Author Archives: thebandwifeblog

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!!

March 13, 2017
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Baby Shower Registry Faves!

It’s going to be a really busy but really fun week here at Chez Gummerman—it’s my shower weekend!! I have a bunch of special friends that I’m so excited to see coming to celebrate our little one at Elsie’s house as well as a full house of rotating guests over the course of the next week. I’ve been working on my registry for literally months now (I can’t “just pick” anything, I have to research every choice so it takes forever!!) so I thought I’d share with you a few of my favorite items on the list!

1. I’ve actually been able to find a good deal of organic or wooden non-toxic baby toys so that’s been a big plus. I figure this little guy would be good to pack in the diaper bag or keep Bebe busy in the carseat for a bit…
2. My registry has maaaybe 50% books on it—there’s so many that I loved growing up, I just put every one I could think of on the list! Lots of Madeline books since she was one of my faves (maybe the start of loving all things French?) and I can’t remember what happens at the end of this one, so I’ll be excited to read it too.
3. This 100% cotton bunny blanket seems perfect for tummy time and I see other moms lay their babes on this size blanket at the “baby-friendly” barre classes I’ve been going to—so cute!
4. Got lots of recommendations for these Undercover Mama nursing tanks when I asked you all for advice on Instagram so I’m gonna trust the experts and see if they become one of my faves too!
5. Since I’m planning on being a breastfeeding/working mom, I got an electric pump to use most of the time (the Medela Freestyle was recommended by my midwives) but I’ve heard a hand pump is really, well, handy too. Our breastfeeding class teacher swears by this one…
6. Most of my registry is made up of basic onesies, but I did add a few sweet summer outfits for Bebe. It’s actually a bit hard to find cute summer outfits for under 3 months, so I’m hoping this one will fit her while it’s still warm out. That pom-pom trim is the best!
7. This highchair is probably the registry item that I’m most excited about. I mean, look at it, it’s beautiful!! I would probably have that in my house if I didn’t have a baby around and it matches our dining room chairs almost exactly so that’s a big plus too. It is more expensive than most other ones I’ve seen, but it’s something I’m going to have to look at for a looong time so it’s worth it! My mom said she had a rather impractical antique high-chair for us just because it matched her dining room set—it didn’t even have a tray on it, they had to push us up to the table so we wouldn’t fall out!
8. This diaper pail came highly recommended by a friend of mine with a new baby. I love how sleek it looks and you can use it with a cloth diaper bag too once we switch over to cloth diapers a few months in.
9. I love these wipes because they are 99.9% water and 0.1% fruit extract! I may try making my own wipes eventually to see if I like that process, but I may just stick with these if we love them.
10. Are you surprised I have cat related clothes on the registry?? Didn’t think so. Can’t wait to see this one on her and it’s organic as well.
11. This brand has some adorable bath toys that are made from natural rubber and are free of BPA, PVC, and phthalates—YAY!! I also got their sweet turtle too.
12. There are a lot of ugly baby items out there, but the sleek design of this bouncer is something that I can totally see around our house. I’m really trying to pick out things as much as I can that blend in with our decor (like the highchair) the same way I do with all the cat necessities around the house.
13. This portable highchair was also recommended to me by a new mama. I had actually already pinned it to my baby board so I was happy to see that someone I knew liked it. It’s a great option to take to restaurants or other people’s houses and I’ve seen people using them when we eat out here in Nashville.
14. These diapers were the top recommendation for a more natural/eco friendly option by one of the Mommy blogs I’ve been reading (Mama Natural) and they have great reviews online as well. Like I said above, I’m wanting to try cloth diapering eventually, but using disposables for a bit will make our giant life change a bit simpler for the first few months.
15. I just love little newborn hats!! I love babies with lots of hair but Todd and I didn’t have much so she may be a hat baby for a while.
16. Mama wears muscle tanks in the summer almost every day so I thought Bebe should have some too! I don’t think I have one in that shade of pink yet though—lucky girl!

Chances are you are either making your own registry (or will be in the future) or have a baby shower to attend soon so I hope you found something that you love too! I’ve been working really hard on what feels like juggling a million things at once lately, so I’m looking forward to kicking back and hanging out with friends and family for a few days to just breathe again for a bit. Can’t wait!!

March 7, 2017
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My Maternity Shoot in Palm Springs!

