My DIY Maternity Photoshoot

I’m pretty sure maternity photo shoots are a modern gimmick brought about my social media and the need to portray one’s life as picture perfect…but that doesn’t make them any less beautiful. Especially in a time when reasons to get dressed up are very few and very far between.

Knowing that time and energy for things like this dwindle with age, it was important to me to set time aside to take these phots. However, like all other mamas to be, brides to be, and general families this year, I struggled with whether or not hiring a photographer was the safest thing to do. Even after convincing myself that it would be safe, there was the much bigger issue of the cost.

The lowest cost photography session I found was $750…and that was the smallest package.

With a nursery to furnish, a house to update, a new car payment, and maternity leave creeping up, $750 (minimum!) could go a lot farther than a few pictures.

Luckily, I have sisters who will do anything for their first niece or nephew, and one of them is a college student who spends plenty of time working a camera for social media. With a free photographer, and some hair and makeup products that have been eagerly awaiting the light of day, I was willing to get creative and self-sufficient.

If you’re looking to save a few (75,000) pennies, one tip to running your own photoshoot is to google OTHER photoshoots and save your favorite poses – copying is the best form of flattery, after all! My second tip is to take a walk, or drive, around your own neighborhood. You don’t have to go to a fancy “location”. You just have to look at your own backyard through a different lens.

You can see in my photos that we used backdrops from the side of the road. A simple stone wall adds texture and dimension, but you could get the same effect with a white picket fence or stretch of hedges. The rail road is a great frame for a shot and adds depth, but you can get a similar effect with a driveway or walking trail.

We got a lot of great shots using portrait mode, which I find is best when you have trees, tall grass, and a natural back drop. In terms of the old farm wagon we used as a backdrop? That may have been us “borrowing” someone’s empty farm land we happen to live by.

I felt very confident on my photoshoot day. To be honest, there have been zero times that I have felt sexy during my pregnancy. Mark has told me I’m beautiful, and I recognize that a pregnant body is an amazing body, but my COVID pregnancy wardrobe consists of elastic waistbands, oversized sweaters, and underwear that is a size bigger than before. Without a reason to wear form fitting maternity jeans, cute accessories, or accentuate the bump…I usually don’t.

I bought three maternity dresses from ASOS, this dress being one of them, and all three made me feel sexy. They showed off the curves of my new body in a way leggings and sweaters don’t. My typical style probably wouldn’t include this dress (as my friend said, it gives off some definite Kim K pregnancy vibes), but every woman is out of her comfort zone in her pregnancy body and we should embrace it.

My favorite hair products give my thin, straight hair volume and curls – just one level beneath the capability of my hair stylist. These curls will last about three days on fresh washed hair! After towel drying, I brush a nickel size dollop of Living Proof style primer through my hair – to my knowledge this product has been discontinued, but the description looks identical to the PHD 5-in-1 styler. Next, I brush my heat protectant gel-cream through my hair and blow-dry. I curl away from my face with my trusted Eva NYC wand which I’ve had since college. It was perfect for my short hair days and still works for my long hair. Last, brush out the curls with the Bumble and Bumble beach waves spray. NO Hairspray!

For makeup, most of my products are Stila. Not many bloggers talk about Stila, but this is my trusted and true brand. I think Stila provides medium coverage. I’ve been using their mascara the longest, followed by foundation, micro-tip eyeliner, brow pencil, concealer (sometimes it gets creasy), and most recently the blush. I set my concealer with Bare Minerals powder and brush my eyelids with the Urban Decay Naked 2 pallet. Ulta and Sephora only sell the Naked 2 Basics pallet, but the Naked 2 in general has been the only eye shadow pallet I’ve worn for years!

The time was magical and helped me love my body. I can’t wait for Baby Y to get here, but want to savor these last weeks of pregnancy until then!

xoxo

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The ICEing on 2020

Everyone’s experience in 2020 has been radically different. Between October 2019 and January 2020 I traveled about once every three weeks for personal or business reasons. I dined in unique restaurants, saw friends who live all over the country, and was planning Mark’s birthday trip to Yellowstone. I was settled in my first home and my fifth year in a career at a major national retailer.

Old San Juan, PR – 4 months before the shut down I had a work trip to PR with two weeks notice. Mark and I flew down a few days early for a weekend together before he flew home and I stayed for work.

Like many others, I was shook up in March when my company had to close our stores for eight weeks. For weeks I was convinced I was going to lose my job, unsure about what was going to happen to my house or lifestyle (but was still convinced I was going to go to Yellowstone in May!). 

As it turned out, I was immensely lucky (didn’t lose my job), and 2020 has brought much joy to my life.

For starters, working from home means that I greet Mark at the door every night when he gets home. While I can’t see many of my friends, I make up the time with my family who lives down the road. I pursued hobbies like gardening and blogging. Most beneficial to my mental health is a fiancé who loves camping, stays calm, and makes the most of every moment.

About halfway into 2020 I learned that vacations, fancy dinners, and material things are just decorations to my life. What really makes my heart happy is pausing in the middle of a conversation to share a hug with Mark, eating dinner at the table with him, foot rubs and leg massages, cooking breakfast together, and transforming his house into our home through painting and renovations, cleaning and yardwork.

