Category: "Life"

What No One Told Me About Going Past Your Due Date! {Pregnancy Update Weeks 40+}

March 6th, 2017 | no comments

Hi Again! 

You know how I said in my last post that it would be my last pregnancy update? Well… that’s because I had this totally off base idea that once I hit my “due date” then *poof* baby would be here. What I’ve learned(or been reminded of)? A few things…like…

  • First time moms rarely deliver first babies ON their due date
  • Due dates aren’t an exact science
  • Babies are on their OWN time! #patience

Soo… with all of the prepartion we did for peanut leading up to our due date {you can read ALL ABOUT THAT here} what I failed to think about was, what if we went past our due date? I wasn’t prepared for the myriad of new tests (like the Nonstress Test), more frequent prenatal appointments (2x a week post-date) and bombarding of questions like “Where is baby??” “No baby yet??” and “Any contractions?!” from loving family and friends and even perfect strangers. Couple that with the comments full of opinions on how long I should wait to be medically induced and what I should/shouldn’t be doing to bring on labor (like this is somehow in my control)and there were a few moments I felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders.

Of course I was doing everything humanely possible to help my body move things along… was this really in my control or something I was somehow doing wrong? These thoughts crossed my mind. It wasn’t until Karl said to me after one of our prenatal appointments “you have to relieve yourself of the duty to make this happen. The baby WILL come when she’s ready.” Ahhhh…big sigh of relief. It’s hard at this stage not to let thoughts of worry and self-doubt creep in but what baby girl needs from me is what she has needed all along…me feeling physically and emotionally well. To do that, I needed to do was to reframe the situation and put trust back in myself, my body, the baby and the universe that all of this is part of a perfect plan. It sounds silly but I also needed the reminder that baby girl IS on her way and NO I wouldn’t be pregnant forever (ohhh the hormones!). 

What no one told me about going past you due date was just how emotional it would be. 

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Let me also say, most importantly, I am healthy and baby girl is healthy (and yet still on the inside). At this point, we are being very closely monitored by our midwives/Dr at our practice and I am physically feeling very well.

While this last week has brought A LOT of external “noise” we’ve have found ways to drown it out because we know in our hearts that nothing is wrong, we have just chosen to let baby girl grow and develop uninterrupted a bit longer without medical intervention because that is what feels right for us… at this time. It’s been interesting to see how uncomfortable other people are with some of our choices (that we feel calm and confident about), and yet a great lesson in parenting which will likely provide the same type of opinions, judgements and questions in our style or choices and that’s okay

What matters the most is that we continue to make decisions that feel great FOR US and feel right for OUR FAMILY. 

I wanted to share some of these very vulnerable thoughts as emotions have been high and low throughout the last week. My goal is always to be helpful and hopefully inspire other people who might be finding challenges in a similar situations. There ARE ways to cope with the difficultly of this waiting period and unknown…two things that just don’t come that natural to a Type A mama like myself…so I wanted to share that if I can, you can. Here are some of the ways we are spending our time and energy as we wait for our daughter to tell us “it’s GO time!”

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TREAT THE TIME LIKE A BABYCATION

The silver lining to all of the preparation we did prior to our due date was that after it passed we had nothing pressing to do. So, we’ve used this time to indulge in activities as a twosome (threesome with Harlow Girl) and soak up the quality time together. We’ve pretty much eaten our way through our neighborhood at all of our favorite restaurants, taken lots of walks, caught up on Oscar nominated movies and played games to pass the time. It has honestly been really special for us and I consider this the biggest perk of the extra time so far. 

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 CHANNEL POSITIVITY

For me the way I channel positivity is through creativity such as making a VISION BOARD. All you need is a few magazines, scissors, glue and a canvas or poster board in the size of your choosing. I decided to make a smaller sized one that was very portable so that I could bring it around with me throughout the house and bring it to the Birth Center/Hospital with us. Without judgement, scan the pages of the magazine and pull images and words that inspire you. Then, assemble the board with your images and watch the messages you need to hear reveal themselves. Try not to set out with any expectation for what you will create and let your inner guide inspire you. 

 

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A fellow new mom and childhood friend Angela brought me these mom-to-be Mantra Cards to help release some fear, doubt and encourage confidence and calm. They have been very inspiring and came just when I needed them — thank you A!

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 STAY HEALTHY 

At first I wanted to throw my hands in the air and say “I’m done!” and its understandable since pregnancy is a loooong time. I had to re-center and remember that little girl who needs me healthy and strong and this reminded me to continue to nourish myself with LOTS of sleep, healthy foods and staying active. With that, we’ve been enjoying daily walks in our favorite park and lots of homemade meals (a double win since cooking is also one of the ways I de-stress). 

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INDULGE IN SELF-CARE

Above all, this is truly vital for mom’s well being while the dealing with the rollercoaster of emotions that come with going past your due date (and throughout your entire pregnancy in my opinion). Some of the activities that I’ve been indulging in are:

  • Acupuncture
  • Prenatal Massage
  • Journaling
  • Bubble Baths
  • Manicures and Pedicures
  • Naps and rest and early bed times
  • Reading and listening to books on audio
  • Meal prepping and baking
  • Time with Karl and Harlow 
  • Catching up with friends 

HAVE FUN

We know that this time won’t last forever so we’ve been finding ways to stay busy and have fun with the extra time. The other day we visited NYC’s largest independent book store, Books of Wonder, to add some book’s to peanut’s library and it was SUCH a fun experience. We poured through the aisles and pages and picked out sweet stories that we’ll read our girl soon. It was fun to see our childhood favorites and loads of new stories about everything under the sun!

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A few more thoughts…

 So with that, we’re still waiting…just a few more days…for mother nature to continue to amaze us and bring our little girl into the world. We trust that this is all a part of our journey and we are learning great lessons in parenting, such as PATIENCE, while we enjoy the last few moments before baby. 

Thank you to everyone who has called, texted, emailed, messaged and sent thoughts and prayers our way. We are SO appreciative for your thoughts and can’t wait to introduce you to our daughter very soon. 

If you’re pregnant and past your due date… HANG IN THERE! You’re doing GREAT! 

With so much love…from this soon-to-be mama..

Xx, D

 

CATCH UP ON MY OTHER PREGNANCY UPDATES HERE:

Big News: We’re Expecting!!  {Update Weeks 1 – 18}

10 Pregnancy Essentials {Weeks 1 – 19}

It’s a…….!!! Gender Reveal + Pregnancy Update {Weeks 19 – 22}

Hello, Third Trimester! PREGNANCY UPDATE {Weeks 23 – 28}

Baby Celebration + Pregnancy Update {Weeks 29-35}

What’s in my Hospital/Birth Center Bag? + LAST Pregnancy Update {Weeks 35-39}

What’s in my Hospital/Birth Center Bag? + LAST Pregnancy Update {Weeks 35-39}

February 17th, 2017 | no comments

 Hi Friends!

Here we are at 39 weeks pregnant and I decided to write this post as my last pre-baby update. Aside from the regular pregnancy questions, a lot of people are asking how we are preparing for “the big delivery day” and “what’s in my hospital bag?” So… as to hopefully be helpful, I thought I would document it all here. Partially to keep myself organized but also to help if you’re preparing for your big day and wanted to see what we’ve done to pack and prepare.

DISCLAIMER: I am a first-time-mama-to-be who has NEVER been through this before and so you’ll soon see that we DID and PREPPED alot. Probably more than is actually necessary and I admit that I know some of the preparation we did will be in vain but I am OK with that because I’m a pregnant lady with a lot on my mind and it has eased my mind to focus on preparing in this way. So please know that this isn’t the END ALL BE ALL of lists and I also hope to post an update after baby with what I actually used or found really helpful in hindsight. So, there’s that. 

