November 16, 2015

Nursery Inspiration

Although my baby is almost 3 months, I still have not completed the nursery. Which I guess is a good thing since I'm moving in a few weeks. I planned to co-sleep with the baby the first few months, so I didn't see the point of completing the nursery. Also due to travel, I wasn't able to be home and work on it. However now that things are finally more settled, I'm excited to start working on it. I'm glad I waited because I feel like I know Nathaniel's personality better now and what he'd like in a nursery.
 I love the neutral colors, I'll probably stick to the same color theme. 
I'm loving this round crib. I've looked at the Stokke one and love that you can wheel it around, but don't know how practical it will be since by the time I transfer to a crib I'll have to use the biggest setting and that won't wheel through a doorframe. 
I love this colorful gallery wall. I currently have a gallery wall of wedding pictures in my living room and Nathaniel stares at it all the time.
Also loving these framed images from Restoration Hardware. I'll definitely be ordering some for the nursery.
Love this closet for storage ideas.

I'd love any tips you mama's may have on deocrating a nursery!

November 13, 2015

PinkBlush Maternity and Postpartum Fashion

I wish I had found Pink Blush earlier in my pregnancy because they have such flattering maternity wear. (which we all know is so rare) They also have great nursing items as well! I'm obsessed with their maxi dresses, they make nursing so easy and the floral print hides any milk stains. (I'm sure all you mama's can relate) You can also wear them throughout pregnancy as well as postpartum. Here are some of my favorite outfit picks. 
Dress: PinkBlush Purse: Chanel (Similar) Shoes: Mystique Sunglasses: Tom Ford 
Dress: PinkBlush Sold out but similar here Shoes: Valentino Purse: Chanel (Similar
Poncho: PinkBlush Jeans: 7 For all Mankind Shoes: Rag & Bone Purse: Prada Sunglasses: Ray-Ban Aviators Watch: Rolex (Similar

I'm so excited to be partnering with Pink Blush Maternity to do a $50 giveaway. Follow me on Instagram @lifeandchanel and @pinkblushmaternity and tag your friends. You can tag as many friends as you'd like. Each tag will count as an entry. The winner will be announced on November 18th! Gift card will be emailed.

November 11, 2015

Nordstrom Fall Sale Picks

It's finally starting to feel like fall here in Vegas. These are some of my favorites from the Nordstrom Fall Sale. I LOVE the rabbit fur vest, I purchased it last year and wore it all the time. It looks great on it's own or under a leather jacket, soo versatile. I also have the lace dress in white and black and it's seriously so flattering! My favorite maternity jeans are also on sale (there's a non-maternity version as well) I'm also loving the boots in the first row, they look exactly like a dupe of the Stuart Weitzman boots that everyone is wearing this season, but at a fraction of the price!  I ordered both boyfriend jeans in the bottom row as well as all the workout tops. With breastfeeding boobs, I've outgrown all my Lululemon tops and don't want to invest in a whole new Lululemon workout wardrobe for this temporary period of time. These Zella tops are inexpensive and great quality! I can't wait to hit the gym again. I'll be doing a Postpartum post soon!

November 9, 2015

Maternity Dresses

A throwback to when I was 38 weeks pregnant. I never got around to posting these pictures. This was one of my favorite maternity dresses once I got huge! (I have it in 2 different colors) The dress is a scuba material and is super comfy and kind of sucks everything in. 

Dress: Asos (Similar here and here  both under $25, also LOVE this one ,this one and this one) Shoes: Christian Louboutin (Similar) Sunglasses: Tom Ford Necklace: Chanel (Similar)  Bag: Hermes (Similar

October 13, 2015

8 Week baby product essentials

A lot of the items that I had put on my registry/I purchased were items recommend by bloggers, a lot of them being sponsored and some were great, others not so much. These are some of the products I've been loving and using daily for the last 8 weeks, along with the products I've tried and hated. Honest reviews, nothing is sponsored!