When we found out we were pregnant over the summer (months after our cancelled Yellowstone trip 😉 ), I cried for less than a day. It was the 2019 version of me creeping back in. An unexpected pregnancy simply didn’t match the decorations in my life. But Mark’s genuine joy at the news never faltered. He hugged me while I cried but always wore a big smile. That also made my heart happy.

Being pregnant throughout the second half of this year has brought us deep joy. I have always wanted to be a mom, and it wasn’t very long into dating Mark that I knew I wanted to be the mom to his children. We had talked about being married and parents together many times before finding out we were pregnant. It may not have been my “plan” from 2019, but as my best friend said, it was always THE plan. 2020 was just the year it came to fruition.

Since moving into Mark’s house on Halloween, I have felt an unwavering happiness. No back pain, amount of unpacking, or any events in the world outside the walls of our house has affected that. Not even moving farther away from my family into the “boonies”. This was what I was thinking while doing the dishes just hours before Mark proposed.

He proposed EXACTLY how I have always asked: at home, on the couch, in pajamas, no makeup, with absolutely no one else around.

I know it’s not everyone’s style – many like photo opps, to be feeling beautiful in a done-up face and new outfit, nails freshly manicured. But trust me, not much makes you feel more beautiful than a man asking you to be his partner forever just. The way. You are. (Although note that I did put on a cute outfit and makeup the next day for my first day as a fiancée!).

I’m quite a traditional lady – before getting pregnant Mark and I weren’t planning on living together until we were engaged – so was happy to hear that Mark had already asked my dad for permission to marry me. He had told his mom and best friend that he had a ring, but didn’t tell anyone when it was happening. After he proposed we showed me where he hid the ring all week, we sat on the stairs while I interrogated him about what it was like to buy an engagement ring, and then we snuggled on the couch to “watch” The Great British Baking Show (I didn’t watch much at all as my eyes were fixed on my hand and my finance!). We didn’t call anyone, bring out our phones, or anything.

And just like that we’re heading into 2021. In 2021 we will meet our future ring bearer or flower girl. We’ll start planning our wedding – simple but stylish. And we’ll continue being each other’s support through life’s changes. While 2021 will certainly be a better year for the world, little will top what 2020 has brought me.

The Fast Paced Story of my Second Trimester

My second trimester is coming to an end! I can’t believe that I am that much closer to having an actual miniature human in my arms every day, or how much has happened in the past thirteen weeks.

The second trimester is from Week 13-26. Traditionally, this is when a first time mom’s baby bump starts showing, when morning sickness subsides, and when pregnant women get their energy back!

In my experience, this was true. I started to notice my belly changing at week 9, but my belly definitely hardened into a “bump” at week 18. While I was fortunate to never have much sickness, by week 11 what sporadic nausea there was disappeared. In terms of energy – your girl has been walking, renovating, moving, cooking, blogging, and doing ALL the things.

But what did life look like during the past 13 weeks? Let me break it down for you:

Week 13: 127lbs (I gained 4lbs during the first trimester). I finally decided where we were going to live – yes, Mark told me it my decision to make. I was moving into Mark’s house!

Week 14: This was the week my back pain turned to sciatic pain, so I started pre-natal yoga! For gentle (but effective) stretches, I recommend the YouTube channel: Pregnancy and PostPartum TV.

Week 15: 129lbs 15 week appointment where I heard the baby’s heartbeat for the first time! It sounded like the trot of a racehorse.

Week 16: The sciatic pain subsided which was a huge relief! Even more of a relief is that it hasn’t come back. Persisting back pain didn’t stop me, though. I started moving some items to Mark’s house.

Week 17: I bought a mom car! As tempting as a mini-van was (not!) I ended up coming home with an SUV. It was super convenient for moving, going on a family trip (COVID safe), and I know it will come in handy when I inevitably over pack for my miniature human.

Week 18: I secured a tenant for my condo! I started mentally preparing to move myself, not just my things, out of the home I worked so hard to buy myself.

Much more exciting, my brother got married! Hence the family trip down the Cape 🙂 2020 has been filled with lots of trials, unfortunate events, and negativity. But 2020 CANNOT stop love.

Three months after getting engaged, my brother and his girlfriend had a COVID safe intimate wedding. The wedding had 30 people (much lower than the 50 person state mandate). Every wedding guest tested negative for COVID the week of the wedding. We had a family weekend at a private village down the Cape and celebrated in a beautiful beach side venue.

Week 19: 133lbs The week of our anatomy scan! Despite rising COVID cases, Mark was able to join me for the ultra sound and to see the doctor. We got a 3D image of the baby’s face  and immediately fell in love.

Doctor also advised that I get a belly band that targets lower back support to help with back pain.

I started to feel tickles in my belly – the first feeling of baby moving!

Finally, we completed the move from my condo to Mark’s house

Week 20: Bellyband arrived just in time! Moving took a huge toll on my back and I was really struggling to stay comfortable. I started wearing the belly band and felt like a new woman! Daily walks resumed and house work got done. This was when I started thriving in my second trimester.

Tickles turned into the feeling of little bubbles in my belly.

Week 21: Finally finished updating the office to work from home in style.

Bubbles turned to real kicks!

Week 22: Mark, my mom, and my sisters felt the baby kick for the first time.

