Wednesday, September 30, 2015

My Pregnancy Must Haves

As I reflect on my first pregnancy, I am thankful for a few products that helped me through those 39 weeks. I am by no means an expert but I enjoy hearing about what works for people so I thought I would share a few of my pregnancy favorites! 

1. Home Fetal Doppler- I am an L&D nurse so I was pretty nervous early on and wanted to be able to monitor my baby's heartrate to reassure myself before I could feel movement. It takes a little practice if you're new to it and does NOT replace a qualified practitioner's assessment, but it helped me. I found mine on Amazon for $35 (make sure you order ultrasound gel too!) 

2. Belly butters & oils- just stock up on anything and everything. I used the belly butter and body oil from Burt's Bees Mama Bee line, Cocoa Butter for stretch marks, plain Coconut oil, and a homemade belly butter with shea butter coconut oil and frankinsense, grapefruit, and lavendar essential oils. My opinion on  preventing stretch marks is much more than what you slather on your belly, but I put on something every time I got out of the shower and every night before bed. Staying well hydrated and gaining weight gradually are also key! I avoided stretch marks until the last week of my pregnancy (grrr so close) 

3. Essential oils- I bought a Young Living starter kit out of curiosity two years ago and have never looked back. As a nurse, I believe there is a time and place for modern medicine. But for everyday needs why not replace over the counter medications with something completely natural? I loved using peppermint for nausea, lavendar to help me sleep, grapefruit & lemon oil for energy in my water, and stress away and peace & calming for the moments my hormones got the best of me. I also used a blend called Claraderm that I was told helped prevent tearing. I started using it at 37 weeks, sprayed it a few times a day "down there" and I delivered an 8lb 3oz baby with a 14 1/4 inch head only needing a few external stitches (that my midwife said would not have been necessary if I didn't want them) My sister and sister in law also used it and did not tear with their 2nd and third babies after having episieotomys and 2nd degree tears previously. I wouldn't be endorsing these things if I didn't believe in them myself. (Email me at alyssajoy11@gmail.com if you have questions or are interested in ordering something at wholesale cost)

4. Long tank tops- simple I know, but I didn't want to invest in tons of maternity clothes so nice long tank tops allowed me to stay covered and comfortable but get more use out of my normal wardrobe. I can't rave enough about H&Ms 2/$10 camis and tanks and of course Motherhood Maternity for tanks made specifically for pregnancy

5. Maternity jeans- these were worth investing in! I did the whole jeans unzipped, hair tie across the button trick as long as I could, but when I finally broke down and bought a pair  I lived in my H&M maternity jeans. They are $40 for the cutest comfiest maternity jeans out there. (in fact their maternity section in general was my favorite) 
5. Glass water bottle- hydration hydration hydration. I always had a water bottle with me, especially at the end of my pregnancy on the heat of the summer. **When putting essential oils in water, only use glass cups and water bottles! The strength of Citrus essential oils literally eats through plastic!** and when it's cute it makes it more fun to drink right? I found mine at Target. 
6. Memory foam mattress topper- I didn't use a pregnancy pillow and can honestly say I slept great until the day I delivered. I refused to spend $70 on a huge pillow that took up half the bed and I wouldn't use after those 9 months. Some people love them. I however, invested in a $100 mattress topper from Costco that made our mediocre mattress 100x more comfortable and let me sleep comfortably on my side. My hip and shoulder sank into the memory foam and I put a normal pillow between my knees and hugged another one and voila! I slept great. And now 2 months out from being pregnant I am still enjoying a comfortable bed. 

I'm sure I'm forgetting something but these are at the top of my list! 


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Starbucks at home

As thrifty as I am with clothing, it is way too easy for me to drop $5 on a yummy drink at Starbucks. Do I know it's a ridiculous waste of money? Yes. Does it stop me from doing it over and over? Nope. The Cold Brew I made at home a few posts a go was a major success so I went on the hunt to recreate one of my go-to drinks. 