But first, let’s do a little update from the last few weeks…

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Weeks 35-39: These last few weeks have brought about a lot of preparation, which you will soon get a glimpse of. My energy level has ebbed and flowed (Enter: NAPS) and the baby growth spurts have brought about some new aches and pains, mainly in my lower back and hips. I’ve been seeing a chiropractor who specializes in obstetrics, going for weekly prenatal massages and wearing this belly belt and I have to say the combination is definitely helping. [Please consult your physician if you are experiencing any aches and pains, all of this treatment was pre-approved by ours for my specific needs]. Right around week 37 I came down with a horrrrrrrible cold and was on bed rest for about a week = NOT FUN. Luckily I made a full recovery and baby girl decided to STAY IN and I could not be more thankful to have that in the past and these days of getting healthy again accruing before the ‘big day’.  

In terms of cravings I am still on a FRUIT kick but have definitely been craving sweets in these last few weeks which is new. I’ve been indulging in all of the old wives tales about “what to eat” to prepare your body for labor…like dates, pineapple, spicy foods and supplementing with evening primrose oil… and not that I can tell you anything’s working or not working but it’s fun to pay more attention in this way (again, please consult your care provider before adding in any supplements or anything new to your regime).  I am still able to go to SoulCycle and do the elliptical a few times a week and always feel good and sleep better on the days I workout. Oh, sleep. This one is pretty rough as I’m getting bigger and more uncomfortable by the day, but all for a good cause! :) Other than that our weekly appointments have been mostly uneventful in the best way possible and we are getting more and more eager to meet our sweet daughter very soon! 

Self-care has been tremendously important for allowing me to feel good as my body, mind and soul continue to change everyday. For me that looks like exercise, good nutrition, early nights in bed, manicures, baths and scrapbooking the Baby Book which has been a really fun experience (thank you to my sweet friend Kelly for giving us this book!). I also snuck in a haircut since I knew I wouldn’t have a chance for some time postpartum

 A fresh cut/color pre-baby sure makes a mama feel good! 

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The NESTING instinct has picked up HARD and we’ve really spent the last few weeks preparing the nursery, our home, our work and our minds for what’s to come soon. You’ll soon see as you keep reading just HOW MUCH we have actually done to prepare but now, at 39 weeks pregnant I really don’t have much to do but “feel well“, get lots of rest, eat well, enjoy prenatal massage, visit my chiropractor, enjoy the last few days as a twosome (threesome if you’re counting Harlow) and stay comfortable. Which is exactly the place I wanted to be at. I know that so much of labor and delivery and having a newborn will be unpredictable and chaotic (and beautiful) so it has helped me to relax by getting all of these ducks in a row. 

 So, I warn you. Super long post. Lots of products, packing and preparations (mostly necessary but surely some unnecessary). But, I feel great about it all and that’s all that matters.

Read at your leisure, use this as a reference if you find it helpful, skim, bounce around and if you’re a mom and I am completely missing something obvious — help a sista out and let me know! :) We are giving birth at a Birth Center so some of what we did/prepared for is geared towards that experience which may be slightly different than a traditional labor & delivery situation at a hospital. So just keep that in mind if you’re thinking “wow, that’s a lot!” If you have any questions about why we did something or packed a certain item, let me know. Happy to share my thought process it reasoning with you if it will be helpful.

Otherwise, know that you don’t really neeeeed most of this “stuff” or to prepare like we did. It’s SUCH a personal thing and whatever fits your personality and preferences. So…please please please listen to your body, your heart and connect with your partner about what will work best for you. What you’ll read below works best for us but may be too much (or too little) for someone else and I can totally respect and appreciate that. 

“Prepping for baby is exhausting!” -Harlow 

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For my Hospital/Birth Center bag I chose this one from Vera Bradley that I had on hand because it’s a large duffel that will fit a ton, it’s very light as a bag so won’t add extra weight or bulk (for Karl who will be handling) and most importantly it can easily be tossed in the washing machine afterwards. I didn’t want to bring a nicer bag or our diaper bag for that last reason specifically. I’m happy with this choice because it sure is big enough for everything you’re about to see on my list below! 

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I’ll start with what we packed….

For Baby:

• (2) newborn outfits (with feeties and mitts) • (2)  newborn white onesies • (3)  0-3 outfits • (4)  pairs of socks • Headbands (because…pictures ) • (2)  cotton hats + (1)  cozy going home hat • Going home outfit + puffer onesie (because it will still be winter here) • Burp clothes (disposable + cotton) • Swaddles (so we can use our own) • Organic coconut oil (for baby’s bum before meconium) • Newborn pacifiers for car ride home • Cozy receiving blanket

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For Me (mom):

• Labor outfit ((2) super soft robes — one old that we can chuck and one new for postpartum, cotton bras, cozy tanks, loose boxers + maternity leggings) • Extra Cotton Bras + Nursing Bras • Comfy hipster style undies (for postpartum) • Grippy socks • Slippers • Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, face wash, face cream, comb, deodorant, etc.) • Nursing pads, nipple cream, bottom spray (I am already a lover of Earth Mama Angel Baby) • Fridet Mom Washer • Maternity Belly Band (for postpartum support) • Extra socks • (2)  comfy outfits (Gap Body Maternity leggings, maternity tanks, cozy zip-ups and open front sweaters) • Going home clothes • Pillow with colored pillow case • A roll of my own soft toilet paper • Phone chargers • Digital camera with extra battery • Polaroid Instapix camera with extra film

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For Hospital/Birth Center:

• Pre-registration Confirmation paperwork • Copies of license and insurance cards • Copy of medical records that we go at out last prenatal appointment• Copies of birth “preferences” + Who to Call/Text list • Snacks • Drinks • Nursing Pillow (My Brest Friend) • Bluetooth speakers • Toxic-free ink pad + Baby Book

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For At-Home Labor:

(Since we are going to a Birth Center, at-home labor will be a longer than tradition L&D)

• Birth ball • Essential oils (lavender, peppermint + lemon) • Massage oil • Bendy straws (for easy hydration) • Baseball cap for ride to birth center • Headphones • Snacks + Beverages (hydration!!!) • Copies of different labor positions + contraction management techniques

 For Karl:

• Extra clothes • Bathing suit • Toiletries • Pillow • Snacks for hospital

This should say 38.5 weeks or “Just shy of 39″ ;) But, who’s counting??

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Now let’s talk about HOW we prepared…

Aside from packing our bags and the car for the delivery day, we’ve been busy in the weeks leading up to our due date. We wanted to be mindful of other life responsibilities and take as much off of our plates for those first few weeks/months in the “newborn vortex” as possible. It was a great opportunity to go through our lives and think ahead to what might be needed/due and handle as much as we could now as to minimize any distractions later on.

Of course with delivery services like InstaCart (for groceries), Target.com /Amazon.com /Diapers.com for baby and household essentials and Chewy.com for pet supplies, it’s really VERY easy to get most of our needs met without more than the push of a button (which is very comforting). But there was more on our list as we took inventory of our life and apartment and it feels good to know that this is all taken care of and that our baby will get our full attention when she arrives. Also because the nesting instinct is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced and it kept me calm to focus on some of these things the last few weeks without just sitting around and waiting.

Other things we did to prepare our lives (and create mental capacity) for this new life change and the inevitable beautiful chaos that’s about to ensue:

• Karl got the car’s oil changed, checked and filled up car with gas (checked insurance coverage and inspection dates so nothing falls through the cracks) • Put car seat in car beforehand with base, seat cover and rear-facing mirror • One word: “padsicles” (Google if curious) • Arranged Harlow (pet) Care “on call” basis / stocked pup with food and treats (checked with vet for any upcoming vaccines that are due) • Meetings with our Doula • Completed Bradley Method Childbirth Ed classes • Completed birth center orientation • Talked extensively about our birth preferences + views on newborn procedures + postpartum preferences • Books, documentaries + positive stores • Expectful.com meditations + YouTube • Stocked fridge + freezer with healthy meals / options for postpartum • Picked our pediatrician • Set expectations with family/visitors • Prepped the nursery / washed all baby clothes and blankets and swaddles, prepped diapering station at changing table and one “to-go” for our bedroom • Stocked the apartment with essentials and cleaning products so we wouldn’t have to think about it for a while • Paid bills / filed taxes (since our baby is due during tax season!)

