Baby Diamond – Weeks 18 and 19

Happy Tuesday friends! Am I the only one who feels like it must be Thursday already? Even though this week has a been a great one, I still feel like I’ve put in four days worth of work in the past two days. This weekend I’m off to Des Moines, Iowa for a fun girls weekend with three of my sorority sisters. It’s been years since we were all together so I look forward to a weekend full of laughter and endless conversations.

Tonight I’m sharing my recap and thoughts from weeks 18 and 19 of pregnancy.

week 18

Baby Size: Bell Pepper (week 18) and heirloom tomato (week 19)

Weight Gained: I don’t have a scale at home but I feel as though I haven’t gained more weight, so about ten pounds in total.

Workouts: On average, I am working out five days per week. Each of these two weeks my workouts included: 1 Orange Theory workout, 1 XTendBarre class, 2 runs and Prenatal Pilates.

xtend barre

Cravings: I continue to be hungry non-stop especially on days I workout. In order to ensure that I’m fueling my body for healthy growth, I am increasing my protein and fiber intake, especially at breakfast and lunch. I also am never without healthy snacks. This week I fell in love with Siggi’s Icelandic Yogurt topped with berries.  In the evenings, I continue to crave Italian, Greek and Mexican which means that I’ve pinned lots of recipes and discovered some great new ones such as this healthy burrito bowl.

Food Aversions: I’m happy to report that all food aversions have gone away. While I don’t crave cooked vegetables, I am able to eat them again – even brussels sprouts.

Symptoms: My skin continues to be drier than I’ve ever experienced, especially my stomach. I lather on moisturizer and cocoa butter multiple times throughout the day but pregnancy growth and the cold, dry winter air aren’t doing my skin any favors. I started using two new products during this period, that really seemed to help with the dry skin and itchiness – Belli Elasticity Oil for Stretch Marks followed by Belli All Day Moisture Body Lotion. I also find that this brand absorbs better than what I was using previously, meaning that I don’t feel sticky all day. My only other symptom was continued breast tenderness.

Sleep: Even though I’ve been sleeping with my Snoogle every night, I inevitably wake up around 3:30 AM sleeping on my back. For the first few days this worried me, for fear I was hurting the baby, but my doctor confirmed that as long as I am spending more time on my left side than my back she should be fine.

Wearing: I continue to live in my AG Maternity Jeans, turtleneck and a flowy vest.

Other random things from the week: I’m not sure if it’s nesting mode or what but I’ve started deep cleaning the kitchen every night after we cook and eat dinner. I don’t think our kitchen has ever been cleaner. I also started switching our kitchen cleaning products to more natural items, especially our counter top cleaner.

Your turn: Any questions? Anything that you loved during your second trimester or any tips?


January Favorites

January Favorites

Happy Sunday! I hope you all have enjoyed a wonderful weekend. Do you have plans to watch the Super Bowl? Since Bo and I are both from Georgia, we have hopes that the Atlanta Falcons will Rise Up and win tonight. Unfortunately, we just realized that since we got rid of cable this month, we don’t know how we can watch the game at home. Any tips? If your football knowledge is less than stellar, give this article a glance before you watch the game tonight.

Since I didn’t have a chance to share my weekly favorites with you this month, I decided to share a round-up of the things I loved during January. Now, let’s dive into this edition of favorites, including recipes, articles, posts and other things that caught or that I found myself loving this month.

  • Orangetheory – Since the new Park Slope studio opened in January, Bo and I have loved working out together at Orange Theory one to two times per week. As I mentioned previously, their coaches have been terrific in helping me make adjustments as needed due to the pregnancy and I love that each coach truly creates a motivating and supportive environment. The 60-minute classes fly by and so far I’ve really enjoyed the longer treadmill sets intermixed with the rowing and strength portion. The high intensity interval training has complemented my YMCA routine as well as the more gentle barre and pilates workouts I’m taking.
  • Acure Sensitive Facial Cleanser – The past month my face has become victim to the cold, windy weather and dry air. While I’m still using my favorite oil cleanser in the evening to remove my makeup, I’m using this sensitive, mositurizing cleanser in the morning and in the evening, following the oil cleanser. If you’re looking for an economical, natural skin care line, Acure can be found at Walmart, Target and Whole Foods and is a great way to transition your routine and experiment with different items.
  • I’ve been using this rich, hydrating, natural face moisturizer a few nights per week after exfoliating and have noticed a visible difference in my face. My makeup went on smoother and my skin feels healthier after just a few uses.
  • Even though my parents have been to New York many times over the years, it’s always fun to plan a few special activities during their visits. This month our plans include indulging in safe to eat cookie dough creations, high tea at The Plaza and spending time at our favorite NYC museum in between some maternity and nursery shopping.
  • While Bo and I both enjoy duck, I often find many of the recipes to be overly rich or complicated. Thanks to Serious Eats Dinner Tonight section, we enjoyed a simple and flavorful duck dish last night. We made a perfect winter meal by pairing the fig duck with homemade mashed sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts.
  • If the winter air has your hair screaming for help, I highly recommend Oribe Supershine Moisturizing Creme. I’ve been using it for the past six weeks as a styling cream before blow drying my hair and see and feel a noticeable difference. My hair is softer, smoother and has less frizz throughout the day.
  • Burrito Bowls – I’ve been craving Mexican food this week so after seeing Nicole’s burrito bowl tutorial post I did some research and ended up buying the ingredients to make a hybrid recipe this week including inspiration from Nicole, Damn Delicious and Ambitious Kitchen.
  • Looking for a few new running blogs or just some inspiration to get off the couch? I find Amanda’s posts to always be informative, but this round-up of running blogs was especially helpful for someone looking to update their blog and Instagram feed.
  • Julia’s idea to sip this green smoothie as an afternoon snack inspired me to buy the ingredients today and try whipping it up when I’m working from home this week. I love that the recipe includes a few items I’d never think to put in a green smoothie like collagen and sunflower seeds!
  • Since receiving this under eye concealer in last month’s Birchbox, I’ve used it daily and recently ordered the full-size version. It doesn’t crease, goes on easily and helps give me that well-rested look we all crave.

