A tale of two pregnancies

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It’s hard to believe this second pregnancy is almost over. It felt much quicker than Vivi’s, mostly because I’ve been so preoccupied with moving, working, pioneering, and, oh yeah, having a kid already.

That being said, these last couple weeks are certainly taking their time. Just saying.

I wanted to get down in writing a few of the main differences between my pregnancies so I could remember later. So here goes the documenting…

In a lot of ways, they’ve been similar. I’ve had a fairly easy go of things, I’ve enjoyed being pregnant most of the time, I’ve carried small (though ultrasounds have proven this baby is perfectly on target size-wise, same as Viv was), and both my babies have been very active in the womb.

The main difference was in the first trimester.

With Vivi, I remember a bit of nausea (or at least very strong food aversions), but it could usually be avoided by working out and keeping full. I’m told I was tired a lot, but I honestly don’t remember that as much.

With this kid? Woof.

I was exhausted the first three months, and I felt nauseous any time I wasn’t completely full from my last meal during months two and three. Work was nearly impossible, and I’ll be the first to admit that our screen time rules went out the window as entertaining Vivian was usually too much for me to handle. The nausea also lasted a week or two longer than the first go-round—with Vivi I remember instant relief at 12 weeks. This time, it was closer to week 14 or 15.

And while both my bellies have been on the smaller end of the scale, this one definitely started out more centralized and “pointed” and stayed that way pretty much the entire pregnancy. With Vivi, I sort of thickened up for a few months before things started to poke out in the front.

It was also interesting to see the pros and cons of working full-time in NYC whilst pregnant versus working part-time from home in a small town. In most cases, things were positive. I could cook my meals easier, meaning I ate healthier and could eat whatever I needed at the moment. I could lie on the couch and rest whenever I needed to. I didn’t have to get on the subway or worry about getting a seat. I didn’t have to walk four miles a day two and from work, no matter the weather.

On the other hand, sometimes I missed the walking. I didn’t have as much freedom with my workouts or when I rested at home because I have a toddler. I had to actually cook all my meals (and cravings) as opposed to just typing it into Seamless and having it delivered in minutes. It was less convenient…and yet still, largely easier.

So…not wildly different. But definitely not the same. In a couple weeks, I guess we’ll know if that means a different gender or not! Stay tuned 😉

 

My 5 Beautycounter must-haves

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen recently that I’ve embarked on a bit of a new venture: I’ve signed up to be a Beautycounter consultant!

I’ll be the first to admit that this decision has been a long time coming — to the tune of almost three years coming. I started using Beautycounter products after getting pregnant. My friend (and now BC mentor!) Madison had been posting about this new safe skincare brand on Instagram and the amazing effects she had seen it have on her skin and overall wellness (especially after dealing with some serious infertility complications), and the idea of products that were safe for me and my baby was seriously appealing. (You can learn more about what makes them safer than so many other products on the market here.)

After using (and loving) the products for a few months, I even hosted my own Beautycounter Social. Every six months or so, Madison would reach out to me asking if I had ever considered becoming a consultant myself. And while I continued to use the products almost exclusively, something always held me back.

I was nervous to have to “sell” anything. I was nervous I would never sell anything. I was nervous about the time commitment. I was nervous I would come across as annoying.

In short, I doubted. And I always passed on the opportunity.

Until…a couple of weeks ago. I’ll probably never know what really shifted in my brain to suddenly make this seem like a good idea, but whatever the reason, I decided to take the leap. I told myself that the buy-in wasn’t that big of a deal since I could use the products anyway, and I figured that even if I just sold enough to make my money back, that would be an okay experiment.

So I told Madison, “Yes.”

And while I don’t exactly think I can chalk myself up to a Beautycounter success story just yet, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my first two sales came within the first 24 hours of signing up. And I was pleasantly surprised when a number of other friends and acquaintances reached out for more information.

I never want to feel like I’m forcing anything down anyone’s throat. For me, Beautycounter is what I actually use for my skincare and makeup. And it’s what I actually see making a serious impact on my skin. And I actually believe that making safer, cleaner choices in skincare and makeup has a big impact on overall wellness and in helping you look and feel your best.

So I hope that genuine feeling comes through — because it’s genuinely how I feel.

Anyway! I didn’t start this post intending to give you my soapbox speech. Suffice to say, I feel comfortable selling these products because I really believe in them, and I think they can have real, amazing results.

Of course, one of the first questions I get from people is, “But what do you actually use?”

Which I get. The product assortment is constantly growing, and it can be tough to know where to start. So I wanted to share a quick round-up of my five all-time favorite BC products + why I love them for anyone looking to get started swapping in safer products in their skincare bag.