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Reflecting on what’s to come…

Now that I’m 39 weeks I’ve been doing a ton of reflection about this whole pregnancy and what’s to come. I love to sit in the nursery which is so filled with love already. I look around and see all of the beauty, love, support and generosity from everyone in our lives and the positive energy is truly remarkable. It’s been an emotional week. It feels like it’s 24/7 that I think about how she’ll arrive any day, whenever she’s ready, however is meant to be and what it means to let go of control, expectation and put full trust in something greater than myself.

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I’m learning new lessons in patience, unpredictability, unconditional love and acceptance of the unknown. I know that the journey is only beginning and that I have A LOT to learn but I find comfort in knowing that I’m not alone in any of this. Which is absolutely a mindset shift as I reflect back to discovering we were pregnant and having all of these anxious and isolating feelings appear. I’m proud of the growth I can see in myself, in Karl, and in US, throughout this journey that was FULL of a spectrum of emotions and experiences. Now more than ever I know that there is a reason pregnancy is approx 40 weeks. It really has taken all of that time to feel all the feels, prepare mentally and physically and fully embrace the life changes that are coming.

One more thing before I wrap up this VERY LONG post which is my final pregnancy update(next up a baby update!)! I need to thank everyone who has supported us throughout this entire journey. The love and support we continue to receive in abundance has allowed us to truly welcome this new chapter in our lives with open arms and hearts, and know that this journey will be amazing, real and one where we are never alone. Because I really do believe that it takes a village, and I am sooooo thankful for our village! 

It’s been so much fun to share this journey with you and to connect with all of the new-mamas to be that I’ve met along the way. I’m looking forward to more updates, baby updates, sharing new mama struggles and successes and OF COURSE getting back to some regularly scheduled “GREAT LIFE” programming like clean eating recipes, wellness tips, and much more, here soon. With LOVE + gratitude… Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

 And now… we wait. ♥

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In case you’ve missed any of the other PREGNANCY UPDATES, here are links to all of those posts! 

Big News: We’re Expecting!!  {Update Weeks 1 – 18}

10 Pregnancy Essentials {Weeks 1 – 19}

It’s a…….!!! Gender Reveal + Pregnancy Update {Weeks 19 – 22}

Hello, Third Trimester! PREGNANCY UPDATE {Weeks 23 – 28}

Baby Celebration + Pregnancy Update {Weeks 29-35}

Baby Celebration + Pregnancy Update {Weeks 29-35}

January 19th, 2017 | no comments

Hii!

Here we are again, another pregnancy update and this time I am excited because of the amazing weekend we are coming off of. This weekend we had our BABY CELEBRATION (in lieu of a shower) and I have lots of pictures to share, plus some from our “its-coming-together” baby nursery. Let’s get into it…

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Weeks 29-31: Nesting is REAL! No corner of the apartment has been left untouched, organized, sifted through. I’ve done more organizing, decluttering and dusting then I’m proud to admit. Not only making space for baby stuff but making it easier on us when inevitable “stuff” is going to pile up with a newborn. The less of the other “stuff” the better, AMIRIGHT?! 

Harlow being an “only child” — just few more weeks… ;) 

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Mid December started our Bradley Method childbirth classes led by the amazing, compassionate and knowledgable Mary Ester Malloy of Mindful Birth NYC. I am the type of person that truly lives by the mantra “the best way through is through” so this pregnancy/childbirth/newborn care class is right up our alley. The Bradley Method focuses on partner-coached childbirth and various natural labor techniques and it has been really informative and amazing for us to learn together as a couple about what’s ahead. It’s great to have a community to talk to during this very important time. Our midwives have been incredibly helpful and supportive, especially about normalizing pregnancy, labor and delivery, but as first-timers sometimes we don’t know what questions to ask – can you relate? So it’s helpful to hear other people’s questions in a safe and supportive setting like our weekly classes and learn about the research behind certain practices, procedures and alternatives. I truly look forward to these classes every week. Did you find taking a class helpful during pregnancy?

Somewhere in between it all we had a low key holiday and New Year’s with family and rung in 2017 with an amazing firework display in Brooklyn. Ohhh the symbolism! ;) 

Look how cute! Baby girl is getting stocked already ~ Thank you Auntie Lexie!

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Cuteness overload!

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Weeks 32-34:  Going to complain for 2 seconds here…everything they say about pregnancy is TRUE! Ha ha.  New aches, symptoms, Braxton Hicks contractions and changes in my body every single day. While its beautiful and amazing, hey mamas… it can be tough too. Feels like the first trimester fatigue has returned some, so I’ve been doing my best to combat with extra rest, lots of good nutrition (I’m craving fresh orange, lemon and grapefruit) and drinking lots of water. I’ve incorporated more coconut water into my diet too and feel like that’s been helping to keep my energy up. Exercise, stretching and massage help though I could always be better about stretching. Oh, and, eating bananas regularly has helped combat some of those painful leg cramps, do you know which ones I’m talking about? Ouch! 

Preparing the nursery has been so special and we’ve definitely made progress in the last month…

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Still have a lot of decorating and organizing to do in this room but it’s coming along!

(Next up: paint the walls, hanging shelves/pictures/drapes and decorating!)

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My little laundry helper…

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Karl built the baby’s dresser and we MADE a changing table frame off of a Pinterest-inspired DIY project we found and I just love how it came out. Our glider, rug, lamp and ottoman came this week too so that’s been a real treat! Next up, the crib delivery, drapes and hanging shelves and pictures. This is such a special moment and I love being in the nursery. We went for a very fresh, cozy and clean decor of layered white textures and small feminine pops of metallic accents. I love how’s it’s coming out and we’ll post some pictures when it all comes together. 

IMG_4564I know I will get questions so here is what we have so far: 

  Week 34: OUR BABY CELEBRATION (!!!!!!!)

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In lieu of a traditional baby shower, my parents hosted a co-ed baby celebration. Karl and I are truly partners in this journey and it made more sense for us to incorporate the men in our lives who will help love and raise our baby girl and most of all support us through this journey as well. So guys and gals it was!

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The night was PERFECT! Surrounded by all of our family and friends, loved ones flew in from around the country and drove in from all over to shower us and our baby girl with love. We feel so blessed and honored by the LOVE in that room. 

AUNTIE GAME IS STRONG! 

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Friends for 15- 20+ years…

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Two Mamas-to-be with Gals in the Oven! ;)

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Four generations of Female Power – including baby in belly!

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We wanted there to be a truly celebratory vibe so it was more cocktail party then buttoned up brunch. BIG BIG GI-NORMOUS THANKS to my mom and best friends for coming together to create the most special, personal and beautiful atmosphere filled with participate-at-your-leisure party activities like… 

Baby Date/Weight Betting + Advice for the New Parents (which was equal parts endearing and hilarious to read the next day!)

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A Newborn Essentials Craft Station – we loooved sifting through these DIY creations the next day and seeing everyone’s creativity come alive and what will surely keep us entertained during late nights ahead!

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 Look how cute! 

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 And my most favorite, a Polaroid Scrapbook for Baby to know all the people who love her already! Guests took pictures and posted them in a book with a message to baby. Every single page is loved on and shows the fun memories of the night! 

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We adored pouring through the Photo Scrap Book the next day to see all the sweet notes from our loved ones and can’t wait to share it with the baby love one day!!

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Best of all, the delicious Spiked Hot Chocolate Bar to go with our theme and the most beautiful Pretty-in-Pink Dessert Bar I’ve ever seen! 

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Complete with a gorgeous cake made by my incredibly talented cousin Missy – not only was this the prettiest cake I’ve ever seen but it was also insanely delicious (thannnnk you cuz!)!! 

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We chose to forego opening gifts at the party so that we could spend the most time possible with our guests and it really was such a magical evening.  

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Guests brought books in lieu of cards to stock baby girl’s library and I can’t tell you how special this detail turned out to be! To imagine reading to our little girl, her coming up with favorites and getting to read the personalized notes inside each one from everyone we love – TRULY PRICELESS.

