Entries Tagged as 'Life'

second trimester update

Posted on: Thursday, November 9, 2017

Hi friends! I’m now two weeks into the THIRD trimester of my pregnancy (whoa) but wanted to share a quick overview of the second trimester (so weeks 13-27), for those of you interested! I had shared some pregnancy updates in my
first baby announcement post, so thought it would be fun to give an update on how things have changed since then!

It’s pretty common to hear that the second trimester is the best part of being pregnant (or the “honeymoon period”) because you feel the most normal, as you’re out of the morning sickness often experienced in the first trimester, but often not big enough to experience the uncomfortableness and aches/pains of the third trimester. Here’s all the dets on what’s been up with me and the little one growing inside me! Also, I wasn’t planning to share these publicly, but I’m amazed just seeing how the bump has grown, so there’s some photos of the progress at the bottom of the post.


Traveling to Europe (Greece and Italy) for two weeks! And, thankfully, feeling really good throughout the entire trip.

Celebrating our second anniversary!

In the middle of the second trimester at 19 weeks, before our Europe trip, we found out the baby’s gender! She’s a GIRL!!! It was such a special moment during the ultrasound appointment when we found out and super fun to surprise our family (I did a group video chat with my entire family to tell them) and friends.

Feeling the baby kick for the first time. Annnnd, now she’s doing it all the time, which helps make it all feel more real and exciting! We can also hear her heartbeat and even hiccups. 💛

Trips to Nashville and Ohio! My sisters met E and I down in Nashville for the weekend, and I went back to Ohio with them to visit my parents and grandparents. It was super fun to spend time with them! My last visit with them was around 15 weeks, so the whole baby news thing felt a lot more real this time around.

Decorating and prepping our apartment for baby! Can’t wait to share more photos of the baby’s room soon! 😍

Hiring a doula! We hired the amazing Julia Peterson as our doula and working with her leading up to the birth has been so, so helpful and empowering.

20 weeks!

FEELING (PHYSICALLY): most obviously, I definitely “popped” and it’s obvious that I’m pregnant. I think the bump really started obviously showing towards the end of the second trimester…maybe around weeks 23-24? Other than that, I am way, way, way less tired than the first trimester. In those first few weeks (mostly like 7-13), I was so tired that I had to take a nap almost every afternoon because I physically couldn’t stay awake. During the second trimester, I really felt my energy increase. I did try to stay super attuned to my body and rest when I was tired, but it wasn’t the same all-consuming need to nap like I initially experienced. The acne I had in the first trimester went away completely (🙏🏻) during the second trimester, thanks in part (I think) to my probiotic vitamins. I also shared that I was really gassy in the first trimester, which I think wasn’t as noticeable or common in the second trimester. Towards the end of the second trimester, I really started to experience a lot more back pain, especially at the end of the day and while I’m sleeping. 😣 Unfortunately, I don’t think this is going to go away or get better, but trying to stay positive about it, since overall, I’ve been really fortunate in terms of pregnancy symptoms and issues. Overall, I felt much more myself and definitely more productive than the first trimester.

FEELING (EMOTIONALLY/MENTALLY): a lot of the feelings of overwhelmingness, stress, anxiety and panic subsided in the second trimester. I think having the news “out there” really, really helped. We told our family and close friends at 8-9 weeks in the first trimester and publicly shared a little after the second trimester began at 15-16 weeks. While I did experience some stress in the second trimester, it was more focused on the future and OMG WE’RE GOING TO BE PARENTS excitement vs. stress and worry about all of the testing procedures, possibility of miscarriage, etc. Overall, during the second trimester (and now) I’m feeling a lot more calm and at peace with the birth process and just being a mom in general. It’s obviously still overwhelming, but it’s shifted to more a really good overwhelmed vs. stress/pain/anxiety overwhelmed, if that makes sense. I’m super grateful that Eric is such a calm and stable person, because he often navigates me back to a more centered, peaceful view on all the life things. ✨

PREPARING FOR BABY: I’ve been doing lots of shopping for cute baby things! I’ve been told to not buy a ton baby clothes, because other people will do that for us, but it’s so hard. 😳 I’ve been in full-blown organizational mode, so sorting baby clothes and accessories by age/size. During the second trimester, we really started getting our apartment prepped for baby. We transitioned the walk-in closet off our bedroom into the baby “room” and put up removable wallpaper, set up the crib, etc. More to come! We also worked on our birth preferences with our doula during the end of the second trimester, which made me feel a lot more educated, empowered and excited about the birth experience.

