What I Want Now: Summer Beauty

I admit that perhaps the reason this summer feels like the fifth level of hell compared to other summers is probably because I’m almost eight months pregnant.

Still, it is HOT, so I am definitely keeping my beauty routine to a minimum right now. In fact, I’m having a little trouble bending over to shave my legs as frequently as I usually would … so, there’s that.

pregnant shaving

But there are a few products I’m relying on to help keep myself cool and hopefully looking presentable despite the current weather and my current condition.

One of those is, without a doubt, dry shampoo. My hair is fairly fine, so I used to think not washing my hair every day was out of the question. But I’m training myself, and my hair, to skip at least one wash day, and the extremely affordable Suave Dry Shampoo is hands-down my favorite way to combat any oil buildup. Plus, I get to avoid being under the hot blow dryer when it’s also as hot as the sun outside.

suave dry shampoo

This new-to-me Dove Dry Spray is THE ISH. I still use deodorant under my arms, but I spray this in other hot spots, and it’s even done well as a chub-rub deflector when wearing dresses.

dove dry spray

I’m a lip balm, lip gloss, lipstick addict. I usually carry anywhere from three to 10 in my purse so I can choose what I want, when I want. I was a little disappointed when the glossy style of Baby Lips seemed to disappear from the stores. But the Color Balm Crayon, which is more lipstick-y than lip-gloss-y, is really nice, too. I chose this cutesy strawberry pop pink for spring/summer.

baby lips crayon

This lotion is an oldie but a goodie, and I’m glad Bath & Body Works brought it back because I’ve always loved the fresh, fruity scent. I wear this in the summer instead of perfume most days and I can’t get enough!

sweet pea lotion

What is your beauty routine like in the summer? Do you keep things easier or still wear the same makeup or hair products?

5 Comical Things About Being Pregnant

I am now 31 weeks pregnant, and I’ve definitely discovered some funny things about this experience that I thought I’d share with you. We all need a good laugh at the end of a long week, right?

1. Everyone wants you to get pregnant, and then they’re quick to point out your “life is over.” Yup, cheerful, huh? But I’m not kidding! It seems this happens with a lot of milestones in life. Everyone wants you to be in a relationship, and then they joke that you’ll miss single life. Once you get married, you’re tied down to the “ol’ ball and chain.” Then when you decide to have a kid, you’ll never sleep again and life as you know it is over. Certainly until you experience relationships, marriage and parenthood for yourself, you don’t know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. Still, I think most of us are smart enough to know it’s not always a cakewalk. I try to laugh these comments off because I know everyone means well. But I’m curious what everyone will want me to do, then warn me against, next!

on the floor

2. I can no longer move without moaning and groaning. Every time I drop something on the floor now, I legit look at it for a moment and think, “Do I really need that?” Getting up from the couch, out of bed, putting on shoes … every action is accompanied by a groan that should really only be emitted by people in their 80s experiencing joint pain.

sick and tired

3. Sleeping is an activity I steel myself to attack each night. When getting ready for bed, I have to arm myself with the right pjs, water, Tums, tissues and pillows. Those pillows have to be arranged “just so” and then position 1 begins. At some point, I shift into position 2 while trying not to groan and wake up my husband. Position 3 usually results in me sleeping propped practically upright, if I haven’t thrown a hissy fit with all pillows and covers thrown off me, bursting into tears. Which yes, has happened at least once. And while I start the night off nice and cool with the ceiling fan and air conditioning on, I’m always hot and sometimes flushed by morning.