Magic moments we can’t wait to create! 

 Extra(Thank you to Etsy Shop: Roseberry Prints for our invite inserts) 

And last but not least a special ENGAGEMENT corner with the sweetest childhood facts about both Karl + I and adorable baby photos to bring everything full circle!

My mom thought of EV-ER-Y-THING!

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Our hearts exploded with gratitude looking around that room and seeing all of the incredible people who will make their mark on our daughter’s life and support us through the inevitable trials and trails of the journey we are able to embark on. 

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Thank you to everyone who was there, who sent gifts and cards and love and thoughts and who has provided a shoulder to cry on (even tears of joy), laugh with, love on and a strong embrace throughout this pregnancy journey and as we prepare for parenthood. We can’t believe there are only a few weeks to go and we couldn’t feel more supported or loved! 

34+ Weeks + FULL of Gratitude! 

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One more super special and BIG shoutout to my talented and amazing mom for her vision and execution of the perfection baby celebration party a gal (and guy) could ask for! Every detail was filled with love and thought and it added to the feeling in the room to make it one of the most special nights we could ask for.

I’m sure we’ll learn soon that kids don’t thank their parents enough, so THANK YOU Mom + Dad (Grammie + Popou) for hosting the most special BABY CELEBRATION of all time…we (THREE) love you to the MOON and BACK! 

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Only 5+ weeks to go with this pregnancy, my friends, will do my best to give another update before this little peanut makes her arrival. Thanks for following along! xo

9 Ways to Detox Your Home and Body With Ease!

December 19th, 2016 | no comments

Many people associate “detoxing” with the Summer months or attempting to balance those indulgences after the holidays or a vacation.  Did you know that your body has built in systems for detoxification and your body is CONSTANTLY getting rid of toxins?

From the air your breathe, to the foods you eat, to what you put on your body, toxins are everywhere. If you’re anything like me, minimizing your exposure to toxins is important to you, especially now that I’m pregnant but even pre-pregnancy this is a main area of interest in my life and coaching practice. I am fascinated by our body’s ability to get rid of toxins and it starts with reducing your exposure to toxins and creating a few new healthy habits.

But first, let’s talk about where toxins are found and why they matter.

Where are toxins found? Here are a few places…

  • Environment
  • Food
  • Water
  • Household Products
  • Cleaning Products

Why do toxins matter? They have been known to cause…

  • Breathing issues
  • Health problems
  • Inflammation
  • Disease
  • Pain
  • Mood Disorders
  • Digestive disorders
  • and more…

Of course it would be VERY difficult to eliminate all toxic exposure in our lives but there ARE a few ways you can help your body and environment decrease your exposure. Now, let’s talk about ways that you can assist your body in naturally detoxing ALL YEAR LONG. These are some of the ways I help my body “stay well” on the regular. 

Use an air purifier in my home or work space - I use one similar to this in my workspace and recently got my hands on this Himalayan Salt Lamp for our bedroom.  

Tongue Cleaner – gently wipe away surface bacteria/toxins with a tongue scraper before brushing two times a day. I get mine at Vitacost and switch out every 3 months.

Dry Brushing Your Skin – before you get in the shower use a dry brush to remove dead skin cells, stimulate circulation and improve lymphatic drainage. This one is an awesome habit to get into and you will instantly feel invigorated. I buy my dry brush at Vitacost as well and change every 6 months.

Choose Lemon Water - Starting your day with a glass of warm lemon water is one of the most effective habits you can create for revving up your bodies natural detoxification systems. 

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Drink Filtered Water – Depending on where in the world you live water from the tap contains various amounts of minerals, fluoride and even chlorine combined with rusty pipes and this can be a serious toxic zone. I recommend drinking filtered water. If you use a Brita or something similar just make sure you are switching out the filter as instructed. 

Eat your way clean - foods such as beets, cabbage and dandelion help to cleanse your body by cleansing the blood and boosting liver function. I love to incorporate steamed or roasted beets in my weekly meal planning or toss them into fresh pressed juices like this recipe here. I like to drink Traditional Medicinals Dandelion Root tea in the afternoon as well! 

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Safer cleaning products in your home – conventional household cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that you absorb through your skin and breathe in (think about if you can smell the scent very strongly when you use them). I like to make my own cleaning products when possible or use gentler or all natural products especially for my kitchen, dishwasher and bathroom. Try my natural hand sanitizer spray recipe!

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Use fragrance and dye-free laundry detergentsI love the one from Trader Joe’s because it is plant derived, free of phosphates, dyes and parabans AND its biodegradable. 

Use paraban-free and sulfate-free haircare/skincare products – remember that anything you put on your hair or skin WILL get absorbed into your blood stream. Harsh chemicals used in hair and skin products have been linked to endocrine system disruption. Companies are getting MUCH better at labeling products so this is a good one to be aware of. 

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There are MANY more ways to help avoid toxins in our daily lives and “naturally detox” on the regular. In fact, this is one of my FAVORITE subjects. I am considering doing a post geared towards foods that naturally promote detoxification. And, if you’re interested… I am happy to take you behind the scenes of cleaning products, household products and skincare products that are cleaner and safer to use if that would be helpful to you. 

Let me know on twitter @DeeLynn, in the comments of Instagram @DeeLynn78 or leave a comment here! 

Have a Happy and Healthy Day!

 

Hello, Third Trimester! PREGNANCY UPDATE {Weeks 23 – 28}

December 6th, 2016 | no comments

Hi friends,

So…I’ve officially entered the THIRD trimester! WHAT THE WHAT? Time is truly flying and so many things happened this month that I want to fill you in on. I feel like from the 6 MONTH mark to the 7 MONTH mark there has been a huge change physically and emotionally in this pregnancy. I can feel an emotional shift taking place and between the belly POPPIN’ and lots of baby girl movements, the whole thing is more REAL. Do you know what I mean?

We’re bumpin’ and rollin’ now… 7 MONTHS!

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As each day passes I learn more, feel more and connect more with this entire experience. Each day also brings me one step closer to meeting our baby girl and that is still a surreal feeling. I don’t know that you get used to that…

Anyway, here’s what I’ve been up to the past few weeks…let’s journey back. Just to warn you ahead of time, this is a LONG post. :) 

Week 22 we were hot off our GENDER REVEAL and emotions were high. It was such an amazing experience to learn our baby’s gender – G.I.R.L – in front of some of our closest family and friends. What a special moment, full post here in case you missed it.

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That very next weekend, week 23, we went up to the Hudson Valley, NY, for a weekend in the woods full of hiking, cozy fires and good friends. It has become our fall tradition to do a weekend away with friends and it was so nice to get out of the concrete jungle for a few days in the fresh air.

My favorite part was cozying up by the fireplace…is there anything better?

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We also ordered some more baby books  and I have since DEVOURED them The Sleep Solution, The Happiest Baby on the Block and Natural Childbirth The Bradley Way, as well as watched the very informative documentary, The Business of Being Born. Regardless of your birth preferences or plan it can be helpful and comforting to learn about others experiences…at least it is for me so I have been a sponge for information and stories lately. I also enjoy watching positive birth stories on YouTube (a sentence I NEVER thought I would say!!!). I’m learning that there is this phenomenon that happens when you’re pregnant where people want to tell you horrific birth stories so it can be helpful to immerse yourself in positive and empowering information to combat those NON-HELPFUL, SCARY and OVERWHELMING stories that people like to tell. 

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This week, the weather started to change and I could feel the changes in my body…with more aches, sore throat and extra tired. Baby girl  is moving A TON, all day and all night especially after meals or right when I lay down to bed. People have started to feel kicks through my belly, SO STRANGE(!!) but beautiful and a fun way to connect others with the pregnancy, especially Karl. I love sharing this part, and these little reassuring kicks make all the difference to an over-thinker like me. Can you relate?

Me and my beautiful mom celebrating Lisa + Ian in Montauk!