Week 23: 140lbs (yes that’s 7lbs in a month!) I saw baby in another ultrasound and had my 23 week appointment. I was told that baby is very low (which I could tell from the kicks and the way I was carrying) and that he or she is already head down! At this point I could tell I was feeling movement very low. We literally had to stick Mark’s hand in my pants every time he tried to feel it.

Week 24: Baby is growing and pubic symphysis came in HOT. One day, without warning, I was limping and unable to walk. It got better throughout the week, but it was not over.

Week 25: I baked with my sisters, chopped down a Christmas Tree in the snow and decorated the Christmas tree top to bottom. By Sunday night I was back on the couch, unable to walk. I called the doctor was given many tips to manage the pain.

Week 26: I ordered another belly band that targets pelvic support and it’s safe to say daily walks are not going to be a possibility until after baby is born. I tried to do yoga again, and the pressure in my pelvis increased, so we will have to see what I can manage.

Oh – and one more life event: Mark proposed 🙂 More to come on that!

I can feel the third trimester creeping in. My energy starting to drop – I took an afternoon nap yesterday, something I haven’t done since my first trimester, and am finding it easier to sleep in. I’m also starting to occasionally experience pregnancy insomnia, which they say is your body’s way of preparing you for the coming weeks of sleepless nights!

Want to shop my second trimester essentials? Click here to see what goodies I couldn’t have lived without!

To follow my daily pregnancy journal, follow @klosetbykrista on IG!

Our First Christmas Tradition

For me and Mark, this is our third holiday season together. We started dating in October, so our first season together sprung right on us. In fact, the first time we met each other’s families was on Thanksgiving! His mom hosts a Thanksgiving brunch rather than dinner, and I couldn’t stand the thought of him not having a Thanksgiving dinner, so after dating for less than two months I invited him to my parents’ house. I think some people thought that was a bold move, but we’re still here, so it doesn’t seem to matter anymore!

That year was also the first year I lived in my condo, so it was my first time decorating my own home for Christmas. I bought a small white Christmas tree and all of the pink and shiny Christmas decorations. Mark stayed over Thanksgiving night and that Friday was the first year I traded my Black Friday shopping for our first tradition: staying in pajamas all day, decorating while listening to Christmas carols, and watching Christmas movies.

Fast forward three Thanksgivings and now I’ve moved from my condo into Mark’s house. We have spent the past month collecting more traditional style Christmas decorations (my pink and shiny decorations have a home in my office 😉 ), stringing lights outside, and even got a head start on Christmas movies.

But our main tradition remained the same: we waited to decorate the inside of our house until the Friday after Thanksgiving.

After having Thanksgiving brunch leftovers for breakfast and cleaning the house, we spent three hours decorating and four hours watching Christmas movies – the new Christmas Chronicles 2 and Christmas Vacation. We listened to Carrie Underwood’s new Christmas album – My Gift, traditional carols, and a Country Christmas playlist. We ate a lot of left over desserts.

And the result is the coziest home we’ve had since being together. Cozier than my little condo lit only by Christmas lights strung across the wooden beam and Christmas tree; cozier than when we first updated Mark’s living room to have blankets, and pillows, and photos of loved ones; and cozier than when I first moved in and the only places to sit were right next to each other because stuff was overflowing.

I hope you enjoy our Christmas wonderland and have started the transformation of your own holiday home!

Click HERE to Shop the Bathroom

Click HERE to Shop the Placemats

Thanks for reading, and you can follow my daily escapades by following my instagram @klosetbykrista and shop all of my styles by following me on the LIKEtoKNOWit app!

xoxo Krista

Gift Guide: From a New Mom

Part two of my gift-guide is here! This gift-guide is still targeted toward new (or expecting, or everyday super-hero mom), but it’s about what those moms can give OTHERS. And I’m sharing from personal experience 🙂

While pregnant, Christmas shopping has been more enjoyable than years past. Rather than getting generic gifts for others like sweaters or pajamas, bakeware or kitchen appliances, I’ve been able to hone in on personalized gifts.

So are you still stumped on what to get your in-laws? Exhausted from all of your kid’s gifts for Grandma or Grandpa coming from you? This gift guide to your rescue! All of these gifts will feel especially personalized to every special someone in your little’s life without being specific to their knitting hobby or book club that (let’s be honest) you know nothing about.

This gift-guide is full of products I’ve actually purchased for the grandmother’s-to-be! Though almost all of them can be personalized for grandfathers, aunts, uncles, godparents, etc.

For Those Who Love to Brag

Click HERE to Shop these Gifts

Does your mother tell strangers about the genius thing your baby (who can’t even talk yet) did? Does your mother-in-law show every plumber who walks into the house the most recent school picture of your child? If so – these gifts are for you!

Sentimental Sign: “Grandma’s Brag Board” is my favorite saying to put on a sign. We got a sign for Mark’s mom with this saying, and another sign for my parents that says, “Grandkids Make Life Grand.” To make this gift extra personal, you can clip pictures of your children to the sign. First time mom? Do what I’m doing and clip some pictures from the ultra sounds!

Door Mats are just as kitchy, but you don’t have to put in the extra time to hunt down pictures of your children. Simply wrap some paper around it and wait for the smile when they open it!

