4.28.2014

MATERNITY

I read once that cute maternity clothes are like sushi - they're either really expensive but awesome or  cheap and bad. Let's be honest - maternity clothes are just hard to come by! I have had my moments of discouragement the last few months as I've tried to begin collecting a maternity-friendly wardrobe. I've had a couple of people ask me to post about this so I'm going to just let you know what I've done & what's worked for me and hopefully it helps you too!

To start, the first couple months are that awkward phase where you are so excited to be pregnant, but to strangers you don't quite look it yet. For those months I honestly just tried to cover any evidence up with shirts that weren't fitting & dresses that didn't hug my body. When I finally (it felt like forever) got to the point where I started actually looking pregnant, I wanted to embrace it! 

The key to maternity wear in my opinion is to make pieces you already have last as long as possible! I have been pleasantly surprised with how many items I've been able to keep wearing just because of the particular styles and cuts. More specifically, a lot of my normally loose shirts now hug my belly and with the right accessories (belts above the belly or whatever else you want) you can really pull it off as a pregnant lady!
Because the thought of buying maternity clothes only to wear them for four months is so unappealing to me, I've made sure that every item I've bought I would continue to wear even after pregnancy. I know this sounds crazy, but maternity clothes are honestly NOT that different than regular clothes! The only difference is that the hem is usually a little longer on the front side so when your belly pops, the hemline appears straight across all around. These clothes are perfect because after you have a baby (from what I hear) you still look 6 months pregnant for a couple weeks while your stomach and uterus are working their way back down to their semi-normal size. I plan on wearing my maternity clothes past my pregnancy because so far, I've bought things that I love.
As far as shopping goes, I always look for two things. One, I look for items that I would wear after pregnancy, not just during. This means I'm looking for blouses that have a more flowy, classic look to them that I could pair with leggings post pregnancy. Two, I look for COMFORT. A lot of my clothes that I've bought haven't even been maternity-official. I've purchased plenty of leggings, skirts, and dresses because pants or anything that puts too much pressure on my sensitive belly is no fun.
My favorite website to shop for maternity clothes so far has been ASOS. If you watch for sales, they have some amazing deals plus if you're a student you get 10% off! I've also gotten a few items from Ross. Yes, I said Ross. They have a maternity section and 99% of it is horrible, but I've found probably 5 blouses that I absolutely love! I've also found a lot of great things from Anthropologie, Nordstrom, and a few things from Target. 

My only recommendation is to invest in a pair of maternity pants or jeans. I bought a pair at Old Navy and they are already too tight. Yes - the elastic waistband made specifically for big bellies is too tight! Not the actual pants, but the waistband is so tight that our baby girl just punches it and pokes it all day long haha she doesn't like it cramping her space one bit. So I will be buying another pair from somewhere else very soon :)

4.26.2014

GEL NAILS

So I posted this picture on my instagram last night (@mrsmadelinevance) and had a lot of people asking how to do these easy gel nails at HOME.

So I will first explain how these came to be. I noticed a cute mom in my ward always had perfect nails and one day I finally asked her if she always went to get them done because they seriously looked good each time I saw her. She said that she did her own nails at home and I figured she had bought that special light you can buy for $75 or however much it is. I took a mental note of it and didn't really think about it again.

Before we took our babymoon to San Diego I really wanted to get my nails done for our trip. I called up this cute mom and asked her if I could pay her to do it for me! She was so nice, and we set up a time and I went over there to get my fingers and toes done the day before we left. She is a genius and deserves all credit for this but pretty much she had just bought a special lightbulb, put it in a lamp, and used that to cure them instead of the special light you can buy that's made for doing this.

These are so non professional but they work and turn out so perfect. The main expense for doing this is buying a base coat, color, and top coat. Luckily I had a coupon and gift card to use at Sally's so it was perfect. You can't just use normal polish so make sure you get the gel stuff! They were all out of almost every brand of base and top coats, so I bought the only ones they had left which are the brand Finger Paints. Whatever you choose, just make sure to get the same brand of top & base coat. As for color, I chose a super light pink. It doesn't matter if the color is the same brand as the base or top coat, though. (This is just what they told me!) Then lastly, make sure you have some rubbing alcohol on hand.


And this is the part that you will laugh about. Remember when I said it was so non-professional? Viola! The curing light..

You can just buy a lightbulb with the same frequency as the lights they use at salons (Or so I think). Probably don't tell your beauty school nail friends about this and maybe I'm the last one on the earth to discover this hack but I'm that girl that gets giddy about freshly glossy nails for two weeks straight. The lightbulb you need is a simple black/UV lightbulb. I looked everywhere for mine in Rexburg which is the smallest town, so go figure. But I easily found it at Home Depot in Idaho Falls. The lightbulb was $6! I plugged it into an old lamp (I got mine a while back at target or walmart I think for $5) and did this tinfoil thing around it to make sure the light was able to cure every part of my nail. 

