Tag Archives | Food

MCLV Pregnancy | What’s In My Hospital Bag

I love watching What’s In My Hospital Bag videos on YouTube and reading the lists on blog posts and Pinterest. I’m a big planner and I love to feel prepared, so maybe that’s part of it. The other part is probably that so much of the birth chapter is unknown and can’t be prepared for, that I enjoy focusing on what I can do. Which is pack a hospital bag!

So let’s get into this! 馃檪

Since we’re living the age of COVID-19 there are a few things that we needed to take into account. Not only could my mother not join us in the delivery room {a devastating hit, I genuinely considered having her there and letting my husband sit out the birth of our first child} but once we’re in the maternity ward we can’t leave. Not for food or for changes of clothes. So we both needed basic clothes and toiletries for our stay.

Bag – I was going to use my Longchamp le Pliage duffle but the bigger I’ve gotten the less I’ve wanted to carry a bag on my shoulder, so I swapped it for a rolling suitcase. My inlaws got us the Away Expandable Carry-On for Christmas so I decided that was the bag to bring. Lots of pockets and separate areas which is great when packing for an undetermined amount of time.

Clothes – I generally pride myself on packing fairly minimally so I was curious how I was going to end up approaching this. I’d say that I didn’t go too overboard, but I definitely tweaked my general packing equation.

PJs, robe and nighty to keep me comfortable before and after birth, though odds are that I’ll end up wearing the hospital gown most of the time. And two going home options, leggings and a top or a dress, depending on how my body feels.

Toiletries – We both packed the basics with some skin care and make-up thrown in for me. If you want to learn more about my skin care and make-up routines during pregnancy check them out.

Postpartum Essentials – The hospital will provide most of this, but I wanted to bring a few things to make me more comfortable post-baby.

For baby – I found that what to pack for the baby and for the mom post-partum was where I saw the most variation in people’s lists. Some people brought everything – Muliple outfits, breast pump, diapers… I figured the baby would be mostly taken care of by the hospital, hanging out in a diaper and that if breast feeding didn’t happen, we’d be bottle feeding. So I left all of that at home. But here’s what I did bring:

Miscellaneous – This was a place that it was easy to get carried away and I tried to reign it in. Some women basically bring their entire bedrooms and I knew that I wanted to avoid that. No pillows or bedding or hospital gowns for this mama to be.

  • Phone
  • Extra long charger + battery pack
  • Headphones + charger
  • Wireless bluetooth speaker
  • Gift cards for the nurses {I had planned to bake cookies but with COVID-19 I didn’t know whether they’d accept them}
  • Snacks {We brought a little cooler with coconut water and water bottles, plus trail mix, chocolate covered raisins, and protein bars}
  • Essential oils – Lavendar & sandalwood
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Skin Care Junkie | My Favorite Cleansers 2020

One of the fun things about skin care is that it’s an ever evolving industry. There’s always new data, new trends, new brands, new products. Always something new.

And while I definitely have some all time favorite skin care products that I go back to time and time again, I do love trying new brands and products. Finding a new holy grail product that your skin responds well to, is such a great experience.

Everyone has different skin and different needs, and different products that work for them. That being said, I thought that I’d share a few of my favorite cleansers of 2020. I’m a huge fan of super clean skin and have gotten in the habit of double cleansing in the evenings on days that I wear sunscreen {which is most days} or makeup {which is super rare these days!}.

If you’re curious about the value of cleansing and how best to approach the process for your skin, I highly recommend these YouTube videos:

On days that I do a double cleanse in the evenings, I use a cleansing balm to start, followed by a water based cleanser. In the mornings or on days where I don’t double cleanse in the evenings, I’ll just use the water based cleanser on my face and neck.

Here are a few of my favorites!

Cleansing Balms:

Water Based Cleansers:

Do YOU have a favorite cleanser? Share below please, always interested in trying new ones!

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MCLV Pregnancy | Second Trimester Exercise & Workout Gear

You can check out my first trimester exercise and workout post here to see where I started, but I have to say that things have changed quite a bit since then.

There’s a trade off as you finish the first trimester and head into your second – You have more energy and your nausea has {hopefully} started to dissipate, but you’re also starting to grow and feel changes in your body that can impact your ability to move and workout.

It seems like all of a sudden your clothes start to feel uncomfortable and your sports bras may not fit. And I don’t know about you, but when I feel uncomfortable, it’s hard to feel motivated.

The first thing on my shopping list was sports bras, I had to size up pretty early on. I loved the Aerie Twist Back Sports Bra, Aerie Offline Goals Sports Bra and the GAP Nursing Sports Bra. That sustained me until my belly “popped” at which point I needed to invest in some new leggings and a top or two. I didn’t want to overshop and started slowly, but ended up buying the following workout gear over the course of my 2nd trimester:

I found that all the way through my second trimester, I was able to fit into my zip up workout jackets. And I lucked out because once I grew out of them, it started to heat up and I didn’t need them anymore. I also wore my usual workout tanks and t-shirts through the pregnancy and I was surprised how well they held up to my growing belly. A little bit oversized and a little bit stretchy was the perfect combo and kept me from having to order too many new pieces.