For those who love knick-knacks

Click HERE to Shop these Gifts

Birthstone Jewelry: I got this idea from a co-worker who was gifted a ring with the birth stones of both her children for Mother’s Day. I got my mom a necklace and Mark’s mom a bracelet with aquamarine stones on them, the birth stone for March (my due date). While jewelry can be costly, these handmade pieces were affordable – under $40 – and I was satisfied with the quality.

Mug Giftset: Bring this traditionally emergency gift to the next level by personalizing it with the year your child was born, a complimentary sugar spoon, and/or the BEST hot chocolate around.

I’m not kidding about this hot chocolate. This is my go-to gift for in-laws and hostesses. The hot-chocolate is literally shaved chocolate that you melt into milk on the stove. It is incredibly rich and delectable, and totally worth the price. I linked a few gift-sets as well to add a little pizazz. If you don’t gift it to others, do yourself a favor and gift it to yourself!

For Your Babysitter

Click HERE to Shop These Gifts

Babysitting Survival Kit: This gift may be a roundabout way to stock up on some extra baby gear, but for good reason!

Both of our Mark’s and my parents are eager to babysit our little one. While I know always leaving the house with a diaper bag with extra outfits, blankets, diapers and socks is best practice during parenthood, Mark and I are not naïve enough to think we’ll always be on our game.

We bought decorative baskets and are stuffing with them with the basic necessities – white onesies and socks (0-3 months AND 3-6 months), burp cloths, and a blanket. I’m stuffing them all in decorative baskets for easy storage! I got my baskets at TJ Maxx, but linked some affordable options here.

Some other ideas along the same lines include a high chair and a pack and play. Both of these things we are stocking my mom’s house with. Though she would certainly buy these herself, giving them as a gift shows that you are just as excited as they are to bring your little one over for a visit.

And again, the less packing for me, the better!

If you’re a new/expecting/superhero mom, I hope you got some ideas from these gift guides! And if you’re not – thank you so much for reading along anyway:) xoxo

Gifting for a New Mom Part One

My growing baby is the first grandchild on my side of the family, and it is unbelievable to think that next year the crowded living room of adults and pets on Christmas Day will also have a baby sitting in the middle of it. By then, he or she will be 9 months old and probably able to rip up some paper and show an interest in some gifts…or just the wrapping paper.

Being pregnant has made this an exciting Christmas to both give unique gifts and make my own list for Santa. I want to share all of my ideas for gifting moms (new, expecting, or just your average superhero mom). To make it manageable, I decided to split it up in to two: Part One: Gifts for a mom and Part Two: Gifts for a mom to give others.

Per the title of this blog post, I’m starting off with Part one: Gifts for a Mom

This gift-guide is a mix of my personal must-haves and what is actually on my Christmas list this year. Keep in mind some of these gifts are for any superhero mom, not just the new or expecting!

Wedge Pillow/Body Pillow- Round ligament pain can keep expecting moms up at night and achy the next morning. Sleeping with a pillow between my legs alleviates the discomfort! It is also recommended to alleviate sciatic pain and back pain, neither of which you need to be pregnant to have.

I have the Boppy wedge pillow from Target and absolutely love it. It’s small at first sight, but boy is it mighty. It is also super affordable!

Body pillows are popular amongst pregnant women. There are some special pregnancy body pillows that are shaped in a U to support both belly AND back!

Belly Band- Know a pregnant mom entering her third trimester? Or one who is experiencing lower back pain earlier on? My belly band to the rescue! I have this black band that targets lower back support. It looks like a complex contraption, but it really does the trick. Mark noticed an immediate change in my posture.

The other option is the same brand and will give any expecting mama that extra bit of support.

Heating Pad – For those days you may have been on your feet a little too long.

Click HERE to Shop these Gifts

Stretch Mark Oil/Butter- I’m a little addicted. Though it won’t actually prevent stretch marks, the extra hydration prevents itching and the literal feeling of your skin stretching. Trust me, I can tell the difference when I skip a morning (talk about itchy boobs). I use this very affordable, but very effective, Palmer’s skin oil.

I then layer it with a butter that Mark gifted me when we found out we were expecting. The brand is The Spoiled Mama and I linked it here as well. This brand is vegan, cruelty free, fragrance free, and full of that good-ness. It’s a pricier splurge if buying for yourself, which makes it a great gift!

Eye Masks- There’s no way to prepare yourself for the sleepless nights that come with the first few months (years? Rest of your life?) of motherhood. But we can do a little re-con in our skin care.

One thing I am asking for are under-eye masks so that I don’t look so sleepless during those very sleepless weeks. Look for those that have serums specifically targeted towards alleviating puffiness or tired eyes. Masks infused with gold are a good option.

The Pixi in this guide are highly recommended by one of my favorite beauty bloggers Cristin Cooper. She invests in a lot of prestige skincare, so if she is recommending these $25 drug store brand, you KNOW they’re good.

Facial Pads (w/ moisturizer, serums, etc)I bought the Peach and Lily Lazy Day Moisture pads at the end of my first trimester, though I wish I had them sooner. When exhaustion hits, doing a 5 step skin care routine is very unappealing. Do the pros really outweigh getting into that comfy bed?

These face pads make my skin feel as luxurious as when I go through my whole routine in about one tenth of the amount of time.

I’m well into my second trimester and still using them on days I feel especially tired. I anticipate they will be used even more frequently in my third trimester and after Baby arrives!

