Thursday, June 2, 2016

38 week update

These pictures were taken about a month ago, I think when I was 32 weeks? It was important for me to have at least a few posed pictures of my bump to commemorate this time. I had also just gone through my second bout of self-pity--sitting on my bedroom floor surrounded by piles of clothes that no longer fit and crying and then feeling silly that I was crying because it's frankly ridiculous--and so a maternity photoshoot where I had an excuse to play dress-up and remind myself of my love for this bump was definitely in order. So one unseasonably warm day, my sister and I snapped a series of photos in a couple different outfits--one a typical everyday outfit, and one that was a little more fancy (it's actually her bridesmaid's dress from my wedding...which is maybe a bit odd, but I love how it flatters my bump!). I was sweaty and grumpy by the time we finished (I don't think heat ever made me this grumpy before I was pregnant!), but it was fun, and I'm really happy with the pictures we got.
It's hard to believe that I'm already 38 weeks, that I've just hit term. I'm so close, and everything is feeling so much more real. She's positioned head-down, ready for birth, and really...could come at any time now. It really sunk in for Josh yesterday, and I think it was the first time I've seen him nervous throughout my whole pregnancy. Right now, I'm oddly calm about the whole thing, and feeling more ready than I thought I would at this point...mostly I'm just excited and feel so ready to be done, and have her in my arms. With each flurry of Braxton Hicks (which have gotten more fun lately, and by fun I mean not, haha) I wonder if this might be it, but nothing yet. So we continue to play the waiting game. My mother in law and my dad are convinced that she's going to come at least a week late since she's the first baby, but I'm really hoping that since I dropped so early, and dropped a bit more over the last week, that's an indicator she will at least be a little closer to on time than that. 
 However, as I reflect on my pregnancy, other than the stress I was under for the entire first half, I have been so very blessed to have a relatively "easy" complications, hardly any morning sickness, hardly any of the symptoms I was especially dreading. There was about a month during my second trimester that work was especially awful because of joint pain--I could hardly walk at the end of my shifts! But that got better, and there was a lovely space of time where I felt amazing and energetic and I felt I could really enjoy being pregnant. Now that time has kind of passed and the joint pain has returned along with raging heartburn (which I whined about, since I'd never experienced it before), and I feel really pregnant and just ready to be done. I wound up leaving work about two weeks earlier than I had initially decided, due to those and other factors, which made me feel a bit guilty, but at the same time, it was definitely the right decision. I feel her moving almost all the time, which is honestly one of the things I think I'll miss the most about being pregnant. It's so bewildering to think that the thing squirming inside me is a little human, and it just puts me in awe of how miraculous and beautiful this whole process is.

Monday, April 18, 2016

the year of change

The past two and a half years have brimmed with changes. Changes to me as a person as well as those big, scary, and wonderful life-altering changes. Two and a half years ago I started talking to the man I was destined to fall in love with, and fell head over heels. I had never dreamed that being in love could be such a wonderful thing, that I could have such strong feelings for one person, that I could need that presence in my life so much. I've said it again and again, but Josh has been such a positive force in my life. He drew me out of my shell, encouraged me to do things I wouldn't have ordinarily done, and it's been healthy for me.

 In that first year, we went to Disneyland with his family, took weekly hikes, and had lengthy discussions  about our future together.

 In the second year, we got engaged. There was never a moment that I doubted my decision. I knew God had brought us together. Our relationship grew over the trials that came during the months of wedding planning--the seeming inescapable drama and stress. I graduated college and began working part time.

In the beginning of the third year, on January 16th, we were married, and despite all the trials and nerves, the day was so full of joy. I moved in with Josh, into the basement that we currently rent from his brother and sister-in-law, and we started building our home together.

Now, to backtrack, there was another big change in the second year. We made a mistake, and I became pregnant...the one thing I had always promised myself I would never let happen to me, that I felt I was strong enough to guard against, happened.  I was just over four months pregnant and barely starting to show when we were married. And for those four months I struggled with guilt and disappointment in myself in conjunction with the surge of hormones that came with the pregnancy. I hit a low point, and if not for constant streams of support from Josh and a few close friends, I don't know where I would be.

