First trimester pregnancy essentials.

Wide brim Fedora4 months
I wish I would have written more in my first few months of pregnancy. I wasn’t feeling up to much of anything except eating and sleeping of course, but I know I will regret not recording more of this flash in time…….the time when I get to carry my child so close inside.

Did you keep a baby journal? I have kept one for each of my children, although poor Max has the least entries as I know is a result of just being the third child among a busy bunch, but I am resolving to do better! I thought I would share a debriefing of my first trimester. It went something like this…

Surprise.
Peace.
Seasickness.
Drowsiness.
Sushi please.
Coffee repulsion.
Insta curves.
Pass the fries.
Baby cheek daydreaming.
Let’s nap.
What is motivation?
Name game.
Sore muscles.
Teenager breakouts.
Anticipation.
Hibernation.
Joy. The real good, can’t stop smiling kind.

Pretty much my first trimester in a nutshell folks. The pregnancy is flying by because I have three other rambunctious and scrumptious little ones to distract me. I told Gabe he could decide if we should find out the gender or not. I think we both are feeling impatient, but ultimately love that surprise delivery room moment of meeting him or her. 

All whiteIn Honor of Design Big floppy hat {Top: Shopbop // Pants: 7FAM c/o // Necklace: Gold & Gray c/o // Heels: Franco Sarto (thrifted, similar pair) // Hat: (similar)

We have a few names narrowed down for both boy or girl, and love discussing the topic over a good coffee date (did I mention I no longer am repulsed by coffee now that I hit my second trimester? Praise God!). We like to see the face of the baby first before naming them, but I have some favorites taking the lead. Gabe lights to guard these names with the utmost secrecy in case they be snatched out of his hands by who knows who. He makes me laugh…

What were your favorite things to get you through your first trimester? The things that added a little spring in your tired step, or calm to the dizziness? Here are a few of mine:

Electric Blanket - Frivolous I know. My mom gave me one for Christmas a few years ago and I have used it more than any other throw (and I am a blanket hoarder). It was so comforting for sore backs and muscles, and super plushy soft. I think mine was by sunbeam.

Night Mask - Holy chicken pox! My skin really suffers my first trimester. As in, I breakout worse than I ever did my teen years. I read a cool article on helping your skin on Mother mag, but the Julep oil wash and night mask have been extremely helpful.

Loose leaf Tea Blends – Since coffee was out of the picture I clung to my warm brews to settle my stomach in the morning and evenings. Yogi teas are really good for pregnancy, and the Teavana blends always hit home too.

Blanqi leggings - I have talked about their several times, but have newly discovered their leggings. WOW. Good support for back and belly, and smoothly flatters growing curves. (Hi hips! It’s good to see you again!) I didn’t have the desire to get dressed most days, and jeans were extremely uncomfortable as the waist line got tighter. I would just put these on, fold over the top (will probably keep unfolded for some outfits), and throw on a large comfortable sweater. I usually have a no leggings as pants rule for myself but it when you aren’t leaving the house, why not?

Foot cream - Gabe’s new years resolution was to give his pregnant wife more massages. He was semi-sarcastic, but me gifting him with this hand cream to use on sore feet has helped him keep his resolution. Resourcefulness.

Vitamin B6 - In addition to pre-natals I like to take Vitamin B6 for help with the seasick phase. It really kept it bay for me.

Peppermint and Lemon Essential oils – A few of the smells I could tolerate that were really soothing behind the ears to help you doze of to sleep when the nausea won’t let you. Also good in tea, and body butters. (If you don’t have a place to pick them up, you can get them from my friend Lesley!)

I’d love to hear your first trimester pregnancy essentials or any trimester as I still have months to go! 
Cheers to the great adventure of growing a baby,
Anna

Thank you Kathryn McCrary for these photos! Hopefully will be better at pregnancy photos too for my little one’s sake. I tend to want to avoid pictures, but what a cool thing those photos are to look back on for them. I really value the pictures of my own mother expecting.

Ethically Made Clothing Companies.

Americans are currently spending over 200 Billion dollars a year on retail merchandise (source). And every day, there are thousands of workers in sweatshops across the globe making just $1 to $2 to provide for their whole family. There are very harsh conditions in sweatshops across the globe, and many of deaths occur as a result.

Ever since I was a teenager I have bought my own clothes. I worked various jobs, and was taught at a young age the value of earning your own dollar. My style changed and evolved, but I usually frequented the same shops. I never gave much thought to buying higher quality ethically made clothing. I never really had the option to buy high quality prices since I was working my way through college, and after that, I was getting married and saving for our family. Every dollar was hard earned, but I never thought much about where that money was going when spending it on clothing.

