First Trimester Recap

In case you don’t follow me on Instagram, and don’t know yet, I’m pregnant! My husband and I are expecting a baby boy in September and we are so excited! I am currently just a couple days shy of 17 weeks and I am so happy to finally be in the second trimester. I’m finally feeling more like myself, and I finally feel like I can stop being so paranoid about a miscarriage.

Throughout my pregnancy so far I have been very interested in hearing about other people’s feelings and experiences during pregnancy, so I figured I would share mine as well! I’m going to share everything from whether or not my pregnancy was planned, how I found out, how I told my husband, symptoms I had, products I’ve been loving, and everything else in between! I’m going to try to keep this as brief as I can, but it’s probably going to be a lengthy one, so make sure you grab a snack before you start reading!

Also, just FYI, some of the pictures in this post are pretty low quality because when I took them, I never really intended to ever share them, but that’s just real life for ya!

Finding Out

First things first, YES, my pregnancy was planned. At the end of April last year, I stopped taking birth control and started using the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) to track my cycle for a few months until we were ready to start trying to get pregnant. If you aren’t familiar with FAM, I highly suggest reading the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler. It taught me so much about FAM, and just about how the female body works in general (they really don’t teach you anything in school.)

By October, we decided we were ready to start trying to get pregnant, so using FAM, I continued to track my cycle so that I would know when I was about to ovulate. During October and November, we didn’t necessarily actively try to get pregnant, but we also weren’t trying not to. It didn’t happen in those two months, so in December I decided that I really wanted to try, and we were successful!

I had my first positive pregnancy test on January 3rd at 4 weeks, 2 days, but I was almost certain that I was pregnant for about a week leading up to that day. One of the things I learned by using the Fertility Awareness Method, is that after you ovulate, your basal body temperature (which you track daily with FAM) rises, and stays raised until you start a period and your temperature drops. If you temperature doesn’t drop, and you don’t start a new cycle, then chances are, you’re pregnant!

Another thing I learned is that for some women, your temperature will actually raise even more about a week after ovulation if you have conceived that month. So for example, my average pre-ovulation temperature was around 97.2 to 97.4 degrees, and my post-ovulation temps were around 98.0 to 98.2 degrees. The reason I was almost certain I was pregnant before I actually had a positive pregnancy test, was because at about 9 days post ovulation my temperature increased even more (ranging from 98.4 to 98.6 degrees) and never came back down. Because I was tracking my cycle, I knew the exact day that my temperature was supposed to drop and my period was supposed to start, so when it didn’t, I knew, almost without a doubt, that I was pregnant.

My husband was getting ready to leave for work for the day, so I told him the news and asked him if he wanted to know for sure before he went to work of if he wanted to wait until he got home. He didn’t want to know yet, so I waited until he left to take the pregnancy test.

When I finally took the test, it of course was positive, and I had a whole mix of emotions. I was both shocked and excited, and I almost didn’t feel like it was real! I really didn’t feel pregnant at all, so I was kind of in disbelief. When my husband called me on his way home, the first thing he said was, “Well, did I do it?!” so I told him the news and sent him a picture of the pregnancy test! He is definitely not the type to get super emotional, but I could tell he was both excited and nervous.

The day I found out I was pregnant! 4 weeks, 2 days.

I really didn’t want to tell anyone (including our parents) until I had been to the doctor, so we kept it a secret for the next week weeks until after my first doctor’s appointment. It was HARD to not tell anyone during those four weeks, but it was also kind of nice to just enjoy the news with my husband for a little while before spreading the word.

My Doctor

My doctor is an OBGYN, but he also has a nurse midwife in his office that does most of the low risk, complication free deliveries. I will mostly be meeting and working with the midwife, but I have met with the doctor as well. I chose to go this route because I like that they take a bit more of a natural approach, while still providing the traditional hospital birth. I am not someone that is all about doing things the most natural way possible, and I knew that I definitely wanted to deliver in the hospital, but I also want to avoid any unnecessary interventions. I like the thought of delivering naturally, but I’m not opposed to an epidural if I decide I need one. I do however want to (if at all possible) avoid things like induction, drugs and procedures to speed things up, and c-sections, which is exactly the way my doctor and his staff do things.

Sharing the News

My first doctor’s appointment was at 8 weeks, 2 days and it was such a relief to see our little bean on the ultrasound! After the appointment we went ahead and shared the news with my mom and sister, my husband’s parents, and our best friends. Of course they were all very excited, and it was so nice to finally tell someone! We waited until after our second appointment at 13 weeks, 2 days to announce on social media and share the news with everyone else.

8 weeks

Symptoms

During the first couple weeks after I found out, I had very few symptoms. My biggest symptom at this time was that my boobs got bigger almost immediately, and they were SO SORE (and didn’t stop being sore until I reached the second trimester.) I also started having to pee a ton pretty much right away.

The majority of my symptoms started around six weeks. The biggest symptom, that hit me HARD, was fatigue. I was absolutely exhausted from weeks 6 through 10 and I literally did not have the energy to do anything!

Another symptom that started around week six was nausea. Luckily, I have not had bad nausea at all during this pregnancy, but I would say it was the worst during week six. During that week it was pretty much all day, every day nausea, but after that one week, thankfully that stopped. Since then, I have really only been getting nauseous if I get really hungry, so I’ve been making sure to take snacks with me everywhere I go.

12 weeks

The one other major symptom that I have been experiencing is bloating. I start the day looking not pregnant, but by 8:00 p.m., I am so bloated that I look like I’m 8 months pregnant! This really hasn’t eased up yet, so I’m kind of expecting that it’s going to continue through my entire pregnancy.

A few other symptoms that I experienced throughout the first trimester are headaches, constipation, dizziness, cravings and aversions, vivid dreams, and just some random aches and pains in my stomach and pelvic area from things getting stretched out and moved around in there.

Diet and Exercise

Honestly, a healthy diet and exercise routine were non-existent during my first trimester. Even though I didn’t have a lot of nausea, I did have a lot of cravings and aversions, so I basically just ate what sounded good, which was mostly dry, crunch carbs. I ate a lot of cereal, pop tarts, crackers, gold fish, chips, etc. I also went through phases of craving Subway sandwiches, and potato soup from Panera. I have also been obsessed with pickles my entire pregnancy (not with ice cream though!)

