Nate and I are both coffee lovers and we often treat ourselves by stopping in at our favorite local coffee shop for a delicious iced coffee – especially this time of year! I stick to my “one cup a day” rule at this point in my pregnancy and of course watch out for the stronger stuff! I water things down quite a bit or get half caff when I’m in doubt.
Going out to coffee shops can add up quite a bit though! So I love that I can make it at home and make it *just* as well! I’m not sure if you’ve ever attempted iced coffee at home by just pouring coffee over ice but – it just doesn’t work like that. It’s not good. My friend Kristie bought this iced coffee maker for me off of Amazon as a gift and I’ve been using it religiously ever since! It is unbelievably easy to use. It’s a good thing too because the instructions came 100% in Japanese! ;]
So how do you use it? Well let me tell you. It’s so simple! Because I’m super fancy (not really) I like to grind my own beans with a coffee grinder (I use this extremely cheap one) but you can use already ground coffee as well. I personally fill the reusable filter to about half full of coffee. You can really adjust this based on your taste! We’ve been using espresso beans recently so I tend to put a little less because it makes a stronger cup. Remember that you’ll be watering it down a bit by adding ice cubes as well! Next, place the coffee filter inside and fill with filtered water. This takes a little time because only so much water can fit as it seeps down through the coffee. I use a spoon to stir it as I put more and more water in to help the process along. Once it’s completely full of water put the lid on and pop it into the fridge! That’s it! I let ours sit over night and by morning it’s ready to go!
I like to put a little bit of creamer in mine and I’ve been eyeing this almond syrup for a while! I always order almond flavoring in my iced coffee so that would be the perfect touch! Right now I’m pretty obsessed with the chocolate chip cookie creamer I found at the grocery store though. It’s delicious!
Do you make iced coffee at home? I’d love to hear how you make yours!
I love promoting companies that I adore and Adore Me (appropriately named) happens to be one of those now! Being pregnant is wonderful and exciting. Even the body changes I’ve experienced (up to THIS point) feel beautiful to me most days. But if I’m being totally honest – there was a trip to the mall recently that had me in tears in the dressing room. At that point I had tried on at least 10 bras in 5 different sizes and none of them fit right or comfortably. It all started when I purchased a cheap bra from H&M a week before. I didn’t try it on because I just new it would fit – wrong. When I went to take it back to exchange it (with tags on it/with receipt) they refused and said that “all lingerie is final sale no matter what”. I would have appreciated a warning about this policy when I bought it, but sure – okay – I see the tiny print on the back of my receipt now that says this but also says that bathing suit tops are returnable? I always try things on/never have to return anything so this was really upsetting to me. Then on top of that, I couldn’t even find a bra in the entire mall (maternity stores included) that fit me right. Queue the hormonal crying in the dressing room. I was so exhausted from taking 800 winter layers of clothing on and off at that point and I was just done.
A few days later I received an email from Influenster letting me know that I would be receiving their XO VoxBox. Aside from the VoxBox that will be sent to me, they also offered a code to me for a free set of lingerie from Adore Me. So I signed up for their VIP membership and got my first set free! I decided to go with something pretty and functional for daily wear. It’s easy to gravitate toward the practical “nude” bra, am I right? So I wanted something pretty that would make me feel good about myself in this time of change. I still desperately needed a new bra and with the free returns/exchanges policy I knew it would be no big deal if I did get the size wrong on my first try. Well, I received my set in the mail yesterday and it fits like a dream. No trying on 10 different bras in the mall, no peeling off clothes in the dressing room and putting them all back on over and over, no crying, and no one telling me I can’t return something that doesn’t fit. WIN.
If you are interested in trying out Adore Me for yourself you can click this link to get your first set for $25! I will also earn $15 towards a set if you do!
I have compiled a little list of items that I feel are “must haves” for the first trimester and the beginning of the second trimester. It’s a pretty simple list – nothing too crazy! But some of these thing have done a lot to help keep me sane and comfortable throughout the beginning of my pregnancy.
1) Sundown Naturals Prenatal Vitamins – I tried these from the very beginning because they were readily available at my grocery store and they weren’t too expensive. I geared up to try several with the thought in mind that they would probably upset my stomach and I’d have to find the right one for me – but these worked great from the beginning. I take them at night before bed just in case they bother my stomach at all. Warning: they are pretty large, so if you have trouble taking big pills then these may not be for you! If you have bathroom issues when you take prenatal vitamins due to the iron I recommend CitraNatal Prenatal vitamins – they have a particular one that has a mild laxative already in it!
2) Humidifier – Running a humidifier at night during these dry winter months has been a huge help to me. When I don’t use it I can tell a big difference in how much more congested I feel right when I wake up. I have a pretty cheap one made by Vicks that is fairly quiet but makes a little bit of calming noise (or, I find it calming).
3) Rain, Rain App – I used to sleep like a rock. Once I was out, that was it! I would sleep right through the sonic booms of the space shuttle re-entering the atmosphere when I lived in Florida – ha! But now? If a magnet falls off the refrigerator in the kitchen downstairs – I’M UP, I’M UP, WHAT!? I downloaded a free app to my phone called Rain, Rain that I love. It has a ton of different white noise options but I stick with “summer rain”. I don’t wake up nearly as often anymore now that I pair this with the little bit of noise from the humidifier. Ahhhh, relaxation.
