Tuesday, November 7, 2017

life lately | baby talk feat. chicco baby products

little miss elle gray and her chicco pocket buddy + pacifier

A lot has happened in the last couple of months that I've missed out blogging on. My blog turned 2 (!), I turned 34 (wide eyed emoji!), and I gave birth to our beautiful baby girl, Elle! The past few weeks have been oh, so challenging, but even more rewarding. I'm getting to the point where I don't remember and don't want to remember what life was like without this little one. She really is my pride and joy!

One of my biggest challenges has been breastfeeding. While I knew it was going to be hard, I never knew how hard. New moms know, the struggle is real. And if you don't know the struggle, consider yourself very lucky. I have been researching breastfeeding like crazy, and I have found comfort reading other people's experiences, so I thought I'd share my own. I'm on week four of breastfeeding and I still don't really know what I'm doing - trying to figure out how to up my supply, feeding on demand, cluster feeding until I literally feel empty, and just generally not knowing how much she's getting at a time and trying to not feel guilty about supplementing with formula - it's been so hard. But my little one seems content and she's growing like a weed so hopefully I'm doing something right!

When I was pregnant, I only focused on being pregnant, and I let the fear of labor keep me from researching anything that came after giving birth. I really wish I would have done more research on breastfeeding beforehand. New moms: take it or leave it, but here are a few tips I've learned in the past few weeks:
  1. Take advantage of your lactation consultant, set up a meeting, and soak in all their knowledge. Write it down, because if you're anything like me, your brain is fried from a lack of sleep. I met with 3 different lactation consultants and all of them were so helpful in their own ways. They're an amazing and absolutely necessary resource if you're planning to breastfeed. 
  2. Drink plenty of water. The first few days I was home, I was not taking in enough water, I was so busy and tired I literally forgot. There are periods of time where Elle will want to eat every hour, and I can tell I'm getting dehydrated. Have a glass wherever you're sitting, next to your bed, and next to your pump, and chug, chug, chug. 
  3. Lactation cookies. My best friend had a baby 3 months before me and had the same breastfeeding woes. She made me a batch of lactation cookies, and they were delicious, filling, and great to grab one or two while I'm on the pump. You can find the mix here
  4. Mother's Milk Tea. My best friend also gave me some mother's milk tea to try, and so far it seems to be helping. Some people don't care for the taste, but I don't mind it. I have heard adding some honey helps. You can find it here. I also love this supplement here.
  5. Don't stress. Your emotions are everywhere thanks to hormones, and it's a lot easier said than done. I was in tears many times trying to get Elle to breastfeed and the stress was definitely getting to me. It wasn't until the third lactation consultant that I met with that I really felt a sense of peace and freedom - she told me do not stress - if the baby doesn't want to breastfeed, give her a bottle and pump. One way or another, she is going to get fed. 
  6. To help with the stress - ask for help! I'm the type of person who loves to have control over everything, and I do not like asking for help. But lately I've been leaning more on my husband, mom and sister to help me out, even if it's just playing with the baby for a bit so I can take a nap or do the dishes. 
  7. If you need to supplement, or even if you decide to do formula only, find a good bottle. These Chicco NaturalFit bottles have a nipple that helps bio-mimic breastfeeding, so it helps ease my mind about going back and forth. They're anti-colic to prevent air ingestion and the angled nipple makes feeding comfortable for both the baby and whoever is feeding. The slow flow makes feeding less messy, and the wide bottle makes clean up easier. And they're BPA free!
chicco naturalfit newborn gift set c/o, also comes in blue (great registry item!)
chicco pocket buddy c/o, also comes in blue

Note: This post contains items provided to me by Chicco and contains affiliate links, but all opinions are my own.

I'm 100% no expert, and I definitely have a lot more to learn. Like I said, I'm only on week four, and I'm not going to work myself up about setting any goals. At this point it's just best to take it one day at a time! I would love to hear your breastfeeding stories in the comments below! Thanks for reading!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

nordstrom fall sale

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Happy November, y'all! I know it's been a minute since I posted - mid-September and all through October was a bit crazy for me - but more on that in another post. For now, I wanted to share some deals - it's like Nordstrom's Anniversary sale all over again! Starting today until November 12th, Nordstrom is having their fall sale, with tons of great items that can be taken into winter as well. I've rounded up a few of my faves for you all, but there are still plenty more where this came from - all up to 40% off!