Uppababy Stroller - I did a lot of research on strollers and I was picking between the Stokke crusi and the Uppababy. After trying both in stores, I found that I preferred the Uppababy because it was just so much easier to fold down and open up, also the extra storage space was a big plus! Uppababy also makes a carseat, so you don't need an additional attachment.
Mesa Carseat - I love this carseat mainly because it fits into the Uppababy stroller with out a converter. This was really important to me because I wanted to be able to clip the carseat into the stroller directly without any extra parts. It is a little bit heavy if you're carrying it around, but I always just click it into the stroller.

Newborn bathtub - I went through 3 newborn tubs before I found one I loved. I tried this one, this one and this one prior. The first years one is my favorite because the newborn attachment can be adjusted, so you can make it higher or lower, alot of the other ones I tried didn't allow for the adjustment or just didn't feel very sturdy and I found them to be too high and feared the baby would slip out.
Pampers Swaddlers Diapers - I actually didn't like the regular pampers diapers because they seemed to always leak but the swaddlers have been great, no leaks yet. I also tried Huggies which I preferred to the regular pampers, but they still leaked once in a while. I also tried honest company diapers but hated those and found that pretty much within the first hour they'd start leaking.
Carter's Zip up's  - I love these because they're soo easy to take on and off. Compared to onesies where you have to slip them off the babies heads. I wish I had known this when I had started purchasing clothes. Also babies really grow out of their clothes so quickly. Nathaniel is already on to 6 months clothing. So definitely keep that in mind if you're shopping while you're still pregnant for clothes. A lot of things I bought he outgrew before I could even have him wear them.
Tommee Tipee bottles - I love this starter kit and I have exclusively been using these bottles. I found the flow to work the best for my baby. I also purchased this starter kit Dr. Brown's but found the bottles to simply be too big. I recommend not buying bottles until you're actually ready to use them, because you may have to test out a bunch on your baby before you find one that you like.
Wabi Bottle Sterilizer: I LOVE this sterilizer, because not only does it sterilize the bottles it also drys them. I had purchased this one and this one prior and I was so confused when they didn't dry the bottles. I felt like it defeated the purpose of sterilizing the bottles. For some reason I couldn't find the Wabi one at Toys R Us or Buy buy baby which is where I bought most of my baby products, so I ordered it online instead. I seriously love it, it's super easy to use and the full cycle from sterilizing to drying is only 45 minutes. I also use it to sterilize my breast pump parts.
Medela Hospital Grade Pump - OMG this has been a lifesaver. I had this Medela pump but after getting mastitis and having to pump every 2 hours the hospital grade one saved so much time. I could pump in 1/3 of the time. If you plan on pumping a lot I definitely recommend it, you can usually rent it from your hospital and just get the kit separately, so it's completely sanitary. I was happy using the regular Medela pump but the hospital grade one really is so much more powerful and definitely makes pumping faster and less painful. I also have been using this to store the milk.
Red Castle CocoonaBaby - Seriously this is the most amazing product and I don't know why they don't sell it in the US. Although it's a little pricy, it is sooo worth it, I literally use it everyday. It makes it easy to bring the baby on the couch slash basically wherever you are in the house, you strap the baby in so I'm never scared he'll roll out of it and you can basically sit it down on any flat surface

Swaddle blanket(s) - I go through sooo many in a day. I use them as burp clothes, blankets, cover for the carseat. They're seriously soooo useful. I would recommend not purchasing burp clothes because they're usually wayyy too small, just get a million swaddle blankets and use them instead. The aden+anais ones are definitely my favorite although a little pricy, they're well worth it. I've washed mine soo many times and they still look brand new. I have ones from a few other brands and they just don't hold up as well.

Would love to hear about what products you used and loved for your baby? I'm always on the lookout!

October 9, 2015

6 Week baby update

Being held
Starring at lights
Sleeping on his tummy
Bath time

Tummy time

Sorry I’ve been so behind on my blog posts, but it seems like every time I pick up my laptop my little one cries to be held. He definitely requires a lot of attention.