4. Reading online articles has become an exercise in humor as well as avoidance. I recently read an article on how to sleep better during pregnancy that suggested I roll over “like a log.” How on God’s green earth do you roll over not like a log? Do people curl up and then unroll, like a caterpillar? Between silly advice like baking cookies for the nurses at the hospital before you go into labor (I’m sure I will love my nurses and want to thank them profusely with baked goods and more after I give birth, but I can’t imagine keeping freshly baked cookies on-hand for the off chance that I go into labor that day or the next), to dodging articles on everything that can go wrong during delivery — I just don’t need to read that right now — I’ve stopped following a lot of “mommy groups” and websites online. It’s just better for my mental state!

hormones

5. Hormones are no joke. For real. When I first learned I was pregnant I inevitably had a little breakdown every Friday night. The long workweek usually got to me, and I’d have a little crying spell on my husband’s shoulder. He’d comfort me and I’d be OK. Well lately those episodes have gotten a little more intense, and my annoyance at other things — like drivers not using their blinkers when changing lanes — is also growing. Commercials make me weepy, videos of cute kids make me cry and seeing our girl’s face on the ultrasound causes silent tears to fall for way longer than is probably normal. But I’m surrounded by awesome people who understand, and I appreciate them handling my emotions!

If you have any funny stories to share with me about your pregnancy, please do so in the comments or on my Facebook page!

Wonder Woman Is More Than Her Body

It’s hard to describe how excited I was to see “Wonder Woman” starring Gal Gadot and directed by Patty Jenkins. I love superhero movies, but we haven’t had a good one yet (in my opinion) featuring a female lead. So this was it! This was our chance to show that a female superhero can carry a movie just like Batman, Superman and more.

flickr: BagoGames

flickr: BagoGames

Thank goodness the movie lived up to the hype because I loved it and I can’t wait to see it again. Admittedly, I haven’t read too much press about the movie because I wanted to make up my own mind about it. I rarely read reviews — but I did come across an article Sunday that gave me pause. This article published on Self.com by Lindsey Lanquist was titled “Wonder Woman’s Thighs Jiggled Onscreen, and I’m So Happy They Did.”

I hope the author walked away from this movie with more than just this observation.

I get what she’s saying — it took a female director and a female lead to show that women can still be powerful and not subjected to the unrealistic standards that society, and men, place on women’s bodies. They can be a part of movies in a real way, and not just there to be sexy for and flirt with men. I wholeheartedly agree with her that the more female directors, writers and actors we have that rise to the top, the more we’re likely to see real depictions of women of all shapes, races, religions and more.

But this article gets under my skin because I feel like Wonder Woman, and Gal Gadot, is still being inspected for her body, for her supposed “flaws.” The article states this, too — most women, no matter how fit or thin or not, have jiggly thighs. Guess what? Men do, too! (Gasp!) But my question is: Why even bring this up? I honestly didn’t even notice this in the film — I admit there are times that films make me feel inferior to the female actor. I take in her beauty or fashion sense or fit figure and I feel badly about myself.

Not for one solitary second did that cross my mind in Wonder Woman.

I didn’t inspect their bodies, I didn’t think about mine. I didn’t see any perceived “flaws” — I didn’t even marvel at how long it must’ve taken these women to workout and achieve the muscle and agility they possess (even though I think it’s totally badass what they’re capable of!).

All I thought about was strength. Strength in character, strength in heart, the strength they have to fight evil and kick major ass.

So while I think it’s awesome that women were shown as they are, thigh jiggles and all, I think we need to get to a point where the first thing we comment on isn’t a woman’s figure. Can we please see a woman’s hard-work, her intelligence, her compassion, her willingness to give to others without expecting anything in return?

That’s what I see when I look at Wonder Woman. And I hope that’s what others can see in me.

When You Say ‘I Feel Fat’

David Castillo flickr

flickr: David Castillo

Is saying “I feel fat” really that bad? Part of me agrees with the argument that fat is something you have, not something you are. By saying, “I feel fat,” we are giving power to this word in a negative way — saying fat is bad and something you don’t want to feel or possess.

So I get that — I do. I’m tired of the word “fat” having power over me. I am who I am and my body — and your body, whatever size it may be — does not need to make us feel badly about ourselves. We need to rid ourselves of the power these descriptors have over our minds and emotions. I feel the same way about calling some foods good and others bad and allowing myself to feel guilty if I eat too much of one and not enough of the other.