In Honor of Design- Ethically Made Clothing Companies
In Honor of Design

(featuring the black pantsuit from Seamly Co, Coat: Vintage(similar one), Clutch: Aldo, Shoes: (similar), Necklace: Kendra Scott)

I always have been aware of the state of consumerism in the world, but admit that understood little about how our economy and business affected the lives of many in other countries. I started to read more about ethically made clothing and watch more documentaries. I had a growing desire to live with less, and with a better awareness of what I was supporting with my dollar. I feel a growing sense of responsibility to know the weight of each of my purchases. Believe me when I say, I was the Forever21 and H&M frequenter always on the hunt for the best bargain. In fact I just bought a really great hat that was questionably inexpensive, and am still having guilt. It’s hard to ignore the great deals, I know! It takes extra effort to actually find out where and how things are made. However, I want to really make the effort to at least be more aware of WHO is behind the inexpensive clothing. Who are the people, and what is there story?

My friend Sheila introduced me to this really mind bending series called Sweatshop. It is worth a watch and a share as it really paints the painfully true picture of how many clothing companies sell to the masses. It will leave you with lots to think about…

I thought it would be helpful to share a resource list of ethically made clothing companies. (Thank you Hanna for taking the time to email me some of these recs!)

Seamly Co
Everlane
Orange Harp (an app for finding designers in this category)
Ethica
Vivianchan
MM LaFleur
Steven Elan
Alternative Apparel

See an updated ethically made jewelry list, and handbags and shoes coming soon!

Did I miss any? Let me know!
I think the problem across the globe is a large one, but I am convinced that there is a growing number of people who are willing to fight for the quality of the lives behind our clothing. I loved this quote shared by Johanna:
“Every time you spend money, you are casting a vote for the kind of world you want to live in.” – Anna Lappe

Thanks for always being such kind hearted readers by the way. It makes this such a good place to come and share.
x, Anna

P.S. If you are building a wardrobe from scratch, minimizing your closet, or supporting ethically made clothing, you can tag #consciousclosets on instagram to connect with others doing the same!

Flea Market Fixer Challenge

Today I get to kick off my partnership with Valspar paint! So excited to be on its Blogger Panel this year; and share some really cool projects and color stories with all of you. The challenge for today’s post was to find a flea market piece to make over with Valspar’s Chalky Finish Paint.

Sprucing up flea market finds has been one of my favorite hobbies since I was in college, so couldn’t wait to tackle this mission. We have been discovering some of the great antique and flea markets Atlanta has to offer. Saturday Gabe and I made a date of it, and we went on the hunt for some possible subjects to make over…

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We started at Lakewood Antique Market. Lots of good pieces ready for some love. The Fiestaware always calls my name. Paris on Ponce and Scotts Antiques are two other fantastic places to play treasure hunt, but since we were already up north we ended up at Queen of Hearts….

IMG_5644 deskwinner

^^ Here was the winner! This piece will be used as an entryway console, with drawers for storage! When you don’t have a basement, you have to start thinking of ways to use things for multiple purposes. The drawers will be perfect for storing little shoes and toys;) I can’t wait to go over this with new color and pulls!

wardrobe

^^ This piece was a close second. If only we had space for a wardrobe! Pieces at Queen of Hearts are usually already painted to sell. It is nice to have a wide selection of furniture that is already prepped. The prices range there, but you can find some really reasonable pieces.

I will be using Valspar Chalky Finish Paint as well as wax finish to give this piece a color makeover. Valspar’s Chalky Finish Paint launches at Lowe’s March 1st!. It is hard to hunt down a good chalky finish paint. I would find it once in a while at particular flea markets, but never had any luck finding it in stores, so I am so happy it will be easily accessible. It’s also nice that it is durable, affordable, and easily layered :)

There are many finish options such as matte, distressed, satin and antiqued; and I am leaning towards the satin finish. The paint is compatible with the Clear Sealing Wax which that provides a protective coating to ensure a longer lifespan, and the Dark Antiquing Wax highlights crevices for a vintage look. I am having a tough time deciding on the color. Here is some inspiration I am using as a guide…

Hues

(Sources: One, Two, Three, Four)

I would love to pull it into the color scheme we are developing for the living room. There are some great options so I have narrowed them down to Opera Gown, Trousseau Blue, or Beaded Reticule :) Stay tuned! Will be sure to share the finished result soon.

This project is in partnership with Valspar paint. I am so excited to be doing a few upcoming projects with them!