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Monday, September 29, 2014

Fun Fall Fashion ~ Maternity Style


In honor of making our way into Fall I thought I would write a quick How To on transitioning your summer looks into the Fall. These are all easy things that you may already have in your closet and don't have to be maternity (which you all know how much I love that).  

First let the layering begin! Depending on where you are in the country, the temperature may have changed a lot or just a little. Plus with your own body temperature changes you want something that you can easily put on and off. I am in LOVE with ponchos and kimonos like the one below!! They are comfy, fun, flattering and most importantly not maternity so you can wear them after! Warm it up by adding leggings like shown below or pair it with some shorts and your favorite tank if its not quite cool enough for leggings.  
 

For a work look add a cardigan or blazer to your summer dresses with a great statement necklace. Add a belt if you want a more defined bump. Want a bit more edge? Add a leather moto! Again blazers and jackets don't have to zip/button so they don't have to be maternity. Check out your closet and play with any you have already, you might surprise yourself.   



Bust out those light weight scarves! Scarves are a great way to add some warmth without a whole layer if you are just not there yet. They bring your summer looks into the Fall seamlessly. You can mix and match these ideas like shown below with the scarf and blazer over a summer tank maxi. 


I hope these tips helped inspire some fun Fall fashion for you and your bump! Want some one on one advice message me on Facebook or leave a comment here! 


Friday, August 15, 2014

"OMG I wish I knew you existed..."

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“OMG I wish I knew you existed before having my little one” I get this a lot when people hear about what I do. Baby planning is still a fairly new service. Not many people know about it AND many don’t know how helpful it can be in saving them time, money and energy until after baby comes. So here are some things I hear that people didn’t know they needed to know and all of which I can help you with:


1.       Baby Registry Overload – most expecting parents hit the stores excited to setup their registry then about 30 minutes in they realize there is A LOT OF BABY GEAR and not only that, they have no idea what they need, don’t need, doesn’t work, rated highest in safety, the list goes on. Those friendly store helpers are very helpful but they are also there to help sell these items so be careful. Before you know it you have a registry a mile long and you couldn’t be more overwhelmed and exhausted.

2.       The Nursery is not just a cute place for baby to rest his/her precious head, there are some things you can do to make it a smart, functional space that keeps you sane when you are exhausted. Here are some common Nursery mistakes:
a.       Not organizing baby clothes by size – leads to not knowing exactly what you have/need and unused clothes
b.      Putting the crib near a window or under an air vent – keeping baby’s temp regulated is very important
c.       Not having what you need within arm’s reach at the changing table – nothing worse than being knee deep in a poopy diaper and you can’t reach the wipes or a new onesie.
d.      Not maximizing storage space / Knowing where to put all the baby items – using clever storage solutions to house all those tiny baby items keeps things looking nice and easily found.

3.       Getting it all clean. I am not just talking about washing all of the baby clothes. Bottles, crib sheets, nursing supplies, loveys, blankets, towels – it all needs to be cleaned and with baby sensitive cleaning products.

4.       Just because you are expecting doesn’t mean you have to buy Maternity Clothes. Most women dread maternity clothes and for good reasons. They can be well either frumpy or expensive and sometimes both! Nothing annoys me more than seeing a plain tank or shirt labeled maternity that is exactly like a tank or shirt in the next department of a store and its $10 more expensive because it says maternity. Now, there are some great maternity pieces I would recommend but if you are going to get a new wardrobe let’s make sure you can use it after too!

5.       Returns. Many expecting parents feel obligated to keep every gift they receive; Don’t! Ok so the “Grandma Loves Me” onesie from Grandma you may have to keep but for the most part, there are items you will get that were not on your registry, aren’t your style and/or are duplicate/similar items. Take those items back and get the much needed items still on your registry. Most people want you to have things you will actually use for the baby and will never actually notice you didn’t keep something they gave you. I can’t tell you how many times people will keep them and they will sit there, price tag on, only to get tossed or donated. Now I think donation is great so if you don’t need any more items I love the idea of donating new baby items to a local charity. In fact, some of the items I have received that I could not use or return I absolutely donated.

This is not to make it sound like planning for your little one isn't fun, it is absolutely tons of fun especially when you are prepared and/or have someone by your side that can help you along the way. That is one of the main reasons I started this business, to make planning for your new baby fun and as stress free as possible! I help show you how or if you just don’t have the time/energy I can do it for you. Email me today to chat toduebaby@gmail.com!

