Dearly Noted

Tag: maternity

Frugal & Functional: My Best Maternity Fashion Tips & Where to Shop

IMG_3349As I draw near to the end of my 2nd pregnancy, I thought it would be fun to share my best tips for getting through pregnancy when it comes to fashion. Some women feel their most beautiful when pregnant, others feel like a giant balloon, but either way, you gotta dress yourself! And if you are like me, you don’t have a lot of extra money to go buy a whole new wardrobe to accommodate this short, beautiful season. So, here are my tips for a functional and frugal maternity wardrobe…

  1. Stick with the basics.
    For the first few months of pregnancy, you can probably get by wearing your normal clothes, but as you progress you will definitely need a few things. I would recommend investing in a few pieces:
    -2 pairs of maternity jeans
    -5-6 basic maternity t-shirts (short or long sleeved depending on the season you are pregnant)
    -1-2 comfy dress options (I have 2 jersey-knit throw-on casual dresses)
    -1 nicer maternity dress (think for church or special occasion).
    It may not sound like much, but these are the basics of what I have used particularly through this 2nd pregnancy as I have realized I can make do with much less.
    If you are working away from the home and have to look more professional, this list may look different. I work 1 day/week in a professional office setting and I usually pair a dress with leggings and some flats to create a comfortable yet dressier look.IMG_2632
  2. Utilize cardigans, sweaters, or kimonos.
    With baby #2 I have been pregnant through mostly colder months and my go-to combo has been a long sleeve fitted maternity shirt under my open cardigans and sweaters. These are cardigans I already owned and simply paired them over my maternity shirts. If you are pregnant in the summer but still want a little more coverage, I would recommend buying 1-2 cute light-weight kimono style open tops.
  3. Let your accessories take the stage.
    With such few maternity pieces in my wardrobe, it’s easy to feel like I’m wearing the same old boring outfit over and over. But I’ve had a lot of fun challenging myself to wear some neglected accessories that pair well with basics. Do you have a statement necklace you like but that has been gathering dust? Pull that baby out! Do you, like me, have way too many scarves that never get worn? Put those in rotation! Try a fun hat, a funky earring, or stacking some bracelets in a new way. These things shake up an outfit and take away from the fact that you wear that simple black tank dress every week (guilty).IMG_2900
  4. Borrow from friends.
    Do you have a close friend who is a similar size and not pregnant right now? Ask them if they have a few pieces they would share with you. I was lucky enough to have a friend who just had her 4th and last baby and she passed down several wonderful pieces to me that I wore a lot over the winter. This is a frugal method to get some maternity clothes, and since it it such a short season of life, why not share the love! Then, when you are done with your season of growing babies, you can pass on your clothes too! Cool!
  5. See what you already own that will work throughout your pregnancy.
    You might be surprised to find that you have more pregnancy-friendly clothing than you realized. Flowy shirts are wonderful for accommodating the bump. I have worn my elastic high-waist skirts with a  tied up t-shirt through both pregnancies (these are easy to find at thrift stores!). Pull out any empire waist dresses; these can be easily worn with leggings as your belly grows and your dresses get shorter.IMG_3239
  6. Don’t forget about undergarments. 🙂
    Until I had Flora I didn’t realize just how much various parts of my body would change…not just my belly. Once of my 2 saving graces have been my seamless panties from Victoria’s Secret. They are the stretchy kind that have no seam around the legs or waist which accommodates growth in the bum area without cutting off circulation. My other secret weapon is my bra extender! As baby grows and takes up more space in your body, all your organs shift around and get pushed up. This means your rib cage widens and your bra size will change quite a bit. From my last pregnancy I had purchased 2 new bras, but this time around they just weren’t wide enough. For about $7 I ordered a 3 pack of bra extenders from Amazon that simply clip to your bra hook, and voila! No need to buy more bras (which can be dang pricey!).
  7. My favorite places to shop.
    So where do you find these few, but important pieces? This is where I have gone…
    -For inexpensive basic tops, shop at Ross! They have a small maternity section where I have found short and long-sleeve simple tops. They aren’t the most amazing quality, but for $3-5 a shirt, you can’t complain!
    -Check out Old Navy, online and in store. Both of my jersey-knit comfy dresses are from there. They also have great sales.
    -On Cyber Monday I ordered a pair of nice skinny jeans from Motherhood Maternity for $20 and they have been great. I don’t adore most of what Motherhood sells, but for a basic like jeans, it’s hard to go wrong.
    -Check Target for jeans, tops, and dresses. While there prices aren’t always amazing on maternity, the selection is usually pretty cute.
    -For a fancy dress, look at ASOS online. Be warned…it’s all super cute and not necessarily budget friendly.IMG_2985

Hopefully a few of these tips are helpful and you can learn from my experience and mistakes. 🙂 The season of pregnancy has really show me how little I can live with in my wardrobe and it’s kind of refreshing!