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Favorite cleanser: Countercontrol Clear Pore Cleanser
I’m pretty fortunate that for most of my life, I’ve had decently clear skin. But that doesn’t mean that it’s always perfect. This cleanser is a recent addition to the Beautycounter line, and I love how it treats my hormonal pimples (thanks, pregnancy) as well as cuts down on overall oiliness the more I use it.

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Favorite mask: No. 3 Balancing + Charcoal Mask
This mask has been one of my all-time favorites from the very beginning! Whenever my skin is breaking out or just needs a bit of a reset, I apply it, let it dry, and then marvel at every tiny pore’s worth of gunk I can see it sucking out. Dontcha just love knowing something is working because you can see it? It’s also a great spot treatment for single blemishes.

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Favorite lotion: Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion
Meet the combination skin girl’s dream. I’ve always been someone with an oily T-zone (by the end of the day, you could basically see your reflection in my forehead if I didn’t blot). But ever since using this lotion (which adjusts hydration levels throughout the day to create a more even appearance), it’s like I’m suddenly one of those girls who say, “Blotting? What is blotting?” (I’m sure there are girls who say that, right?) I also really love the eye cream from this line — it makes me look like I got a lot more sleep than I did. #momlife

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Favorite concealer: Touchup Skin Concealer Pen
While I really love a lot of Beautycounter’s makeup options (especially the Dew Skin Moisturizing Coverage), I’ve honestly found that I wear hardly any makeup these days because the skincare has made my skin so happy. The one exception? Concealer for my undereye circles. (Did I mention #momlife?) In the past, I’ve struggled to find concealers that cover without creasing, but this super creamy formula glides on, dabs in, and doesn’t budge. I’m always amazed at how it instantly brightens my face even more.

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Favorite treatment: Overnight Resurfacing Peel
But seriously, if there was only one product I could tell you to buy? It would be this one. Whatever magic they have put in this bottle has the power to sink into your skin and help you wake up looking like a glowy goddess every morning. It’s definitely the biggest reason why I wear so little makeup anymore. It won’t actually make your skin peel, either — instead, it uses botanically-derived acids to exfoliate dull skin, leaving you with smaller pores, almost no blackheads (seriously, mine have all but disappeared), and fewer fine lines and spots. I cannot say enough good things about it!

So there you have it — my five must-haves. Of course, the beauty of the line is that there are so many products tailored to solve specific skin (and hair and makeup!) issues in a safe way. Not sure where to start? I hope you’ll reach out — I’d love to help you shop!

Here’s to our best — and healthiest — skin ever.

My woodland baby shower

Life has been so full the last few months. In some ways, this second pregnancy has flown by — except when I stop to remember that there are still three to four more weeks to go…then it feels a little longer!

This busy year has made for plenty of distractions, so I’m excited when anything happens that lets me stop and savor our second bub’s impending arrival.

Case in point, I recently had my baby shower! It was thrown by my fabulous event planner pal, Cynthia (who also planned my first shower), along with help from her incredible team (who all happen to be very close friends of mine as well). Cynthia planned it with a gorgeous woodland theme that totally spoke to my neutral/greenery-loving soul. Here are the details!

me-with-flower-crownme-with-mom-baby-showerbaby-shower-table-decorCynthia filled her home with all kinds of greenery to set the mood. Then she whipped up a flower crown for me — because every new mama should get to feel like a princess, right?

vivi-in-fairy-dressvivi-and-me-flower-crownsvivi-opening-shower-giftIt was really important to me that Vivi felt involved and special at the shower — I even referred to the party as a celebration of the new baby and Vivi becoming a big sister. Several of my friends were also kind of enough to bring Vivi presents to open so she didn’t feel left out. And I gave her a “gift from the baby” — an Anna dress from Little Adventures that she adored. Cynthia’s mom also got Vivi the most beautiful fairy princess dress  — she unfortunately only wore it long enough to get pictures, but, hey! That’s a toddler for you!

baby-shower-food-overallchicken-salad-sandwichesbrussel-sprout-saladbaby-shower-drinksThe menu was designed around all my favorite foods, so naturally I loved it! There were chicken salad sandwiches on croissants, pasta with meatballs, deviled eggs (which I’ve been craving!), and two salads. The drink bar featured a pink and a blue option since we’re waiting to find out what we’re having (recipes linked!).

onesie-gift-at-baby-showerfavors-overall-shotbaby-shower-favors-detailbaby-shower-giftsCynthia organized a couple games to keep everyone entertained before gifts (including a celebrity baby name match and an updated take on “what’s in your purse” called “what’s in your phone”), and winners took home bottles of sparkling rose. Favors were these adorable potted succulents with pretty thank-you notes.

All in all, it was as perfect as all of Cynthia’s events! Not only did it make me feel so loved (those girls know me so well), it was also a reminder of just how close we are to meeting our little rabbit!

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Photos by Figment Art Photography