mom is still deciding what she wants to be called for her new role as Grandma. I think “Nana” is in the lead at the moment, which I think is really sweet, but we’ll see what she decides!
I felt so fortunate to have my Mom, sister-in-law Sarah, and a few more members of my family come down from Pittsburgh to attend the shower as well as two of my college gal pals Bethany and Hillary. It was so fun to see my family, old friends, and new Nashville buds all in the same space supporting our new adventure—we are going to need all the help we can get!For all those of you asking on Instagram, this is the pink suede dress I wore to the shower (these are my heels) and it’s not a maternity dress so anyone can wear it! It’s was a great find because it’s really comfortable and stretchy—obviously!! I’ve also sworn by this shapewear throughout my pregnancy for tighter dresses, sooo anytime you’ve seen me in a body con, that’s definitely been on underneath.

Even though it was a “girls only shower”, there were a few husbands and dude friends that hung out in the basement during most of the party playing xbox and drinking miller lite and whiskey from what I heard. Very different vibe from upstairs, but I’m sure they liked it that way! Overall we feel so blessed to have such a great support system as we move into this next big phase of life, can’t wait to introduce Bebe to everyone soon!

Photos by: Elsie Larson, Sarah Blumer, and Laura Gummerman

March 22, 2017
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Zappos Rewards Show (+ Pet Adoptions!)


*Sponsored by Zappos*

Hey all! You know how much I love my fur babies and you may also already know that we adopted both our cats from local shelters when they were about 4-6 months old. Pet adoption is definitely a subject that’s close to my heart so when Zappos asked if I would like to team up with them to promote local animal adoption in the area, I was more than happy to say yes! Zappos is putting on a multi-city road show to say thank you to their customers, give back to communities, and make a few new friends along the way!

The Nashville leg of the tour will be March 24th-26th and will feature curated shopping, local food and music, giveaways, and (yay!) free pet adoptions as well! I have to say that I’ve been a giant fan of Zappos and their fast & free shipping, 365-day return policy, free returns, and 24-hour customer service for a really long time now. It’s always my go-to when I need a big selection of items fast (especially shoes!) and I never worry about how many items I’m ordering when I’m trying to find the right thing because the free return shipping is awesome. When packing for our Paris trip last year I was literally buying 6 pairs of shoes at a time to try with certain outfits so you can bet I appreciated the return policy then! I also returned something almost a year later and they took the item back no questions asked—love it! Anyways, it’s already a company that I love and use a lot so them doing events like this with pet adoptions only makes me love them more…

If you can come out and join the fun this weekend (especially if you need a fur baby to love!) then please come by! I’ll be out eyeing all the kitties and pups (and probably eating something unhealthy, let’s be honest preggo) on Friday night so make sure to stop and say hello if you see me there!

EVENT DETAILS:
March 24th-26th
115 Lyle Avenue Nashville, TN 37203
Times Friday: 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Saturday: 10:00 am to 9:00 pm, Sunday: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Two of my fave Zappos pairs of shoes are above! The chic clear flats were perfect for Paris and the nude heeled sandals are a giant wardrobe staple for me—I wear them all the time. Hope to see you there this weekend!

March 16, 2017
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My Pregnancy Workout Routine

First of all, let me say that “workout routine” sounds a bit intense for what I’ve actually been doing during this pregnancy. I have tried to be active as much as I can, but I’ve seen other women in our birth center classes that are doing some sort of sunrise P90X or Crossfit sessions (modified I assume) and that’s not exactly ever been my level of physical fitness even before I was pregnant. But, since I get asked time to time about staying fit during my pregnancy I thought I’d share a few things that I’ve been doing to try and stay active and healthy during the last two trimesters of pregnancy. I say the “last two” trimesters because after week 7 the only thing I worked out was my abs as I puked my guts out all day—awesome!

Walking: At the very beginning of the pregnancy I was mainly just doing 20-30 min of power walking in my neighborhood as often as I could. Todd would usually come with me which was nice as the early fall weather was still pretty and it was just a relaxing way to get moving and get some quality time in as well. I still will choose walking if I can’t get to my other options but it’s more of a moderate waddle lately and when I have sharp low back pain I opt for more stretching options instead so I don’t aggravate it more.

Yoga: I’ve been doing yoga throughout the pregnancy but I did the free version with online videos as long as I could until the last few months. I would do this first trimester yoga video when I felt well enough and then I moved onto this leg toning prenatal session into the second trimester. Oh, it’s not yoga, but I also love this prenatal arm workout video which I need to seriously do more of…not much time left to strengthen these weak noodle arms! In January I joined Blooma, a local yoga studio, that’s geared specifically towards expecting women and mothers and it’s been pretty awesome overall. They have prenatal classes that are specifically for pregnant women and then lots of other options as well that are “preggo friendly” as well as Mommy + Me type classes and workout classes that are specifically helpful for rebuilding the pelvic floor and other postpartum issues later. They even have childcare options during certain classes so you can either bring baby with you or take an hour for yourself and have them just across the hall. To be honest, I normally hate spending money to workout, but it’s been the best self-care thing that I’ve done by far so it’s been totally worth it. They have a sister studio in Minneapolis if you live there, but otherwise you may have to poll your local Mama group to see if something like that exists near you.

Barre: Yep, that’s right, they have a preggo barre class at Blooma! I put this as a different category even though it’s at the yoga studio because if you’ve ever done barre, you know it ain’t no yoga class! Yoga feels much more centering for me (and great for stretching and opening) but barre is a tough workout so it’s a nice change to switch back and forth between them. It’s actually baby-wearing friendly so it’s usually half expectant Mamas and half with their babies in carriers or on a blanket next to them on the floor. You’d think it would be chaotic but the babies seem to like it!

Birth Ball: I don’t do a ton of actual exercises on the birth ball, but I do sit on it a lot to help with better posture to encourage Baby to stay in a good position and to help with the low back pain. I actually turned my den side table into a temporary work station the last few months since I wanted to sit on the ball while working but needed a lower height table in order to type. It looks a bit odd but it totally works and keeps me from slinking into a couch for hours on end.

Foam Rollering: This is a bit of a newer one, but since my low back pain kicked in a month ago, I’ve been adding in some new things to see what helps and a lot of people suggested I try a foam roller. It’s basically a really dense foam cylinder that you get on top of on a yoga mat or carpet and roll yourself over it to massage and release certain muscles (this is a good how-to video). I usually target my legs and glutes since my low back is an issue, but it can help with lots of different trouble spots.

See my mini work station above? If I could just get a drink holder attached on the side, I’d be all set! When it comes to workout clothes, it’s gotten harder and harder to find tops that are long enough so I’m always glad I got a pair of yoga pants with the panel in the front at the start of my pregnancy so I never have to think about the belly hanging out. I’ll probably move to a more high waist option like these or these after baby to keep things tucked in a bit when I get back to working out. I also spend most of my days lately in sneakers (these are similar to my favorite pair) so I don’t overdo it when I want to wear a heel on a weekend occasion for a bit.

Overall being active in these ways definitely helps me feel better, but it’s also a balance to know if you are short on time if a nap or relaxing bath may actually do more for your self-care then rushing across town stressed when you are late for yoga…Anyways, that’s what I’ve been up to the past 7 months to try and stay healthy and prepare for my birthing day! Let’s hope it all pays off come the big day!!