READING: Mama Natural Week-by-Week Pregnancy Guide (and a ton of non-baby related books that I shared in this post)

WEARING: I really haven’t transitioned into a full-blown maternity wardrobe, but instead trying to weave in regular clothes with a few maternity pieces. During the second trimester, I bought a Bellaband, this amazing band that allows you to wear your regular, non-maternity jeans for longer. I was able to wear my regular jeans with the Bellaband until about 23-24 weeks. Woo hoo! In the second trimester, did pick up some maternity basics that have been great, including maternity jeans from ASOS (SO COMFY) and this black STORQ jumpsuit. I’ve been wearing regular non-maternity tops and sweaters (since most of my clothes are oversize and baggy anyway 😆) with leggings a lot, as well as flowy non-maternity dresses. In terms of footwear, I pretty much wore tennis shoes or my slides/mules throughout the entire second trimester (and now, too!). I’m working on a big blog post of my maternity wardrobe, so stay tuned for that!

FITNESS: Thankfully, I’ve still been able to work out and did so throughout the second trimester pretty consistently. When we were traveling in Europe (weeks 19-21 of my pregnancy), I didn’t workout regularly, but we did lots of walking. When home, I’ve worked out on average about 4-5x/week doing a mix of yoga, Pilates and SoulCycle classes. I have been doing more yoga at home (E and I are both obsessed with Yoga with Adriene) and also started taking prenatal-specific Pilates and yoga classes.

FOOD AVERSIONS/CRAVINGS: Same as first trimester – give me all the smoothies or just cold, fruity things! During the second trimester, I was definitely craving less healthy stuff. Usually I eat fairly healthy and WANT to eat fruits, veggies, etc. but I definitely wasn’t as interested in that stuff throughout the second trimester.

VITAMINS: Silver Fern Probiotic Vitamins and Care/Of Vitamin Packs (including a prenatal, calcium and fish oil vitamins)

HELPFUL PRODUCTS: Saje Pain Release Essesntial Oil (so helpful on my back), The Honest Company Belly Balm  and LEGGINGS!

Thanks for reading!

18 weeks!

20 weeks!

25 weeks!

27 weeks!

life update

Posted on: Wednesday, August 16, 2017

I have some fun and v big news to share today! We are having a baby! And whew, it feels really good to finalllly share the news publicly (I’m so bad about being secretive). 💛 Our little BB is coming in January, so he/she will share a birthday month with me!

We found out we were pregnant when the baby was about 5 weeks and now we’re at about 16 weeks! At first, and especially during the first few weeks, it felt surreal and didn’t quite sink it that yes, we are having a kid. A few weeks ago, we had an ultrasound where we felt and heard the baby’s heartbeat and saw he/she moving (dancing) – it was so cool to experience and really clicked like THIS IS HAPPENING.

This is obviously a totally new phase of life for me/us and there’s a lot of unknowns but I’m trying to remind myself that so many other life phases were unknowns too – moving across the country, getting married, etc. And, I figured out those new phases out and learned a lot along the way. And I will do the same with this whole pregnancy/mamahood thing too!

Thank you to everyone for being so supportive and encouraging and amazing and kind to us! My support system is truly one of life’s biggest and richest gifts and words can’t quite explain how much I appreciate the advice, kindness, celebrations and love from our family and friends. ✨

And, I happen to think Prince Jack will be the cutest big (furry) brother. 💛 What do you guys think? 😉

In case you’re interested, here’s some random updates about my pregnancy so far!