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Week 24 flew by as I prepared to spend the weekend in Montauk for my very best friend’s wedding. I’m not going to sugar coat it…this was the first time I had to “dress” the bump and it was really overwhelming. With a surge of hormones, starting to feel a bit swollen and just generally not being used to my current size, I had a tough time feeling “good” getting dressed for the weekend. What saved me was OPTIONS and excercise to balance my hormones as well as self-care. I increased my water consumption and added in hydrating foods such as fruit and celery to help combat the swelling. I had to remind myself a few times that GROWING is not only normal and necessary but beautiful and that there is a sweet angel inside of me of needs me to feel well both mentally and physically – this shift in perspective has helped! Most importantly, the wedding was ABSOLUTELY PERFECT and my bestie got to marry her bestie and it was so special to be a part of it. 

6 MONTH BUMP on the dance floor!

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Going into week 25 I noticed a lot of skin breakouts on my chin and forehead – THANK YOU HORMONES. Even though the breakouts are likely caused by surges in hormones I took extra care in eating clean, drinking lots of water and making sure to disinfect my make-up brushes (I always notice breakouts when I don’t clean my make-up brushes often). After two weekends away and being 6.5 months pregnant I noticed that my body was craving SLEEP and SELF-CARE for which I turned to lavender epsom salt baths and early nights. During pregnancy I’ve noticed that my bounce back time takes a bit longer, so I really need to build in rest and self-care after long weekends or strenuous weeks. Anyone else?

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This week I also attended the BIG CITY MOM’s Biggest Baby Shower in NYC courtesy of my friend Katie (thank you!!) and it was such a fun experience. I got to try out all of the items I had picked out for our registry and hear Dr. Harvey Karp lecture on the 5 S’s — sooo enlightening! I also left with MORE THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE in samples that will definitely go to good use. 

LOOK AT ALL THIS BABY LOOT!!

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Week 26 was a bit challenging as my routine 1-hour glucose test came back abnormal (which I hear is pretty common). I was sent back for the much longer and more intense 3-hour test…to which I PASSED with flying colors… but this was a challenging week for me. I’m not good with needles, I don’t generally jive with medical settings and ingesting glucose 2x in one week was awful. It taught me many lessons in surrendering, trusting the process and believing in my body. I was so glad when we finally got the results call – ALL GOOD – and I was ready to fully move on!

Gross!

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 My Mantra: Everything is worth it for a healthy baby!

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Week 27 we flew out to San Francisco to spend Thanksgiving with Karl’s family and our 4-month old nephew who I could just EAT UP, he’s so sweet! My brother flew up from LA and it was really nice to spend the holiday with everyone especially as my last official trip before baby. Being around our nephew got us into BABY MODE and it really has us feeling (more) ready and SO excited for what’s to come. We also soaked up alllllll the baby knowledge from everyone which was great since Karl’s brother and a few cousins had recently been through the experience!

Practicing “swaddling” on Harlow girl…she wasn’t amused LOL!

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Other than that…

Workouts: 1x a week Soulcycle class, 2x a week cardio with strength training (usually treadmill) and trying for 1x a week PureBarre or prenatal yoga. My focus in the coming weeks will be to incorporate more prenatal yoga!

Cravings: Lots of fruit and greens and hearty root vegetables like sweet potatoes. I guess these are good cravings to have! 

Sleep: Still a big challenge but adding in more of a nighttime ritual such as reading some of the baby books, a lavender infused bath and an Expectful meditation is helping. And, lots and LOTS of pillows!

Skin finally clearing up!

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Oh, and we’ve started to pick out names! How do people do this?! Such a fun process but overwhelming and hormones do not make it an easier process. We’ve had a shortlist for a while and one that seems to keep emerging as a frontrunner that we love but we aren’t 100% settled yet. What do you think about this? What helped you pick out a name? 

We’ve also started planning our baby shower and finally finished up our registry… two activities that make this process even MORE real, considering that some of our baby gear has started to arrive! Picking out a registry was hard but ultimately we went with BuyBuy Baby, Amazon.com and Pottery Barn Kids. I’d love to know if there were any MUST-HAVES on your list that we’re missing!

Ahhh… no wonder I can feel SO much movement… an EGGPLANT?!

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That brings us to MONTH 7…well into my 28th week of pregnancy..WOW! This month I am focused on decluttering and getting the apartment ready for baby. I guess they call this NESTING!? :)

As always, thanks for being apart of my journey. I love sharing these details with you and bringing you into the process. Can’t believe we are in the “home stretch” already. Xx, D. 

If you’ve missed any of my other pregnancy updates, here they are:

Our Gender Reveal + Weeks 19-22 Update

 My 10 Pregnancy Essentials (so far)

We’re Expecting + Weeks 1-18 Update

It’s a…….!!! Gender Reveal + Pregnancy Update {Weeks 19 – 22}

October 25th, 2016 | no comments

It feels like 3 days since my last update, really it’s been about a month. The last 4 weeks have absolutely flown by. I’m SUPER excited to fill you in and also to share with you our baby’s gender (finally!). We decided on a reveal party with family and close friends this past weekend — and WOW are we still on CLOUD 9 with that entire experience. My mom had this gorgeous cake made with a ‘pink or blue‘ colored center which would reveal the gender. More on that a little later in the post…

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Let’s start a few weeks back. By weeks 18 and 19 I started to feel more like myself again – HOORAY! With my energy up and appetite back I found myself in the mood for exercise again and also getting back in the kitchen. One to two Pure Barre classes a week, once a week Soulcycle and a visit to the gym here and there have me feeling sooo much better these days. On the meal front, it had been months since I felt like cooking or preparing food as lack of energy and the smell of, well, everything really bothered me in the beginning. I was happy to be back in the kitchen meal-prepping, taking in LOTs of greens again (yay!) and whipping up homemade dinners (I’m sure this made Karl happy to)! First up…these delicious Flour-less Pumpkin Walnut Muffins inspired by this recipe

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We got to hear the sweetest sound of the baby’s heartbeat at our 19 week prenatal visit and it is just the happiest sound — getting stronger and louder each visit. Our doctor now knows that it’s the first thing I want to do at our monthly visits so she gets right down to business – letting us hear the heartbeat before anything else!

For all my mamas-to-be who are following, I will share that sleep is still a challenge for me. I’m either tossing and turning, or can’t regulate my temperature — sleep is my biggest complaint these days but maybe my body is just preparing for what’s ahead? I’m thinking of getting one of those sleep pillows or a cushioned mattress cover. What worked for you? Besides sleep, my skin has been breaking out a lot too. Oh, lovely hormones, I blame you! ;) It’s okay though, I’ll take anything for a healthy baby.

‘Movements’ started to be more distinct right around weeks 19 and 20. With ‘pokes and jabs’ first occuring in the morning, sporadically and when I laid down at night. Such a foreign and amazing feeling to experience the baby being more active. The movements have gotten stronger by the day…and now at 22.5 weeks they are there ALL day and I love them! In a way, those tiny little movement help ease my anxiety about everything being OK and I started to have this calm wash over me that has lasted the past 4 weeks. Can you relate??

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During week 20, me and baby flew to California to visit my brother James, some friends and family on the West Coast. Flying was easy except for getting up a TON to pee as the altitude did NOT help with that one — but it was mostly smooth sailing! It felt great to spend a few days in the 80 degree sun of Southern California and get out for hikes and just relax. Karl flew to Colorado this same week to spend time with family too. We have another trip on the books for Thanksgiving to visit with Karl’s family and our 3 month old nephew, which will be the last time I plan to travel before baby and I can’t wait!

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The very next week — week 21 —  we had our second trimester ultrasound or “level two” or “anatomy scan” — I’ve heard it referred to in all of those ways. Our appointment was about an hour and 15 minutes long. It was MIND BLOWING to see every tiny finger, toe, vertebrae and baby’s little arms and long legs flailing about. My parents and sister joined Karl and I and it was an unforgettable experience. We even caught the tiniest baby yawn — my eyes filled with tears and I burst into laughter at the same time. The doctor said everything looked great and healthy, and a warm calm washed over my body again — healthy baby is all that matters.

