Dec 13, 2017

My Favorite Maternity Clothes (For Work, Play, and Party)

Despite all the complaints I made in my first two trimesters about not really having a baby bump, I know I was lucky not to need to buy maternity clothes until I was about 28 weeks pregnant. Part of that was because I’m tall, I think, and because (on my doctor’s advice due to being overweight pre-pregnancy) I’d gained less than 10lbs by my third trimester, but it’s definitely also because my closet was full of non-maternity dresses and tops designed to hide my tummy so there was plenty of room in them for my bump when I started to grow!

By the time I hit month 7, though, I found myself needing to wear almost exclusively maternity clothes. It snuck up on me so suddenly that I actually had to order a few pieces from JoJo Maman Bebe, a British website (that also ships to the US), to be delivered to my mother-in-law’s home in England for our visit there in October - I realized when I was packing that I wouldn’t fit into my normal clothes for the duration of the trip! Since then, I’ve picked up a handful of other casual staples here in the States plus a few dresses I can wear to the office as well as a special occasion dress.

Most of the items will work for my post-partum body and for nursing, too, so I’m glad from a financial perspective that I haven’t spent a lot on clothes that will only be worn for a couple of months. Regardless, they’ve all been in constant rotation and I definitely feel like I’ve gotten my money’s worth already!

Here’s what I’m living in - and highly recommend:

1. Black and White Spot Print Maternity and Nursing Tunic (JoJo Maman Bebe)
2. Blue and White Striped Maternity and Nursing Tunic (JoJo Maman Bebe)
3. 3/4 Sleeve Shirred Maternity T-Shirt Dress (Target)
4. Purple Dot Maternity and Nursing Dress (Seraphine)
5. 3/4 Sleeve Empire Detail Maternity Dress (Seraphine)
6. Lace Dress (Motherhood Maternity; no longer available but this one's similar)
7. Maternity Plaid Popover Tunic (Target)
8. Side Ruched Maternity Sweater (Motherhood Maternity; no longer available but this one's similar) - I actually have this in two colors and love them both!
9. Maternity Scoop Neck Tank (Target)
10. Maternity Striped Tie-Waist Tunic (Old Navy)
11. Maternity Striped Pleated Popover (Target)
12. Breton Stripe Maternity Jumper (JoJo Maman Bebe)

As you might have seen on Instagram, I am firmly now on the Leggings Are Life bandwagon after years of resistance; I got two pairs, one black and one navy, of non-maternity leggings at FatFace when I was in England. They have a super high rise so they've fit throughout my pregnancy. Earlier on, I wore these Maternity Panel Inset Jeggings from Target but once I started needing fuller coverage I switched to the Secret Fit Belly Jeans from Motherhood Maternity (similar to these). I'm also a huge fan of the two pairs of maternity tights I bought at John Lewis back in October.

So there you have it! Not quite sure this counts as a capsule wardrobe, but these are the pieces I've been living in for the last few months and would highly recommend to anyone on the hunt for good but (for the most part) inexpensive maternity clothing. I hope this round-up comes in handy for someone!

Nov 16, 2017

One Room Challenge: Study to Nursery (Week Seven)

Finally - and to Jon's great relief - the transformation of this room from studio to nursery is finished! I feel like we kept everything pretty simple with the classic white furniture, but my heart skips a beat at the long gray wall (which is painted with Behr's Dark Ash) and gold star decals behind the crib every time I open the door and peer in . I'm also super proud of my DIY mobile, which looks slightly less arts-and-crafts-y now that it's hung properly, and I'm so happy we were able to find celestial curtains on Land of Nod that compliment the accent wall and framed art opposite as well. (The curtains are no longer available in the 63" and 84" inch lengths but are on sale at 96". The salesman I chatted to said that the Deep Space line is being discontinued, so get them now if you want them!) While there are still a few items on our registry that we do need - like bedding for the crib - and we're looking forward to filling the shelves and the chest with books and toys and stuffed animals, this space is done!

Well, actually, there are two major things that will need to be completed in the next few months to ensure the nursery is safe for the baby. First, we'll need to shorten the curtains; at the moment, because they reach the floor and are hung from a tension rod, they're very likely to get pulled down by a curious tactile mobile infant. And second, we need to secure all of the furniture to the walls, both in the nursery and through the rest of the apartment; because many of our walls are concrete, we're probably going to hire someone to do this for us throughout our whole home just to be extra careful.