Seamless Underwear- I wouldn’t disagree with you if you thought gifting someone underwear was weird, but seamless underwear has brought so much joy to my life the past two weeks.

As my hips have widened, I’ve naturally started to grow out of my underwear. And let me ask…have YOU ever worn underwear that is too small? Worst. Feeling. Ever.

In addition to sizing up in underwear, I discovered that SEAMLESS underwear is where it is at. My favorite seamless underwear is the Auden brand linked here. They are only $5.00 each!

Nursing Bras/Tops- My pregnancy boobs came in immediately (it was the first sign that I was pregnant) If the expecting mom in your life is like me, she’s needed to get new bras early in her pregnancy and is going to need them again later on.

When sizing up, I’ve bought nursing bras so that I can wear them post baby. This is more budget friendly than buying two sets of new bras.

One thing on my list for Christmas is nursing tops. I’m such an oversized sweater fan, I have minimal button up/nursing friendly tops. Whether these tops are found in the maternity section or simply a collection of cardigans. Santa to the rescue!

Maternity Leggings- Women vary in the amount of maternity clothing they wear, even pregnancy to pregnancy. Personally, I’m a little over halfway there and, if it’s not a maternity waist band, I am very uncomfortable.

The leggings linked are my favorite pair that I have on repeat. I love the faux leather stripe down the side. This store has the most affordable leggings I’ve found. They’re not the thickest material, but they do the trick!

This list has something for every budget- under $20, under $30, and with the exception of The Spoiled Mama (depending on the product), ALL under $50. But we know it’s not the price tag that counts, it’s that all of these gifts will bring COMFORT to your loved one’s daily life.

To follow along my daily pregnancy journey, make sure you follow @klosetbykrista on Instagram. To shop these gifts, in addition to my other favorite finds, you can follow me on the FREE LiketoKnowit app!

Thanks for reading! xoxo

Thanksgiving Outfit Inspo

Thanksgiving is officially three weeks away! It’s about time for 2020 to bring us something to be cheerful about, like the holidays. I don’t think I’ve wrapped my mind around the fact that this is our last holiday season just as me and Mark, your average young couple. Next year we’ll have an 8 month old who is sitting up in his or her high chair trying my mom’s signature butternut squash soup for the first time.

The holidays are a close knit affair at my house. Growing up, we had a few rare Thanksgivings where we would get together with Aunts and Cousins, but mostly it was just my immediate family and my Abuelos. Since their passing, we’ve stuck to immediate family, sometimes losing a sibling to a significant other and sometimes gaining the significant other of another sibling. I’m fortunate that this means COVID won’t be affecting my holiday feast in any way, whereas I know some of you will be experiencing the holidays much differently this year.

Because Thanksgiving is a smaller affair for me, I don’t tend to get too dressed up. Mark’s mom hosts a Thanksgiving brunch every year, so I have put in a little extra effort since dating him, but I still stick to my trusted leggings and sweater.

That being said, this blog post will show you how you can look good for Thanksgiving while feeling good and comfortable! How can you enjoy a Thanksgiving feast if you’re uncomfortable? All of these outfits are what I would really wear on turkey day, and I promise that none of them have zippers, buttons, or any type of restricted waistline 😉

Leggings and Oversized Sweater:

I’m starting off with my signature look that never fails: leggings, and oversized sweater, and boots!

I love leggings any time of year, but especially for holidays. Elastic waistbands stretch as you eat, and there is no button, pocket, zipper, or extra detail to cause any type of discomfort throughout the day.

I tend to festively wear harvest colors for Thanksgiving: browns, oranges, etc. I love the rust color of and orange these Old Navy tunics, and they are the perfect length to wear with leggings!

Maxi Dress layered with a Sweater:

What’s better than an elastic waistband? NO waistband! This is a perfect option if you are celebrating the day with people outside of your immediate family who have slightly higher expectations of you since they haven’t seen you at your makeup-less and sweatpants wearing worse.

I live in New England, so a maxi dress is a must to avoid getting goosebumps. Shorter dresses would require tights which, in my book, is an extra level of dressiness. Besides, tights on Turkey day? That sounds almost as unappealing as jeans!

If you do live somewhere warmer, I recommend staying away from the body con/tight materials, even if they’re stretchy. I’d stick to flowy silhouettes that hide your post-meal belly. Holidays are not a time to feel self-conscious!

Layering

I think layering is a great in-between options. Something about having extra components to your outfit portrays that you put effort into looking and feeling good, but you can keep it casual and comfy none the less.

Another great part about layers? You can take them off. I’m personally not one to get the meat sweats, but if eating large quantities of food at once elevates your temperature, you may be happy to have a cardigan to remove versus being stuck in a thicker sweater.

Keep this layer removal in mind when choosing your bottom layer! You don’t want to remove your flowy cardigan to reveal a skin tight shirt pulling against your belly during dessert. You’ll see in the outfits below I stuck peplum and silky tanks.

If you like these outfit ideas, make sure you subscribe to this blog and follow @klosetbykrista on IG! Thanks for reading xoxo

First Trimester Survival Kit

Click HERE to shop this look

The first thirteen weeks of pregnancy have come and, more importantly, they have gone.

