Pregnancy Related Reads

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You may recall me saying in my second trimester recap that reading anything about pregnancy had not been my cup of tea but once we started prenatal classes I felt much more inspired to read up on everything I could. Here is what I’ve read so far and my thoughts on each selection:

Books:

What to Expect When You’re Expecting

My mom got me a copy of this book soon after we announced and in the early stages of my pregnancy I found it very alarming to read. There were too many extra possible problems that it alerted me to and as a notorious over thinker I didn’t need extra reason to worry. Later in my pregnancy I’ve found it much less upsetting to read. I also like that there is detailed information about labour and delivery, breastfeeding and postpartum care that will be nice to have on hand.

Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding

This book is amazing and so helpful. I truly felt like it taught me a lot. I understand the importance of breastfeeding and wasn’t needing to be sold on that, but I did find a lot of practical advice and troubleshooting tips that I hope will be helpful after I deliver should we run into any issues with breastfeeding.

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth

I struggled with this one, especially after loving Ina May’s breastfeeding book so much. The first half of the book is full of all natural birth stories, none of which happened in a traditional hospital setting and so I found that hard to relate to. The second half of the book has some good, encouraging info, particularly about the ability for us to birth naturally but some of the chapters were just weird. An entire chapter dedicated to “sphincter law” and another on “orgasmic birth” left me skeptical. I also found the information on medical interventions such as C-section, episiotomy and epidural VERY biased and as my personal goal is to go into my delivery with an open mind, I found her strong opinions discouraging. I didn’t end up finishing this one.

The Mindful Mom-to-Be

This is the best book I’ve read during my pregnancy and I wish I’d found it right at the beginning, as it is broken down into chapters month by month. I loved the voice of the author, and found that she gave advice in a gentle, nonjudgmental way. The book includes exercises, meditations, DIY’s, recipes and some great tips I plan to use during my labour and delivery.

The Honest Life

This book isn’t a pregnancy or motherhood read specifically but it includes chapters on pregnancy and lots of helpful information regarding chemicals in the home and healthier alternatives. I started to pay much more attention to these things once I became pregnant and I wish I had found this book sooner when I started to eliminate these things in our home.

Articles:

Baby on a Budget: What Do You Really Need?

This helped me from going crazy when shopping for baby. So. Many. Options.

The Joy of Having Boys

The comments on this one are great, too.

10 Tips for a Mindful Birth

I LOVED this article and found it very encouraging and enlightening.

That One Time I Made Ten Million Freezer Meals, Part One and Two

I’ve read Jessica’s blog forever and found these tips helpful for planning some freezer meals.

Also:

Something else that helped me was reading the manual for our hospital’s labour and delivery unit specifically. As lovely as it is to read about home births and birthing centers, I need to be realistic about what my birth experience will look like in the specific hospital I plan to deliver in. In addition to prenatal classes and a hospital tour, I’ve thoroughly read up on my hospital’s policies and procedures and found that very comforting just to have a better idea of what to expect.

What was your favourite pregnancy related read? I still have some time for more!

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Life Lately

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Long time, no talk! I haven’t done one of these posts in a good while so I thought it was time for a little update.

Up first, some good things I’ve eaten lately:

This brunch at Cora:

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Our Valentine’s Day dinner in:

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(I used our favourite marinade for the chicken and shrimp. Have you tried it yet?)

Approximately 57 cupcakes from Sinfully Sweet:

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I just discovered this place and have already been there more times than I care to admit.

P.S. Can you tell my appetite is back?

Best book I’ve read lately: All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood. This book is not for the faint of heart. It details the love story of a young girl and a much older man but the writing is very heartwarming and compelling.