As I think I've mentioned before, though, the baby will be sleeping in our room in a Graco Travel Lite Crib with Stages until he transitions to his real crib, so we do have a little time to check those tasks off the list. Also, my shower isn't until next weekend, so I think I'll have some fun items to add to the room thanks to our lovely friends and family after that! This is the official reveal post for the One Room Challenge link-up, but I have a sneaking suspicion that another nursery post or two might end up on the blog before the baby arrives at the end of December...








Direct costs:
- crafts for mobile: $2 plus items already owned
- curtains: $100
- tension rod: already owned
- hamper: $25
- ladder bookcase: $60
- dresser: $175
- changer: $40
- white wicker baskets: $40
- lamp: already owned
- crib: gift
- rocking chair: hand-me-down
- toy chest: hand-me-down
- bookcases: already owned; doors and extensions $320
- gold star decals: $16
- celestial prints: $16
- plexiglass for frames: $16
- gold frames: already owned
- wall/door installation: $700

Other budgetary items:
- sold the 5x5 Expedit that had been in the study for $80
- bought two Ikea Besta storage units for about $300 to serve as a sideboard to house most of the kitchen/dining items from the Expedit
- sold the console table that had lived in the hallway outside the kitchen on Craigslist for $40
- bought a wine rack from Target for $70 to hold the wine that had lived in the Expedit but doesn't fit in the sideboard
- sold the desk that had been in the study for $40

Total net cost: $1,720

Check out the other One Room Challenge participants' room reveals here!

Nov 8, 2017

One Room Challenge: Study to Nursery (Week Six)

We're almost done with the nursery! I'm so proud of how we've transformed this room in just a few short months. Honestly, the most challenging (and most expensive) part of it all was de-studyifying the study; specifically, sorting through everything in the 5x5 Expedit that served as the primary storage unit in our apartment, researching sideboard-style options that would work as a replacement outside of the kitchen, and then finding new homes that made sense for all the items that needed them. The fun part, of course, has been nursifying the nursery: sourcing furniture, putting up decor, and imagining the time we'll spend with our baby in the space.

Since last week's post, we have:
- found and purchased the perfect wicker hamper from Craigslist (why are these things so stupidly expensive when bought new?)
- bought and assembled this five-shelf ladder-style bookcase from Target (after receiving an email notifying us of a one-time 15% discount on a single item from our registry, I added this piece and then immediately bought it myself)
- agreed to keep the toy chest at the end of the crib (despite my original misgivings, it does it fit perfectly there and will be really useful)
- ordered super cute curtains from The Land of Nod (the style's being discontinued and we must have gotten the last in stock as I can't find them online anymore!)

So what's left, you ask?
- hang the curtains
- finish the mobile I started making a while ago but have ignored for the past week and a half
- organize the dresser drawers
- secure all furniture to the walls

That's it! That's all we have to do, and hopefully both the curtains and the mobile will be in place for the final One Room Challenge reveal post next week. My baby shower is Thanksgiving weekend so, because my friends and family are so unbelievably generous, I'm sure I'll have another update to share after that. But otherwise... we're ready for you, baby!

Just kidding. We're not ready. We haven't bought a carseat or taken the childrearing/breastfeeding classes or packed our hospital bag or... So stay put, baby, and keep cooking for at least another six weeks, please!





Direct costs:
- curtains: $100
- hamper: $25
- ladder bookcase: $60
- dresser: $175
- changer: $40
- white wicker baskets: $40
- lamp: already owned
- crib: gift
- rocking chair: hand-me-down
- bookcases: already owned; doors and extensions $320
- gold star decals: $16
- celestial prints: $16
- plexiglass for frames: $16
- gold frames: already owned
- wall/door installation: $700

Other budgetary items:
- sold the 5x5 Expedit that had been in the study for $80
- bought two Ikea Besta storage units for about $300 to serve as a sideboard to house most of the kitchen/dining items from the Expedit
- sold the console table that had lived in the hallway outside the kitchen on Craigslist for $40
- bought a wine rack from Target for $70 to hold the wine that had lived in the Expedit but doesn't fit in the sideboard
- sold the desk that had been in the study for $40

Total net cost so far: $1,718

Check out the other One Room Challenge participants' posts this week here.