Friday, June 6, 2014

What Works For You ~ Return to Work Planning

If you are a working mom-to-be and plan to return to work after your little one arrives, do you have a plan in place? Here are some things to keep in mind when creating a Return to Work Plan.


1.       First if you haven’t already, meet with your HR representative about what your company offers in the way of Maternity Leave. I recommend you do this as soon as you let your company know you are expecting for financial planning purposes and so you know how much vacation you will need to save. Also check into state assistance: California offers compensation while on maternity leave for both Mom and Dad!

2.       Once you know what is offered, figure out what is going to work for you and your family. Can you afford to take 3 months or 6 weeks? How much PTO do/will you have?

3.       The most important thing is to be flexible. Although you get a due date very few babies are actually born on their due date. Unless of course you are having a planned C-section or induction, you really have no control over this date. Plus you never know how things will go after so stay flexible on your dates.

4.       Be sure to also share this need for flexibility with your office. Some workplaces are very accommodating to expecting moms while others can be a bit more pushy asking: When? How long? Are you coming back? Try to keep responses general and when in doubt visit with your HR representative.

5.       Going back to work is not always easy. I highly recommend a transition plan to ease back into work part time before coming back full time. Not only are you recovering from delivery, your hormones are balancing back out and well you are sleep deprived. Give yourself some time to ease back into a work schedule and factor this in to your financial plan.

6.       Childcare is the next big thing to consider. Do you have family support? Have you talked to them about helping while you return to work? What is your partners schedule like? How much cross over will there be? If you don’t have family/friend support you will need to check into daycare and/or Nanny services, again factoring this into your budget. Some families find that childcare costs are so high that it can often be a significant portion of their salary and decide to just go back part time or stay at home all together. I highly recommend that you do a very thorough search for childcare by reading reviews, asking for letters of recommendations, visiting the site etc.

7.       If you plan to breastfeed and want to continue when you return to work, figure out how you can pump at work. Do you have an office with a door you can lock? Is there a private place other than the bathroom you can pump? If you don’t have a space, again speak with HR as this is something your workplace needs to provide. Is there a place you can store your milk? If you company has a fridge be sure you have a cooler you can store your milk in with a cool pack. Company refrigerators get opened all day so you want to make sure you milk stays cool.

8.       Finally, if this is your first, second or fifth child remember to be kind to yourself. Just because you have been able to return to work in the past or know someone who has, doesn't mean that’s what is right for you. I know I have said this already but stay flexible and make decisions that you feel good about. As a woman you will feel pressure and judgment no matter what you do. Ignore it all and do what right for you and your family.

Wishing you all the best in your journey! 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Healthy Pregnancy ~ Food Fitness and Feeling Good


“You’re pregnant eat what you want, you’re allowed!” How many times have we heard this or something similar? Then the whole “Don’t workout unless you were already working out before you got pregnant”. The list of what you can/can’t/should/shouldn’t do is downright confusing for expecting moms!

With my first child I stayed fairly active, did prenatal yoga and craved protein so I ended up gaining the recommended average 27 pounds. Then with my second child vegetables made me sick and I would try to do some cardio but consistently gained a pound a week no matter what so I gave up which equaled ummmm eeeek 44 pounds! Having been knee deep in the battle against the baby weight when I found out I was expecting my third I made a vow that I would do my best to stay healthy this pregnancy in both eating well and maintaining a workout plan approved by my doctor. You should always consult your prenatal provider before beginning or continuing any workout or if you have questions about what to eat.  I am happy to say that I am almost 27 weeks, eating healthy, doing a combination of cardio/ weights/yoga 3 to 4 times per week and have gained only 10 pounds so far. Most importantly I feel good!  I am by no means one of those super fit preggo moms with amazing arms (see picture, enough said). I am just a regular Mom trying to stay healthy during her third pregnancy and avoid crazy unnecessary weight gain that will be impossible for me to get off. Here are just some pointers I have learned and wanted to share, I hope you find them helpful too!

