bella

Pregnancy Lies (well, one actually)




Let's talk about hair for a minute (or two?). Everyone says that pregnancy brings with it thick, luscious, beautiful hair....and I'm just not quite sure what they're talking about. If anything, I think my hair has been falling out more than usual. Maybe it's the water here in Findlay, but pregnancy has not been awesome in the hair department (and so I'm a little terrified about this whole 'after birth shed' people are also telling me about...but maybe I'll avoid that too?).

For this fall, we've seen a few new hair trends. There's everything from slick ponytails to retro volume with a lot of fun braids and twists thrown in. But, whatever the season, healthy hair is always in style and I'm all about having locks that I can let air dry 90% of the time and be happy with.

For the past few weeks I've been using Dove's new Pure Care Dry Oil Shampoo and Conditioner along with the hair oil a few times. A few things:

  • My hair is noticeably shinier and smoother: it air dries silky without being oily and the other day a nice lady at checkout exclaimed "great hair!" when all I'd done was let it dry while running errands (she then noticed the baby bump and spent a few minutes suggesting names upon hearing we had none). 
  • I've only used the actual oil a few times on my hair because it doesn't seem to need much additional nutrition or shine after the shampoo/condition. But, I love that the instructions said to finger it through the bottom half of your hair. With so many oils I've tried on my hair I've been really happy with the way look/feel but my roots are always too greasy and I end up needing dry shampoo before leaving the house. 
  • The only downside of these awesome products is the smell. It wasn't something I noticed, and both my sisters in New Hampshire asked me to leave the shampoo/conditioner with them because we all liked it so much but when I got out of the shower the first time using them here in Ohio Ben's immediate question was "what is that?" To me they smell like natural oils and while it isn't a fun fruity smell, its definitely not something I mind using in the shower. It reminds me of the way a salon might smell, but Ben really doesn't like it. 
So I'd love to know, have you tried theses? What did you think? Did you like the scent? 
Or, what's your favorite moisturizing shampoo/conditioner combo? 

A few other things about these products, if you're interested:

  • they're ideal for all hair types 
  • you can take Dove's "silky hair dare" and try these products risk free through December 31 -- if you aren't completely satisfied, they'll refund your purchase through the end of the year
  • proven to absorb quickly, the dry oil features a blend of African Macadamia oil and Coconut oil
^a 28 week bump and I think Ben is turning into a pretty great photographer

*also, I just had to mention how sneaky I feel wearing this shirt. It's a maternity top that doubles as a nursing top and there's a flap (for lack of a better word) that comes to right below my chest that pulls up for 'easy access' :P Yay for clothes that work for now and later.

shirt: boob design (yes, Ben and I both giggled when the package arrived), c/o
denim: GAP maternity via thredUP
shoes: Nine West

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own, like always :)

A Blue Baby Brunch



Going through these pictures of my Cincinnati baby shower has me feeling all sorts of grateful for the friends we've made in the past year and a half. Casey threw the most darling brunch shower for me and this little guy and it's hard to believe it was just earlier this year I was pulling things together for her surprise shower!

A few pictures (and a bit of commentary):


just like the second picture in this post, we could also title this shot "the party planners and the guest of honor" .... Haley, I think that means you're next ;)

^I wore this lovely plum dress from Queen Bee Maternity and decided a baby shower is the perfect excuse for a large bow on your belly :P

^between the chicken salad sandwiches and the stuffed mushrooms I was in food heaven. I probably ate at least five of each (and I didn't even know I liked stuffed mushrooms!)
^these lovely blue blooms were the perfect decorations (and they were spread throughout Casey's house all weekend ...nothing says welcome like fresh flowers in the guest bathroom) 
^a little pre party setup -- and I still have the diaper cake assembled and think it might kill me a little to actually use the diapers #toocute 
^another shot before the guests (other than the party planners) arrived... and decorations I got to take home :) 
^twin bumps! 
^all the lovely moms filled out advice for this new mama
^opening gifts! 
^this is my "oh my goodness isn't this the cutest little shirt you've ever seen" face
^a friend made this little fox hat! 
^dessert was redvelvet cake (with glass pacifiers on the top), chocolate covered oreos and chocolate covered strawberries

^a big thanks to this lady for snapping pictures with my camera throughout the day ... I already miss her and all our photo fall photo adventures from last year and can't believe she leaves in just a few weeks for her mission! 