4) An Extra Pillow – Are we seeing a theme here? Clearly, I’ve been experiencing sleep issues! A lot of ladies swear by the giant body pillows that are specifically made for pregnancy – and I am certainly not opposed to trying one out! But I haven’t wanted to spend the extra money just yet, so I’ve tried some alternatives. I started sleeping on my sides almost right away and I would wake up every 30 minutes with hip pain. I tried putting a pillow between my knees but that didn’t help a bit. Finally, I tried putting a pillow right under the middle of my back and that seemed to relieve the pressure I was experiencing. It helps support my stomach a bit and elevates me enough that all of the pressure isn’t resting on my hips.
5) Save My Skin Body Oil – Let me tell you – this stuff is amazing. I use a couple of pumps of this every morning and evening on every part of my body that is stretching out – and things are really starting to stretch out now! Haha! My stomach and chest were especially itchy and uncomfortable even from the beginning, so I started using this right away. This product keeps me feeling moisturized and comfortable in those places and has prevented stretch marks so far. I have also been using this on the stretch marks that I already had on my inner thighs and they are almost completely invisible now. So I have high hopes that this will keep me stretch mark free throughout my pregnancy! This is a product made by Pure Romance and I do happen to sell it as a consultant- you can get your own/read more about it by clicking here and navigating to “Shop” and “Bath and Beauty”. You can purchase it directly online through my little shop!
6) Yoga/Exercise – This is definitely a must have for me! If you haven’t been very active in the past I recommend walking and light stretching. I honestly believe that staying active kept me from experiencing true morning sickness. Any time I took a significant amount of time off from it I would start to feel pretty gross immediately. As someone who was already very active when I got pregnant, I have just continued doing what I was doing (with some modifications) and it has felt wonderful!
7) Orange Juice with Vitamin D – I found out that I was vitamin D deficient when my first prenatal appointment blood work came back. I started taking a supplement once a week which helped me to start getting my energy back. Drinking orange juice with vitamin D in it alongside of the supplement helped me feel even better, not to mention, I have been craving orange juice from the beginning. And a side perk? The cold and sweet juice gets the baby moving – and I LOVE to feel him move around!
8) Hot Heart Massager – I’m throwing out another Pure Romance product here because – YES – this thing rocks my world. This is a little reusable hot pack that warms up to 129 degrees when you click the little disk inside. I use them on my feet after a long day, on my neck, on my lower back, in my pockets when I’m outside in the cold – basically all of the time. Nate can rub one on the bottom of my feet or rub my back with two of them and it’s just like a hot stone massage. Loved this product before and love it even more now that I’m pregnant and achy. Again, you can click here and navigate to “Massage Oils & Accessories” to read more about it/get your own!
Is there anything you would add to this list? I’d love to try out your recommendations!
Meow! I finally got my hands on a pair of cat-eye glasses, y’all. It has been a long time coming. I’ve partnered up with several online glasses retailers over the past few years of running this little blog (which has really been a blessing because my prescription is ever-changing and glasses can be pricey) but none of them have ever offered the design that I really and truly had my heart set on! You guessed it! Cat-eyes! AND they’re tortoise cat-eyes! I’ve always wanted to try this style and this color. I tend to stick to black usually, which I’ve found to look a little bit harsh on my face in comparison to the tortoise. I’ve finally found my perfect match!
It’s true – I am loving these glasses from GlassesShop.com. I ordered them with ease, received them quickly, and they are exactly as expected. They even came with a cute little case and a soft cleansing cloth. My number one recommendation for purchasing glasses online, though? Go to an actual store and try on a pair as similar as you can possibly find to what you’re thinking of purchasing online. I love that there is the ‘virtual try-on’ option but I really struggle with being able to tell what works with my face shape unless I physically try them on. Maybe even take a friend with you to help you decide on a pair! Once you know what you really and truly want – purchasing online is seriously the best option in my opinion. The price difference is just unreal. I mean, just check out the price on these! My second and final recommendation is to take the glasses to be fitted if they feel at all uncomfortable on you once you receive them. These fit a little snug on me so I may take them to get properly fitted. Use CODE: Steph20 to get 20% off your own pair of glasses from Glasses Shop! Make sure to let me know if you order a pair – I’d love to hear your feedback as well!
These pictures were snapped at exactly 14 weeks on Wednesday! It feels amazing to finally be in my second trimester. I just feel a bit more at ease now that things have progressed this far. There’s really not much to report as far as changes go – I feel about the same. I’ve definitely grown quite a bit so I’m getting in my last hoorah with regular clothes (like this dress). I actually wore a pair of high-waisted jeans completely unzipped down the side with a long sweater to go Black Friday shopping yesterday. No one was the wiser, haha! Nate and I have really been enjoying the long holiday weekend. I’ve been staying up late and sleeping in a little so my schedule is going to be way off! But I have slept better the last few nights than I have in a while, so it’s worth it. I hope you have all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!
PS: What do you all think of the new blog design? I needed something new and I wanted it to be a bit seasonal! I think it will be fun to change the header as we move through the year. =)
What I Wore: Dress: Marshalls (similar) Glasses: GlassesShop.com (these) – take 20% off with CODE Steph20! Hat: Forever21 (similar) Top: Target (similar) Boots: Target (similar) Necklace: Forever 21