Blessings!

Star

*top image by Neal Dieker Photography

Lavender & Camel

I give you permission to laugh with me about the fact that I’m doing a style post at 40 weeks pregnant. Looking stylish at this point is just pretty comical. But I really like these 2 colors together, lavender and camel…so I thought I’d share. 🙂

Also, I got this sweet little purse at Francesca’s this week and I really like it. I figured I’m not going to want to lug around a large purse and a diaper bag…so I settled for this!dearly-noted-lifestyle-blog-ootd-pregnancy-fashion-40-weeks-lavender-camel-francescas-free-people-thrift-handm-maternity-fashion-1 dearly-noted-lifestyle-blog-ootd-pregnancy-fashion-40-weeks-lavender-camel-francescas-free-people-thrift-handm-maternity-fashion-2 dearly-noted-lifestyle-blog-ootd-pregnancy-fashion-40-weeks-lavender-camel-francescas-free-people-thrift-handm-maternity-fashion-3 dearly-noted-lifestyle-blog-ootd-pregnancy-fashion-40-weeks-lavender-camel-francescas-free-people-thrift-handm-maternity-fashion-4

Outfit Details: camel sweater, Chico’s (thrifted); lavender top, Free People (via Name Brand Clothing, similar); leggings, H&M; flats, thrifted; purse, Francesca’s

39 Week Bumpdate

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How far along: 39 weeks
Food Comparison: A pumpkin (so naturally I had to get a decaf Pumpkin Spice Latte!)
Weight gain: 39.5 lbs, my doula says this is a great amount of weight for me to gain given my body type and height. Sure feels like a lot to me!
Maternity clothes: SAD story! My ONE pair of maternity shorts that I bought (and they were $35! More than I spend on anything)got ruined in the wash! Good thing I’m so close to the end, but I was planning on wearing those in subsequent pregnancies….sigh.

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Progression: A little over 1 cm and cervix is thinning. I think I’ve started to loose my mucus plug and I’m having cramps and lower back pain…all signs labor could be coming soon. I’m trying not to get my hopes up! I’ve been walking Josie like crazy and doing what I can to help this along! 🙂
Sleep: I’m up every hour to pee and rotate sides, so nothing new. I know I will be sleep deprived when she comes, but the idea of sleeping more than 1 hour in a row sounds like a dream!
Best moment last week: I’ve been continuing to sew little clothes for Flora and had a great time making this little top! I used silk from a dress that I accidentally ruined by having the iron too hot, and leftover fabric from making bow ties!

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Worst moment last week: Ok, this is embarrassing, but when I was putting away laundry and saw that those maternity shorts got shredded in the dryer…I just broke down and cried. Like weeping crying. I was so mad that I had wasted good money on them, annoyed that they are the only thing that fits me and now they are gone, and once the tears started coming, they just didn’t stop. Sweet Daniel told me I could get another pair but what’s the point when I’m this close? During my quiet time today the Lord revealed to me that all that is earthly fades, perishes, tarnishes. Everything takes maintenance, upkeep, money to repair. Only my inheritance in Him will be sustained. He is my hope…not maternity shorts. 🙂
Miss anything: My body being my body. It’s SUCH a privilege to be a vessel for this little life and I’ve really enjoyed it. That being said, I am a bit ready to be ‘me’ again and have Flora be Flora.
Movement: She sure has been squirming at night lately!
Cravings: I still have the biggest sweet tooth. I’m a salty snack lover by nature, but after dinner I go crazy if I don’t have a little something sweet!
Queasy or sick: Praise the Lord, no. But there are def some new sensations as I near the end. Every gas bubble makes me wonder is something is happening! 😉
Looking forward to: Not looking like this giant panda here…

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Prayer Request: I would draw my strength from the Lord and have the stamina to make it through the entire labor and delivery without any interventions. And as always, for a sweet healthy baby girl!!

38 Week Bumpdate

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How far along: 38 weeks
Food Comparison: A head of cabbage (6.25 lbs!)
Weight gain: 37 lbs :/
Maternity clothes: Yep. And I’ve never been one for wearing tennis shoes, but I’m in mine all the time. They feel SO much better on my feet when carrying all this extra weight.
Stretch marks: On the booty. Honestly I’ve got more new spider veins on my legs than stretch marks.
Belly button in or out: Neither! It’s just stretched out to be non-existent!
Sleep: I’ve been MUCH more tired this week. I read that is a sign that labor is nearing, when your energy level goes down. Been napping each day. I think the naps are good too in case labor does start, I will appreciate the extra rest!
Best moment last week: We had a great visit to my OB. Flora seems healthy and is head down. I’m 1cm dilated and 75% effaced!