Between pregnancy and winter, my skin has been freaking out for months now. I’ve been trying some natural solutions and getting into a new routine with my skin care. My skin is super dry and sensitive while also breaking out constantly, which is frustrating. At night I’ve been using grapeseed oil under my night cream and the Body Shop Aloe Mask on extra dry spots. My Burt’s Bees Herbal Blemish Stick has been a godsend and I’ve almost completely used mine up; time to repurchase! I’ve also discovered a new face mask that isn’t in the Think Dirty database yet but it is formulated without parabens, paraffins, silicone or mineral oils so I feel pretty confident using it. A good mask with cleaner ingredients has been super hard to find and I am LOVING this one. I use this once a week and always notice a huge difference in my skin afterwards. Another product that’s been saving me is the Josie Maran Vibrancy Foundation with argan oil. I mentioned this last spring when I used it for my wedding makeup. I loved it in warmer weather but in cold weather it’s even better. Not only is it a foundation, but the argan oil acts as a skin treatment too. It gives a great glow and isn’t cake-y or heavy. This one is also not in the Think Dirty database yet but again, finding a good clean-ish foundation has been tough. This one is free of parabens and synthetic fragrance which are the two big things I’ve been avoiding.

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In the pregnancy world: I have a long and detailed second trimester post in the works but in short, I’ve been feeling awesome. I just hit 6 months and we start pre-natal classes soon. I’ve also been doing a crap ton of baby product research and I’m completely overwhelmed. Tell me about all your fave products, mamas!

I’ve recently done a bit of a Facebook cleanse and I have noticed a big shift in my mood, plus an increase in free time for things that actually contribute positively to my life. I felt I was relying on my phone too much and I’m so happy with how I’ve felt since unplugging more often. I plan to share more on this soon. I’ve also started watching a TED Talk when I first wake up in the mornings instead of mindless internet scrolling. I’d love to hear your recommendations, if you have any.

Things I want to do soon:

  • See La La Land in the theatre.
  • Start checking things off our baby to-do list.
  • Take a fun class or workshop of some sort.

 

What have you been up to?

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Recent Obsessions #10

vice lipstick

Urban Decay Vice Lipsticks. I was so excited for this launch as I love Urban Decay and the price point was pretty reasonable for a high end lipstick. I ordered the deluxe sample pack from Sephora and I’ve been having a lot of fun testing to see what shades to buy. EZ is my favorite so far from the sampler and Tom surprised me with Bittersweet, which is perfect for late summer going into fall. I like the “Comfort Matte” finish the best.

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh. Whoa, whoa, whoa. This is the craziest thriller I’ve read in a while. If you liked Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train, you’ll appreciate it for sure.

Western Family Club Soda. As you know, I love sparkling drinks and I’ve tried every flavor of these and love them all. The grapefruit is probably my favorite although the cucumber works great for making Pimm’s Cups! I get them at Save-On-Foods.

Sewing! I’ve started cutting squares for my first project, a small quilt. Choosing the fabrics was really fun; now I’m hoping I can turn them into something useful.

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Igloo Portable Ice Maker. My brother-in-law recently mentioned needing an ice machine for a trip he was going on and Tom acted super interested so I surprised him with this one for a birthday gift. It makes the first batch of ice in 15 minutes or less and keeps cranking it out as quickly as you use it. It fits nicely on our counter top and it’s been super handy for cold drink season.

Herschel’s “Outfitter” Duffel. When Tom and I started honeymoon planning I was quickly reminded of my dire luggage situation. After a ton of research I decided that one of the larger Herschel duffels would be the way to go. I’ve heard great things about the quality and they have a lifetime warranty. I was almost sold on the Novel but once I saw the Outfitter in person I knew it was a better choice. It’s very large and transitions into a backpack if you need a hands-free option. I really appreciate the shoe compartment and laundry bag inside. This bag seems super sturdy and I’m really excited to put it to the test. I also love that I can add a toiletry bag and wheelie suitcase in the future for a complete luggage set.

McDonald’s “Build Your Own Burger” station. Yes, really. I’m that annoying person who always wants to customize my order when I eat out but this lets me do it myself! I love that you can choose gourmet cheeses and buns and add toppings like guacamole or garlic aioli. The burger I had was phenomenal, and I definitely didn’t think I’d ever say that about McDonald’s. Pro tip: get the crumbled bacon.

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What are you obsessed with lately?

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Recent Obsessions #9

hashbrown pizza

I’ve been making this tater tot breakfast pizza whenever we have overnight guests. It tastes as good as it looks and is pretty simple to throw together.

