Hello World

March 1st, 2017. 5:54 P.M. The exact time and date that my heart and soul grew infinitely bigger in order to accommodate a love so deep.
I’d like to introduce the world to one of its newest, most precious little humans. My daughter – Acacia Everly. She was born bright eyed and healthy. I’m absolutely over the moon with happiness. Every cliché thing that I’ve ever been told about becoming a parent is 100% true. I went into that hospital as one person and left a completely new one. This past week has had its ups and downs. To say that I’m emotional right now would be an understatement, but overall it’s been the most blissful week of my life so far. Part of me wants her to stay this tiny forever – it actually makes me want to cry sometimes…but another part of me is so excited to see her personality blossom and watch her grow into her own person.

I’ve been taking a break from blogging the last week or so to adjust to the mom-life and recover from labor physically and emotionally. I’ll be posting her birth story in the next couple days.

XX, Chanel

The 39th Week

As I enter into what might be my last week (or days) of pregnancy, I can feel my body preparing for labor. A combination of tightening, cramping, and the uncomfortable sensation that I’m either going to pee my pants or that the baby is going to punch her way out of me. 

This pregnancy has taught me a lot of things about myself. It’s been a truly humbling experience through and through – for my body and mind. I’ve experienced relentless discomfort and pain that, in the moment, felt like would be the end of me…only to triumph through it and realize how strong I really am if I just simply allow myself to be. My entire self-image has done a complete 360 as I’ve whitnessed my body morph itself into a vessel 3x its normal size in order to house not one, but two souls inside of it. Sometimes I’m in awe of this incredible transformation, while most times I selfishly dread the marks left on my skin and the thought that my body will never be the same again. I’ve gained a new form of respect for my own mom and all other women who have gone through this transformative process before me. I now believe that pregnancy is the ultimate expression of true feminine power. And though I’ll never be able to prepare myself for it mentally, I know that the most painful part is still yet to come…only to bring me the most life-changing moment I will ever experience and a true understanding of what unconditional love means. 

Maternity Photos

Maternity Photos

I can’t even imagine the tiny feet that will fill these shoes. I’m excited to meet you, little one. I’m excited to show you the world and watch you grow into the person you’re meant to be – whoever that person is. 

xx, Chanel

Vlog: Tips For Flying While Pregnant

I threw together a vlog, to go along with my original post, that talks more about my personal tips to help make flying while pregnant a little more pleasant for all you traveling mamas out there.
I’d really appreciate it if my lovely readers would show my new YouTube account some love by liking and subscribing to my videos! And if you have any suggestions for future vlogs, be sure to comment and let me know!

Enjoy!

 

 

xx, Safe Travels

Whimsical Nursery Reveal

Nursery Wall Art

I cannot believe how fast my pregnancy has flown by. It feels like just yesterday I was looking at the pregnancy test in shock and awe. I’m so excited and nervous! There is less than two weeks until my due date and I could pop any day now! It really hit me how fast things are moving when we set up the crib and nursery this week. I loved watching Dustin set his up daughter’s crib and helping him paint the wall pink while the dogs watched curiously from the baby activity mat.

Setting Up Crib

Pottery Barn Crib


Whimsical Crib

Butterfly Pillow

Baby Nursery

Nursery Mirror

I wanted a whimsical boho-chic room with lots of blushy pinks and hints of gold, baby blue, and mint green thrown in the mix. The adorable crib, bedding, and canopy are from Pottery Barn Kids. We found most of the wall decor at Hobby Lobby. They have a huge selection of children’s decor right now that fits my vision perfectly and for a good price too. I love the sentimental touches that we added – like my old tea set in the corner of the room and the lyrics to “You Are My Sunshine” on the wall, which my mom used to sing to me and my brother all the time when we were little. We’re still waiting on the matching changing table to arrive and there are some things I’d like to add over time, like a little teepee to play in and some bookshelves, but ultimately I couldn’t be happier with the way everything turned out!

xx, Chanel

Tips For Flying While Pregnant

We recently flew across country to visit Washington D.C. and at the time I was 28 weeks pregnant, just starting my third trimester. Altogether the flights totaled about 10-11 hours long and I can honestly say it was one of the most uncomfortable experiences I’ve ever had. I already have anxiety when flying, so topping that off with being huge, hormonal, and achy just wasn’t a pleasant combo for me. However, there are some things I did to help make flying while pregnant a little easier to deal with. But there are definitely some things that I’d do differently the next time around. So I’ve thrown together a list of tips for flying while pregnant for all you traveling mamas out there!

Tips for Flying Pregnant

Always check with your doctor before traveling.
If your pregnancy is considered high risk, your doctor may advise against traveling. Your doctor will also be able to warn you of any health concerns when traveling abroad. For example, my doctor told me to stay clear of South America and Florida during the duration of my pregnancy due to the recent Zika Virus outbreaks. If you’re in your third trimester of pregnancy it’s best to bring a signed doctor’s note stating when you’re due and that you’re healthy enough for travel, just in case your airline asks to see one. Some airlines actually require a note to travel, though I was never asked to present mine during our trip.

Pick an aisle seat close to the bathroom.
You should expect to get up frequently during the flight, whether it’s to go to the bathroom or to stretch your legs. It’s better to have an aisle seat so you’re not forcing the people sitting next to you to move every time you need to get up. Everyone around you will be a lot more comfortable.