We chose to keep the gender a secret, even from us (!!),  so that we could reveal with friends and family later in the week — eeee, the suspense! Right around this week is when my belly started to “pop” a bit more and it really is a day-to-day thing. Sometimes it looks rounder and bigger (after meals of course) and sometimes its still fairly concealable, though not for much longer I’m sure. I’m still in my regular clothes and swear by these Ingrid & Isabel Bellaband’s that I wrote about last month. Its fun to be showing a bit more! 

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Which leads me to…our REVEAL party… 

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At 22 weeks we hosted a gender reveal party and this day will truly go down in history!! Normally not one to make a big fuss over things I wanted to keep the party low key and casual but in hindsight I’m really glad that we chose to have fun with the theme and truly focus on celebrating…healthy baby AND finding out the baby’s gender. I was pretty confident in one gender for a few months and had shared that opinion with a lot of people that I almost didn’t feel I needed to reveal at all – haha! Anyone else experience this? Did you have a deep knowing one way or another?? Were your instincts right??

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We decorated with streamers, this adorable BOY OR GIRL sign I found on Etsy, and then lots of ways people could cast their “gender vote” — colored straws, TEAM PINK OR TEAM BLUE stickers, colored necklaces and little decorative touches like pink and blue cupcake liners, napkins and plates. The decor came out REALLY cute and it was fun to have everyone share in our excitement. 

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  Getting ready for the reveal. We knew we’d be THRILLED either way…

Parents-to-be!

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And the proud grandparents-to-be! 

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Time to reveal…

I was cool as a cucumber leading up to the reveal but in the few moments before we cut the cake my adrenaline started to race. Our future lay inside that cake and we were about to know. Even though I was pretty confident in one gender, we would now know for sure and our world would change forever. At this point everyone had “voted” with party swag and we were ready to find out. We looked around, counted to three, and both cut down on two sides of a triangle into the cake revealing the HOT PINK CAKE inside. I jumped back and gasped in SURPRISE (my prediction had been wrong – haha!) and Karl lifted the vibrant pink piece of cake to show everyone the center. I couldn’t speak, all I could do was laugh/cry(happy tears) and try to pick my jaw up off the floor!  What a wonderful surprise! 

It’s a GIRL!  

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YAY!

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The most perfect surprise! That is surely the face of surprise…! 

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Celebrating baby girl with mom and sister…pink cake for me and pink champagne for them!

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The rest of the evening was a joyous blur and even the last 48 hours we’ve been in a girl-filled haze. It’s a total game changer to know the gender and now picture what our life will be like with our daughter. Our hearts are overflowing with love and gratitude and this information added a whole new dimension to my pregnancy experience. Wow. 

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Truth be told the news is STILL sinking in (48 hours later) and I keep relieving the exact moment where the hot pink filling revealed our future and a HUGE smile (and outburst of laughter) comes over me at the thought of our little girl, our daughter. Thanks for following along my pregnancy journey with me! If you’re interested, check out my first pregnancy update or my pregnancy essentials post. It is so fun to share these milestones and experiences and hear about yours too.

 Will continue to share BABY GIRL updates with about 4.5 months to go! 

With love + gratitude, 

Xx, D. 

6 Ways to Transition Your Mind, Body and Soul into Fall!

October 20th, 2016 | no comments

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I think I do this every Fall. The first signs of cool crisp air and colored leaves and I fall back in mad love with this beautiful season here in New York. Each season in the northeast has its own distinct characteristics, flavors and activities and I really love to embrace each one with open arms (and a willing appetite!). 

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Today I thought I’d share my favorite ways to transition your lifestyle to Fall. I used to rush through the seasons and find myself asking where the time went. Now, I embrace each season by allowing myself to be present as the changes in weather naturally change my perspective, taste buds and life, and I find it a lot more fulfilling. 

Below are 6 simple ways to transition your mind, body and soul into Fall this year and allow you to make the most of the precious season! 

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1 – Fall Flavors - some of my favorite fall flavors are pumpkin, cinnamon and chili spice. I always keep organic canned pumpkin on hand to add to oatmeal pancakes, make easy blender muffins, mix-in to soups and curries, smoothies and more. The hearty and rooting flavor is the perfect blanket for your palette this time of year. Next up is cinnamon, which help with circulation to keep you nice and warm. Cinnamon is warm and grounding and my favorite ways to use this spice are sprinkled over oatmeal or on top of a sliced apples, whole cinnamon stick in your tea and folded into homemade curries (perfection!). My other favorite flavor this time of year is chili powder. Fall just screams hearty, stick-to-your-gut and warm-you-from-the-inside kinda meals and for me that means lots of delicious Chili creations. 

Some of my favorite recipes: Clean Pumpkin Pie Granola and Cinnamon Apple Chips

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2 – Dark Nail Polish  – This one seems a bit silly but keeping my nails painted and manicured has been a long-time self care practice that I cherish. I look at my hands all day long and when my nails are done I feel a little more of a pep in my step. Changing the color of my nails to fit my mood is a fun little ritual where I get to match my internal mood to something on the outside. A dark fresh mani really screams FALL IS HERE to me, after all those light and bright colors I wear all summer. Some of my favorites are by Essie (Sole Mate, Wicked and Groovy Grape) and OPI (Lincoln Park After Dark and You Don’t Know Jacques). 

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3 – More Luxurious Self-Care Practices – This is the time of year when it starts to get darker earlier and my body is craving more rest and relaxation from those super active months we’re coming off of (especially now at 5.5 months pregnant!). I love to incorporate luxurious self-care practices 2-3 times a week like a warm Epsom salt bath, face and eye masks, coconut oil or avocado hair mask, lavender and eucalyptus in my oil diffuser, cozying up with a new good book (right now I am reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert), journaling and getting in bed extra early. These little moments that I create within my day and throughout the week help me feel rested and rejuvenated especially during the time of year when my body wants to slow down a bit. I also like to keep fresh flowers and candles in warm scents like pumpkin spice and cinnamon apple in the house!

Some of my favorite posts with Self-Care ideas: This one about How to Love Yourself to Combat Self-Doubt and 

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4 – Declutter Closets – This is an activity I recommend doing at the start of each season. If you get in the habit of doing this 2-3 times a year it becomes less burdensome then doing it once every 5 years and getting completely swallowed. Each season I take everything out of my closet, make piles for donation, hand-me-downs to sister and friends, some for resale in my Poshmark closet and a toss pile for anything that is falling apart (usually old shoes). It is so refreshing to color coordinate, donate clothes that no longer fit my lifestyle or personality and make space. Holding onto things you don’t need creates emotional weight that does not serve us. I promise that if you get into this habit every few months this will not take more than an hour or two one afternoon!  

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 5 – Continue to Spend Time Outside – Your instincts might tell you to staying inside but being outside during autumn has got to be one of the more beautiful experiences ever. With the crisp cool clean air and the changing colors of the leaves to those beautiful yellows, oranges and reds, spending time in nature in the Fall is an invigorating experience. Every year we spend a weekend in the Catskills, NY to hike, cozy up to a fire and enjoy the cool fall days away from the city. It is one of my favorite traditions. I love to jog outside during this time of year too as the cooler weather makes for an enjoyable jog and there is so much to observe just looking at all of the various leaves changing at my local park here in Brooklyn.

And checkout my post for How to Naturally Combat Seasonal Allergies 

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 6 – Eat Seasonally – I love to visit my local farmer’s market this time of year to switch up to goodies that will stock my fridge with local, seasonal favorites. This time of year I gravitate towards butternut squash, delicate squash, acorn squash…okay, really any kind of squash!! I love to see the selection of apples and greens change over too. Ask your farmer what were the best crops that week and how to prepare them if you’re unsure, they have great advice! Eating seasonally allows you to give your body exactly what it needs during each time of year. Turning to warming root vegetables, hearty squash and pears and apples are what you’re body will want to keep you warm and full during these cooler months. 

Right now I am LOVING this vegan, gluten-free Butternut Squash and Lentil Chili recipe

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What are some of your favorite ways to transition your mind, body and soul into Fall??