The first few weeks were definitely pretty rough, from the sleep deprivation to recovering and breastfeeding. The little one was pretty nocturnal the first few weeks, but is finally sleeping better through the night.  I felt like a zombie the first few weeks, on top of that I developed mastitis the 2nd week in, which made breastfeeding super painful. Luckily it went away quickly with antibiotics but I redeveloped it again at 5 weeks and I’m still struggling with it now. I’ve been on multiple antibiotics and recently had an abscess drained; such a painful process, probably more painful then childbirth.

Due to all the mastitis and my overproduction of milk, the little one’s sleep schedule is kind of a mess, since I have to wake him up ever 2 hours to feed. He can sleep through 3 to 4 hours at night, but I still get up to pump, to avoid any more clots. Nathaniel is super clingy and in the first few weeks I had him sleeping in a co sleeper that was attached to my bed. However after I developed mastisis and carpool tunnel from constantly lifting him out of the co sleeper, I’ve been letting him sleep in the bed. It just made middle of the night feedings sooo much easier, and when I move him after feedings he’ll wake up and cry.

As for breastfeeding, it’s been quite the journey. At the hospital he latched right away, but he was so hungry all the time and my nipples were not used to the abuse. I saw a lactation consultant in my first week and she recommended I use a nipple shield, which in hindsight I wish I had avoided. I’m pretty sure that’s what caused my mastitis. I think with the next baby, if I need my nipples to heal, I’ll go the pumping route instead. I thought breastfeeding would help with my weight loss a lot more then it did, I still have about 10 more pounds to go.  I was looking forward to being able to work out after my 6-week check up, but have been unable to due to the mastitis. I’ve also given up on swaddling, he hates having his arms constrained and will fight it all night to get them free, which he eventually does. He’s a persistent little one ;) So I’ve just been letting him sleep in regular clothes, he doesn’t seem to roll around a lot, but he does tend to scoot closer to me throughout the night.

I’m really excited to start taking Nathaniel outside, now that he has had his shots. He had them at 6 weeks instead of 8, so I’m giving him an extra week to develop some immunity before I take him outside. He’s becoming more aware of his surroundings and loves staring at art and his surroundings. He isn’t as interested in toys, but loves looking at pictures and paintings. I got my first real smile at 4 weeks and was lucky enough to have caught it on video! I uploaded it on instagram: @lifeandchanel.

I’m definitely taking it one day at a time and would love to hear any tips and suggestions you may have. Especially in regards to sleep training, breastfeeding and how to get some more sleep.

September 25, 2015

Fall Boots

Top to bottom; Left to right
Sam Edelman Booties : One of my favorite casual booties, they're super comfortable and go with everything!
Vince Camuto Booties : These look exactly like a dupe of the Rag & Bone booties, at a much more afforadable price point.
Tory Burch Boots: I love this classic boot, everyone needs a brown boot in their wardrobe!
Stuart Weitzman Boots: I just purchased these OTK boots and can't wait to wear them for fall.
Stuart Weitzman Wedges : I love that that there's a wedge and how fitted these boots, perfect for gals with slimmer calves
Prada Boots: I purchased these a few years back, and have worn them every fall and winter. They're super comfortable and still look brand new!
Rag & Bone Booties: I bought these last fall in black and absolutely love them. They came out with multiple colors this year and I'm tempted to pick them up in tan. They run slightly small, so I'd recommend going up half a size.

September 24, 2015

Nathaniel's Birth Story

It’s been about a month since the little one was born. Nathaniel Rai was born on August 18th 2015 right on his due date at 11:03PM , weighing in at 7lbs 5ozs and 20 inches. It’s been a crazy month, so I’m just getting around to writing this now. It definitely took me a few weeks to get the hang of things.