I can wear ankle boots during every season with the exception of summer, and I love this pair and this pair. This dress is perfect for holiday parties, and this dress would be so easy to layer for winter, and would be so cute with some tights. If you don't have a pair yet, you must get a pair of OTK boots, like these here which are a great price - 40% off right now! And since I'm still carrying a bit of baby weight, I'm looking forward to ponchos being in this season, and I'm loving this one here! And layer this top with a faux-fur vest and you've got a great, casual winter look!

Thanks for reading, and happy shopping! XO

Monday, September 11, 2017

sweater cami + scuba leggings | fall style

sweater cami | cardigan, similar here | leggings | booties | purse

One of my favorite fall colors is this orangy, cognac, saddle color, and I love it combined with black. There's something about the look of a cami in the summertime, and I love this one that is made of sweater material, making it perfect for fall. I bought it in a size up to accomodate my baby bump, but I'll definitely still be able to wear it post bump, possibly with a little tuck in the front, or even tucked into a high-waisted skirt. 

I love these leggings (see this look here and this look here) and took a chance with them for this look, and the band was just thick enough to lay under my baby bump even though they're not maternity. They're from last season but are still available, and I've worn them a lot and they're still in good shape after multiple wears and washes. These booties were my birthday present to myself last year, and they brought them back this year which I'm so excited about because they're so much fun and they go with just about anything. I have a clutch very similar to this one that I bought several years ago, and it's gotten a lot of use and is showing some wear, so I was excited when I found the perfect replacement for it!

This week is a big one for me and the hubs because we close on our new house and will be slowly moving in the next couple weeks. I never in my life thought I'd be moving at 9 months pregnant, but I guess there's never a dull moment for the McClures! Now hopefully baby girl stays put a little longer! Thanks for reading! XO


Thursday, September 7, 2017

trend alert | sweater weather

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My favorite time of year! And it appears that this year, fall has come early! It was a very tolerable August in the weather department, and so far September has been beautiful! Usually it is still blazing hot through September, and then anything goes. I just hope it stays in the 60s-70s and doesn't drop any lower any time soon! In Iowa, it could be snowing by mid-October!

This season I'm loving oversized sweaters, sweaters with fun sleeve details, and of course long cardigans, which is basically all I can wear right now with this bump that is STILL growing! I'm hoping winter doesn't arrive right when baby does so I can try to enjoy a sliver of sweater weather in late October/early November. I do have a couple long cardigans that I've been living in (including this one here), especially just lounging around at home with a cute pair of PJs underneath - and I'm sure that will continue once I hit maternity leave!

Hope you're able to enjoy some cool, fall weather where you live! Thanks for reading! XO


Friday, September 1, 2017

friday faves + labor day sales

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Adios, Sunday of Summer! Time to say hello to a new month and kick off a new season with Labor Day weekend! Does anybody else think that this summer flew by!? I don't know about you, but I'm ready for a new season... even though it's gone by fast, this summer hasn't been a great one, and I'm ready for a fresh start! Plus, I'm always excited for fall!

Today I'm sharing a few items on my wish list, including some adorable fall finds, some maternity items (because I'm seriously running out of clothes that fit me!) and some shoes I'm totally eyeing for fall/winter... mostly just eyeing though, because we all know that once baby comes in October, I'm not going to have any social life! I'm also sharing some sales below that are going on this weekend, so be sure to stock up on some great last minute summer or fall items - there are some good ones!

Alice + Wonder - 30% off select summer items through 9/4

Ann Taylor - 50% select full-price styles + extra 50% off all sale styles

Anthropologie - extra 30% off sale

Banana Republic - 40% off everything

BaubleBar - up to 80% select sale items

Bloomingdale's - 40%-60% off sale items

Express - 40% off everything until 9/4

Gap - up to 50% off everything + 20% off your purchase with code GETMORE

Kohl's - $10 off $25+ with code TAKE10 + $10 Kohl's cash for every $50 spent

LOFT - 30% off select full-price styles

Old Navy - 50% off select items

Target - 30% off select items + 15% off select items with code LABORDAY

Urban Outfitters - 30% off all sale items

West Elm - up to 30% off with code HUGESALE

World Market - extra 10% off + free shipping on orders over $150 with code LABORDAYDEALS

Hope everyone has a great holiday weekend! Thanks for reading! XO