^It's a bit blurry but I truly love this lady. Not only is she the most amazing friend a girl could ask for, but her example of patience, gratitude, and joy help me be better. And let's be serious, if it weren't for the crash course in motherhood I've gotten from getting to spend time with her family these past 18 months I'd be significantly more terrified of what is coming in January (she also makes the cutest children, but I'm a bit biased). Thanks, Casey, for being wonderful.


**The only mishap of the weekend/shower was that in my twenty minutes of unpacking and repacking between trips I managed to remember everything but a regular bra. And so in all these pictures (and for church the following day) I'm wearing this with the straps down...not my finest moment.

***A big thanks to Queen Bee Maternity for sending this beautiful dress my way for the shower! They have an incredible collection of quality maternity and nursing wear and I really love how this dress will be perfect for covering the post birth pooch as well (maybe without the big sash?).

A perfect fall weekend for no reason at all



This week is already getting away from us - how is it Wednesday already? It feels a bit like we've been in crisis management mode since Monday and I'm understanding the draw of having a family secretary. I am not sure how people manage a family of six when I'm struggling with a family of two and a half (this babe is valued at a whole person, just at the moment his needs are significantly less, thank goodness).

The heavens must have known though because they gave us the perfect weekend before such a crazy week. Saturday has got to be one of my favorite days we've had in Findlay since we moved in June. It went a little bit like this: 
^This handsome guy woke up at the crack of dawn to get his exercising, studying, and reading done (a forever student this one is...and no, he's not in school right now). He woke me up a bit later than usual with omelets for breakfast and indulged me in a slow paced morning (slow paced Saturday's with Ben are an infrequent treat).

^We spent the next few hours browsing goodwill and home stores and dreaming of future projects (and only buying popcorn...turns out Meynards has the cheapest popcorn around).

^We stopped in this delightful cafe downtown tucked right off of Main Street for a late lunch and Ben declared it our new favorite place in town (when Ben gets excited about eating out, it is a good day). 
It's a small, small little cafe only open for breakfast and lunch with everything made fresh to order in the little back kitchen. 
^We'll be back, I'm certain.

^After lunch there were afternoon naps, evening walks, and plenty of ice cream, popcorn and cuddling as we watched a few too many episodes of Chuck (have you seen the show?). All in all, the weekend wasn't anything dramatic or extravagant but it was the perfect combination of productive and lazy, of going out and staying in (and it was the first full day we'd had together just the two of us in weeks, so that may have been part of it).

Saturday also started the 12 week countdown to baby (meaning I hit 28 weeks). While we were out and about a few nice people asked about the baby - I'm convinced everyone is sweeter when you're pregnant! A few more pictures: 
^one of my favorite maternity outfits to date because of all the great basics and fun details

^this hat is one of my favorite things to wear this fall and it pulls any outfit together 
^I layered on a few fun necklaces - The tassel and key necklaces are linked below but I can't remember where the tree necklace is from. I've had it sitting on my nightstand recently (more because I took it off one night before bed and haven't put it away) but it's a reminder that we are starting our own family tree and I love wearing it right now :P 
^this hair is in major need of a trim. unfortunately, the only people I've let cut my hair in the past few years live in Utah. Britt or Hanna, wanna come visit? 
^the leather trim on this shirt is great (and so is the fact that its long enough that I don't ever have to worry if my belly is showing...not something I can say about all maternity shirts, unfortunately).
^one of my favorite pictures from this pregnancy


shirt: The LB Brand, c/o (best quality maternity shirt I've worn so far)
denim: Pink Blush Maternity, c/o
chambray: Madewell (similar here, loving this unique chambray - both 30% off)
hat: Oasap, c/o (loving this one too)
tassel & key necklaces: iSantutary (here and here), c/o
shoes: Aeropostale, c/o

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