On My Mind Lately

Happy Friday!  I’m officially 38 weeks pregnant today and it’s hard to believe that we will meet our baby girl in (hopefully) the next 14 days.  My dad arrives on Sunday and he will be with us for the next month.  It’ll be tight quarters for a while but I am excited for him to get here!  He and my mom were originally going to fly to Hawaii in mid-September but we realized that the logistics of getting someone to watch your child when you go into labor is pretty daunting when you live on the other side of the world, so we needed some help.  Thankfully he’s up for the challenge so he changed his arrival flight to get here before the baby is born.  Mom will get here in the middle of September once she gets a break from teaching and then they will head home together.  Living so far from family is tough and I’m glad that they will be able to meet their granddaughter so soon after she is born.

Here are a few random things that have been on my mind or caught my attention lately:

New Coffee Mug:  I just bought this mug at Anthropologie (pictured above with my plants that are actually still alive!) and it’s my new favorite (it was on clearance at my store, not sure why it isn’t online).  I love the pink to white ombré and the gold rim at the top.  I’ve been washing it in the dishwasher too and the rim hasn’t faded at all.

Beautycounter:  Who here has used Beautycounter products?  I am not into direct sales and normally immediately shut down whenever anyone approaches me about them.  A friend of mine who is a new momma is a Beautycounter rep though, and she sent me some products recently that I started trying this week.  I’d love to hear thoughts from any of you who use the brand.  Do the products actually work?  Is it worth the price?  Which products would you recommend?  Is there anything I can use while nursing that will make my melasma spots fade?  My tendency is to be skeptical when anyone tries to sell me something, but if they’re safe and actually work then I may be willing to give them a shot.  Verdict is still out though, so let me know your thoughts!

Call the Midwife:  Have any of you gotten into this show on Netflix?  Call the Midwife is a BBC show set in London in the late 1950s and it follows midwives as they help deliver babies in a really poor neighborhood.  It’s an amazing show based off of a woman’s memoirs (I end up happy and sad crying almost every episode) and even though it kind of makes me have sympathetic Braxton-Hicks contractions I can’t stop watching it.  I don’t know if it’s making me more anxious about giving birth or not, but it captures the raw beauty of motherhood and childbirth and is totally worth watching if you’re looking for a new show to binge watch!

Banana Almond Butter Muffins:  Jack is such a picky eater and the only way I can get him to eat most fruits or vegetables is if I sneak them into muffins.  I recently tried a recipe for banana almond butter muffins that I got from the blog For the Love of Gourmet.  Jack devoured them and I couldn’t stop eating them either!  Claire Dieterich writes the blog and she’s a momma, an ultra marathon runner, she’s a fellow West Point grad and I’m excited that she has agreed to write two guest blog posts for me while I’m on maternity leave!  The two recipes she will be sharing on Life with a Dash of Whimsy look absolutely delicious and I can’t wait to try them out and share them with you too.

Costco:  This week we decided to join Costco because the commissary (military grocery store) is far away and is always crowded, and the local grocery stores are really expensive.  I had my first trip a few days ago and we went a little bit crazy.  I now have 5 sticks of deodorant that will last me the next year, but by golly I got them for a great price.  In all seriousness though, shopping at Costco is going to require me to do some serious meal planning so that we don’t waste food, and I’m actually kind of excited about it.  I’m sure once baby girl is born I’ll be thrown for a loop, but for now I’m thinking of it as a way to be creative, save money, and create evenings that are a little less hectic.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  
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Katie Vail
Katie Vail

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  1. Ellie
    August 19, 2017 / 4:38 pm

    I started using Beautycounter about 7 months ago right when I found out I was expecting our 5th baby (due soon after you!). I have used natural makeup and skin care for 15 years but my most recent regimen (Andalou) had grown a bit stale so I took the plunge. I didn't sign up to sell but I did pay in for the Band of Beauty (rewards). My skin has been nothing short of amazing this whole pregnancy, hasn't been this clear and soft since I was in high school (I never had problem skin until I was in an accident in college and for some reason had awful acne for the next 5 years, then during each of my pregnancies my skin was itchy, prone to breakouts and red/oily/nasty – though I haven't really had melasma yet). Beautycounter has truly changed my skin for the best (my diet and exercise routines, while reasonably healthy, haven't changed in the meantime – plus I'm used to terrible skin during pregnancy). As far as the budget…. it is a lot to undertake but I'm fortunate to have been able to get some essentials and stay on track. My favorites have been the Essential Nourishing Starter Set, the charcoal soap bar (I just use a tiny bit once a day), the sunscreen sticks and sunscreen lotion, the nourishing rosewater mist, the touchup concealer, the tint skin hydrating foundation and dew skin foundation (dew skin is UPF 20 sun protection), the cleansing balm for nighttime (I just got it about 2 months ago and it is amazing – so expensive but I use just a little and it's enough), and the rejuvenating facial cleanser (for my gym bag). I really, really like the kids body collection, but the baby collection didn't wow me – not like it was bad, just I wouldn't prioritize it. I also tried the Body Collection bundle with my first order – it smells wonderful and was a great mild option for early pregnancy when I was super sick, but now I'm back to my bumble and bumble most days for the extra boost with styling. The lengthening mascara was a little harsh for my eyes but that's been the story with every mascara I've tried in my life so don't invest too much in my opinion. So all in all… those are my favorites, my budget has definitely taken a hit but since the results have been excellent I have been able to give up some other discretionary spending to make it work, and I do have to strictly limit myself to needs vs wants in the product line, but everything I have gotten has lasted awhile and I'm still seeing amazing results. Also, my current-youngest has extremely sensitive skin and nothing I've used on me or her has caused flare ups for her, as some other natural beauty brands had. I hope you find some things you love (I'm sure your friend who sent samples can help you out with choosing things that would be best for you) and that it works just as well for you!

  2. August 21, 2017 / 7:35 pm

    I don't use beautycounter, but use Crunchi instead! LOVE IT. I think quality-wise it's better than beautycounter, and it smells HEAVENLY. And I'm obsessed with Call the Midwife!! I watched it when pregnant with London… bawled my eyes out every time!

  3. August 22, 2017 / 6:05 am

    We have a Sam's Club membership and it really is nice to have. Sometimes the commissary just doesn't cut it with some things.

  4. August 22, 2017 / 9:58 pm

    I LOVE CTM! I started watching when we lived in the UK and have continued here. Can't wait for Season 8 early next year!

  5. August 26, 2017 / 12:48 am

    I became mildly obsessed with Call the Midwife right after having Holly about 20 months ago. It's such a great show!

  6. August 29, 2017 / 11:10 pm

    It's such an addicting show, isn't it?

  7. August 29, 2017 / 11:11 pm

    It's the best show! We only have 2 episodes left before we finish the series. It makes me sad!

  8. August 29, 2017 / 11:11 pm

    It's such a tearjerker isn't it? Tom and I both cry lol

  9. August 29, 2017 / 11:13 pm

    Hi Ellie, thank you so much for taking the time to share all of this with me! This review is EXACTLY what I was hoping for, so I really appreciate it! So far I really like the dew skin and the cleansing balm. I think I'm definitely going to give a few products a shot. Thanks again for your help!

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