Especially over the summer, I can't get enough of this drink: Iced Green tea latte with coconut milk and only 2 pumps of classic. (my husband laughs at me for my complicated orders. One time I sent him to order one for me the barista instantly knew he was ordering for his wife) As I was grocery shopping the other day I noticed a matcha green tea concentrate so I had to try it! It was $3.99 for a 32 ounce container. Then I picked up coconut milk for $1.99 (unsweetened because the concentrate is already sweetened and I order 2 pumps of classic at Starbucks for it to be less sweet) So just $6 for all I need to make at least a few drinks equivalent to the grande size I get for just under $5. 

Put some ice in a cup, mix your desired ratio of concentrate to milk and it actually turned out pretty good! At Starbucks they use a powder so it's more creamy and concentrated than the at home version that is more of a tea concentrate. But for the money I save I'd say it does the trick! 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Recent Goodwill Finds

Mossimo Jeans (Fall Wishlist✔️) $7.99

Mossimo dress $10.00 (Goodwill splurge)

Forever 21 sweatshirt $4.75

Merona poncho $4.99 (size XL found this in the plus size section)

Mossimo cardigan $3.75

Mossimo Kimono $4.99

Sunglasses $3.99 each

If you notice the pattern, Target surplus is about the best thing to ever happen to Goodwill. You can find essentially brand new clothing for a fraction of a Target's prices which aren't bad to start with! I saw the light-wash destroyed jeans at Target about a week ago and was so close to buying them but didn't have time to try them on. Thank goodness I waited! I found the exact pair for $7.99 instead of $27.99! 

This top will be great as a swimsuit coverup too! (Shoes are LOFT $15 from a friends closet sale) 

(hat and fringe boots are previous goodwill finds)

(scarf is handmade by me and combat boots were $30 from amazon a few years ago)

(hat is $5 fleamarket find, shirt $7 Forever 21 a few years ago, and boots were a goodwill find) 

**sorry for all the low quality bedroom mirror selfies, I do this when I'm home alone during the day so maybe someday I'll take the effort to do a self timer outside or convince my husband to be my fashion photographer? (HA)** 



Thursday, September 10, 2015

Fall Wishlist

Whether summer decides to end or not, I am more than ready for all things pumpkin and cliche fall. Fall fashion always excites me and this years trends are ones worth adding to my closet. I'm loving the cozy textures and vintage vibes I'm seeing in storefronts and magazines. Here are a few staple pieces I will be keeping an eye out for. My goal is to find them all at Goodwill or if not, for under $50. 

Sherpa Vest

Light wash distressed jeans

Timberland style boots 

Fringe purse 


Let the bargain hunting begin! 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Mommy Documentation Necessities

As a general rule, I tend to go overboard with documenting. Just as I expected, motherhood has amplified this x10. These three products have quickly become must haves for mommyhood documentation. I highly recommend them to all moms out there! 

1. Emily Ley Baby Book ($62) lets just say I did alot of research to find the perfect baby book and this one blew every other option out of the water. It is worth every dollar. 
Order yours here--> http://www.emilyley.com/collections/baby-book

2. Mom's One Line a Day Journal ($16.95)
this sweet journal is pretty and managlble, with a small space for a daily entry that spans over 5 years. Each page has 5 entries spaces that allows you to reflect on what happened in your little ones's life on that day over the years. 
Order yours here--> 
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/mobile/w/home-gift-moms-one-line-a-day-a-five-year-memory-book/28517188

3. Chatbooks ($6 for a 60 photo book)
I finally jumped on this bandwagon after hearing good things about it for months. Download the app and start getting printed books of your Instagram feed or make custom books. I am so excited to be getting all off my photos tangibly printed into books since I got Instagram in 2011. And you can't beat the price! 
If you use this promo code you will get your first book FREE! --> 3ULJFQW6

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Goodwill Gold

If you know me, you know thrift shopping is a major hobby of mine. Goodwill, Salvation Army, Cosignemnt shops, gimme it all! I could spend hours digging through pilly sweaters and little league t-shirts just to score one find. Yes, I look for name brands, but I also just love seeing the potential in old pieces that someone else didn't. For how often I go to the Goodwill that is conveniently 5 minutes from our house I'm going to start sharing my finds and how I wear them.

This week I found a pair of White House Black Market boots for $6 and a baggy sweater vest for $4. The sweater is size 2x from a brand that is nothing special but I loved the color and look of it for fall. The secret to thrift shopping: look at everything (and I mean everythingggg) and keep an open mind! Patience and creativity goes a long way.