8 weeks, 2 days

As far as exercise during my first trimester, I pretty much didn’t do anything. I was so exhausted that I just could not get myself to the gym. There were a few weeks where I managed to get in about 30 minutes of cardio once or twice a week, but most weeks I couldn’t even handle that. Thankfully by about 11 or 12 weeks I was starting to feel better and started easing my way back into working out.

Finding Out the Gender

My husband and I both thought we were having a boy from the very beginning. He was hoping for a boy, and I was kind of hoping for a girl, but for some reason we both just really thought it was a boy. When we first found out I was pregnant, we kept saying that we wanted to find out as early as possible, but after our first doctor’s appointment, we were just so excited to have a healthy baby that we decided we would just wait until the 20 week ultrasound. After a few weeks though, I started getting really excited to start planning the nursery and picking out clothes, so I changed my mind again and decided that I did want to know early. My husband was ok with finding out early, so at our 13 week appointment, we did the Sneak Peek blood test. This is the same one you can order online, but it’s a lot more likely to be accurate because it is done with an actual blood draw rather than just a finger prick. We got the results via e-mail a few days later, and we were both so so excited! I do still think I want a girl in the future, but I am so excited that we’re going to have a little mini version of my husband!

Our pregnancy/gender announcement!

Products I Love

Prenatal VitaminNew Chapter Perfect Prenatal. I love this prenatal because it is a whole food, fermented vitamin that has ginger included to help ease morning sickness. It has never made me nauseous and I can take it any time of the day. I also take their Wholemega for Moms which is basically a fish oil supplement that has DHA to help with baby’s brain and eye development.

Belly Butter – I have tried a couple so far, but my favorite is the Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter. I have been using this regularly since about 12 weeks and so far I haven’t noticed any new stretch marks. I also tried the Zoe Organics Belly Butter and Belly Oil and I do like them, but I just prefer the Burt’s Bees because I like the smell a little better and I like that it absorbs into my skin faster.

Pregnancy PillowPharMeDoc U-Shaped Pregnancy Pillow. I bought this pillow super early because I am normally a back sleeper, and I knew I needed to get use to sleeping on my side early on. This pillow has really helped me be able to get comfortable while sleeping on my side and I’m definitely glad I bought it so early. The U-shape is great because I can tuck it under my belly and my back, but one side does zip off if you prefer to have just the J-shaped pillow. My husband and pets all love this pillow too, and they’re constantly trying to steal it!

Birthday Trip to California

Well, I’m officially old. The big 3-0. Half way to 60. Thirty is a big one, so I feel like it’s only appropriate to celebrate a little bigger than usual. So what’s bigger and better than taking a vacation?!

Southern California is somewhere that I’ve always wanted to go, so I figured my 30th birthday was the perfect time to go! It was a fairly short trip, (2.5 days) but honestly it was plenty of time to do all the things I wanted to do! We stayed in the cutest little Airbnb in Long Beach, and visited Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, and the Santa Monica / Venice area.

Our first day was a long one, but it was probably my favorite day of the trip. I started my day at 2:30 a.m., Florida time, in order to catch our 6:00 a.m. flight. We had a 1.5 hour drive to the airport, plus I had to actually get ready (not just rock leggings and a ponytail) because we jumped right into exploring when we got there, and of course I wanted to be cute for pictures! My friend Jill came from Missouri and met us in California, and we were able to find flights that landed at exactly the same time. Once we got our rental car, we headed straight for the fun!

Our first stop, per my husband’s request, was In-N-Out. It was my first time having it, and it was good, but honestly, I don’t really get what all the hype is about. But, my husband was so excited about it, so I just went with it. From there, we headed to Laguna Beach. The one place that I was dead set on going on this trip was the Pirate Tower at Victoria Beach, so we made that our first stop. The tower was built in 1926 as an enclosed staircase for a senator that lived on the cliff above. Today, you cannot go into it, but it makes for a really cool photo backdrop. This was also my favorite beach area that we visited, because it had that rocky coastline that you would normally see more toward the north.

After checking out the beach and the Pirate Tower, we just explored the area of shops and businesses right along the beach. My husband and I always buy a couple of t-shirts anytime we visit somewhere new, but we like to find shirts that are a little more unique and local, rather than the things that you would find at the typical tourist shops. We found a really cool store called Laguna Surf and Sport that had their own line of t-shirts that had the perfect vintage, local vibes that we were going for.

From there, we decided to head back to Long Beach to check into our Airbnb. We knew that there was no assigned parking with the place we were staying, but we totally underestimated how difficult it would be to find somewhere to park. We spent about 30 minutes driving around trying to find street parking, before we eventually just gave up and paid to park in the parking garage of one of the hotels several blocks away. It really wasn’t that far from the house, but because we had all of our luggage with us, we decided to take an Uber back to the house. It was only around 6:30 p.m. when we got there, but at that point (thanks to the 3 hour time difference, the travel, and the day’s activities) we were all exhausted, so we ended up just ordering Domino’s and crashing by about 8:30 p.m.

Day number two we hit Newport Beach and Huntington Beach. The weather this day started out nice, but we knew that it was supposed to rain in the afternoon, so we wanted to make the most of the nice part of the day. The first thing we did was take the ferry in Newport Beach over to Balboa Island. We walked along the main strip on the island that is full of cute little shops and restaurants. We made sure to stop at Sugar ‘n Spice, which is the home of the original frozen banana in Newport Beach. I got a chocolate dipped banana, rolled in sprinkles, and it was delicious!

From there, we headed back to the mainland and decided to make our way toward Huntington Beach before the weather got too bad. We checked out the beach, spent some time watching the surfers, and then headed to lunch at Ruby’s Diner. The food wasn’t anything spectacular, but it was definitely good, and the vibe was super fun. By the time we were done, the rain and wind and temperature drop had arrived, so we decided to do a little shopping to get out of the weather.