These days, it is common to find out you are pregnant even before a missed period. Not me! I didn’t find out I was pregnant until the 6 week mark. I had a hunch that grew stronger by the day, but didn’t find out for sure until just about halfway through my first trimester. If I could go back and pee on that stick sooner, I wouldn’t.

The first trimester was notably stressful and exhausting. I had some nausea during week five that was in full force week six (no vomiting!), but after that it weened down until it was sporadic and then non-existent by my 11 week ultra sound.

The exhaustion was much more debilitating. Through weeks six and seven I was waking up at 6:30, napping at 8:30 and 12:30 and going to bed by 7:30. The naps stopped at week eight, but sleeping eleven hours a night and not having energy to cook, clean, get dressed, or even do my skincare routine, didn’t end until week 11. I’m still sleeping 9-10 hours a night, but my house is much cleaner, my face much brighter, and my life is livelier.

So what got me through it? That is, besides my sweet boyfriend who let me fall asleep in his lap every night while he watched TV on the couch, and (when I started feeling extremely sick every time I woke up to move from the couch to the bed) even started going to bed early with me even though he wasn’t even tired.

I quickly found myself relying on these four things to get me through the day. Keep in mind ladies, EVERY pregnancy is different. What worked for me may not work for you or a friend/relative. But if it does, I am so happy to share my experience.

Honest Kids Juice Boxes

I wasn’t expecting to be repulsed by water during pregnancy. At a time when I need to stay hydrated and when things with strong flavors can be a turn off, I thought water would be my trusty side kick.

Unless the water was ice, ice cold (I usually prefer my water room temp), I simply couldn’t bring myself to drink it. I really wanted flavored drinks: soda, juice, Gatorade. Obviously the problem with these drinks is the sugar content. There were a few times I cracked a can of coke just to take a few indulgent sips before dumping it out. I had mini cans of gingerale when nauseous. I watered down (ice cold) gatorade or put a splash of juice in seltzer water. But what was my daily treat? The one beverage I looked forward to having all morning and occasionally even let myself have two??

Honest Kids apple juice boxes.

Still sugar water? Probably. But you have to trust me when I say the first trimester is not the time to guilt and shame yourself or what you eat or drink. EVERY day felt like pure survival mode. I never knew how good or bad I was going to feel and definitely couldn’t predict what I wanted to eat. Frankly, my only goal was to make it back to my bed at the end of the day.

I have a friend who is also pregnant and, during her first trimester, she also couldn’t stomach water and was extremely dehydrated when she went for her first doctor’s appointment. I recommended these juice boxes to her and she was able to stomach them! If your or a loved one find yourself unable to look water in the eye, these juice boxes are a mild and delicious option!

Stretch Mark oil/lotion

One of the first things I did when I found out I was pregnant was start lathering myself with lotion every morning and evening. I’ve heard getting stretch marks is genetic, and oil/lotion isn’t able to stop them. I already have stretch marks around my hips from a major growth spurt during puberty, so I’m sure I’ll get plenty later on in my pregnancy. But if oil/lotion can even help in the slightest, I’m bathing in it.

Knowing I try to be conscious of the chemicals in my beauty product (key word is try), Mark surprised me with a stretch mark body butter from The Spoiled Mama.

If you are looking to get a gift for a mom to be, I recommend checking out this brand. The products are vegan and organic and they have a range of mama beauty products. They are pricier (around $50 for the body butter), which is why they make great gifts.

Body oils are a common product for stretch mark prevention as well. I bought myself the Palmer’s skin oil at Target. It’s much more affordable ($10 for a bottle) and smells as good.

I use both products together – first the oil, then the lotion. Remember to do more than just your belly! I lather up my pelvic area, belly, hips, front thighs, booty, lower back, and lots on my breasts. All of these areas are going to get bigger during pregnancy and all are prone to stretch marks!

“Expecting Better”

Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong--and What  You Really Need to Know (The ParentData Series): Oster, Emily:  9780143125709: Amazon.com: Books

In general, I’m not one of those women who are reading everything I can about pregnancy. Frankly, I don’t really care what others say about what they think I should be expecting, experiencing, buying, avoiding, indulging in, etc. At the end of the day, this pregnancy and this baby are mine. They are completely different from yours, your friend’s, your author’s, and I am most definitely the one who knows them best. If I have any questions, I’ll just ask my mom J

The only exception is a book called “Expecting Better” by Emily Oster. And let me tell you, I geeked out reading it.

This book basically takes everything they tell you about pregnancy and shows you the research (or lack there of) to back it up. The taboo of having a glass of wine? Going cold-turkey on coffee? How much of a concern is gaining more weight than the recommended range? Do we all need to become left side sleepers? Should we induce labor the minute your due date passes?

I truly think I would have enjoyed this book even if I wasn’t pregnant. It was fascinating and I found the book truly objective. The author is, by trade, an economist, and this book had that feel. Pros and cons were acknowledged, explained, and while they were sometimes weighed against one another, they were never labeled as the right or wrong thing to do (except smoking, which was blatantly advised as the wrong thing to do).

Extra pillows

I started experiencing round ligament pain in my hips around 9/10 weeks. Even weirder, I felt like I could feel the inside of my abdomen stretching. It didn’t really hurt, it just felt like it was being stretched out beyond its limits. The combination of these sensations caused me to be very uncomfortable when lying down in bed.