Instructions:
1. Start by filing your nails and making them look pretty. I also use a light filer to file the top of my nail because it helps it stick better.
2. Paint one layer of the base coat, and stick it under the light for 1 minute.
3. Paint about 3 layers of the color, and between each "painting"  let it cure for 1 minute.
4. Finish it off the top coat, and let that cure for 1 minute.
5. Put some rubbing alcohol on a tissue or towel, and rub that over your nails. If you don't do this, your nails won't set all the way and will still be a little sticky. It's amazing because once you rub the alcohol over your nails, they turn rock hard! The end!

And that's it! I'll still always love going to have my nails done but the reality is to get your nails done every two weeks is silly at my phase in life when I'm trying to get ready for a little girl in a few short months. I hope you enjoy and let me know if you try this and how it goes for you!

4.16.2014

A DAY AT THE BEACH

Today we woke up LATE, and when I say late I mean really late. Tyler and I normally get up around 7am, so to wake up at almost 10am.. it only means one thing: vacation!! We were both so surprised that our bodies were even able to wake up that late but it we secretly loved it of course. We started getting ready to head out for breakfast and then to the beach! Because I'm not going to sugar coat this vacation, I will be honest and say that we had a rough morning. As we started getting ready, I tried on every single outfit/combination that I had brought (I over pack so that is a lot) and was feeling not so good about my new bump friend, aka my baby bump. Tyler mentioned that he thinks he had gained 5 pounds already on this trip and so I started crying. Yes, crying!! So silly, but I really do feel these pregnancy hormones - and some days (like today) more than others. I just felt like my body wasn't my own - and that this baby was changing every aspect about my figure, my shape, and well basically everything in general. I felt like a whale in each outfit but luckily I have a husband who was patient and loving like none other and waited patiently while telling me I looked beautiful over and over again.

Finally by noon I had collected myself and realized that all is good - and finally we were ready to go. We used yelp of course to find a little brunch cafe that everyone raves about, and it was only a few blocks down so we decided to give it a shot. We love splitting meals at restaurants because it saves so much money and usually by ordering an appetizer and a meal, we are both stuffed WITH leftovers! Because it was so late and we were starving, we really hesitated sharing but I knew that we wouldn't eat as much as we thought we would. 
We ordered a stack of blackberry and banana pancakes with a side of eggs & bacon. Oh my goodness it was all so yummy - we may have to go back tomorrow!! (Good thing they're not open late at night because I could surely see myself asking Tyler to head there for a late night "pregnancy craving")

We then made our way to La Jolla Shores for a day at the beach - finally! I was actually glad we didn't get there until around one because the sky had cleared up and it had warmed up a LOT.

If you're ever near southern California, you must find this beach! It was so beautiful, the sun was shining, and the water was so blue. Tyler rented a surfboard and wetsuit and we spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing, soaking in the sun and playing in the water.




We are LOVING this "Babymoon" - I am finally admitting to Tyler that this whole trip idea was genius. The next time we take a trip as a couple, I'll probably be stressing about who we leave our daughter with, if she's okay, and other mom worries. We are soaking every minute in!

4.15.2014

VIVA LA MEXICO

Okay funniest story I just had to blog about because I want to remember this story for forever. Tyler and I booked a hotel a few weeks ago. We got a great deal on it because it was about 15 minutes south of downtown San Diego and we figured it wouldn't really matter because we would just drive wherever anyways! Well, we were very wrong. As we got closer to the hotel, we notice this concerning sign on the side of the rode..
We pulled into the hotel our first night and to start, it looked nothing like the pictures. Sure it looked slightly the same, but about 10 times scarier. Growing up traveling, I remember my parents always telling us, "When you girls get married and your husbands take you on trips, you can't expect to stay in places like we do. Wherever you stay, be grateful and tell him it's the most wonderful trip you've ever been on!" This popped into my head and so I decided to just stay positive and not worry about it! 

Tyler has a pretty (okay very) low tolerance for anything along these lines and got mad about the entire situation. He kept saying "We are not staying here, this is not happening." I tried to convince him it was fine but he was just not having it! We got up to our room (the room doors facing outside, and we are literally like throwing rocks distance from Mexico) and we hear a dog barking loudy in the room next to us. We try to get settled in and we hear this blood curdling scream. We both bursted out laughing it was just so funny. We stayed one night, and the next morning were lucky enough to get a refund. I've never seen someone so anxious to head north...