10 Pregnancy Essentials {Weeks 1 – 19} From a First Time Mom-To-Be!

October 3rd, 2016 | no comments

Hi Mamas-To-Be!

When we first got the news that we were expecting, after the shock and then joy set in, there was a bit of overwhelm about all of the pregnancy stuff I did not know about. Mainly what to expect and when, what the symptoms would feel like and what to stock up on to make things a bit easier and more comfortable along the way. Now that I’m in Week 19, I am starting to get the hang of a few things such as being able to listen to what my body wants and needs (mainly good clean nutrition and LOTS of sleep!) and which go-to products are making my symptoms more comfortable. Just in time for things to change again, I’m sure. Know what I mean? LOL!

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I thought I’d put together a list of some of my First Trimester and early Second Trimester essentials that I have found super helpful to have around. Let me be CLEAR, I am a first-time mama-to-be…so being that this is my first pregnancy, I am only able to speak from that perspective. I figured I’d share in case there are other new-mamas-to-be who might be interested in hearing about my experience. This is by NO means an exhaustive list but just a few items that have eased the symptoms or made this beautiful process a bit more special, so I thought I’d share! 

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Let’s share in this amazing experience together! I’d love to hear about your pregnancy journey and what product, resources, blogs and experiences you found the most meaningful/helpful along the way. Tweet me @DeeLynn or leave a comment on my Instagram @DeeLynn78 so that we can connect and talk babies and bellies all.day.long!

Here’s the list, I hope you find it helpful!

My List of 10 Pregnancy Essentials for Weeks 1 – 19 (from a first time mama-to-be!)

1. Prenatal Vitamins: The very first item my doctor recommended was to start taking a prenatal vitamin. We immediately took to the web to research the options and ultimately landed of Garden of Life Vitamin Code RAW Prenatal. This is a vegan, non-GMO, raw, dairy-free, gluten-free formula that has probiotics and natural digestive support in a  3x a day supplement. I buy my prenatal vitamin by the large bottle at Vitacost.com since I love the selection of healthy organic foods to add-on to my prenatal vitamin order and it’s the best price I’ve found (and you know how much I love a deal!). Something like a prenatal vitamin is so personal and for me this was an important decision, so do your research and find one that fits your values and lifestyle. This one works for me but there are a lot of great brands on the market!

vc2. Belly Oil + Body Lotion: Stretch marks are a common side effect that many pregnant women experience, so it was important to me to start a belly lotion/oil ritual early on.This item was on my radar early on and one of my first pregnancy purchases. Between purchases and gifts I have quite the collection of belly oils, butters and lotions to help ward off stretch marks and give my skin an elasticity boost. I recently found this article from Desiree Hartsock with pregnancy safe product suggestions for stretch marks and I wanted to share to show you that there are a variety of scents and price points to fit every lifestyle and budget that do the trick. I’ve had friends recommend olive oil or coconut oil that works just as well and I’ll probably add that in closer to my third trimester – I love me some coconut oil. Here are a few products I love:

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3. Belly Bands: These little wonders are inexpensive and effective for those first few weeks when you start to pop a bit but you’re not quite in maternity clothes (or want to save a few bucks – gosh maternity clothes are expensive!). These bands expand with your growing bump and allow you to stay in your regular pants, just unbottom the top button for more comfort/room and place the band over the top of your pans to secure. At 19 weeks, I’m still in my regular lower cut pants (though they’re getting TIGHT, especially towards the end of the day) but I enjoy wearing the bands to give me a little extra support. Here are a few great options:

4. Comfy Cotton Bra: As you new mamas-to-be know, breast tenderness is an early symptom that can last throughout pregnancy (and postpartum too) so early on one of my essentials became comfy cotton bras that I could wear at night and for lounging around. I love these Calvin Klein Modern Cotton Racerback Bralettes, they’re super soft, stretchy and light weight and they will support you without feeling too tight or constrained. Any non-wired cotton bralette will do. Comfort is key! Have you found any that you love?

5. Pregnancy Apps: At the moment I am loving Ovia, The Bump and What to Expect for weekly updates, answers to frequently asked questions and the size of the baby compared to fruits and veggies. Since this is our first go-round, sometimes I’m not sure what questions to be asking so it’s helpful to have apps that provide some popular questions and answers. We also recently started our registry on BabyList and I love that the app makes organizing everything so easy. Sneak peak of this week’s update from The Bump App – baby is the size of a mango this week – ahhh! :) 

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6. Ingredient-Conscious Skincare: One of the biggest changes in my daily life has been my skincare routine. For the past few years I’ve been “cleaning up” my beauty act…switching to natural toothpaste, natural deodorant, body soap and many face products. Now more than ever, I am extra careful about what I put in my body and on my skin since what you put on your skin gets absorbed into your bloodstream and thus, reaches your baby. I want to preface this category by saying… do what you can without driving yourself crazy. You have to find a regime that works for you without stressing you out. Do your best to avoid chemical-laden products and think about the areas of your body that are very porous and close to your bloodstream like under arms, mouth/gums and on your skin. I  am the first to admit that I can always do better in this category — yes, I still use regular nail polish and my favorite shampoo/conditioner though sulfate-free and paraban-free, but there is always room for improvement. Here are a few of my go-to products:

7. A Journal or Memory Book: Early on my bestie Lisa got us this adorable journal. This wasn’t on my radar due to good old morning sickness ;) but I LOVE that we have this to jot down memories for our baby to enjoy when they are a bit older. We have so much fun filling out the journal. This specific adorable keepsake allows us to write down one quick memory, thought or anecdote a day…something that we and the baby will enjoy for years to come. It’s been fun to document the “firsts” like sharing our news and hearing the heartbeat. I recommend a journal of some kinda so that you can remember these precious moments that fly by. 

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8. Milestone Cards for Bump Pictures: Another sweet gift I received early on was from my friend Katie who made these “weekly photo cards” for us to document the progression of *The Bump* and various milestones. Katie downloaded a template, customized it in Photoshop and then printed at Staples and we LOVE our custom milestone cards so much (thank you Katie!!)!  You can make or print cards of your own, I’ve seen people use a chalkboard, index cards or Photoshop like Katie. Again, early on my focus was getting through the day without being sick so this isn’t something I’d think to buy for myself but it has been really fun to capture the moments and changes. 

I found these cute ones on these Etsy shops:

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9. BPA-Free Water Bottle: Along with all of the wonderful changes your body is going through comes dehydration which can cause headaches and cramps. It became a must for me early on to have water with me at ALL times. Staying hydrated helps reduce headaches and overall I feel better when I get in enough water during the day. The flip side to that is having to run to the bathroom a lot so I try to reduce my water intake an hour or so before bed and then drink a big glass right when I wake-up. 

10. Essential Oils: During my first trimester I experienced a lot of morning sickness and all day nausea and had a lot of trouble sleeping because of it. Certain senses like smell were heightened and a lot of everyday scents bothered me. It was helpful to have essentials oils like peppermint for nausea (when I didn’t feel like sucking on a peppermint candy) and lavender for calming and relaxation at night. These are not going to be essentials for everyone but they did help me find small moments of relief. throughout the day, and I lean on them even now (as I did pre-pregnancy). I’ll add a few drops to a tissue and lay next to my pillow or add a few drops to a warm bath or directly on my temples for more intense relief. 

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That’s a wrap on some of my early-on essentials. I’ll keep you posted as my pregnancy progresses with resources, tips and products that I find helpful or enjoyable throughout the way. I hope you found this helpful and found a new ‘essential’ or two of your own. Let me know!! Tweet me @DeeLynn or comment in Instagram @DeeLynn78 with your favorite essentials for me to try. Let’s help each other out Mama! :)

Missed my initial Pregnancy update? Read all about my experience so far with a few Bump pics from Weeks 1 – 18: CLICK HERE

What I’ve been up to… (May 2016)

May 31st, 2016 | no comments

Hi friends, 

It’s been quite some time since my last blog…a month or so? I don’t like to take those bigs gaps in between blog posts because I love sharing my life, tips and recipes with you. However, sometimes life gets busy and you just gotta go with it. Even as a coach, with the many life tips and tricks I have up my sleeve there are times when I just need to prioritize and that sometimes means letting there be some gaps (a few weeks without posting)… and not beating myself up about it. 