On August 16th, 2 days before my actual due date, I started getting some pretty painful cramps. They didn’t start getting closer together or any stronger so I kind of just ignored them. It also happened to be my wedding anniversary, so I went out to dinner keeping my fingers crossed that I’d hopefully not going into labor while at dinner. Luckily I made it through dinner, later at night I started getting more intense contractions that were about 10 minutes apart. They stayed that way until the next day. The next day I went on a long walk and bounced on a stability ball, trying to speed up labor a little.

Later that night, my contractions started getting stronger and closer together. By 3am I was pretty certain that I would need to go to the hospital soon. I started getting ready and by 6am was on the road headed to the hospital. I was definitely in quite a bit of pain. The hour drive felt like an eternity. I was basically rolled up in a ball because the contractions were soo strong.  I called my doctor while on the road and was admitted in Labor and Delivery as soon as I arrived at the hospital.

Once we arrived the first thing they asked if I had planned to take an epidural. I had originally planned to pass on the epidural because I heard it can slow down labor significantly. By 9am I was in so much pain, I couldn’t stop throwing up (I know TMI) I guess my body just wanted to clear everything out of my system, and I literally felt like I was going to pass out from the pain. My water broke around this time as well. My pain level had become unbearable and I ended up asking for an epidural. I felt like I couldn’t speak and my vision was blurry from the pain. Once the anesthesiologist came in and gave me the epidural and it started to work, I felt sooo much better. The nurse came into check how dilated and I was, and I was only bout 4 cm dilated, so all we could do was wait. I ended up taking a nap for a couple of hours

By 3 PM, the nurse came in to check me again and I was at 9cm dilated, with one more centimeter to go. I still wasn’t fully effaced and my gynecologist had come in to check on me and said she’d come back in a few hours to check on me again.  They had me shift positions several times because the baby’s head was positioned incorrectly and they wanted to try to reposition it. A few times the baby’s heart rate started to drop, but they were able to get it back up by repositioning me.

By 7PM, they turned off my epidural and started giving me small doses of Pitocin, which is used to speed up labor. My doctor instructed had my husband grab one of my legs, while the nurse had the other one. I still could barely feel anything even though the epidural had been turned off. I pushed for about 2 and a half hours. It felt like the most exhausting couple of hours. As time wore on, I started feeling my contractions more, and the pain was definitely starting to set in. He didn’t start crowning till 2 hours in, but I found it really difficult to push since I didn’t have much control of my lower half. Right before he came out the room filled with about 10 nurses, while their eyes were glued to the monitor. I was so nervous and had no idea what was going on. Apparently the baby’s heart rate was dropping. It took a lot of pushes until he was finally out. Normally they had the baby over to you right away to do skin to skin, but they took the baby to the nursery station because he wasn’t breathing properly. I had never been so nervous and concerned for my baby’s well being. But after what felt like the longest couple of minutes the baby started crying and they handed the baby over to me to do skin to skin.

We spent the next hour doing skin to skin and then they moved me to a postpartum recovering room. It was about 1am by this time. I honestly had never really held a newborn before, but it all came so naturally. I didn’t end up sleeping that night and just cuddled with the baby. He latched right away but only one once side and he sucked super hard that it was rather painful. The next day a lactation consultant came in and gave me some tips which were really helpful and definitely helped with breastfeeding. This was definitely a rough pregnancy, from the intense morning sickness and back pain, it was probably one of the most uncomfortable 10 months I have ever experienced, but was soo rewarding. Nathaniel is just the cutest baby; of course I’m biased! But it’s so crazy to have this little human that is completely dependent on you. I just can’t stop starring at him.
 The hospital had labor and delivery as a "lockdown floor" so they put a tracking device on the baby, and if you get it wet, or walk too close to the exits it'll set off an alarm. 
My very swollen baby, he was stuck in my pelvic bone for so long that his head ended up being really swollen. They almost had to vacuum him out.  
The swelling went down slightly, but you can see his head was still pretty swollen a few days later. 
Nathaniel's bilirubin was slightly high, so we had to take him to the pediatrician a few days after we were discharged from the hospital, so they could retest him. Thankfully after they retested him his bilirubin went down to low intermediate risk. 