Eventually the rain stopped, and even though it was still super windy and pretty cold, we decided to do a little more exploring. We drove to Rancho Palos Verdes, and went to a place called Pelican Cove Park. It was SUPER cold and windy up on the cliff, but the views were absolutely gorgeous! From there we went back to Long Beach and roamed around a little shopping center before heading back to our Airbnb. Just like the day before, it was pretty early, but we were all exhausted again, so we ended up just ordering food in, and chilling at the house for the evening.

On our third and final day, we had breakfast at the Long Beach Cafe, then made our way just a little to the north, and spent the day in Santa Monica and Venice Beach. For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to take a picture on a lifeguard stand (this desire may or may not have come from watching the OC back in the day…) so the first thing we did was find an empty stand and jumped right into our mini photo shoot. We then spent a little while watching the surfers, before heading back up to walk down the boardwalk.

The Venice boardwalk was really cool, but it honestly wasn’t quite what I was expecting. There were a LOT of homeless people, and it was honestly just kind of dirty. But there were a lot of cool shops and vendors, and it definitely made for some interesting people watching! One totally random thing that I really loved at the boardwalk was watching the skateboarders at the skate park! We watched them for about 30 minutes, but I honestly could have stood there all day long! We also made our way over a couple blocks to get a few shots of the famous Venice sign, which was decked out for Valentine’s Day!

By the time we got to the end of the boardwalk, our feet were killing us, so we decided to rent some bikes and ride all the way back down to the Santa Monica Pier. It was a Monday, so we were hoping that the pier wouldn’t be totally packed, but holy cow were we wrong. There were so. many. people. and honestly, it kind of ended up being a let down because we couldn’t just hang out and enjoy it like we had been hoping to. Both my husband and I get major anxiety in huge crowds like that, so we were a little stressed out! But we did manage to walk to the end to get some cool photos, check out a few shops, and of course, buy a few t-shirts! I definitely still enjoyed it, but looking back, I wish we would have tried to get there right when the pier opened, so that maybe it wouldn’t have been quite so crowded.

After the pier, I really wanted to go find Ocean Avenue to take a picture by the sign (random and weird, I know) but at this point we were all getting a little hangry, so we decided to just head to an early dinner since we hadn’t eaten lunch. We wanted to find something local, but as it had been our whole trip, parking was a big issue. We eventually just gave up and went to the Cheesecake Factory because we were starving! After dinner we headed back to Long Beach to pack up our stuff and get ready for our early flights home the next day!

Overall the trip was really fun, but I do wish that a few things would have been different. If we go again in the future, I will definitely want to go during the spring or summer so that we can get some better weather. We also wasted a lot of time searching for parking, so I would definitely want to make sure that we stayed at a hotel or Airbnb with it’s own parking. Lastly, I wish we would have eaten at more local restaurants, rather than eating places we can go at home too, but that really only happened because we didn’t plan very well. Now that we’ve got some experience though, we’ll be able to plan better for our next trip!

Now, where to next?!

December Favorites

Just like the rest of 2018, the month of December has flown by. I seriously can’t believe that it is officially 2019! This month my favorite things were mostly either fashion or home decor items, but I do have a beauty item in there as well! Keep reading to find out what I’ve been loving this month!

1. Forever 21 Camo Jacket

In case you didn’t know, camo is in again, and I’m here for it. I don’t know why, but I’m seriously loving it. A couple months ago I saw a camo utility style jacket at TJ Maxx and fell in love, but it was the only one I could find in the store, and it was about two sizes too big for me. But after seeing it, I was on a mission to find one somewhere else. A few weeks later, I was shopping and decided to check in Forever 21. For the most part, I’ve stopped trying to shop there, because let’s face it, I’m almost 30 years old and their stuff just does not work for me anymore, but I knew there was a chance they would have one. I walked in the door, immediately spotted this one, and made a bee line for it!

I love this jacket because it’s lightweight, which is perfect for the chilly, winter in Florida, evenings. Plus, it was only around $30, it’s comfortable, and it’s just oh so cute! I couldn’t find the exact one I have on their site, but the one I linked above is very similar!

2. Wooden Blanket Ladder

I have been wanting a blanket ladder for FOREVER, and my husband finally got me one for Christmas this year! I’m a throw blanket fanatic, but I have a few that are special to us and I don’t like to actually use them because I don’t want them to get ruined by our pets. For the longest time they were just hidden away in the closet, but now I can finally display them!

I love this one because it has more of a modern look than most blanket ladders I’ve seen, plus the little shelf just adds a cute touch! Also, the color of this wood is just beautiful! This one rings in at around $90, but it is totally worth it!

3. Good Chemistry Queen Bee Perfume

I’ll be completely honest, I first found this perfume purely because of it’s cute packaging. I was strolling through the aisles at Target, looking for stocking stuffers for my husband, when it caught my eye. Once I smelled it and read a little more about the company thought, I just couldn’t resist buying it!

This scent is the perfect combination of floral and fruity, with notes of black currant, peony and amber. They had several other delicious smelling scents as well, but this one was definitely my favorite! Plus, as you might have guessed by their name, all of Good Chemistry’s products are vegan, paraben free, proplyene glycol free, and cruelty free! I bought the roll on, just because it’s easy to take with me, but they do sell bottles as well!

4. In Bloom by Jonquil pajamas

As much as I could love to sleep in men’s basketball shorts and a baggy t-shirt every night, my husband isn’t the biggest fan of that, so I’m always on the hunt for some cute and comfortable (and affordable) pajamas. I found these at TJ Maxx for $17 (they normally retail around $60) and I seriously love them! I really wish they would have had them in more styles/colors because I totally would have bought them all!

I love the print, the fabric is SO soft, and they have pockets. Everything is better with pockets, right?! Also, as I was searching for these online, I discovered that this line has a ton of other cute pj’s and I kinda want to buy them all! I couldn’t find this exact set online anywhere, but the pair I linked above are a similar style.

Safavieh Round Jute Rug

This cutie little rug is another item that was on my Christmas list that I’m so glad my husband bought! I’m obsessed with jute rugs, but haven’t really found a spot inside the house that one would work yet, but I knew I wanted one for the porch. I of course want to put a large rug in the area of the sofa and coffee table (and chairs when I find some I like,) but I have a special plan for this little beauty!