Consider upgrading your seat to one with more leg room.
I had very little room to stretch my legs out where I was sitting and by the end of the flight I was twice as sore and uncomfortable as I already was to begin with. Being pregnant is the perfect excuse to spoil yourself a little by upgrading your seat to one with extra leg room!

Get up to stretch frequently.
Stretching your legs and taking time to walk up and down the aisles is super important to keep your circulation moving because you’re at a greater risk for blood clots and varicose veins while pregnant.

Stay hydrated.
The humidity in aircraft cabins are low, making your chances of becoming dehydrated a lot easier. Everyone, not just pregnant women, should drink plenty of fluids during the flight to avoid this issue.

Wear something comfortable.
You’re going to experience discomfort during the flight a some point. Whether it’s from sitting for too long, from heartburn, or nausea…dressing in comfortable clothes is just one less thing to worry about making your flight uncomfortable. Not only is it common for your feet to swell while flying but you’re going to be getting up for frequent bathroom visits, so wearing something stretchy like leggings or yoga pants is probably a good idea.

Bring healthy snacks.
You’re probably ravenous and “eating for two” lately. Packing your own snacks will be a lot more satisfying than those small bags of peanuts and pretzels they offer and you won’t need to ask the flight attendant to bring you food every time a case of the munchies hits you. It’s also important to pack healthy snacks that don’t make you gassy. With higher altitudes, gas expands, so it’s likely you’ll end up bloated and miserable during the flight.

Don’t forget the neck pillow and blanket.
Your comfort is necessity during pregnancy and long flights. I forgot my neck pillow at home during my recent travels and was kicking myself for it later when I was leaning against my boyfriend’s shoulder and bunching up my coat to use as a makeshift pillow. If you have room on your carry on, adding a light blanket will help make you feel extra cozy during the flight.

Pack TUMS.
If your pregnancy has been anything like mine, then you’ve been having the worst heartburn ever!! Seriously, so horrible that sometimes you feel like you could throw up. I actually forgot to pack my Tums and was hating life during the last stretch of the flight when heartburn hit me hard…I was holding onto the courtesy throw up bag for dear life, just praying for the burning to go away. A pack of Tums was the first purchase I made as soon as we landed.

Use hand sanitizer!
Airports and planes are filled with germs. Think about how many people from all over the world pass through there everyday! Your immune system is lowered during pregnancy, making you more susceptible to catching something, so you want to take any extra precautions to avoid getting sick. It would be miserable to come down with something right when you reach your destination and are ready for a relaxing and fun-filled vacation. Better safe than sorry!

An extra tip: try to schedule your travels during your second trimester. Usually this is when mamas are feeling their best during pregnancy. In most cases, you’re finally done with the dreaded bouts of morning sickness and nausea that the 1st trimester brings. You’ve finally got your energy and appetite back. And you usually aren’t dealing with the aches and pains of your ligaments stretching and preparing for labor as much as you do in the 3rd trimester. If I could go back and do it again, I would’ve definitely planned our trip for earlier on in my pregnancy!

What are your tips and essentials for traveling while pregnant? I’d love to hear from other traveling mamas out there!

 

xx, Safe Travels

 

Mountain Withdrawals

All this winter weather has gotten me down lately. I’m eagerly awaiting the warmer days ahead, filled with camping trips, hikes, mountain drives, burning sunsets, and afternoons spent by the river. I’m especially excited to share these experiences with my daughter and instill in her the same love for the outdoors that I’ve had since youth. I was going through some old photos recently and found ones from a drive in the Boise Nat’l Forest up towards Cascade, Idaho. Though it was windy, it was one of the last warm fall days we had before winter reared her ugly head and transformed the land into a frozen wasteland. It gave me some serious mountain withdrawals, you guys!
I’m wearing one of my favorite pairs of pants from Pacsun. They’re from last season and are no longer in stock, so I’m glad that I snagged this funky pair of bells before they ran out. Luckily, Pylo and Show Me Your Mumu have really cute lines of bell bottoms that are definitely worth checking out if you’re interested in buying a pair of your own. I love bell bottoms and the fact that they’ve been resurfacing the last couple years! I usually style them with a pair of booties and either a flowy blouse or a tank like the one I’m wearing from ZombieVilla – a little brand I discovered at the Chatuchak weekend market in Thailand.

In the meantime, cross your fingers with me that spring will come sooner rather than later!

 

xx, Safe Travels

Top 5 Favorite Places to Eat in Washington D.C.

 


Washington D.C. has been under the spotlight lately due to the controversial transition of power in our government. I’ve been in a state of shock/mourning along with half of the country and the rest of the world. I definitely have some heavy opinions on the topic…but rather than doing what would probably be the millionth politically charged blog post on the internet right now, I’m going to keep my opinions to myself and talk about something we all can agree on. FOOD.  Food is good. And D.C. has some amazing places to eat!

During our latest travels to Washington D.C. we didn’t go a single day eating something that we felt was just “okay“. We tried to steer away from chain restaurants that could be found in our hometown or other cities we travel to. By the end of our trip there were a couple of places in the neighborhood that became our favorites and we ate at more than once. So, I wanted to make a little travel vlog for you guys talking about my Top 5 Favorite Place to Eat in Washington D.C.

The beginning of the video features me unboxing a gift that was sent to me from Modern Map Art, featuring one of their maps of Washington D.C.
They make really sleek looking maps of all sorts of cities and mountain trails. I can’t wait to hang the map up on my wall and start adding more of my favorite cities – I’m thinking Malibu, NYC, Bangkok, and Sedona are next on my list!

Safe Travels, xx