FEELING (PHYSICALLY): overall, really good! Fortunately, I haven’t been sick at all (🙏🏻), but I have been super, super tired. Like, must-take-an-afternoon-nap and still go to bed at 9pm tired. Since I work remotely, my schedule is fairly flexible, so I’ve been waking up earlier to start work at 7/8am and then taking an hour or so nap in the afternoon and resuming work in the afternoon/evening. The tiredness was especially true/all-consuming during the first trimester, but like clockwork, I’ve started to get my energy back after hitting 13 or so weeks. Whew! I’ve also been feeling a lot more soreness in my lower back/hips/obliques. Not surprising, of course, since my body is obviously going to expand, but still kind of painful. My Saje pain release essential oil has been a lifesaver! Oh, and my acne realllllly flared up at the beginning, which has been a not-so-great (but apparently common) pregnancy symptom. Oh and one more not-so-glamourous and pretty gross physical thing — the first few weeks I was super gassy. It wasn’t great. This symptom wasn’t one I heard about a lot so…maybe people just keep that super private or maybe I’m the only one who experienced this symptom. 😂

FEELING (EMOTIONALLY/MENTALLY): When I first found out, I was a mix of happy and panicked. This happened a lot faster than we expected, so I guess I was just thrown off guard a bit! The all-encompassing emotion I felt especially in the first 5-9 weeks was just overwhelmed. By 8-9 weeks, I had told my family and inner circle of friends and I felt immediately better. Their support and encouragement really helped me shift towards more excitement over fear and stress. It was also stressful for me to keep this huge life thing private, especially when in social situations (aka – after saying you aren’t drinking after a few times, it’s just kind of obvious). I think a lot of this stress and overwhelmingness came from 1) being bombarded with lots of medical info and ‘worst case scenario’ doctor stuff about testing, etc and 2) feeling a little bit like a loner in the mom department. I don’t know a ton of moms/families in the Bay Area and that felt startling and difficult- how was I going to do this?! Thankfully, a lot of those feelings have subsided when I was reminded, over and over, that I have so many supportive and loving people in my life (moms and otherwise) both in the Bay Area and all over and everything was going to be okay. More than okay!

READING: Bringing Up Bébé, Mindful Birthing and allll of the MOTHER articles

WEARING: I still fit into all my pre-pregnancy clothes, but have been wearing less jeans and more flowy dresses/casual leggings + tshirt combo. I don’t really want to purchase a ton of maternity clothes, so going to try to work with what I have for the most part (said while I’m still fairly small and haven’t grown a ginormous belly *yet*) But, I do have my eye on the Storq leggings, jumpsuit and tank dress and I’ll probably get the Madewell maternity jeans too. Any other cool maternity brands/clothes you guys know of/recommend?

FITNESS: I’ve been continuing to work out 5x/week, mostly yoga and Pilates, plus a few SoulCycle classes. Other than making some modifications to different poses/moves, exercising has been pretty much the same since pre-pregnancy. Working out (as always) has been super beneficial both physically and mentally. I know this routine will likely change as my pregnancy progresses/I get much larger, so if any of you have recommendations on pre-natal friendly workouts, send my way!

FOOD AVERSIONS/CRAVINGS: I haven’t really had any aggressive aversions. I miss sushi. I’ve been craving cold and fruity, so have been making a lot of smoothies (but that’s pretty normal for me). I’m also drinking tons of water.

VITAMINS: Rainbow Light Prenatal Vitamins and Silver Fern Probiotic Vitamins (which I’m convinced have really helped clear my acne and help boost my immune system)

Thanks for reading! More photos below – and thanks to Lisha Wang for snapping these photos of us in our apartment!


Creative & Cultivate Recap

Posted on: Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Earlier this month, I traveled to NYC with my bestie Aimee to attend Create + Cultivate! C+C is an amazing one-day conference for female creatives and entrepreneurs that happens a few times in a year in different locations, like NYC, LA, Dallas and Palm Springs. The conference covers topics like influencer marketing, branding, promotion and pitching yourself,

It was my first conference I’ve attended on behalf of myself/my own company Lucky Collective and it was total inspiration overload. One of my favorite #fangirl moments was attending a panel with the cutest mom blogger Naomi from Love Taza. We also met Insta-famous dog @toastmeetsworld! 😍😍 Since I work with a lot of brands on influencer partnerships and events, it was also super interesting to see how different brand activations came to life at C+C. More about that is below.