We will eventually be adding a hanging chair in one corner of the porch, and this rug will go underneath it! I love the way the pattern on this rug really makes it pop, plus the color of the print matches the cushions on the sofa perfectly! I can’t wait until we get the hanging chair so I can show you guys this whole little setup!

5 Ways to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions

Christmas is just a few days away, which means that the new year is right around the corner. And with the new year, comes new year’s resolutions. For most of us, we make our resolutions with all the best intentions of keeping and achieving them, but within a few weeks they’re long forgotten, and we’re back to our old ways.

But, it really is possible to keep your resolutions. All it takes is a little planning, some support from your friends and/or family, and a continual reminder of your goals. So in the next couple of weeks, when you sit down to create you resolutions for the new year, make sure you put these five tips to use to help you achieve your goals!

1. Write Them Down

One of the easiest ways to stick to your New Year’s resolutions, is to write them down. But don’t just write them down and then toss it in a drawer never to be seen again. Write your goals down, and then hang them somewhere that you will see them on a daily basis. Having this constant reminder will really help you remember what your goals are, and why you made them, which will in turn help you stick to them.

2. Rely on Your Support System

Sticking to a long term goal can be hard, but having someone there to support and encourage you will make it so much easier. If you have a goal to lose weight, find a couple of friends with the same goal, and work together to achieve your resolutions. Work out together, share healthy recipes with each other, encourage each other when you’re feeling discouraged, just be there to support each other. It’s really amazing what a good support system an help you achieve!

3. Break it Down

A big resolution can seem daunting, but breaking it down into steps, or smaller goals can make it seem more obtainable. Say your resolution is to save $10,000 by the end of the year. But rather than just leaving it at that big goal, divide it up and figure out how much you need to save each month, or from each paycheck to reach your goal. This will also help prevent you from putting it off and thinking that you can make up for it later. With that goal to save money, if you know how much you need to save each month, you’ll be better able to avoid making unnecessary purchases, because you’ll have a specific goal to stick to for that month, rather than just thinking about the final goal.

4. Keep the List Short

You know the saying quality over quantity? Apply that to your New Year’s resolutions. Ten resolutions are going to be a lot harder to keep than two or three, so keep your list short. Instead of giving yourself a bunch of (for lack of a better term) half-ass resolutions, chose just a couple of resolutions that are truly important to you. This will allow you to really focus on them, and not be distracted by the other goals. Plus, if your resolutions are truly important to you, you’ll automatically be more likely to stick to them.

5. Reward Yourself

Once you reach your goal, or even as you reach your smaller goals along the way, make sure you reward yourself! You worked hard to get where you are, so make sure you recognize that hard work! Buy yourself that new dress you’ve had your eye on once you’ve lost your first five pounds. Treat yourself to a manicure when you reach your monthly money saving goal. Enjoy a cookie once you’ve had your 15 servings of veggies for the week. You get the picture! Having a reward waiting for you at the end of the finish line will help push you to achieve your goal!

Amazon Holiday Gift Guide – Something for Everyone on your List

You guys, Christmas is in two weeks. Two. Weeks. 

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably sitting here wondering how the heck that’s even possible. And because you’re in disbelief that Christmas is already here, you’ve probably also been putting off your shopping, which means that now you’re down to the last minute and you’re trying to figure out what to get everyone on your list. 

If that’s not you, and you’re on top of your Christmas game, with all of your gifts purchased, wrapped, and already under the tree, props to you! Please teach me your ways. But for you procrastinators out there, I’m here to help, and Amazon is about to become your best friend!

There are a couple of reasons that I prefer to do all of my Christmas shopping on Amazon, with the top one being that you can literally find anything on Amazon. It really makes it so easy to do all of your shopping in one stop, all while sitting on your couch in your pajamas! Also, I hate dealing with the traffic and the crowds in actual stores, so shopping on Amazon lets me avoid all of that! 

Buying for the kids is usually pretty easy, but the adult family and friends can be a little more difficult, so I’ve put together this list of items (all from Amazon) that is sure to have something for everyone on your list. From your fashionista best friend, to your sister that travels all the time, to the man in your life, and several more, this guide will help you find something for them all! 

Everything is linked below! 

The Techie

KiiPix Smartphone Picture Printer – This is the perfect gift for someone that is picture obsessed! This little picture printer lets you print them directly from your phone, so they don’t have to run to Walgreens every time they want to print a new picture! Comes in three different colors.

Wireless, Solar, Bluetooth Speaker & Phone Charger by Reveal – This is the perfect portable, wireless speaker. It is solar powered, so no need to plug it in to charge it, and it is made out of bamboo, so it’s eco-friendly. Plus, it doubles as a portable charger, so you can charge your phone right from the speaker while you’re using it!

Belkin PowerHouse Charge Dock for Apple Watch + iPhone – Includes a built-in magnetic charging module for your Apple Watch and a lightning connector for your iPhone. Perfect for charging both devices at the same time!

AmazonBasics Backpack for SLR/DSLR Cameras and Accessories – This is a great gift for your photographer or vlogger friend!   Backpack holds and protects 2 smaller SLR/DSLR camera bodies, 3-4 lenses, and additional small accessories.    

Bluetooth Beanie Hat – This beanie would make a great gift for anyone that wants to stay warm and listen to music, without any dangling wires getting in the way! Perfect for someone that enjoys outdoor winter activities such as hiking or skiing! 

The Fashionista

Womens Oversize Fluffy Fleece Pullover – This fleece pullover makes it easy to stay warm while still looking cute! Comes in nine colors.

Rebecca Minkoff Watch – Have a fashion-loving friend who’s always late? Help them stay on time with this super cute pink and gold watch!

Calvin Klein Women’s Revel Ankle Boot – What fashionista wouldn’t love these classic black boots?! Comes in black, white, and tan.

Michael Kors Logo Tote Bag – Every girl loves a Michael Kors bag, and this simple design is a classic! Comes in ten colors!

Faux Leather Backpack – This stylish backpack is perfect for everyone! It could easily be used as a school bag, a diaper bag, a carry on, or even just a purse! Comes in black, brown, and navy. 

The Beauty Addict

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick Set in Nude Attitude – Who doesn’t love a good nude lip? This set offers three options, making it perfect for the friend that loves some variety in her makeup routine! 

Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy Women’s Perfume Set – This perfume set will make a great gift set for any beauty lover on your list. Includes a full sized perfume, lotion, and a small spritzer, perfect for traveling.

The Weekender Face Eye and Cheek Palettes by Laura Geller – This palette set is perfect for the beauty addict that loves a good weekend getaway! Each palette includes four eye shadows, a blush, and a highlighter, making makeup a breeze on a weekend away. 

Drunk Elephant Full Sized Night Bright Duo – Know someone that loves Drunk Elephant products? They will love this Night Bright Duo, which is designed to refine skin texture and tone, as well as hydrate and nourish, all while you sleep! Also available in travel sizes.

Gold Pattern Cosmetic Bag – Every beauty lover needs a good place to store their makeup, and this cosmetic bag is the perfect solution! The gold cutout design is so cute, and the size is just right to fit everything you need! Available in black or white. 

The Frequent Flyer

AmazonBasics Portable Security Case – This security case is great for someone who travels a lot and needs somewhere to easily store things like jewelry or a wallet!     

TravelWise Packing Cube System – Know someone who loves to travel but is terrible at packing? These packing cubes would be perfect to help them keep their suitcase organized! Comes in several colors.

Travel Wallet and Family Passport Holder – Staying organized while traveling with the whole family can be difficult, but this travel wallet can help make it easier! Includes outside and inside pockets, space for up to four passports, space for cards, coins, and more! Seven color options available. 

Eccolo World Traveler Luggage Tags, Box Set of 3  – These travel tags are so cute and a great way to help you identify your luggage quickly – perfect for the frequent flyer! Come in nine different style options! 

Canvas Weekender Carry On Bag – Everyone needs a good carry on bag for traveling, and this one is perfect! Has a strap on the back making it easy to slip over the handle of a piece of rolling luggage, and comes in 11 different prints! 

The Man in your Life

Carhartt Legacy Deluxe Work Backpack – This backpack is perfect for the hard-working man in your life! It has space for everything he needs, including a laptop, and comes in brown or black. 

Beard Care Kit – If you have a bearded man in your life, he’s going to love this beard care kit. It includes a brush, a comb, beard balm, beard oil, and a pair of beard and mustache scissors – everything he needs to keep his beard looking sharp! 

Carry on Cocktail Kit – This is a fun and unique gift for a man that likes to enjoy a cocktail on a long flight! The kit contains everything he needs to make a drink, so all he’ll have to do is order the alcohol! Cocktail options include an old fashioned, a bloody mary, a margarita, and more. 

Kenneth Cole Desert Sun Chukka Boot – If there’s a man in your life that enjoys fashion, he’s going to love these boots. Perfect for dressing up, or dressing down, he can wear them with literally anything. They come in a variety of colors in both leather and suede. 

Yeti Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Koozie – Every man wants to keep his drink cold, and this Yeti koozie is sure to do the trick! 

The Home Decor Lover


Faux Fur Throw Blanket – Who doesn’t love a big cozy faux fur throw blanket?! Every home decor lover you know will love this blanket, and you’ll probably want to order one for yourself too! 

Bohemian Multicolored Distressed Area Rug – This beautiful rug will look great in any house, with any design style!

Gallery Wall Kit, Set of 10 with Assorted Size Frames – If you know someone who loves to display pictures of their family in their home, they will absolutely love this frame set. This matching set, with frames in a variety of sizes, makes it easy to create the perfect gallery wall!   

Home Sweet Home Wood Sign – This sign will look great in anyone’s home! It’s simple and easy to style, and any home decor lover will love working it into their decor!

Set of 3 Wood Floating Shelves – Floating shelves are a great way to display decor items, and these wood ones will look beautiful in anyone’s home!

The Fitness Junkie

24 oz. Inspirational Water Bottle with Funny Fitness Quotes – Sometimes you just need a little extra motivation, and these funny and inspirational water bottles are sure to do the trick! Available with three different quotes. 

365-Day Inspirational Desk Calendar – This inspirational desk calendar isn’t just a great gift for a fitness lover, it’s really a great gift for anyone! Give this fun little calendar to anyone who could use a little daily inspiration! 

Workout Log Book & Fitness Journal – This workout log book is perfect for the fitness junkies in your life! They’ll be able to track their goals, their weight, their workouts, and more! Plus the book includes a list of exercises that will work each body part. 

7-Piece Yoga Set – This set contains all the essentials that your favorite yogi needs, all in an easy carrying case! Perfect for practicing at home or in the studio!

Vooray Small Gym Duffel Bag – This gym bag is cute and functional! What more could you ask for?!

November Favorites

I cannot believe that the month of November has come and gone already! Like seriously, does anyone else feel like time is just flying by?! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and were able to take some time to be with family and friends, and to give thanks for everything you have. Now Christmas will be here before we know it! 

I am heading to Missouri tomorrow to spend a few days with my family, (and my sister just had a baby yesterday!) but I wanted to make sure to get my November Favorites post up for you before I go! This month I have a few fashion items, a book, a beauty item, a home item, and just a life item, all of which I have been loving this month! Everything is linked in the titles below, but if you ever have any questions about anything, just let me know!

1. H&M Boyfriend Jeans 

I have been living in these jeans. I’m seriously obsessed with them! My favorite thing about them is that they are loose, but not so loose that they look frumpy. I’m also a big fan of the light denim color, and I really love the destroyed look of them. 

These jeans are $39.99 at H&M, and they actually come in a couple of other washes and levels of destroyed-ness (I know that’s not a word, but you get what I’m saying.) They are sold out in several sizes, but they are still available in a few, so if you want them, you better go check them out right away!

2. Cured Nutrition CBD Oil

This CBD oil isn’t really something I’ve been loving just this month. I’ve actually been using it for several months and it has been so helpful with my anxiety. I get scared/nervous/overwhelmed very easily, and just a dropper or two of this stuff really helps to ease my nerves. This time of year can be stressful with all of the traveling and family get togethers, so it’s nice to have something to help me keep from getting too overwhelmed.

I know CBD is a bit of a touchy subject, but if you feel that it is bad, or you’re uncomfortable with it, I highly suggest learning more about it and what it can do to help people and animals. This oil has no THC, so it will not get you high. It simply helps to relieve pain and calm nerves, among a variety of other benefits.

