JennFalikandAlexa

My body threw me a bone this pregnancy. It made the experience of getting HUGE so insanely unpleasant that I am actually excited to give birth. Which says a lot, since the mere thought of having two kids is enough to send me into a tailspin.

Here are three thoughts occupying my hormonally hopped-up brain at the moment:

1- Instagram has made being pregnant in 2014 vastly different from being pregnant in 2010. I wish I could say the the photos of other girls on similar pre-natal timelines  as myself posting photos of their skinny arms and barely-there bumps doesn’t affect me, but it does. In real life, I am quite proud of my self-confidence- it took me many years to get to this place, and I relish in how petty, silly things truly do not get me riled up anymore. In pregnant life, I am bitter. Bitter that I can’t drink, bitter that I can’t fit into my clothes, bitter that by 6pm every night I am physically incapacitated and reduced to a series of grunts and moans that lasts up until bedtime. And just when the bitterness is starting to subside, I check Instagram and within seconds, my totally pissed off at the world tank is full again :)

2- It is really weird to say “the girls’ rooms.” We are working on the nursery right now, and making some changes to Alexa’s room as well- and when I say things like “today is the carpet install in the girls’ rooms” I feel like a total imposter.  Who am I to have TWO kids?? I can barely make it through the morning routine with one. This is sheer craziness, people.

 3- I love Hayden Panettiere. I never really cared about her either way to be honest. But thanks to this, she can count on me as a forever fan. Finally, someone is keeping it REAL. 

 

Dagne Dover

One of my go-to sources for all things essential? PureWow. Are you guys familiar? If not, you should be.

A few weeks ago they wrote about a new handbag line, Dagne Dover.  It happened to coincide with a segment I was doing on Today Show about purse organization, so it caught my attention.  Throughout the course of prepping for this particular segment, I became more and more conscious of  my own complete lack of handbag organization- I don’t even want to think of the hours I waste each year fishing through my oversized abyss of a tote trying to locate a cell phone, lip gloss, train ticket, etc. 

The thing that makes Dagne Dover bags so interesting is that they are created with the modern multi-tasking woman in mind. For example, tucked inside the tote pictured above you will find a padded tablet sleeve, 2 mid-sized buckets for e-Readers or small notebooks, phone sleeve, ID holder, sunglass pouch, detachable key strap, 2 pen/lipgloss compartments, an extra large interior pocket (I use it to stash flats), and an exterior pocket that will fit a clutch/wallet/pouch inside. AND…drumroll please…my favorite unique attribute…a water bottle holder!!!!! So smart, right?

While it was certainly not intended to be a diaper bag, I plan on using mine as one for short outings. The water bottle holder fits a bottle, I can divvy up the diapers and wipes in the large pockets, and use the smaller compartments for other diaper bag essentials (of which I can’t remember now, funny how easy it is to forget so much in four short years.) The coated canvas exterior can be wiped clean of spit-up and such in seconds. (Ugh, spit up…Not looking forward to that!) Plus the detachable cross-body strap means I can maneuver hands-free to juggle this baby that is apparently going to be joining our family in a few months. Gulp.

Click here to shop the collection. Once you get your life organized inside one of these puppies, you won’t look back. 

Dagne Dover Interior

 

Note: Images c/o Dagne Dover.

 

 

JennAndModels

 

Nothing like kicking off  your third trimester then a photo-op with four lovely, leggy models, right?

On Tuesday, I was invited to host a fashion presentation for Neiman Marcus showcasing the trends for the season- something I always love doing. What isn’t to love about getting to play dress up in a closet that is literally the entire inventory of one of my favorite shopping destinations?  I styled 20 looks for 4 models to waltz down the runway in- every single one of them something I myself would love nothing more than to be able to wear right now. But not only can I not fit into said looks, I can’t even get MY SHOES ON MY FEET ANYMORE! For real.

So, I had to show up at a very prestigious retailer to host a fashion presentation for a very prestigious group of women wearing…gasp…FLATS! And not just flats, since those barely fit over my heels right now, but FLIP FLOPS. Yep. Flip flops. In November.