A few favorite brand pop-ups:

Saje Wellness‘ pop-up area allowed you to apply (and reapply…and reapply…like Aimee and I did) different essential oils throughout the day. That energy essential oil was key! 🙏🏻  I have several of their oils and am completely obsessed.

Birchbox had a build-your-own Birchbox station where attendees could add different makeup, hair and skincare products to a box to take home. 💋

Vital Proteins had fancy waters and different drinks, like matcha lattes mixed with their collagen. It was super refreshing and a gorgeous space! I also discovered their new Collagen Beauty Water products and now am obsessed with the Cucumber Aloe one.

Laura Mercier’s makeup station was key – literally Aimee and I were so tired by the afternoon so getting our makeup refreshed made us both definitely look and feel much better. 🙂

La Croix‘s booth was probably the most Instagrammable (look at the pics of their La Croix flower wall!), plus they had epic swag like pins, bananas and cute postcards.

I can never resist wearing a flower crown and loved this MASSIVE one from Urban Stems. Overall, while it was a SUPER long and kind of tiring day overall (networking is hard, y’all!), I’m really glad I went to the conference! It was amazing seeing firsthand everything C+C put together and how well curated the speakers and brand activations were.

Thanks for reading! xx

thoughts on social media, part 1

Posted on: Thursday, January 19, 2017

today I want to share about social media and the wild world of the Internet. I’ve shared about this subject before (in 2011!); the importance of turning off your phone and focusing on real life instead. lately, i’ve noticed how easy it is to get slightly “off course” and fall victim to some not-so-awesome aftereffects of social media and the Internet. these social media platforms and apps in and of themselves aren’t bad, harmful or negative – but the way we use them and/or let them impact our lives can be a slippery slope.

there are SO many good things about social media, like the opportunity for connection and encouragement and inspiration, and i’m going to do a separate post (part 2!) about all of the amazing aspects very soon. but today, i want to share some outcomes of social media usage that aren’t so meaningful, inspirational or encouraging and discuss how the right perspective on something powerful and good like social media can easily shift to something skewed and not-so-great. without further ado:

the comparison trap:
have you ever felt bad about yourself because your life doesn’t look like the perfectly curated Instagram squares of other people’s lives online? do you ever feel like your Facebook feed is flooded with other people’s exciting life updates – marriages and new jobs and babies and home ownership – when your own feels boring in comparison? or perhaps jealous because of someone’s impeccable #minimalliving or trendy #ootd when your home feels cluttered and today’s outfit is old leggings and a giant sweatshirt? please tell me i’m not the only one…(and yep, that’s what i’m wearing right now as I type this.)

there’s this thing called the social-comparison study arguing that people track and access their self-worth by comparing themselves to others and how this can lead to insecurities and feelings of insignificance. when we’re bombarded with seeing all the cool things people are doing and wearing and eating online, we can often feel like what we’re doing and wearing and eating isn’t quite measuring up. and that isn’t how our lives are meant to be lived at all. i’m striving for less comparison and more contentment. less of that “less-than” feeling and more “I am enough” no matter what my home, clothes, relationship status, whatever looks like. for more about comparing on social media (and why/how to stop), check out this article and this one too.

the urge to constantly refresh/check my phone:
some of you probably don’t quite understand this and I’m jealous of you for having a healthier relationship with social media than I do. as someone who works in social media and genuinely *usually* likes social media, i find myself ALWAYS GLUED TO MY PHONE and ALWAYS CHECKING/REFRESHING. when i’m bored, I check my phone. when i’m sitting at home drinking tea with E and there happens to be a gap in the conversation, I check my phone. before bed, I check my phone. it’s become a really bad habit that I want to break. one thing I’m trying to do to combat constant phone checking is to bring a book or journal in my bag, so I can divert my attention to something a little more meaningful (for me) when I feel the urge to check Facebook/IG/Pinterest/Snapchat/Twitter/every app possible.

my friend melissa told me about an app called moment that shows you how often you pick up your phone and how much time you spend checking each app on your phone. YIKES. she said it’s super eye opening and if you’re someone who feels like you’re always checking your phone (yep, me for sure), then this app sounds like a helpful way to monitor yourself and evaluate your social media habits.

the “i should have an active online presence” pressure & obligation:
I’ve spent my entire career doing social media for brands and businesses and telling them the importance of consistent content – sharing regularly and giving your followers consistent news, information and so on. i’ve been “active” on social media personally since college, but recently, I’ve felt an overwhelming pressure to create and share and engage. and then guilty when I’m not doing so. other people seem to be able to actively post content and interact with others so regularly – why shouldn’t I?

I was talking about this with a friend who mentioned she felt the same struggle and pressures. it was difficult for her to be active online – share her workouts, promote brands, attend Twitter chats, review products, etc. – while juggling a full-time job and new baby. she felt an obligation to share and engage on social media all the time, because she was in an online community of others who did so, and expected her to do the same. separately, I was recently introduced to the idea of “comment pods” on Instagram, where you share your posts with a group via direct messages and everyone is supposed to comment on your photos to boost your engagement, and you’re expected to do the same back. at first I liked the idea…it seemed like a cool way to support some gals on IG that I like and help boost engagement on my own account at the same time. but then it turned into this deep, dark rabbit hole where I constantly felt obligated to comment on SO MANY PHOTOS and a lot of the comments I was getting back felt inauthentic and pointless, like  “great feed” and “keep up the good work.” (um, thanks?).

when social media starts to feel like an obligation and a chore, i think it’s time to re-evaluate how you spend your time on any given platform, and find ways to manage your stress accordingly. for example, right now I have to stay active on my client’s Instagram and Facebook page because it’s my job – but I don’t need to force myself to constantly always do the same on my personal accounts.

the FOMO:
I was talking with another good friend who mentioned she was having an amazing weekend trip with her husband, but then checked IG and saw that her friends were at a weekend trip and never invited her. she immediately felt the all-too-common FOMO (fear of missing out) and was in a bad mood afterwards. often times, social media can make us feel discontent in the moment we’re in – even if we are also doing something amazing and fun at the same time! being glued to what other people are doing and sharing takes away the joy and presence of being right where we are IRL.

the obsession with affirmations:
hi, I’m Andi and I crave affirmations. for real though, my love language is words of affirmations and I feel most loved/accepted when I’m given genuine compliments and affirmed. it’s even for silly small things, like my dad telling me (again and again) that yes, he did like the gift I gave him for Christmas. ha! often my perceived insecurities stem from a lack of encouragement and approval and i’ve noticed that social media can play into this. sometimes i’ll actually think, “wow. no one has commented on this photo or Facebook post. why did i even post this?!)” or be annoyed when one photo or tweet isn’t liked liked/retweeted/responded to as much as something else I’m shared. IT’S SO SILLY AND RIDICULOUS THAT MY BRAIN IS RESPONDING THIS WAY. i’m trying to remind myself to embrace this bob goff quote: “the more we fill our lives with purpose, the less time we’ll spend looking for approval.” I don’t always feel like this, but I’ve noticed that it can be really easy to use social platforms as ego-boosting, approval-craving tools. Instead, let’s think of them as purposeful platforms for connection, inspiration, encouragement and community.

if you’ve made it to the bottom this post, seriously WOW and thank you for reading! I’d LOVE to hear what you think – if you’ve ever noticed any/all of these effects social media may have on your mindset, self-worth and mood. the most important thing to remember, all the time, is that our real life (compared to the virtual self) needs to be cared for, loved, celebrated. sometimes taking a few days off or re-evaluating how much time we spend on our phones makes all the difference.

stay tuned for part two of this topic coming soon! i’m going to be sharing a few reasons why i appreciate social media and chat about a lot of the goodness and awesomeness it brings to my life! xo

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