Tyler was adamant that we ensure the next place we stay wouldn't be like the hotel in Chula Vista. We got a beautiful new hotel in the Gaslamp District right in downtown San Diego.

Our hotel is literally a two minute walk from Petco Park, which is perfect because we have tickets for tomorrow's Padres game. We are very happy and the entire situation has just been too funny. We laugh every few hours thinking about this trip and how it has gone, it's been so fun and we've already made so many memories.

We love being right downtown because we are so close to so many fun things - it's a good excuse to walk off all the calories we are consuming.. :)

We visited beautiful cliffs and explored southern california this afternoon. The weather is so beautiful and we are loving it!





TRAVELINGS

Our little getaway has been perfect and JUST what we've needed! We've had so much fun eating, sleeping, eating, shopping, relaxing, and eating. Haha - but really, the food is so good we look forward to our meals every single day! (Even our cheap in-n-out meals are the best)

Tyler just about lost it in this store looking at basketball shoes. He kept telling me the different specs of different ones and why he needed them all. (Yes, them ALL.) The little baby shoes are what got me! Maybe one day we'll have a boy for Tyler to live his dreams through, haha!


Kate Spade, why oh why must you make such beautiful items? I only stepped in for a few minutes in order to maintain my self-control levels.

Lastly, pinkberry is our complete favorite and we talk about it at least twice a month back home. So great to get our fix! We are loving every moment of our babymoon!

4.13.2014

FOOD COMA

Our BABYMOON has officially started!! We are relaxing and enjoying this more than we ever knew possible. It is heaven with the weight of school being done off of our shoulders. We went to the most amazing Italian place tonight for dinner and we were both dying. Like, check out this calamari... 

It's so great to go places with good food. We appreciate it ten times more after living in Rexburg for the past year. Tyler and I have so much fun with eating out because we are such food connoisseurs. We love rating the meal, service, feel of the restaurant and it's so funny. We rely on yelp like it's our BFF. 


I apologize for this short and quite pointless post filled with pictures making you drool. Tomorrow, the real fun starts at the beach - bring on the sunshine!

4.12.2014

MATERNITY PHOTOS

Thanks to my cutest friend Ashlyn who took some maternity pictures today! Seriously someone hire her for pictures of any kind because she is the best. (& pretty much the greatest friend as well..) Here's to making it to 25 weeks!!











4.06.2014

COCA-COLA BABY

Day two of conference was just as great. As much as I love conference weekend, by Sunday afternoon I feel a little lazy like I've been cooped up all weekend, haha. So Tyler and I went over to Porter Park to drink our special conference drinks and play some basketball. (Okay so I didn't play basketball but Tyler sure did). 

My memory of general conference while growing up was playing conference bingo and my dad would buy the BEST treats as prizes. They were things like Jones sodas, sugar cereal, ya know, the things my mom would never buy haha. 


It was heaven as a kid so we had to keep the tradition by buying Tyler's favorite soda since he is on a soda break. It was a beautiful day in Rexburg which is rare so we just loved the sunshine and took full advantage of it! 


We have finals week this week.. wish us luck!! So far I have all A's which I am pretty proud of myself seeing that I've been telling myself "C's get degrees" all semester. I'm proud of Tyler for working so hard, too. He's taken 15 credits this semester of intensive science classes. Sad to say, but I couldn't even tell you which classes they are. Bioelectrochemistry or something? Not sure, but it's not fun stuff. It makes me grateful that I get to study families and marriage all day long :) 


Here's to a great last week, then we're off to San Deigo next week!

4.05.2014

GENERAL CONFERENCE

I absolutely love this time of year, when conference comes around. For my church which you can read about here, we have two conferences a year where we listen to uplifting & encouraging talks given by the leaders of the church. I always feel so happy after listening to conference and it leaves me feeling so refreshed. With me having a family of my own now, it's been so fun to decide what traditions we want to start or continue, and breakfast is one of them!
I was going to run to the store last night to grab a few things, but I fell asleep in my clothes  while watching a movie with Tyler haha, and I woke up in my clothes. (Kind of the worst/weirdest feeling..) So I woke up, ran to the store this morning, and made breakfast as quick as I could! Voila - breakfast of champions! It's no "clean" breakfast but it sure tasted yummy.

Because we don't have a TV, we watch conference in bed. It's the best, really & who doesn't love the occasional lounging in bed?


If you are wanting to watch conference, you can tune in here!
Saturday, April 5th from 10am-12pm & 2pm-4pm
Sunday, April 6th from10am-12pm & 2pm-4pm
Mountain Standard Time

I hope you have a wonderful Saturday!