But I was able to make it work, and actually make it work kinda well. How?

The most amazing Rachel Pally Maternity maxi dress and super simple, super chic Tkees

I have been meaning to blog about Rachel Pally Maternity since I first added 2 of her maxi dresses to my maternity wardrobe because they really are the most incredible investments a pregnant girl can make. And if you are going to an occasion where you will be photographed, most likely next to people who are thinner and taller than you are (since you are, duh, pregnant and most likely also wearing flats), this should be your uniform. Her dresses are made of the coziest modal jersey fabric, and cut narrow so as to hug the body in the right places (i.e. your ribcage), and drape beautifully over your bump so even if the spread situation is more side-to-side than frontal facing, there is the illusion that you are “all baby bump”. 

You won’t necessarily be able to waltz through the rest of your life draped in (a super chic spin on a) mumu. So, while you can, you may as well WORK IT.  Bedeck yourself in gold jewelry, load up on bronzer and mascara (top and bottom lashes!), swipe on some golden nude lipstick, throw on flip flops and embrace your inner ’70s glamazon. 

These days I do not often feel cute. But, for the few minutes I had to stand next to these ladies, I thankfully felt stylish.  All thanks to Rachel Pally and  what I deem the effortless-hippie-chic vibe of her maternity maxi dresses. That, my friends, is priceless.

 

Perhaps more than any other item in my house, this is the thing of which I am most proud. 

DRESSUPRACK

My daughter LOVES to play dress up. We have amassed a collection of frilly princess tutus that would put a drag queen to shame.  Hours on hours were spent looking for a cute way to store/display them- only to end with me frustrated (SO expensive! SO cheesy looking!) and frantically stuffing said tutus into a trunk upon hearing our afternoon playdate pull into the driveway and wanting to make a good first impressions (Look at our impeccably organized playroom! Impressed? Great. Just don’t open that trunk…)

One morning, I was aimlessly playing around on Pinterest (in an effort to cure my Candy Crush habit, I have substituted Pinterest searching as my “10 minutes til I need to take Alexa to school and I need some sort of stimulation” activity), when I came across THIS. A seemingly simple step-by-step guide to making my own clothing rack. I bee-lined right from drop-off to Home Depot, bought supplies and restocked my gold spray paint stash. An hour later, I had created what, in my not-so-humble opinion, is nothing short of a mom masterpiece.

DRESSUPRACK2

A little insider scoop from my personal experience getting all crafty: (here is the full step-by step that I used as reference)

-Home Depot will cut the 1″ PVC pipe for you- it takes like 5 minutes, so bring the list of the sizes you need so you can hand it off to them, and while they cut, you can seek out the other items you need. A cheat sheet: Two 36″ lengths, two 30″ lengths, four 12″ lengths, two 6″ lengths.

-Double check to make sure that your joints (Six 90-degree elbow joints, four tee connectors) have openings designed for 1″ PVC pipe, and double check that you picked up the ones you intended. I am not a seasoned Home Depot goer, so I blindly trusted that the items in the bins were in fact the items written on the tags below the bins. As the nice lady who rang up my sale pointed out, double-checking the serial numbers on the sides is crucial- doing so saved me a trip or ten back to the store for replacements. 

-Take the time and lay the structure out on the ground and test all the joints to make sure they fit before starting in with the PVC glue. They will fit, and this step will feel unnecessary, but if you get frazzled mid-assembly (glue starts to spill, the phone rings, etc.), having it already laid out will prevent careless mistakes. 

-Before spray painting, use a primer. This will help the spray paint hold better, and with the hangers constantly being pulled at by impatient little princess-in-waiting hands, you want that extra level of insurance that the finish will remain shiny and fabulous.

While waiting for the gilted gorgeousness to dry, I ran out and picked  up pink hangers and a pink shaggy rug.

Now we have a costume corner in the playroom- and I have major bragging rights, since THE ENTIRE THING WAS CREATED FOR WELL UNDER $100! (**brushes pretend dirt off her shoulder…**)

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