Those low feelings have since, for the most part, been replaced with excitement. To be completely honest, there are still those off days where I curl up in Josh's arms and just cry, because it's still tough (and I'm really hormonal), but in the end, what it all comes down to is that our baby, however she happened, is a blessing and a miracle. I can't wait to meet her shower her with love and kisses...feeling her wriggle around inside me is both the strangest and most wonderful thing. One of my favorite things so far has been having Josh feel her kick, and seeing just that joy on his face...oh my, it melts my heart. Josh and I have begun having long discussions about parenting and our hopes and dreams for our family, and what we are most excited for. One thing we are most looking forward to is experiencing things with her, and sharing our favorite things with her. 

So, this year brings with it even more changes. I am a wife, and soon to be (in less than two months!!) the mother of what I'm sure will be the most beautiful little baby. I look forward to sharing my experiences with you. ❤️

(And just as a quick footnote, these announcement photos caused quite a controversy among some people when I posted them on Facebook, because they misunderstood the purpose of them...It's difficult for me to explain why these pictures are so special to me, but to me they are symbolic of us moving past darker times and looking to the future with joy rather than remorse. Above all, baby is a blessing, and I don't want to think of her as anything but. )

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

that one dress that makes me feel like a princess {+ giveaway!}

//dress: c/o mint julep boutique / sandals: claire's (super old)//

So there are a few glorious times where I come across the rare dress that makes me feel like a princess, while still being casual enough for wear off the red carpet. This is one of them. I tried this dress on and immediately fell in love with it. The fabric is so light and floaty and the most perfect shade of blue, with the little feminine details at the waist and hem that help to really make it. I wasn't sure about the slit in the front, but after trying on the dress for myself, I decided I really liked it. And my favorite thing about it is that it can just be put on by itself and look doesn't need a bunch of accessories.  

Needless to say...I highly recommend checking out Mint Julep Boutique. They have an adorable selection of clothes at reasonable prices. And they were great to work with, so patient with me as I took forever to get this review up--I'm still not used to being so busy! I will likely be shopping there in the future...for picking up more sweet dresses like this! 

AND, Mint Julep Boutique is also sponsoring a giveaway for a $25 gift card to their online shop, so you can have a chance to give them a try. :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

the comfiest romper

//romper: forever 21 / striped crop top, shoes: charlotte russe//

This summer has truly flown by. I am amazed that it's already the end of August--where has the time gone? And overall, it's been a really good summer. Too hot, busy, and stressful, but still good. Wedding planning is in full swing--we are getting married on January 16th, and it seems so far away, but at the same time, it's coming up really quickly. So far I have found the perfect dress within my budget, thanks to my wonderful bridesmaid, who scoured the used dress sites to find the designer dress of my dreamsWe found and reserved a beautiful, 100-year-old venue with hardwood floors and swoon-worthy vintage details. We had beautiful engagement photos taken by a friend (so here's the question--are you guys interested in seeing the day-of-engagement photos AND the official engagement photos?I don't want to overwhelm you with too many posts on our engagement!), which we used to make our Save the Dates. Other bits of planning for decorations and things are coming together as well. And finally, we booked our hotel in Disney World (ahhh!!). I am so unbelievably excited. :) I can't wait to share more about planning and things! I will probably do a series of posts after the wedding about the planning process, if you all are interested. 

Anyway, this little romper that I picked up at Forever 21 last year is still my favorite thing. It's made out of the comfiest jersey fabric, and looks almost like a dress, but it's actually shorts, which I absolutely love. And with a little crop top underneath, it's just perfect and effortless. Also, these shoes from Charlotte Russe are my go-to summer heels. They're comfy enough for walking around in, and they're great for dressing up an outfit. 

Talk to ya'll soon!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

so i did a thing... {k couture review}

//dress: c/o k couture / shoes: charlotte russe//

So yes, I did a thing. I've wanted red hair ever since I first read Anne of Green Gables (well, either that or Diana Barry's hair), and I've been talking about dying it for about a year or so now. So at the end of last month, on an impulse, I bought a box of dye and dyed it the next morning. And I love it. And so does Josh...thank goodness--I was worried he'd hate it. I already asked him if he wants me to keep it for the wedding, and his answer was an unequivocal "YES." Hehe. 