Remember when we went to Palm Springs for our Babymoon in January (see our trip here and here)? Well, since I knew we were going to such a photogenic spot I wanted to try and get in a mini desert maternity photo shoot while we were there so I brought along a pretty dress for it juuuuust in case. Our friend Ryan is a profesh photographer and took some photos for us at magic hour one night near the mountains and I really love how they turned out…
Such a pretty location, right?! If you ever go to Palm Springs this is just behind the “Welcome to Palm Springs” sign when you first get to town and there’s even a parking lot nearby so it’s super accessible to get to for photos. Also, I know you’ll ask but I tried and I can’t find the link to that nude lace dress! It’s from Forever 21 so if you can find the link and it’s still available, let me know so I can share. Can’t wait to print a few of these out and display them around the house, thanks Ryan!

Photos by Ryan Strong (and a few by Todd Gummerman)

March 1, 2017
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Date Night At The Grand Ole Opry!

If you’ve been following along on the blog or Instagram the last few months, you guys know that lately life has felt busy. I mean, I’ve had a full calendar before, but it’s a whole new speed working and preparing for our May baby. We’ve started doing our birth classes recently, and while they are really interesting and I love being in a place where I can ask lots of questions, it’s quite a full Saturday when you’re learning all about babies from 9am-4pm a few weeks in a row. I definitely needed a nice chill Saturday night after the first week so when the Grand Ole Opry asked if I wanted to partner with them and offered to host a date night for us to see a show, I quickly picked out the next Saturday night show knowing it would be a welcome relief from all the baby-learnin’ in the following class.

Can you believe that we’ve been in Nashville for 2 years this summer and still hadn’t been to the Grand Ole Opry? There are definitely some things that you feel like you just need to do to be an official Nashvillian because they are such Nashville staples (like going to Loveless Cafe or visiting Broadway on a weekend night) and going to the Grand Ole Opry is pretty high on that list as well. I also wanted to see the show that Saturday because one of the guest performers was CeCe Winans, and if you’ve never really heard or seen her sing before, well, she’s pretty amazing so I was really looking forward to that.
In true pregnant-lady fashion I also scoped out the concession stand offerings before we left for the show and was disappointed to see my go-to pregnancy craving was missing from the list—soft pretzels and nacho cheese! I love venue hot dogs too so I thought I would just settle for that, but once we arrived, lo and behold, they DID also sell my coveted pretzel and the day was saved!! Todd is the king of food stealers, but he knows better than to eat my pretzel. GET CHER OWN! This one is for Mama…The Opry show is divided into several sections that have different hosts and performers for each section so it’s kind of like several mini shows within one big show which is fun. The night we went had acts that varied from pop, to pop/country, to cowboy/country, to bluegrass, to gospel…a pretty wide range! I grew up listening to a lot of bluegrass since it’s one of my Dad’s favorite genres and we would even go to bluegrass festivals and whatnot so that sound has always had a kind of comforting vibe for me. And those harmonies are cra-zy.
Let me tell you, CeCe did not disappoint—she was amazing! I guess it was her first time performing there (you have to be officially invited to be a performer) and she was the only one of the night to get a full standing ovation from the crowd. Girl can sing.After the show we got to go backstage and get a tour and history of the dressing rooms (of which there are many!) that all have different themes they go off of. It was fun to see that in our relatively large group we were the only people that lived in the state and some people had come from Canada just to come to the show. It’s pretty famous, y’all!

I also had no idea that the show started in 1925 over 90 years ago. That’s a crazy long run for one show! In case you are ever visiting in town, they have live shows at least every Friday and Saturday, year round, and each show is streamed live at 650 AM WSM, via Opry.com, on Sirius XM Satellite Radio, and also via the free Opry App too so you can still listen in even if you aren’t Tennessee-bound anytime soon.

This dressing room had a lot of bedazzle sooo I think I’d take this one if it were up to me. Also, do you see that rhinestone fringe on the red chair? Amazing!Speaking of fringe, I wore a suede dress with fringe on the front and back to the show to fit the Opry theme (although this fringe dress or jacket would have been a good choice too). I know some people haaaate fringe, but I’m not one of them!
At the end of the tour they let you stand on the famous circle of wood taken from the Ryman theater (where the show used to take place) and where all the big performers stood back in the day. It was really cute to see how excited everyone was to take their turn and get their picture taken and you could tell it was something they had really been looking forward to for a while.

I was so glad that we finally got a chance to cross the Opry off our Nashville bucket list and see how fun the show can be. I’ll definitely suggest that my parents head over and catch a show next time they are in town to hear the great bluegrass acts and maaaaaybe, just maybe, I can convince them to pick me up a soft pretzel on the way out…thanks for the night out Opry!