Worst moment last week: Daniel was scheduled to go out of town for a concert this weekend that I wasn’t aware of. It was hard working through that. He isn’t going to the show now. I explained I really need him here with me even if I don’t go into labor. He sacrifices so much for me and I truly appreciate him!
Miss anything: My hips not aching in the mornings. I never realized the weight of the baby would pull so badly on my hips.
Movement: Less and less as she runs out of room! But she still squirms around in there!
Cravings: Last night I had a HUGE craving for pretzels. It was like 10:30 at night so I didn’t get any. Maybe I’ll have to pick some up today! 😉
Queasy or sick: No
Looking forward to: Having my sweet girl to take care of. I know it will be exhausting, but I’ve been waiting for this moment for so long. And I’m currently already on ‘baby schedule’ working only 1 day/week so I just don’t have a lot going on right now! It will be nice to feel I have a ‘purpose’ again.
Prayer Request: A complication free delivery and that I could focus on the Lord through the whole thing.

Feeling Fall

Maybe it’s because I’m so ready to meet my baby girl, or maybe I’m just excited for relief from the heat, but I’m definitely ‘feeling Fall’ in this look. Can’t wait to put together more layered looks as the temp drops!neutral-look-fall-2014-style-pregnancy-fashion-maternity-style-bump-fashion-cut-out-booties-dearly-noted-lifestyle-blog-1

(Loving this neutral nail color – see details below!)

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neutral-look-fall-2014-style-pregnancy-fashion-maternity-style-bump-fashion-cut-out-booties-dearly-noted-lifestyle-blog-6Outfit Details: T-shirt, Marshalls (similar); sweater vest, Ross (similar); maternity jeans, Target; cut-out booties, Kmart (on sale for $20!); necklace, from our Babymoon to Santa Fe; rings, Forever 21; nail color, ‘Shore Bet’ by Ice

37 Week Bumpdate

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(How INSANELY adorable is this stuffed animal from my friend, Ali?! Also…I thrifted this amazing child-sized hand painted rocking chair this week for $10!)

How far along: 37 weeks
Food Comparison: Swiss Chard
Weight gain: 35 lbs and it shows.
Maternity clothes: There are approximately 5 shirts that still fit me and I wear the same shorts and jeans everyday. So close!
Stretch marks: On the good ol’ bum. At least no one will see those!
Belly button in or out: Neither! It’s just stretched out to be non-existent!
Sleep: …is my enemy. It just doesn’t happen.
Best moment last week: I got to spend an ENTIRE day with some of my closest friends. We helped my friend Angie work on wedding decorations for half the day, went and got lunch at my FAV restaurant in town, then we made weavings in the afternoon! Here is how mine turned out (see the A Beautiful Mess tutorial, here!)! The day totally filled my cup!

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Worst moment last week: Ok, I had THREE scary moments this week. One, I started choking on a super sharp chip at a restaruant. My mom had to rush to the kitchen and ask for hot water to soften the chip. It took 15 minutes for it to go down and my throat has been sore all week after that. Thankfully I could still breath through my nose and didn’t loose any oxygen to me or the baby. Two, Daniel was running into the grocery store and forgot to put on the e-brake on his stick-shift. I was in the passenger seat and the car started rolling backward! (I can’t drive stick). Y’all. I had no idea what to do except fling this massive body of mine over the middle console and desperately search for the break (hit the clutch first). Thankfully we didn’t hit anybody, but man…I was shaken up! Also, a stick shift lesson has happened since then. And three, on a walk the other night a car almost hit me! It was scary!
Miss anything: My clothes! I’m excited to wear them all again! My closet is separated into what fits me and what doesn’t. The ‘what fits me’ section is comical.
Movement: Just the usual. She’s not a crazy active babe, which I’m hoping means I will have a pretty chill baby!
Cravings: I have the BIGGEST sweet tooth lately. Been eating too many frozen dark chocolate chips from the freezer!
Queasy or sick: Nope!
Looking forward to: Labor. Is that weird? We’ve taken an in-depth class and I feel fairly prepared. I’m excited for my body do what God designed it to do…and of course meet our sweet Flora Lee!!
Prayer Request: The timing of her arrival would be ‘just right’. I have various family members coming in town and I want them to meet her!

My 5 Pregnancy Essentials

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 Tired of pregnancy posts yet? 🙂

I’m over at Camp Makery (the awesome creative/collaborative lifestyle blog I’m a part of) sharing my 5 best pregnancy essentials!

Check it out, here!