Food. Oh the love-hate relationship of a pregnant woman and food. We want it, it makes us sick, we think we want it and then it makes us sick. It’s a careful balancing act that can have most women wanting to pull their hair out. Give yourself a break, take your time find out what is going to work and what is NOT going to work, but with this in mind…You are nourishing you and your growing baby AND each trimester is different. Play around with food more and try to incorporate as many healthy fruits, veggies, lean proteins as you can with what you are craving. For example, I was/am still craving peanut butter milkshakes. I found an amazing drink at JuiceLand that includes spinach, banana, peanut butter, hemp protein and almond milk. This was a great find I get a veggie, potassium and protein with way less sugar. Of course I have given in to those bad cravings for greasy burgers and fries but you know what I have noticed when I do? I feel like crap afterwards, not because I ate something “unhealthy” literally I feel more tired and weighed down.  Find what you want and try to play with healthier options of it. I was always surprised what I ended up liking that I had never really cared for before pregnancy. This time I am crazy about cucumbers and strawberries, not that I disliked them but I would not always go for them first.

Exercise?!? The truth is staying active when you are exhausted and your body is changing and aching is tough. Honestly its tough even if you aren’t pregnant. Here is the plus, you can help minimize the fatigue, aches and pains by staying active (unless of course your doctor says not to for whatever reason). It won’t prevent it all but if you can experience less discomfort by staying active it’s worth it. As a working Mom it is easy for me to say I am too busy and there are days that I am too busy. There are also days that I can squeeze it in and I have to say when I do, I feel so much better the rest of the day. I read this funny quote on Pinterest that said “No one ever leaves the gym and says man I regret getting that workout in today”. So on Monday I look at my week and decide what days can I make it to the gym (I usually go at lunch). My goal is 2 to 3 times a week and then I try to do yoga and weights at home in the evening a couple of times a week. If I am feeling totally wiped I try to at least do arm weights while I watch some TV in the evenings after my little ones are asleep. Even getting up and doing some quick stretches while at work can make the world of difference on my back. Make a plan that works for you and your schedule. Every now and then talk to your doctor and try something new. There are tons of prenatal workouts you can find and do. If you haven’t tried prenatal yoga or swimming I highly recommend both. I can’t wait for it to heat up so I can hit the pool. The weightlessness in the pool is amazing.  

Always listen to your body and I hope you have a fit and healthy pregnancy!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I Spy Something Sweet and Snuggley

I received the Summer Infant Baby Touch WiFi Video Monitor and Internet Viewing System to review a week ago and have to say I am super impressed. To be honest I used the basic monitors for my two little ones in the past because we have always lived in smaller homes where we could hear the babies from wherever you were so the basic sound monitors were fine. After seeing and using this one I would definitely recommend the investment, here is why.


The video is clear even in the dark and the ability to move the camera and zoom remotely is awesome. This allows you to really see your little one, where they are in the crib and pan around the room. My son loves to curl up in the corner of the bed which always makes me nervous so now I can see him and adjust him if I need to.  As a parent, you often …okay… very often find yourself wanting to peek in on your sweet sleeping angel but you are nervous to wake them so you stand outside their room going back and forth. Being able to see them without the worry of waking them ends this internal battle.  Also it is annoying to cart around a monitor when you are trying to do all those lovely things you do while the baby is sleeping but of course you always have your phone so you can just open the app and take a peek or for those moments when you are starting laundry and you stop dead in your tracks because you swear you heard the baby cry (this also happens in the shower too haha) again you can have it on your phone as backup in case you left the monitor in the other room. Next there is a great talk feature, which many monitors have these days but the phone/computer part takes it one step further and allows you to talk or see your little one from work or anywhere really. I am a working Mom so being able to talk to my little ones or check on them while at work is a huge added bonus. So really this almost acts like a Nanny cam if you will since I can see from work or if my husband and I have a date night/go out of town we can always check in = great peace of mind. The down side is going to be the price, $299 is a good chunk of change and it is at the top compared to other video monitors out there but you can also always put this on your Baby Shower Registry. Remember even if no one gets it for you most places do/have some sort of percent off for items you still have on your registry and you can use any gift cards you receive as well towards its purchase. Again I would say for all the added features it is a good investment for busy parents who want to stay connected. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Maternity Style ~ Trendy Bumps


As a follow up to my post in September on Maternity Fashion, I am excited to get to participate in the fun as I am expecting my 3rd (that’s me in the first pic at 3 months)! I am loving finding ways to incorporate trends into my maternity style, in the top picture I am playing with leather (jacket and pants). When you are feeling a little frumpy adding leather adds a little sexy and you can’t help but feel fun and feisty. Another trend I really like is plaid but I am having some issues figuring out how to incorporate it. Plaid doesn’t look that great on me so I am looking to maybe add it under a sweater or as an accessory (clutch, belt or scarf) and see if that would work better (below pic). Side note: Here in Texas the weather has been so erratic so layering is key. For example, I woke up this morning and it was rainy and 40 degrees now it’s sunny and 60 degrees. Need some maternity inspiration? Follow my Maternity Style board on Pinterest at http://www.pinterest.com/taniadilworth/maternity-style/ and let's play with trends together!  