Another thing that changed during my second trimester? The entire world! COVID-19 hit and shelter-in-place started. That meant no office gym or health club facilities for this mama-to-be. I was so grateful that I had most of the basics at home, but I did place a few panicked Amazon orders in the early days of quarantine to make sure that I had all the gear that I needed to get through my daily home workouts.

Here’s my hit list:

Around this time was also when, all of sudden, I had NO interest in app workouts. I’d been happily doing Tone It Up for months, but it wasn’t appealing to me all of a sudden so I started exploring other options. Check out my Home Workouts & Apps post for some of the workout-from-home options on the market. That post was great research for me and I enjoyed trying out new program and instructors. And you want to know where I ended up?

On YouTube.

I never would have guessed that that’s where I’d go, but it allowed me to change my workouts every day, try new things, explore different types of workouts, and get introduced to new instructors. I also fell head over heels with Dance Cardio workouts, you can check out my favorites here.

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MCLV Pregnancy | What I Eat In A Day [2nd Trimester]

Welcome to my 2nd trimester What I Eat in a Day. If you missed it, here’s my 1st Trimester What I Eat in a Day.

I would like to preface this post by saying that I was devastated to learn that “eating for two” is NOT actually a thing and that doctor’s closely monitor your weight when you’re pregnant. I mean, I get it, but it was still disappointing…

Anyway, you’re not here for the chit chat, you’re here for the food! So here’s an example of a good day of eating during my 2nd trimester. Note: Not all days were this healthy. Not all days were this structured. I did the best that I could and I’d say I pretty much nailed the 80/20 approach. 80% healthy, whole food based meals, 20% treats {though I was in quarantine so most of my treats were homemade, for better or worse}.

First Breakfast: This remained an important part of my morning since I woke up STARVING. Since my husband and I were working from home from the second trimester onward, I started the day by splitting a piece of fruit with him. An apple, pear, orange, or banana, usually with nut butter and hemp seeds or a handful of raw nuts.

Second Breakfast: Being home with full access to my kitchen for breakfast was amazing. I loved the freedom to really make what I was craving. Breakfast varied from protein oats or waffles to scrambles or yogurt with granola. The last one was a big favorite during this period and usually entailed:

Lunch: We got into a very civilized habit of eating a huge salad for lunch every day. I would usually add a side of veggies & rice, a veggie burger, soup, or a smoothie when it got warmer. Salad ingredients varied but usually included romaine hearts, spinach, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, cucumber, and celery with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

Afternoon Snack: Crudite and hummus or a handful of Skinny Pop and some raw trail mix. I also started making banana applesauce muffins {banana nut or blueberry usually} and those made a good pre-walk snack during T2.

Dinner: I had a MASSIVE craving for pasta for most of the second trimester and I made it at least one a week. Sometimes twice. Other than worrying about boring my husband with my recipes, I had no problem eating pasta multiple times a week. My favorite gluten-free high protein pasta is Banza. They even have a boxed mac n cheese that’s vegan and gluten free. I usually made a veggie filled sauce {zero guilt!} like this recipe, though I did experiment with a cashew alfredo sauce as well.

Dessert: I’ve always craved salty, savory foods over sweets. Boy did that change in the 2nd trimester! I couldn’t get enough of baked goods. Or gummies. And being home 24/7 meant that I baked A LOT. One week I baked 2 batches of cookies, a pumpkin pie {in April, weird I know}, lemon bars, and a birthday cake for my husband. Needless to say, once dinner was over, there were always numerous sweet treats to choose from. I tried not to worry too much about my sweet intake and didn’t beat myself up for skipping the dried fruit, though I did try to stay away from my husband’s stash of Oreos, Australian licorice, and Sour Patch Kids.

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Fall Fashion | Tunic & Sweater Round-Up

The Bay Area heat wave appears to be over and with the fog rolling back in and the temperatures staying down, it’s easy to start thinking about Fall fashion here on the West Coast.

I tend to have a Fall uniform of sorts – A tunic or sweater paired with slim fitting pants and a pair of boots. Easy peasy. Plus there are endless options for spicing this basic combination up. You can pair your top with jeans or faux leather leggings, go for split side tops or turtlenecks, and choose from booties or over-the-knee boots. Lots of options while staying true to a silhouette that you enjoy!

So, without further ado, here are some great tunic and sweater options to get you in the mood for Fall.

Sweaters:

Tunic Tops:

What’s YOUR Fall style?

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