After a crazy long dry spell, I’ve been able to catch up on my reading! I finished When Breath Becomes Air, which was both heartbreaking and thought provoking and now I just started Where They Found Her. I loved the author’s last book, Reconstructing Amelia, and so far I’m enjoying her new one too. It’s also my favorite time of year when it comes to books; Elin Hilderbrand’s summer novel came out yesterday! I ordered Here’s to Us on my Kobo and am hoping to savor it at the lake sometime soon!

Tommy surprised me with Hillberg & Berk’s Picadilly earrings a few days before our wedding. They are the perfect mix of delicate and edgy and I also love that they can be worn multiple ways. Definitely a worthy investment piece.

Starbucks S’mores Frappuccino. I got to knock this one off my summer bucket list last week. They nailed every component and the s’mores flavor was prominent, which I appreciated. I’m already craving another.

My peony addiction is in full swing right now. I love that I can pick them up at the grocery store these days and I’ve been keeping a bunch in my kitchen since the wedding.

Are you watching The Bachelorette this season? I’m a little scared for JoJo…so much drama! I saw a spoiler early on and now I can tell where things are headed which isn’t as much fun. The Chad story line is super distracting, although it makes for good entertainment.

My mom was raving about some pretzel buns she found at Save-On-Foods recently so I stopped by and got my own. OMG, these were unreal. They seem to go fast, so go get some! You won’t regret it.

Remember when I said I wanted one more dress to add to my most recent capsule? I found it! I’ve had my eye on this one for a while and after trying it on multiple times, I bit the bullet. I love the lady-like shape and unique print. It’s also on major sale now (of course!) and is perfect for wedding season.

If you’ve been in our home you know that I have a bit of a throw pillow addiction. I’ve been hunting for new ones for our living room refresh and when I saw these beautiful tie-dye inspired ones, I knew they’d add the perfect summer-y pop of color.

 

What are you obsessed with lately?

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Recent Obsessions #6


pbj muffins

Booster Juice’s “Pumpkin Patch” smoothie. I had this on Thanksgiving in lieu of pie and I LOVED it. Tom couldn’t stop stealing sips either. It tastes exactly like pumpkin pie in a cup and is a healthy alternative. It is a limited time flavor so get in to try one soon!

Minimalist Baker. I’ve been looking for a lot of vegan and gluten free recipes during the reintroduction  phase of my Whole30 and it seemed that this site kept popping up. I fell in love with it right away. There are so many options for restricted diets and I have a ton of recipes bookmarked already. The site is so clean and the photography is beautiful. I just made her vegan and gluten free peanut butter and jelly muffins (see above) and couldn’t get over how good they were. I already read a ton of blogs and it’s not often I add another to my list but this one has really inspired me.

Fave new Fall nail color: Nicole by OPI  in “Backstage Pass”. It’s a deep, dark eggplant-y brown. A friend recently surprised me with it and it’s the only color I’ve been wearing since.

Glow Juicery is new to Regina and I recently grabbed a bottle from Sprout Catering while on the go. I tried “After Glow” which is  made of Spinach + Cucumber + Celery + Kale + Apple + Parsley. I love fresh juices but making them at home is so much work. It’s nice to have an option to pick up once in awhile.

I’m currently reading A House in the Sky and it is the best book I’ve read in a long time. I went through an unusual phase these last few months where I was disinterested in reading and had a hard time getting into anything but this book is so action packed and well written. I love that the author is from Alberta too.

Primal Cravings. This cookbook is phenomenal. I checked it out from the library before starting our Whole30 for some inspiration and ended up renewing it twice more before deciding I need to buy it. Basically, it’s jam packed with paleo versions of your favorite “junk” foods. I made the Chili Dog Chili (which might sound weird, but was SO good) for supper one night, as well as the chocolate chip cookies and Samoa’s for Thanksgiving dessert. No one could believe that they were paleo and gluten free. The recipes don’t have a ton of weird ingredients either, which is a plus in my book.

What are you obsessing over these days?

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