I like Cured Nutrition specifically because their products are pure and not filled with other things that could potentially be harmful. Their website also discusses where their product is grown, and how it is made. In addition to this oil, they also have several other products, including CBD dog treats, CBD infused spices, and CBD gel caps. 

3. Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

So I actually haven’t quite finished this book yet, but from what I’ve read so far, I’m loving it. In the book she talks about all the different lies we tell ourselves about who we are, why we treat ourselves the way we do, and about what we can become. She tells stories we can all relate to, and gives plenty of suggestions on how we can stop lying to ourselves and treating ourselves poorly, and instead, live our best lives. 

If you haven’t read this book yet, I highly suggest it. I honestly think there is something that will speak to every woman – every wife, every mother, every daughter, every sister, every friend, every girlfriend, every working woman, every woman – and whether we think we’ve got it all together or not, we could all use a little help!

4. A New Day Scoop Neck Tees

These tees are a great everyday, basic tee, and they’re perfect for layering. I originally bought two of these tees without trying them on, because I only planned on using them for pajamas, but when I got them home and put them on, I immediately went back and bought it in four more colors. They’re light (but not see through,) soft, and perfect for doing a little front tuck! Also, if you’ve ever experienced those t-shirts that are short and wide, and just not flattering at all, you will not get that with these, they’re not fitted, but they’re not frumpy looking either! 

These tees are $8 at Target, or you can get them 2 for $14. I have it in six colors (see the green and the striped, both with the boyfriend jeans in the photos above,) but it also comes in several others including navy, mustard yellow, and red. 

5. Tula Discovery Kit

I have been hearing tons of good things about Tula products for a while now, and have been wanting to try them, but had never bit the bullet because well, they are a little bit pricey. But, I’m almost 30 years old, and my skin has really been a mess since I went off birth control seven months ago, so I finally decided to give it a try.

I’ve been taking Balance, which I talked about in last month’s favorites, and that has helped with my acne quite a bit, but I’ve still been struggling with redness, a bumpy texture of the skin, and the dark circles under my eyes that absolutely refuse to go away. In the week that I’ve been using these products, along with Balance, I can already tell a difference, and I’m loving the results. The texture of my skin has already improved some, as well as the redness. Overall, my skin already seems clearer and more glow-y!

I ordered the Discovery Kit, which includes travel sizes of their four core items – the Purifying Face Cleanser, the Pro-Glycolic Resurfacing Gel, the Illuminating Face Serum, and the Hydrating Day & Night Cream, all in a cute cosmetic bag, for $52. If you head to my Instagram, and click the link in my bio, you will have the opportunity to enter your e-mail address to get 20% off your first order! 

I know these products are pricey, but I am willing to pay for a quality product, and I definitely like what I’ve experienced so far here! I’m excited to continue using the Discovery Kit, and will be trying out some other products soon as well (the under eye cream is at the top of my list!)

Mainstays Mulled Cider Candle

This candle from Wal-Mart is like Christmas in a jar! I’m not usually a big fan of Christmas-y scents like cinnamon and pine, but this one is just heavenly! It literally smells like hot apple cider, and it really just makes the whole house feel so cozy when I burn it! 

I really wish that I could send the smell to you through the screen, but since I can’t, do yourself a favor and get to Wal-Mart to buy this delicious candle! 

4 Last Minute Thanksgiving Day Looks

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is in TWO days?! Like seriously, where has this year gone?

I know some of you have probably been planning your Thanksgiving outfit for weeks, but for the procrastinators out there, you’re probably just now starting to think about it. Chances are, if you’ve waited this long, you probably don’t have time to go shopping, and now you’re digging through your closet in a slight (or major) panic, trying to figure out what the heck you’re going to wear. You want to be cute, you want to be comfortable, you want to look like you have your life together, you want to avoid any unnecessary comments from Aunt Cindy, and most importantly, you want to be able to eat all the food! That’s a lot to ask for from one look! But no worries girl, I’ve got you covered.

I’ve put together four last minute Thanksgiving day looks, all using basic items that you (probably) already have in your closet. No matter what look you’re going for – dressy, cozy, fashion forward, whatever – there’s definitely an option here for you. 

Since most of these looks are made with items that have been in my closet for a while, not everything is still available. If it is an item that is still available, I’ve linked the exact item, but if it is something that is no longer available, (or I couldn’t find the exact item,) I’ve linked similar items!

Look #1 – The Grandma Sweater and the Boyfriend Jeans

This look is everything you need for your Thanksgiving Day look. Boyfriend jeans, a casual tee, a big, cozy cardigan, and your favorite booties. Not only will you be comfortable, but you’ll also be fashionable, and prepared for whatever the day brings you! 

Look #2 – The Loose, Flowy Dress

If your family does a dressed-up Thanksgiving (or maybe YOU just want to get dressed up,) then the flowy dress is perfect for your Thanksgiving day look. It’s easy and comfortable, but the best part is, ain’t nobody gonna see that food baby! Pair it with some fun booties, or even an over the knee boot if you live somewhere cold, and you’re good to go! 

Look #3 – The Big, Comfy Sweater

This look is perfect for a casual Thanksgiving dinner. I mean really, who doesn’t love a big, cozy sweater?! And the best part is that there are so many options to pair it with! Go with jeans and wedge booties like I did, or with leggings and flat boots if that’s more your style, or even with a leather mini and your favorite booties, the possibilities are really endless! 

Look #4 – The T-Shirt Dress and the Furry Vest

If you’re like me and live in a warmer climate, but still want to add a bit of fall to your outfit, this is the way to go! The t-shirt dress and the open toe block heels are perfect for warmer weather, and the vest just adds the perfect amount of “festive” to the look. Plus, this outfit is so easy and majorly comfortable – what’s not to love?!

Look #1 – Find exact jeans here. Find exact t-shirt here. Find similar cardigans here and here. Find similar booties here and here. Find similar belt here.