Friday, December 6, 2013

Let's get comfy ~ Jammie Review



I have to say jammies are one of my favorite things to buy for my little ones and well me too. Who doesn’t like a good pair of comfy soft jammies? I had the privilege of reviewing some wonderful organic jammies ($32) from Baby Essentials that I am really excited about. They are not only made from soft organic fabric but they are super cute too! I personally love the polka dots, but they come in a floral bird print as well. I was a bit nervous at first how the print would hold up in the wash as sometimes organic fabrics with prints can fade but I am happy to report the polka dots are as cute as ever.

As if the soft cuteness of the jammies were not enough, Baby Essentials uses organic cotton grown using sustainable farming practices AND they plant a tree with ever apparel purchase! So you can also feel great about your purchase. In addition to jammies they have dresses, blankets and potty training pants. 


These will make great Holiday gifts for your loved ones enter the code JAMMIES20 and receive 20% off your purchase! Happy shopping! http://babyessentials.biz/shop.html

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Austin OBGYN Opens in Style


I had the pleasure of touring a new OBGYN office, Riverplace OBGYN and meeting with the owner, Dr. John Thoppil. To say the practice is gorgeous is a gross understatement. Dr. Thoppil really pulled out all the stops to make his practice look and feel welcoming and glamorous all at the same time. He and his staff are very friendly, I can definitely see why they have won the Patients Choice Award the last three years. Another unique aspect of the practice you really don't see anymore is that Dr. Thoppil does all his own deliveries. For expecting parents this is incredibly comforting. You spend so much time with your OB, knowing that they will be there when you go into labor is one less thing to stress over. Although new to this part of town, Dr. Thoppil has been practicing for 8 years and 5 of those in the Austin/Cedar Park area. 





Now lets chat about this office. As you can see from the pictures from the wood work to the marble counters to the chandeliers, it's just beautiful. My favorite part outside of all the beauty of course is the personal touches, you can find Dr. Thoppil's family hanging in frames (including his adorable little one, so sweet!). Again glam and welcoming! 

The location is great! In Riverplace and nearby Steiner Ranch there are not many options in that area and there is definitely a need. If you are looking for an OBGYN I would highly recommend checking out Riverplace OBGYN. Visit their website for more information at http://www.riverplaceobg.com/


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Nesting


Clean, organize, set-up repeat. Nesting will likely take over your mind during pregnancy at some point and it is nature’s way of helping you get everything done before baby comes, isn’t that so nice of nature?! Ok so you have piles of baby clothes in the Nursery, gifts in packaging from the Baby Shower and boxes of things that need to be put together. Oh and don’t forget everything needs to be clean and ready when baby comes home (ideally by 36 weeks). Ahhh! As a baby planner this is one of my favorite things to help with. Nothing better than the Momma-To-Be’s face when she walks into her organized, clean and ready to go nursery.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

~ Maternity Fashion ~


During pregnancy you may feel excited/scared/nervous about your growing bump and finding it hard to find something to wear. Everyone is different, some women pop out right away and others don’t show till the end. Either way you will notice your clothes fitting different or well not at all. The world of maternity clothes is a bit daunting because what’s out there is not cute or super expensive. Most women do not want to spend lots of money on a “temporary wardrobe” but here is the tough truth… it’s not that temporary. Many women wear their maternity clothes even after baby comes. I know, I know it would be great if your sweet little one would go ahead and take all that weight with them but they don’t. Now there may be that lucky few who just bounce right back but for most of us it will take some time. Just think, it took 9 months for your body to get there it will take some time for you to get back.  Additionally, if you plan to have more than one it’s smart to invest in some staples that you can use in the future.  OK on to the good news and encouragement! Go shopping! Have fun with it! Try things on, mix and match check out some blogs and find a style you like. Highlight your bump or for some highlight your new bust line. I personally fell into that ugggh I hate clothes attitude and now I have found so many cute styles and things for my clients and I wish I would have done that for myself (next pregnancy for sure!!) Here are some cute maternity blogs I have found. I am thinking I will make this a monthly blog post showing some cute mammas-to-be and their style. I know I wish I would have had this, but let me know your thoughts?

Maternity Style Blogs: