Karolina is pregnant!

Finally blogging about pregnancy at 26 weeks is a little late, but better now than not at all! I’ve been wanting to write about my experience with pregnancy for some time now, and Kylie’s sweet posts about her pregnancy at Imma Eat That finally got me to sit down and get to it!

First Trimester, Morning Sickness, and Gender Reveal

I’ll start at the beginning! Colby and I were able to conceive easily with the help of this kit of ovulation test strips and pregnancy test strips. It’s so reasonably priced on Amazon and we got the timing right on our first try. Awesome!

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I kept the pregnancy a secret from Colby for a little less than a day. I wanted to surprise him with the announcement, but didn’t want to wait too long to plan something elaborate. I decided to put the positive pregnancy test in an envelope addressed to him and stuck it in the mailbox before he got home. Then I secretly filmed him opening our mail :)  I shared his reaction when opening the mail on instagram; you can check out my account here, I’m @rdkarolina.

We weren’t able to keep my pregnancy a secret for long! I was dying to tell our family and close friends almost immediately. We waited until 12 weeks to announce the pregnancy on social media.

The first trimester had me feeling nauseous and ravenously hungry- a strange combination. I made a morning sickness kit to carry around with me. It included Sea Bands acupressure bracelets, mint essential oil, ginger chews, Unisom, Vitamin B6, toothbrush, toothpaste, a barf bag, and a hair tie for holding my hair back :P

Something like this would make an excellent gift for an expectant mother! The morning sickness was only bad for a couple of months, from about weeks 6-14. When I felt nauseous, I didn’t throw up. The only times I vomited came completely out of nowhere and with no warning! One time I was pulling out of my parking space at CrossFit when it hit me. Another time I was brewing coffee at home and suddenly had to rush to the sink. I usually love coffee, but the taste of it grossed me out during the first trimester. I guess it worked out since I had to cut back on my caffeine intake anyway (maximum 200 mg daily), but I was tired out of my mind. Pregnancy fatigue hit me hard and I usually took naps every weekend.

We briefly considered not finding out the gender of our baby, but we couldn’t stand to wait. I tried out lots of silly gender prediction methods- Chinese calendar, baking soda test, gender specific symptoms- and they all pointed to us having a boy.

At 14 weeks, we did a 4D ultrasound that surprised us with news of a baby girl! We sent out these gender reveal scratch cards to family and friends. I also did an Easter egg reveal for my friends at CrossFit and at work. This is a fun way to do a gender reveal in the springtime- just stick pink or blue marshmallow Peeps inside of Easter eggs and watch in delight as your friends “peep” inside!

Cravings and Aversions

I’ve been craving mango, nachos, and pizza. Anything with melted cheese sounds delicious to me! My only two aversions  lately have been ginger (I now associate it with being nauseous) and the smell of denim. The denim thing is strange- I didn’t even know denim had a smell! All my jeans- old, new, washed, dirty- completely gross me out.

Maternity Clothing

The shape of my body has made it very challenging to find jeans that fit (and don’t smell like denim). When I find a pair that fits right over or under my belly, they end up being so tight on my legs that they pull my pants down. Some pairs I’ve tried on have and unflattering wash or cut, while others have disproportionately small back pockets. Merrick, over at Merrick’s Art, posted a fantastic maternity jeans round up. I haven’t tried on her favorite pair from Pea in a Pod Maternity (because over $200 for maternity jeans???), but I do like the reasonably priced ASOS under the belly maternity jeans. I’m obsessed with this dress from H&M because it’s 100% cotton and can be dressed up or down. I also bought several dresses by PattyBoutik that I love wearing. I find that I feel best in form fitted clothing because it shows off my bump! Under dresses, I recommend these shorts to prevent chafing. My favorite bras right now are those without an underwire. In fact, with Vegas temperatures shooting up above 110 degrees now, I wish I could live in sports bras and Lululemon shorts. I had to size up in the running shorts, but they now fit comfortably under my belly. The racerback tank tops are barely fitting now, so I bought a few GapFit tanks that should last through the second half of pregnancy.

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My feet haven’t started swelling, but I think they’re growing. I’m up about a half size in shoes. Comfortable footwear has been as much of a staple in my wardrobe as maternity bras. My favorite pair are Dr. Scholl’s wedge sandals, similar to these, because they’re stable and cute. It’s getting uncomfortable to  get shoes on and off, but I have yet to find a pair of slide sandals that I like.

My favorite non-dress maternity outfit is a pair of maternity leggings, a long tank top, long necklace, and a cover up. Chiffon kimonos, long cardigans, and unbuttoned jackets have been useful in adding variety to this basic look.

Maternity shorts that don’t suck remain elusive to me. If anyone has suggestions for summer maternity clothing they like, please comment this post!

Body Image

I feel surprisingly good about my body right now. I always assumed I would struggle with feeling fat during pregnancy, but I feel big AND beautiful. I’ve never felt these two things simultaneously before. I even feel better in a bikini now than ever before.  I gained a lot of weight during the first trimester, before a baby bump was even showing. That was frustrating. It seemed like all the extra weight was going to my butt, arms, and legs. Now that I can see more of the weight going to my belly, I have more appreciation for what my body is doing. Up until a few weeks ago, taking showers made me feel very vulnerable and strange. I felt like this changing body wasn’t mine and it gave me a creepy feeling to touch my belly and know a baby is growing inside. Surprisingly, it feels less foreign to me now that I can feel her moving in there. It helps that Colby still loves the way I look pregnant. I haven’t gotten any stretch marks yet, but I think I’m developing diastasis recti because my belly changes to a coning shape whenever I sit up from a supine position.  Thinking about my abdominal muscles separating like that is eerie.

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Exercise

The biggest surprise has been seeing strength gains in CrossFit! I haven’t been trying to set any personal records, but heavier weights feel easier on all the barbell lifts we do. My aerobic capacity is definitely worse than it was before. I get winded so easily! It’s actually nice to know that I should keep my heart rate below 150 BPM because anything more intense would be SO uncomfortable. I haven’t done any CrossFit over the past 3 weeks while Colby and I were on vacation. We did a lot of walking on our “babymoon” and even fit in some bike riding. Walking feels great and I’m thinking about trying some prenatal yoga soon.

Physical Health

I go in for glucose screening this week. That’s the initial screening for gestational diabetes in which you drink a glucose sweetened drink and wait an hour before having your blood sugar tested. If I fail that test, I have to return for the longer glucose tolerance test.

My immune system has been frustrating during pregnancy. I’ve already caught 4 colds in the past 6 months and my asthma has been getting worse. It’s frustrating not to be able to take decongestants when I’m sick, but the humidifier we bought has been helpful.

My only other health-related issue has been a nerve impingement in my hip, meralgia parasthetica, that makes my right thigh get numb and then painful whenever I’m standing up for more than a few minutes at a time. Luckily, this unpleasant condition typically goes away after birth and some stretches and exercises have been helping.

Ok, that’s enough of a pregnancy update for now! I’ll be sure to share some of the highlights of our “babymoon” vacation soon. We are so excited to meet our baby girl in September!

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Dressing an Athletic Body Shape

I received a credit to try Stitch Fix as a result of this promotion. By posting this review I am entering a contest sponsored by Stitch Fix and am eligible to win a prize. I was not compensated for my time. This post contains affiliate links.

Typically the Recipe ReDux has us share meal ideas, but this month we had the opportunity to team up with StitchFix to try their personal stylist service! I had been itching to go shopping for some new summer and office clothes, so this was the perfect opportunity to get inspired.

If you’ve been considering StitchFix, you can use this link to fill out a style quiz and pick a day to receive your first five custom selected pieces:

 

Shopping is always a long and exhausting process for me. I like to find good deals and I want my clothes to fit me really well. Dressing my body shape, which is a combination of short, curvy, and athletic is a challenge. I usually turn to Pinterest or fashion blogs for advice.

While I’ve found plenty of workout clothing suggestions for “athletic figures” this way, my closet is already full with a disproportionate number of activewear pieces. It’s been tough to find good articles on what clothes look best on athletically curvy women, so here’s what I have to say about it!