I wanted to share what I’ve been up to this last month. May is one of my favorite months of the year. The weather starts to warm up, we get outside and there’s always fun things in store like Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day and the long weekend of Memorial Day. This month was full of travel (to Vermont), a wedding and TONS in between. 

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Up at Okemo Mountain in Vermont!

As you may or may not know, twice a year I work with health-coaches-in-training as a Mentor Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the health coaching school I attended back in 2012. It’s always an amazing experience to be able to intimately support 80 – 100 new change-makers in the health and wellness world. Though as you can imagine, this is a big chunk of time that gets added to my already full plate, which is why I’ve been a bit quiet over here on the blog. 

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These gorgeous sweet bell peppers inspired fajitas on Cinco de Mayo!

I always learn so much from these new groups of coaching students. Their passion for changing their lives and the lives of those around them is truly inspiring to me. It helps reignite my belief that we have the power to make this world a better place and I love that. Since I am a part of the community, I do get a small kickback for sharing things like a FREE SAMPLE CLASS or this GUIDE TO SPRING CLEANING but I promise you I would recommend this school even if I didn’t. I also get to give out AMAZING TUITION DISCOUNTS from time to time…so if this is something you’ve ever considered, EMAIL ME AND LET’S CONNECT so I can hook you up! :) 

Some of my favorite healthy cookbooks that are my go-tos this time of year!

Some of my favorite healthy cookbooks that are my go-tos this time of year!

I’ve seen hundreds of up-and-coming coaches transform their lives and it never gets old. It’s such a beautiful thing. So if this is at all interesting to you or appealing in any way, pretty please don’t be shy and email me over at createyourgreatlife@gmail.com. :)

Harlow girl on yet another road trip! :)

Harlow girl on yet another road trip! :)

Anyway, my Spring round of coaching this lovely group of health coaches is coming to an end this week and I look forward to another one in the Fall after a much needed “summer break.” With that commitment ending, I am lexcited to be more active on the blog as is my norm and sharing some other things that I’ve been up to like creating new clean eating recipes, summer slim down smoothies, lots of travel (always), all natural skincare (an upgrade to my Skincare 101 post) and TONS more. 

Our first beach day out on Long Island!

Our first beach day this year out on Long Island!

In the meantime, make sure you check out my RECIPE LIBRARY where you can instantly access a backlog of my favorite clean eating recipe posts or my WELLNESS TIPS LIBRARY where I share DIY Skincare and Haircare recipes, tips for staying healthy on the go and my go-to tips for eating take-out without sabotaging your diet (and much more). 

RECIPE LIBRARY HERE

WELLNESS TIPS POSTS

With the kick-off of Summer this week, make sure you check out a few of my popular travel tips posts:

Beach Day Essentials

Staying Healthy While Traveling

Avoid Seasonal FOMO

Had a blast celebrating The Newlyweds!

Had a blast celebrating The Newlyweds earlier in the month!

In the meantime, I’ve been SnapChatting up a storm my daily ins and outs, recipes, behind the scenes in my fridge, pantry, lots of puppy snaps and of course my travels, so make sure you ADD ME ON SNAPCHAT and follow along:

ADD me on SnapChat: @deelynn78

Looking forward to more posts coming in June. Feel free to TWEET ME @DEELYNN and LEAVE A COMMENT on INSTAGRAM @DEELYNN78 and let me know what you want to see!

What blog posts would you like to see more of?

Recipes, Lifestyle Posts, Wellness Tips, Coaching Business Tips, Travel Posts, Beauty, Fitness

HAPPY SUMMER + SAFE TRAVELS!

Xx, D.

 

 

5 self-care hacks for alleviating stress-induced pain

January 12th, 2016 | no comments

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Are you suffering from physical pain? Is there discomfort or dis-ease in your life, mind or body? Are your muscles tense, jaw clenched or perhaps bloating or fatigue? Read on…

Emotional angst and internalizing stress are like little demons to the body. They’re determined and they manifest in the body as physical pain. Without healthy outlets, release, forgiveness, confrontation(the good kind – think FACING your issues) and acceptance, the angst and stress multiplies; eventually leading to physical pain and illness. Sometimes it takes years for these little internal demons to catch up with the body and then they strike with a vengeance.

If you’ve been following me for some time you know that I overcame a back injury. In additional to physical therapy, I turned to an anti-inflammatory diet, many lifestyle changes and a slow and steady emotional recovery including combating stress management and finding healthy emotional outlets.

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As a deep feeler and highly compassionate person I tend to take on emotions from not only my inner thoughts and feelings but the outside world too. This means I tend to “take-on” an emotional load much bigger than myself and that has had a way of trickling into my physical being and showing up as headaches, poor digestion and back pain. 

This past summer I was diagnosed with Vertigo and TMJ – very painful and knock-you-on-your-a** kinda symptoms. Dizziness, nausea, the spins coupled with jaw aches, severe ear pain and just overall not fun. To understand the root of the symptoms, I looked past the physical into imbalances in my life, emotional wellness and areas of tension in my life. When researching holistic remedies for both ailments I was repeatedly pointed back to simple stress management practices such as sleep, self-care, writing, talking out my feelings, being in nature and creating rituals for calm and joy. 

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I’ve learned through the years how important these SELF-CARE practices are to my overall health and well being and that if I don’t take good care, my body will physically stop me.  It’s not ideal to wait for our bodies to slow us down through various ailments, our bodies are smart and they know what we need and will go to great lengths to correct imbalances. 

Here are a few of the SELF-CARE practices that have dramatically improved my symptoms of physical pain either in the moment or for on-going health and pain relief:

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  1. A CONSISTENT WRITING PRACTICE: developing a writing practice has helped me work through the thought clutter in my mind whether it’s good, struggle, ideas, conflict resolution, next steps, business ideas or just jumbled feelings. Getting the thoughts to paper helps me obtain a physical release instead of bottling the feelings and thoughts inside and them showing up as tension in my muscles or a headache.
  2. ESPSOM SALT BATHS: soaking in a warm tub is my time to create a boundary between me and the outside world. Soaking in a warm bath helps relieve muscle tension which contributes to some physical ailments such as back pain. I have my own personal “no technology” rule that I abide by and instead I will light a candle and take a book, magazine or just sit there with my thoughts and breathe. Epsom salt baths have been proven to lower stress hormones and increase levels of magnesium in the body which are vital to good health. I’ve found that the nights I take a bath before bed I sleep more soundly. 
  3. TIME IN NATURE: living in a city like New York it can be difficult to escape the lights, sounds and hustle-n-bustle which contributes to sensory overload on your body. Lucky for me living very close to Prospect Park in Brooklyn I make it a point to take Harlow for long walks or light jogs to get in fresh air and a moderate heart rate. Moving your body, especially while in nature can have a calming effect and help alleviate anxiety that contributes to physical pain.
  4. LETTING PERFECTION GO: as an entrepreneur, coach and overall passionate person I am always striving for excellence for myself, my clients and those around me. However, nothing in life is “perfect” so letting go has been a tremendous part of the journey for me. Part of the ways I implement that is by continuing to blog and create and put myself out there among fear or doubt that I’m not perfect. Another way I work out “letting go” is through my writing practice, #1 above. 
  5. COLORING: since my symptoms are stress-related finding activities that alleviate stress are important to my well being. About a year ago my brother introduced me to “adult coloring books,” and now they are everywhere on Instragram to large sections at the book store. Coloring is a fun, playful activity that also helps focus the brain in a mindful way. I find the colors soothing and if I’m feeling anxious, nothing gets me out of that feeling quicker than a fun activity.

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I hope you find some of these outlets helpful as you embark on your own quest for more joy, less chaos and calm in your life.

I’d love to know which tip resonated the most or which one you have tried or if you have another healthy hack for physical pain that helps you! Tweet me @DeeLynn