September 18, 2015

Forever 21 Picks

I can't believe summer is already over. Although it's been so warm in Vegas it doesn't feel like fall, but I'm definitely ready to take out my fall wardrobe. Forever 21 has really stepped up their game for fall. I'm loving their faux fur, it looks lux and is super warm. I'm also loving the plaid shirts, they remind me of the ones from Rails. I can't wait to wear the shirt dresses with boots. Midi dresses are pefect for fall, I ordered the one in the 2nd row in burgundy! It comes in black and tan as well.  I also ordered the poncho and high waisted pants, two looks that I love, now if only the weather would cool down so I can wear these looks!

Have a great weekend!

September 11, 2015

Cover up

Here's a throwback to one of my favorite maternity looks. I believe this was actually a dress that I wore as a cover-up. My swimsuit top is from Have Faith, once of my favorite swimwear lines, they happen to be liquidating all their inventory right now and everything is only $20!

Cover up: Similar Swimsuit top: Have Faith Swimsuit bottom: Victoria Secret Old (Similar)  Shoes: YSL (Similar) Sunglasses: Tom Ford 

September 9, 2015

Stretch Mark Prevention

Since I know that I'm predisposed to stretch marks. I have some from puberty, I was extra careful throughout my pregnancy to do whatever I could to avoid getting new ones. Below are a few of my favorite products that I used to prevent them. 
Mama Mio - This is amazing, I haven't gotten any stretch marks on my breasts so far (knock on wood) I heard it's also amazing on your decollate to prevent wrinkles and keep your skin tight!
Bliss Body Butter (Vanilla) - Smells amazing and great for right out of the shower. It's super creamy and thick but absorbs great.
Bliss Body Butter (Grapefruit) - Smells great as well! I like mixing it with the Vanilla one.
L'Occitane - One of my favorites before pregnancy as well and have been using it for years!
KP Duty Scrub - Love this scrub, it doesn't smell like anything, but it exfoliates really well and leaves your body super smooth.
Virgin coconut Oil - I slather this everywhere! I also use it in the shower in place of conditioner. 
Fresh Body Polish - Smells amazing! It's a little bit grainer but leaves you super smooth as well

September 7, 2015

Maternity Photoshoot

I did my maternity photoshoot at 36 weeks. Honestly I wish I had booked it earlier because I felt huge! However I had booked it at around 20 weeks and I wasn't showing much then, and wanted to make sure I had a bump for my shoot. I ended up using Lori Dorman Photography. They were great and had a huge closet of items to pick from. I brought my own lingerie and heels and also all of my husband's clothes.
On Me: Bra: Agent Provocateur (Similar) Skirt: Similar Shoes: Christian Louboutin
On my husband: Suit: Calvin Klein (Similar) Shirt: Nordstrom (Similar) Shoes: Gucci (Similar) Belt: Tumi 
On me: Bra: Agent Provocateur (Similar)  Panties: Agent Provocateur (Similar) Robe: Similar also love this one for under $50
On my husband: Shirt: Similar
On me: Top: Similar Skirt: Similar Shoes: Christian Louboutin
On my husband: Shirt: Similar Pants: Similar Shoes: Christian Louboutin 
On me: Top: Similar Skirt: Similar Shoes: Christian Louboutin
On my husband: Shirt: Similar Pants: Similar Shoes: Christian Louboutin 

September 4, 2015

Classic Maxi

I absolutely LOVE maxi dresses! so of course I wore them throughout my pregnancy, not to mention they're great for nursing as well. I actually purchased this dress pre-pregnancy but it is a stretchy material, so I was able to wear it up until I was 8 months pregnant. Below are some of my favorite maxi's right now. All under $50!

Dress: Forever 21 (Similar here under $25 and love this one for under $15 ) Bag: Hermes Birkin (Similar) Shoes: Mystique  Sunglasses: Tom Ford

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