I think that’s why, in some ways, if someone says, “I feel fat” because they either feel bloated or their clothing feels a little snug, whatever the reason, I don’t want to get all up in arms about it. It’s just a description, and I don’t want to give the word more power just as society gives to it power in all the wrong ways.

Then again, I don’t want the word to automatically conjure up a bad feeling, which it does for so many of us, even if we fight against that every day. I want to be able to say, “I am fat,” without it coming with judgments that may or may not even be true (that I’m gluttonous or lazy or don’t care about my health).

I think just like we have to train ourselves not to think poorly about our bodies, we also have to train ourselves to use words that aren’t hurtful. If you feel bloated, say that. If your clothes feel snug, say that. Maybe saying “I feel fat” just isn’t accurate and we should use different descriptions because when used in that context, it is attaching negativity to a word that so many of us are trying to move on from.

For those of us who are fat, we want people to be able to still see us as worthy, as intelligent, as beautiful contributing members of society. We don’t want “fat” to define us. So yes, maybe saying “I feel fat” really is that bad. Next time, reach for another description word, and stop giving “fat” so much power.

Where I’ve Been, What I’ve Been Wearing

I just logged on to WordPress for the first time in a few weeks, and I almost forgot my password! I don’t know if that’s pregnancy brain or a sign that I haven’t posted in way, way too long. Probably both!

So, what have I been up to? A lot, actually! In addition to traveling to Cleveland and Tampa for work, I also took a long weekend away to Panama City Beach with my husband. Call it our third anniversary trip, call it a babymoon — either way it was a great trip and I’m so glad we went!

We enjoyed a yummy dinner at Capt. Anderson’s, which I understand is a mainstay in that area, and played mini golf, spent a rainy Sunday at Dave & Buster’s and seeing “King Arthur,” and we did plenty of shopping, too. And of course we spent time on the beach!

beach

IMG_1572

I bought this flyaway tankini top last year at Target. Here’s a similar style!

Although I had purchased a pair of maternity jeans, and black pants I can wear to work, I panicked when I realized my shorts and capris weren’t quite fitting anymore. I ended up finding a couple pairs at Avenue that have enough stretch or an elastic waist that I should be able to wear them most of the summer. Here’s a few things I found at Avenue, and some tops from Motherhood that I am getting a lot of use of:

motherhood top1

Motherhood peplum blouse, on sale for $19.97

motherhood top2

Motherhood pleated blouse, on sale for $24.99

Avenue pull-on shorts with tummy control, $24.50

Avenue pull-on shorts with tummy control, $24.50

Avenue poplin capri, $55

Avenue poplin capri, $55

Avenue ruched crepe capri, $45

Avenue ruched crepe capri, $45

Then last weekend I traveled to my parents’ home in New Jersey to celebrate my mom’s retirement from 24 years of teaching, and my cousin’s wedding in Manhattan. Two nights of dancing at almost seven months pregnant — I wasn’t sure I could keep up! But I sat and watched the dancing more than I normally would, so I was able to get out there for a few songs.

family

At my mother’s retirement party with my beautiful family! I found this dress at Motherhood, and luckily I will be able to wear it after pregnancy, too. Here it is in straight sizes from Macy’s; apparently it’s sold out in plus, but there are other cute styles available!

manhattan

On a gorgeous evening in NYC! I got this dress from Pink Blush Maternity, and I can’t wait to wear it again! Hopefully with heels; I don’t think I’ve ever worn flats to a wedding!

I loved seeing my friends and family and getting to stay at my parents’ house one last time, as they are moving soon! So it was a meaningful, fun-filled trip with all the events taking place.

Now I’m pretty much staying put in Alabama until the baby comes! I’ll be sure to do a pregnancy check-in soon, and we’re making progress on the nursery, so a post on that is on the way, too.

Happy summer, everyone!