I’ve heard most women say that they started sleeping with support pillows in the third trimester. One way my pregnancy has been different is that I started sleeping with support pillows in week ten.

Support pillows can be many different things. I’ve heard of people who use wedge shaped pillows, body pillows, and pregnancy pillows (basically two body pillows sewn together in a U shape).

I haven’t gotten so fancy. What I have been doing is sleeping on my (right :-P) side with a pillow between my legs. This is by far the best relief I’ve found to my middle-of-the-night hip pain. To be comfortable on my back, I usually put a pillow beneath my knees. Or, I keep one leg straight and bend one knee (think tree pose in yoga) and rest the bent knee over a pillow. This helps with hip pain and belly discomfort. If sleeping on my belly (I am a stomach sleeper at heart- dreading the day my belly is too big!), I hug a pillow so I am slightly tilted. This relieves pressure from my belly!

These were my tricks that got me through the first trimester. It took a long time and a lot of energy to work through it, but ultimately I did!

To follow along on my day-to-day pregnancy journey, make sure you follow me @klosetbykrista on IG, and you can shop my favorite pregnancy finds and fashion by following @klosetbykrista on the free LIKEtoKNOWit app!

Other key items:

Pre-natal vitamins: Ritual

Face Wipes: Peach and Lily lazy day pads (after too many weeks of not having energy to do my whole skincare routine, I invested in these towards the end of my first trimester)

SLEEP!

Life is Changing

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post – and it isn’t due to lack of content ideas. I read an awesome book about the fashion industry I wanted to review for you, I’ve re-vamped by work-from-home wardrobe, and I’ve cooked so many recipes using fresh vegetables from my garden! So why didn’t any of these ideas come to fruition to the keyboard?

Because Baby Yeaton is on the way!!

Life threw Mark and I a surprise party when we found out we were going to be parents this summer. We are absolutely thrilled with the news. I’ve been daydreaming about being a mom since I started babysitting when I was 12 years old. As long as I’ve been dating Mark, the site of a dad with his baby or toddler makes him smile and say he can’t wait to be a dad. The best part? As long as I’ve been dating Mark, the site of a dad with his baby or toddler has made me hope Mark is the dad to my kids 😉

As exciting as this news was, it has plagued me with two months of sporadic nausea and CONSTANT exhaustion. I needed to focus my energy on my health and my full time job. Unfortunately as much as I loved keeping my blog this spring, between napping and falling asleep at 7:30pm most nights, blogging wasn’t integral to my survival in my waking hours.

But I’ve rounded the corner into my second trimester and my energy is quickly following! And I can’t wait to share this new journey with you!

Here’s a snapshot of the integral parts of my waking hours that you missed:

  • Where to live? Mark and I don’t currently live together. Prior to Baby Y, we had agreed that we wouldn’t move in together until we were engaged. This life event definitely trumped that plan. The problem, and I realize it is a very fortunate problem to have, is that both Mark and I own our homes and didn’t have a strong desire to leave our homes.

Our final decision? We are going to rent out my condo and I am going to move into Mark’s house.

What’s to come? Lots of home décor as we make Mark’s bachelor pad our home

  • Self-Care: The first trimester, as I’m sure you’ve either heard or experienced yourself, is ROUGH. Luckily there was zero vomiting, but there was lots of nausea, lots of naps, a few hormonal breakdowns, lots of discomfort in my hips and belly, and quite a few sleepless nights (due to discomfort and a never ending need to pee).

What’s to come? My first trimester survival kit

  • Career Change put on Hold: Career what?? You read that correctly. There has been more than one thing I’ve been keeping private. For the past year I’ve been in school for a Master’s degree to completely change my career. I was supposed to finish my classes in December and make the move in January. The problem? The move was to an unpaid student teaching position. Considering I need health insurance and a paycheck to prepare for Baby Y, that career move will wait until the Fall 2021 semester. Looking on the bright side: hopefully school will be back to the classroom and I’ll have a normal student teaching experience!

What’s to come? Sharing more about what prompted this career change, what catapulted it forward, and where I see myself in 5 years

So for those of you who loyally followed along throughout the Spring, I apologize for leaving you hanging! For those of you who are new to @klosetbykrista, welcome! And to all of you reading along, I can’t wait to re-vamp my blog to open up the kloset of my life to more than just the clothing within 🙂

A Week in Cape Cod

Mark and I just got back from what we agreed upon was our best vacation yet. He and I have gone on many trips, the most exciting include Nashville, Puerto Rico, Florida and Acadia National Park, but this local trip to Cape Cod took the top spot.

So what was so special about a local vacation just an hour and a half away from home versus the lively cities and national parks? Low stress. No crowded bars to squish into late into the night, no tourist ridden sites to see, and no long list of hiking trails to cram into one day. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good bar, historical site, and breathtaking view, but a vacation without rushing and agendas was very welcome.

Below is a list of activities we did on vacation. You can do these activities, not only on your next Cape vacation, but any beach vacation!

Sweetwater Forest Campground

Sweetwater Forest Camping Resort

Yes, we camped in a tent for the WHOLE week! We have traveled to a few campsites down the Cape, but this was my favorite. It was so big and had something for every style of camping you want: seasonal trailers, full hookups, water and electricity, or primitive tent sites.