This dress was sent to me by K Couture so I could review their "design a dress" tool. K Couture is a family-owned business in Arizona, which is also where all their dresses are made. They offer custom formal wear (perfect for weddings!) in a variety of shades and reasonable prices. They have a wide selection of styles to choose from, including more conservative choices. They also have the option to design your own dress, by choosing your desired fabric, neckline, sleeve, waistline, and length, in addition to color. The "design a dress" tool is super easy to use, and I liked all the options they offered. The only thing I wish is that there were a few more options for skirt shape and length--I'd love to see something like a circle skirt! Ooh, and if there were an option to add pockets. That would be perfection.

The quality of this dress is great, and oh my, that shade of emerald green is just gorgeous. The sash style lends a bit of retro quality, which I also love. The only thing with the sash was that it was too thick to tie into a bow, so I simply knotted it--which I actually really like the look of. I also should have sized up. The skirt is a bit too tight in the hips, which causes it to pull across my stomach to show off an awkward bulge--so I would definitely recommend paying close attention to the sizing when ordering. So I wish it fit better, but In every other way, I love this dress. It's simple, but so elegant and classy. 

K Couture is also offering ya'll a 10% off coupon. Just enter the code Dress10 at checkout. :) 

Anyway, talk to ya'll soon!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

eshakti love

Ever since I first heard about them through the blogosphere, I have been obsessed with eShakti's clothing. I was initially drawn to their retro vibe, as well as the ability to customize their garments. The option to alter the style to fit your body and your preferences, to make it yours is just so cool. And of course, the fact that many of their dresses have pockets? Ah, perfection. I have two dresses from eShakti--one that I bought for a wedding, another that I was sent for review. I love both of them--they are great quality and so flattering. The red one I have is one of my fiance's favorite dresses on me, and I always get so many compliments when I wear them. These dresses are definitely worth the splurge, in my opinion.

Anyway, eShakti recently contacted me to let me know about, and ask me to review, their updated site and their two new clothing lines, contemporary and bohemian. 

First, the new site is clean, simple, and easy to navigate. In comparison to their old site, I think it runs a lot faster and much more smoothly. And though I don't usually care for the mobile versions of websites, I think theirs is just as nice on my phone as on my computer. 

Second, the most exciting part...their new lines are so, so lovely. I am particularly obsessed with the contemporary line. It features simple, minimalistic silhouettes with pretty little details. And they also have pants, which is super exciting. The styles and patterns are oh so cute and classy. These are some of my favorite dresses, ones that I'd love to have for casual days, though they can very easily be dressed up with the right accessories (1, 2, 3, 4):

The bohemian line features bold patterns and bright colors that remind me so much of the 1970s. They have some pretty adorable maxi dresses that would just be perfect for summer. I don't typically go in for bold patterns, but I love the more subdued designs from this line. These are my personal favorites (1, 2, 3, 4):
Last, but certainly not least, eShakti is offering you all a $35 coupon for use on the site, which is super exciting! Definitely check that out. :)

GC CODE: DECVKES35Valid till 07/10/2015

Enter this code in the 'Gift Coupon / Referral Code' box at checkout

Only one gift coupon can be used in an order

Not valid on previous purchases / purchase of gift cards.

This gift coupon cannot be transferred, re-issued or exchanged for cash.
Minimum order value $30.

I'll talk to ya'll soon!

This is a sponsored post, but all opinions contained herein are my own. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

hidden among the rock roses

//blouse: target / skirt: thrifted / tights: topshop / shoes: charlotte russe / necklace: gift from josh//

Yay for new outfit posts! It's been so long since I've taken outfit photos...I went through almost a month-long period after finishing my classes where I just felt completely unmotivated to do more than read, play video games, and binge watch Parks and Recreations. Then last week, three things happened. First, I noticed the multitude of gorgeous pink rock roses on the bush outside my window and thought, "I have to take pictures with those." Second, I got strep throat and was forced to continue my habits of nothingness, which quickly made me irritable. Third, I finished Parks and Rec and ran out of TV shows to laze around and binge. I finally felt motivated to do things. 

So I took blog photos of the outfit I was wearing that day and then proceeded to deep-clean my room. Now I'm excited to get to work on bunches of projects, like those sundresses I've been designing in my head for the past few months, and diving head-first into wedding planning (Goodness, this is really happening!).

Anyways...on to the outfit. This is probably the last time you'll see me in tights for the next few months, as it is definitely warming up here in the pacific northwest. Even when I wore these on Wednesday, it was slightly too warm. These quirky tights are so perfect for spring, though! And I am loving them with this denim skirt that I rediscovered recently. :) 

Talk to ya'll soon!