Look #2 – Find similar dresses here and here. Find exact booties here

Look #3 – Find exact jeans here. Find similar sweaters here and here. Find similar booties here. Find a similar necklace here

Look #4 – Find similar dress here. Find similar vests here and here. Find similar booties here and here. Find similar necklaces here and here

Office Makeover on a Budget

My husband travels a lot for work, but when he’s here, he works from home. This week while he was gone I decided that I wanted to surprise him with an office makeover! Other than hanging a few things on the wall, we hadn’t really done anything with his office since we moved into our house, so I thought it would be nice to make it a little more “him.” 

I didn’t want to spend too much money on this makeover, so I set myself a budget of $300. I will say that there are definitely a few things that I would have done differently, or that I would have liked to add, if I had a larger budget, but I made it work with what I had. I might still make a few more changes later, but I’m very happy with what I was able to do within my budget.

I started with an accent wall in the color Bunglehouse Blue from Sherwin Williams. This is such a pretty blue and I really think it’s the perfect combo of masculine and modern, with just a touch of beachy. The rest of the walls were already a basic white, but they needed a touch up, so I just gave them a fresh coat. 

For storage, I picked up two of these six cube shelves from Target. I had originally planned on a bookshelf, but I wasn’t able to find one that I liked in store anywhere, and didn’t have time to order anything online. These shelves were only $30 a piece and they work perfectly for this space! 

He already had the Ikea chair, the dry erase boards where he keeps track of his trips, the autographed posters in the black frames, the wood sign with the fish, and the framed flag, and I knew he wouldn’t want to get rid of any of it, so I had to tie it all together somehow. The blue wall helped tie in the framed flag and the fish painting, and I picked up the blue pillow at Wal-Mart for $8, which helped tie in the chair a little bit.  I wanted to replace the black frames with wood ones to make them match the fish painting, but in the end, that was something that I ended up leaving out because I couldn’t find a matching set of the right sizes in the store anywhere. If it were up to me to choose the wall art, it probably wouldn’t have been this combination of things, but they’re all things he wants in there, so I made it work! 

The gray curtains were $20 per set at Target, and the curtain rods were around $15 a piece at Lowe’s. Other items I picked up were the cube baskets, the trays and the pencil holder for organization and the lamp, the globe, the timer, the dive helmet, and the picture frame for decor. I was going for a bit of a coastal/nautical theme, but also wanted to keep it neutral enough that he could make changes or add to it in the future if he ever wants to. 

I would have liked to have a rug to add a little more pattern and color, as well as a floor lamp, and maybe some floating shelves, but these were all things that I decided to leave out for the sake of the budget. If he decides he wants any of these in the future though, they should be very easy to add! 

As far as sticking to the budget, My total came in at right around $330. I did go just a little bit over budget, but if you don’t count the white paint, which wasn’t only for this project (we use it in the whole house,) then I came in right on budget.

The final result isn’t exactly what I had envisioned, but my husband loves it, so I’m pretty proud of it! 

Anniversary Trip to Key West

On September 30th, my husband and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary. Earlier in the year, we had actually booked a trip to Jamaica to celebrate our anniversary, but we unfortunately ended up having to cancel it due to our move to Florida and my husband starting his new job (can’t really take a vacation when you just started three weeks ago!) We still wanted to do something special to celebrate though, so we decided on a weekend in Key West.

sunset3

From where we live, Key West is about a six hour drive or a 3.5 hour boat ride on the Key West Express. We thought the boat ride would be a cool experience, so we hopped on board and got ready to set sail! The boat departs every morning from Fort Myers, and returns every evening. We were going for the weekend, so we booked our tickets to depart on Saturday morning, and return Sunday evening. Round trip tickets for both of us were $280 ($140 a piece,) and we got a small discount for booking at least eight days in advance. There was also a $26 parking fee to leave our car while we were gone, which we paid online when we booked our tickets. The entire booking process was very simple and we received an e-mail with our boarding passes and all of the information we would need. If you’re ever in Florida and looking for a quick way to get to Key West, I definitely recommend the Key West Express!

boat

Once we arrived, we decided to go ahead and take our bags to our hotel so that we didn’t have to carry them around. We stayed at the Truman Hotel, which is an adorable little boutique hotel located right in the heart of Old Town Key West. It was located just off of Duval Street (which is the main street where all the bars and shops are,) so we were very close to all the action, but not right in the middle of it, which is exactly what we wanted. We had a great experience with this hotel and I would definitely recommend it. The office staff was very nice and helpful, the room was nice, modern, and clean, and the pool was perfect for an afternoon cool down.

pool

After dropping off our bags, we headed straight to Margaritaville for lunch.  We spent the next few hours walking up and down Duval street, just taking everything in. We’re not big drinkers, so we didn’t really stop at all the bars along the way, but we did check out several of the shops. We knew we wanted to go to the Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square before dinner that evening, so after walking around for a while, we went back to our hotel for a quick swim (it was HOT, and we really needed to cool down) and to get ready for the evening.

whistle bar

marg ville sloppy joe's

Sunset Celebration is something they do every evening, and it was amazing. Mallory Square was packed with street performers, vendors, and of course, people. If you want  get good photos of the sunset, I recommend getting there early to get a spot right up front because otherwise people WILL sit in front of you and block your photo-taking view. The sunset that night was absolutely gorgeous, and the whole thing was just a really cool experience.

sunset celebration sunset2 sunset1

After sunset, we went to Duffy’s Steak & Lobster House for dinner. We honestly just chose it because it was right across the street from our hotel, and we were exhausted, so we wanted it to be easy to get back afterward. But, it was actually really good, so we lucked out! After dinner we just went back to our room for the night. We had been up since about 5:00 a.m., had been out in the heat all day, and had walked about seven miles, so we were ready to crash!

mile 0

The next morning we got up nice and early and headed straight to the Southernmost Point. We had tried to go the afternoon before, but the sun was not optimal for photos, and there was a long line, so we decided to wait. I definitely suggest going early in the morning, because there were only a couple other people there and we could take our time getting photos.

sm point

After the Southernmost Point, we headed to breakfast at the Banana Cafe. This was probably my favorite place that we ate the entire trip! The food and the coffee were both delicious, and the atmosphere was really fun and laid back. We had originally wanted to go to Blue Heaven because we heard they have an amazing brunch, but we found out once we got there that were closed for the week. The Banana Cafe was great, but we will definitely be giving Blue Heaven a try next time we’re in Key West!