Tops:

(Piece #1 is this sleeveless shirt) Show off toned arms with sleeveless styles. This gorgeous coral tank top is made of lightweight fabric that flows in the breeze. The color makes skin tone look golden and sun kissed. The v-neck notch is also a plus because it elongates the look of your neck and torso!

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This bright color looks wonderful with white jeans! The only thing I would change is its length- it would look better if it were about 2 inches longer and hit right at the fullest part of round hips.

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(Piece #2 is this yellow blouse) I typically don’t like cap sleeves on muscular shoulders. They seem to make shoulders look even broader, but this unique cap sleeve cut on delicate fabric is actually quite flattering and slimming. The canary-yellow color is irresistible, too.

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You can see from the side that this is a very unique and pretty style!

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I liked pairing this top with a navy blue pencil skirt. The loose fitting top looks nice with a darker colored, form fitted skirt or pants. Tucking it in accentuates a narrow waist.

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(Piece #4 is this grey blazer) I love the look of slim fitted cardigans and blazers over a tank top or sleeveless blouse. This stretchy grey and black blazer is incredibly soft, clings to your arms to make them look shapely, and hugs your back and shoulders to flatter your figure.

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Bottoms:

You may have noticed in the photos above that I’m partial to form fitted, dark colors for an athletically curvy bottom half. Denim that has at least 1% lycra or some stretch to it is best. Choose bootcut or flared pants to balance wider hips and thicker thighs, but don’t be afraid to rock a skinny jean as long as it’s made from a heavier fabric that won’t bunch up in weird places!

(Piece #4 are these distressed denim capris) These distressed capris were promising, but they were a little too tight on my thighs and didn’t fit well in the back. #bootyproblems. What I liked about them is that they were a low rise that looks great with a floral crop top. The dark wash is nice, too, but a capri length can be challenging to pull off successfully with muscular calves and solid ankles. Nude or gold colored wedges help to elongate the legs for this look.

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Here’s a close up of the fun distressed patches and the indigo wash of these jeans!

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(Piece #5 are these stretchy blue work pants) Trousers are one of the biggest challenges I have in my wardrobe. Stiff trouser fabrics don’t flow right with curvy hips and thin pants with no stretch completely hide the attractive curve of shapely legs, making them look like two stumps. These trousers were simply awesome! The bootcut style is slimming and the fabric is both stretchy AND thick, which looks fantastic on an athletic body.

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These are as comfortable as yoga pants! There’s no need for a belt, which means the top of these trousers lay flush with your skin even under slim fit tops. No zipper is also a plus– there’s no bunching up in the crotch! Here’s the same pair of pants with that pretty coral top from the first photo.

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Photographing clothes instead of food has been a fun, new challenge! The self timer and basic tripod helped me accomplish most of these photos, but having someone to assist has been invaluable. Colby took the close up shots to show more details in fit and design. Would you be interested in hearing more tips I come across for dressing an athletic body shape? Let me know in the comments!

If you have a friend who would love to try StitchFix, you can purchase a gift card here:

 

Be sure to check out the other ReDux members’ StitchFix finds in the linkup below!

10 Best Places for Workout Clothes

If you recall my post about getting motivated to exercise, you’ll know that I love to use cute workout clothes as a reward for sticking with an exercise plan. This post is all about my 10 favorite places to score sweet workout gear. I am 5’3″ tall, weigh 130-140 lbs depending on the time of year, and am bottom heavy. My calves, thighs, and butt are definitely where I carry my weight. I’m smaller chested, but have arms that are proportional to my chunkier legs.

IMG_5879Whether this is your body type or not, I hope you will find this list helpful:

1. TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, and Nordstrom Rack ($)
Best for lots of brand names at a discount! I tend to find great running tights and capris for $20 and fun tanks for $10-$15 at Marshall’s and TJ Maxx. I seriously need to limit how often I shop at these stores because I always find tons of cute stuff at really reasonable prices. These are great places to buy socks, too! The only thing I haven’t had luck with are the shorts.