What is a recipe, product or post you loved in Janaury? 

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored and instead is a list of the things of my favorite things this week. As normal, it includes lots of beauty and fashion items which means there are a few affiliate links via ShopStyle. It takes time and money to maintain a blog so I thank you for the support and few cents that come from clicking through the links!


Focusing Inward To Escape the Comparison Trap

Life is funny. It seems, sometimes, that we human beings can’t be content. Some of us are wired in a way that we are always focused on working towards or trying to achieve that next goal. In some ways, this can be a positive, motivating and serving as a catalyst towards achieving “success” in different aspects of our life, both professional and personally.

Unfortunately, this same motivating, need to achieve can also result in a damaging comparison trap. Trust me, the comparison game is one that you nor I will ever win. With 7.4 billion people in the world, there will always be someone faster, stronger, etc. For this reason, it’s so important to focus internally versus externally. Are you striving to be the best version of yourself or reach your greatest potential? Even though I have told myself this more months, since my therapist helped me understand the comparison trap, just this morning I felt myself wishing and hoping for something someone else had.

As you all know, Bo and I have dreamt and talked about starting a family for years. Last year we started taking the steps to hopefully make this dream become a reality, God willing. Now, we are blessed to have a healthy baby girl growing and starting to evolve into a recognizable, smiling little girl as we just reached the halfway mark of pregnancy. Shouldn’t I be happy and content? Yes, of course.

Yet, as I scroll Instagram and read blogs I see my friends striving for BQ race times, planning race vacations, growing their blogs and yearn for that. Just this morning, seconds after remarking on my growing baby bump, a friend asked me what races I’d signed up for this Spring. It’s crazy – I know. But this is reality. I feel a gap in my life since I’m not training for a certain race, working towards a blog goal or working through a fitness challenge. For so long, these have been things that have defined me and been a key part of my life and lifestyle. Change causes unease, regardless how exciting. With one plus sign, our life began to change in wonderful ways but ways that are causing our lifestyle and priorities to evolve as well.

So instead of focusing on what others are doing and what I’m not currently able to do, I’m sticking with what I know is best and focusing internally by reframing my thoughts.

-I’m training for June 18th and trying to be the healthiest version of myself as I embark on labor and motherhood. This means focusing on workouts that make me feel strong, safe, healthy and secure right now such as barre, working with prenatal certified or exposed coaches in group classes, stretching and relaxing in prenatal yoga and strengthening my core and breathing through Pilates. It means using jogging and walking as a way to catch up with friends and enjoy fresh air versus chasing a PR.

– I’m enjoying learning about this new chapter of our life through reading a few books but not becoming paralyzed or overwhelmed by all the information. My mom laughs that she and my dad were able to raise my brother and me without all this focused baby research and it’s so true. The books we are reading and loving are – Parenting from The Inside Out, The Happiest Baby on the Block, and What to Expect When You’re Expecting. We also love that reading these books together have resulted in some wonderful and thought provoking-conversations between not only me and Bo but also with our friends and family.

-I’m allowing myself to be selfish and focus on me in a way I haven’t previously and won’t for at least the first few years. I’m taking leisurely showers, reading books, having friend dates and sleeping A LOT.

-I’m learning how to be in tune with my body and give it what it needs and craves as it works so hard to grow and develop Baby Girl Diamond. I’m falling in love with my curves and weight versus fearing it. I’m embracing these changes and never ceasing to be amazed by human nature and the steps the body takes to prepare for birth and motherhood.

dad and baby girl

So while I may feel a twinge of sadness as I decline races, vacations or tough workouts, I’m focusing on this picture and all those things I am striving towards.

Whether you’re in a similar situation or just find yourself coveting your friends goal, life or abilities be sure to pause and turn your focus inward at all those things you have and that you want to achieve because it will being you joy versus wasting time in the comparison trap.