cat3cat1 cat2

Our next stop of the day was The Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum. This was my favorite thing that we did on this trip, and is a must-see in Key West! They offer a guided tour, which I highly suggest if you want to find out more about the history of Hemingway and his home. After the tour, we were able to walk around on our own and you are allowed to take as many pictures as you want! Fun fact: at the time of our visit, there were something like 56 cats on the property, all of which are descendants of the original cats that Hemingway had while he lived there!

hem house6 hem house5 hem house4 hem house2 hem house3 hem house

After the Hemingway House we basically just spent the rest of the day walking around the area near Mallory Square since we hadn’t gotten to see much of that area the day before. We checked out the shops, took a stroll through the Maritime Museumstared in amazement at a huge cruise ship that had just pulled in, and spent some time taking photos of the scenery. We chose to walk everywhere on this trip, but I don’t suggest this. We walked somewhere around 15 miles in two days and our feet were so sore and covered in blisters by the time we left. There are tons of places to rent bikes, scooters, and golf carts, and we will definitely be doing this next time. Because we walked so much though, but the end of the second day we were definitely ready to go home. While we waited for the boat to start boarding, we had a couple of drinks at Dante’s which is an outdoor restaurant and pool bar. The pool party thing is not really our style, but if you’re into that, I would definitely suggest checking this place out!

 ship

The water was extremely rough on the boat ride home, and I (along with most everyone else on the boat) got sick. If you’re someone who gets motion sick easily, this is definitely something you should take into consideration before taking the Key West Express. The crew was very helpful, and did everything they could to make the ride as smooth as possible, but hey, you can’t control the ocean! 

water

Overall this was a great trip and it was the perfect little anniversary weekend getaway! We had a lot of fun, learned a few things that we should do differently next time, and we will definitely be going back! 

October Favorites

First of all, I just want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone that has shown me support in the first couple days of having The Boho Beach Blog up and running. I’ve had so many likes and comments on my last few Instagram posts and have received nothing but positive feedback. I’m so excited to continue creating new content for you and I can’t wait to see where this new adventure takes me!

Now on to the real reason we’re here…

If you’re anything like me, your Instagram feed and the blogs you read are probably full of inspiration. Awesome DIY’s, home decor ideas, the latest fashion trends, the best beauty products, and so many other things that you want to try or buy! I love when others share their favorite products, so I want to do the same!

At the end of each month, I’ll be sharing my favorite products from the month. Clothes, beauty products, home decor items, health and fitness products…pretty much anything that I’ve found useful or that has inspired me in some way that month. Here’s what I was loving during the month of October!

1. The Opalhouse Line at Target

Varying prices at Target

You guys, I’m seriously obsessed with this line. Literally EVERYTHING is so. freaking. cute! My coffee table is Opalhouse, almost everything in my master bathroom is Opalhouse, and there’s about 75 other things from the line that I’m dying to have! Every single item in the line is a little bit modern, a little bit boho, and a whole lot of fun!

They also currently have their holiday line available, and I want to buy it all! I mean seriously, look at this stuff!

 

2. Balance from Alani Nu

$49.99 at Alaninu.com for a 30 day supply

If you’re into fitness or follow any fitness accounts on Instagram, you’ve probably heard of Katy Hearn (booty queen, new mama, and major boss babe.) Alani Nu is the supplement company she and her husband own, and Balance is a product they have created that helps with hormone balance, weight management, and fertility. One of the main things that people have found Balance to help with is acne, which is why I take it.

balance

When I stopped taking birth control about six months ago, my skin went to complete crap. I’m talking constant breakouts on my face, chest, and back that no face wash or skin care product would get rid of. Enter Balance, and within two weeks my skin had done a complete 180. Now don’t get me wrong, I still get a few breakouts here and there, but this stuff has made it so much more manageable.

In addition to helping with acne, people have said that Balance has helped them with things like PCOS, managing irregular cycles, and other hormonal issues. If you suffer from acne, PCOS, or any other problems that are related to hormones, go check this stuff out!

They do sell out of this product quickly, and often, so I suggest signing up for their text alerts to be notified when they restock, and then then purchasing right away when you receive the alert. You can also sign up for an automatic subscription so you don’t have to worry about it being sold out when you need a new bottle!

3. Karella Jumpsuit from Lulus

$58 at Lulus

I had never ordered anything from Lulus before, but I am now officially hooked.

Earlier this month I went to Washington D.C. with my husband to an annual conference for the company he works for. One of the week’s events was a dinner cruise on the Potomac River, which is where I wore this jumpsuit. I got so many compliments on it! And not only is it so cute, but it is also extremely comfortable! I normally have a hard time with things like this being long enough, but this was the perfect length for me to wear with heels. I dressed it up with gold jewelry and threw my leather jacket over it since we had a bit of a walk on a chilly night!

jumpsuit

I only got one picture of me wearing it, and unfortunately it was not a very high quality photo, but you can see what I paired it with here!

 

4. Tarte Maracuja Oil

$16 for 0.5 oz. or $48 for 1.7 oz. at Tarte.com, Ulta, or Sephora

I am a die hard drugstore makeup fan. Most of the time I just cannot bring myself to buy designer beauty products. $50 for foundation? Seriously? I just can’t. BUT, there are a few products that I’m willing to splurge on, and this is one of them.

maracuja

Maracuja oil is designed to help the skin look firmer, smoother, and brighter. I use it as a moisturize, and I really love the way it makes my skin look and feel. The best part is, it never leaves my skin looking or feeling oily.

I buy the 0.5 oz. bottle and it lasts me 3+ months. I would guess that the larger bottle would easily last me a full year!

 

5. Leyla Bootie from Target

$37.99 at Target

Booties are my absolute favorite type of shoe, and this pair is PERFECT for fall! The cognac color is so pretty, and the little rope details add just the right amount of fun. They have a 3.5″ heel (which means they’re still comfortable and easy to walk in) and zippers on the inner ankles making them easy to put on and take off. They also come in black if that’s more your style!

boots

Now if this Florida weather would just cool off so that I can actually wear these beauties!