We had water and electricity and it cost $50 a night. After accounting for the cost of firewood and ice to keep the cooler cold all week, it is still an incredibly affordable option.

The store was equipped with the necessities (firewood, ice coffee, groceries, papergoods), there was a Wi-Fi café, mini golf course, yard games and playground. During non-COVID years they have a lodge for evening events, arcade, and other family activities.

We lucked out that we had great weather (it briefly rained two mornings, and the rain was light). If you’re willing to gamble with the weather and have a good air mattress, camping is a great option!

Deep Sea Fishing

I was incredibly nervous to go deep sea fishing. Mostly, I was nervous about getting sea sick and being stuck on a boat for hours at a time. I took some measures to prevent this: didn’t drink too much the night before, took Dramamine about two hours before going on the boat, and wore a sea band, and they worked! The water was rough and the fog was thick which was more nerve wracking than my stomach dropping, but it didn’t take me too long to learn how to ride the waves.

Our trip was 3 hours long and the perfect way to spend an afternoon. We caught 3 fish, which seemed like a small quantity. The fisherman said that he had caught 6 fish the trip before us. He filleted the fish for us on site and, after getting a recipe from him, made a quick stop at the grocery store on the way back to the camp site and cooked fresh fish on the grill.

Drive In

Wellfleet Drive-In and Cinemas - Movie Theater - Wellfleet ...

Did you know there are only 300 drive-ins left in the country? 2 of them are in Cape Cod! We went to the Wellfleet drive-in to see the double feature of Grease and Dirty Dancing. Aside from these being two classics, the drive-in was a great evening activity!

For starters, the cost of the double feature was the same as it is to see one movie in the theatre. Second, there is no fifteen minute interlude of movie trailers before the film. If there is a drive in near your beach down, I highly recommend spending a night there.

Atlantic Cedar Swamp Trail

If you head down the Cape for vacation, the Atlantic Cedar Swamp Trail is a hidden gem. Right by Marconi beach, it is a piece of nature unique to anything else on Cape Cod. The ground is covered in Moss, the trees lean and drape across the board walks, it looks like a scene from Snow White.

The trail is only a mile long, it is mostly in the shade and is all flat. It’s a great walk to do with kids. In fact, the only other time I did it I was 12 years old. If you finish the walk and the family still has energy, right next to the trail is a path to an ocean view. It is also a good activity to do off-season. Though this scene is unique to Marconi beach, you can take the idea to any other beach town. I recommend researching nature trails near the beach and finding other nuggets of scenery outside of the typical beach view.

Sea Food

Hey! That Cape Cod song's familiar - z* Business - capecodtimes ...

Give me all the lobster rolls and fried clams! Those are my go-to when ordering from a seafood shack. Plus whatever else may be the restaurant’s special, like homemade onion rings.

If you are headed down the Cape, Mark and I ate at Kate’s Seafood in Dennis, Cobie’s in Brewster, and Arnold’s in Eastham. We had lobster rolls at both Cobie’s and Arnold’s, and it’s a tie for which is better – I liked Cobie’s lobster roll (I eat mine cold), but Mark liked Arnold’s lobster roll (he eats his warm).

Our tip for seafood shacks is to plan on an early dinner, that way you avoid the long lines and crowds. We tend to have late and/or big breakfasts, snack during the day, and go for an early dinner so that we can also hit up the ice-cream stands before the crowds.

Beach It

We beached it 4 days! Cape Cod has a bay side (inside the arm) and the ocean side (under the arm). There are pros and cons to both, but we prefer the bay side because the water is calmer and warmer. Neither of us love going in the water, but when it feels like a bath and I can see the bottom, I’m way more likely to go in to cool off.

Guidelines for Massachusetts beaches during COVID are that you have to stay 12 feet apart from others. With the exception of one day, we had no problem doing this, even at high tide. The day that was a little more challenging, I would say we were probably more like 4-6 feet apart (still better than the average summer). Dennis beaches controlled the population by getting rid of their overflow parking. We combated this by going to the beach in the evening! We went at 5pm and watched the sunset. Brewster is having guests purchase passes online, and we found parking every day we went (without having to wake up and show up by 7).

Bike It

Cape Cod Rail Trail - Great Runs

I haven’t ridden a bike since I was 12. More influential to my low expectations of biking was that I HATE doing the bike at the gym. But riding the Cape Cod Rail Trail from Brewster to Dennis and back way surpassed my expectations.

The trails is pretty much flat the entire way, so I was able to do the 13 miles with little fatigue. My legs were JUST starting to feel sore at the half way mark, and by the time we hit mile 11 I felt like I was having a good workout. Come mile 13, it was a very good place to stop. Despite the fatigue in my legs, I didn’t even feel sore the next day.

I loved this way more than I thought- getting to ride through different parts of the woods, alongside the beach, and passing all sorts of bike riders small, big, experiences, and novices like me.

One tip would be to purchase true biker shorts. No, not the trendy biker shorts from Target or H&M. TRUE biker shorts from an athletic store. They have built in cushion in the bum. Though my bum was still feeling a little sore at the end, Mark was complaining about his butt way sooner than I was.

We were able to do all of these activities without rushing, crowding, or stressing. It was ultimately a GREAT vacation, and I highly recommend getting to your local beach town for at least a day trip, if not an overnight, before the end of the summer!