2. Target ($-$$)
Another reason to love target! I’ve purchased a couple of the Champion brand tank tops and my favorite long sleeve running pullover here. You can usually find nice things on the clearance rack, but full price can be justified if you spot something you really love. It still won’t break the bank. I bought some sports bras here awhile ago, but they stretched out and looked unflattering after a short time. I wasn’t crazy about the fit of the shorts or capris either.

3. Forever 21 ($)
I just recently discovered that F21 has activewear! I scored a cute highlighter yellow sports bra for $9. I’m willing to bet it won’t hold up very long, but their workout gear is a good option if you like to shop for stylish new pieces fairly often.

4. Victoria’s Secret ($$)
I’ve only bought workout clothes here during their semi-annual sale to keep cost down. I really like the PINK brand shorts; they have a nice wide waistband, fun colors, and flattering fit. They’re only $15 if you find a pair on sale! I haven’t tried on their sports bras, but a friend tells me they make your cleavage look fantastic. Makes sense since they specialize in lingerie, right?

5. Fabletics ($-$$)
Generally I would say you should definitely shop for workout clothes in person, not online. You can’t be sure that something will fit well until you try it on and it can be a pain in the rear to return clothing online. When I saw that Fabletics was offering a whole outfit for $29, I made an exception and signed up for the introductory offer. I stuck with Fabletics for two months. My first outfit consisted of a V-neck, awesome sports bra, and AMAZING capris. The next month I got a tank top with built in bra and the same fabulous capris in a different color. With Fabletics, you pay $59 per month and pick out a new outfit each time. If you don’t like it, you send it back and pick another. After two months, it didn’t seem worth it to me anymore because I wasn’t loving everything I ordered. Cancelling was a breeze, though. I think you should at least give the intro month a try!

6. Old Navy and The Gap ($-$$)
Old Navy is a bit less expensive, but selections are hit or miss. I have a couple of really cute running jackets that have lasted me a few seasons from there. Stuff at the Gap looks adorable, but I haven’t bought anything yet because it’s a little pricey and doesn’t suit my shape very well.

7. Nike Outlet ($-$$)
I love Nike sports bras. They’re cute and last forever! I sometimes find them at Sports Authority or Dick’s in the clearance section. I used to love the shorts, but now I realize that they look kindof puffy on the front. Nike tanks and pants are flattering, but not my favorite either.

8. Lorna Jane ($$$$)
I probably would have never shopped here, but Colby surprised me with a gift card! Let’s just say that $100 won’t even buy you two sports bras… I tried on at least a couple dozen things in the store and was only thrilled with a few unique pieces. The bright colors are stunning and I like that the sports bras have generous, removable padding that makes me look like I’ve had plastic surgery. For the price, I’m surprised that Lorna Jane clothing requires such heavy maintenance. The tags state that clothing must be soaked in salt water, then cold washed in a garment bag, then line dried and not allowed to lay wet. Yeah right, like I’m ever going to do all that! The return policy is ridiculous too. You aren’t allowed to return anything because of “changed your mind”, and exchanges are only allowed within 21 days if all tags are still attached and clothing has not been worn. That’s just too much of a gamble… Worth it only if you want your boobs to look super hot.

9. Lululemon ($$$)
This is the ultimate place to get activewear! It’s pricey, but not as expensive as Lorna Jane. The sports bras last and last and last (here’s my fav). The fabric is odor resistant. I’ve had two sports bras from Lulu for the past four years and they still fit great and look new. I don’t do anything special to wash my Lulu clothing. I just machine wash it with everything else and even throw most things in the dryer. I am in love with the running shorts (my favorite here) from Lulu and their bras. Tanks are great, too! I could just buy everything… Their bread and butter are the running tights and capris, but I don’t own a pair of those yet. I have to give spending $90 on workout pants some serious thought, especially since my $20 pants from Marshall’s have held up great and are comfortable to exercise in!

10. Mika Yoga ($$)
This is the place to buy hot yoga gear! Specifically, this is the place to buy booty shorts!! I love the fold-over shorts. They are short, but don’t roll up your butt or thighs and the waistband stays put without digging in. Even Lulu’s booty shorts can’t compete with these! BTW, these look promising, too. Some of the colors are on sale right now!

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