Third Trimester Bumpdate

Third Trimester Bumpdate

                                                                                                                 

This is 39 Weeks!

Wow! I can’t believe we’re already here! In some ways it feels like I’ve already been pregnant for a year and others it seems like just yesterday I was going in for my first appointments. I’m beyond grateful to have had a healthy pregnancy so far! At this point, little babe could come anytime so we are patiently waiting, doing lots of praying for a healthy delivery and soaking up these last few nights of sleep and time just us two!

Life has been flying by and I haven’t had a chance to share too much of my pregnancy journey up until this point but a lot of you have been asking questions so I wanted to share a quick update with you today!

Nesting Mode

I have definitely been in nesting mode at home – getting laundry done, cleaning the condo, organizing and re-organizing the nursery, packing and re-packing our hospital bags, stocking up on snacks, household items and anything we need.

I’m also trying to listen to my body and not become stressed or overwhelmed with the to-dos. There will always be something else to clean and errands to run so I’m giving myself a break and trying to remember that 39 weeks pregnant means and I’m allowed to rest 🙂

Any Cravings?

This is one of the most common questions I receive! Throughout my pregnancy I haven’t had any big cravings and specifically in the third trimester I’ve had more food aversions if anything. The only thing that I’ve consistently wanted is anything fruit – frozen fruit, (give me all the frozen raspberries), smoothies, açaí bowls.

Insomnia

Insomnia is the real deal friends! This thankfully didn’t hit until my third trimester and specifically not until the past two weeks but less and less sleep is becoming the norm. For someone who normally sleeps very well, it has been a little rough some days but I know God is just preparing me for this little bundle of joy that’s coming!

Here’s a few ways I’ve been coping:

  • Taking a shower/bath shortly before bed to relax – I love the Honest Momma Bath Salt
  • Limiting caffeine during the day and drinking herbal tea – I like the Tazo Refresh Mint Tea and the
  • Using a Pregnancy Pillow – linking this one T got for me from Amazon. I will say that it has worked for me some nights and hasn’t others but overall this one got great reviews!

Maternity Wear

For the majority of my pregnancy I’ve been lucky enough to not have had to spend a fortune on maternity clothes. Several of my winter sweaters are already oversized so it has worked for the bump! Anything new that I’ve purchased recently I generally just size up one depending on the item.

I’ve never been so appreciative of pajamas and soft materials in my life than when I’ve been pregnant. Dry/sensitive skin comes with the territory so if I put something on that’s the least bit itchy it immediately comes off!

Here’s the PJ’s I’ve been loving – pregnant or not, they are amazing!

As far as everyday wear, at this point it’s pretty much which pair of leggings do I want to wear! I’ve been loving the Zella Maternity Leggings lately. (These are on sale for only $39 right now!)

Because I’m normally a denim girl, I’ve been wearing denim from Pink Blush Maternity which has been nice to switch things up from the leggings life.

The Nursery

We have the nursery all ready for little baby’s arrival! I’m still adding some decorations and finishing touches and I will put together a full blog post once it’s complete! Our furniture is from Pottery Barn Kids. We also order two recliner chairs from PB Kids – one for the nursery and one for our bedroom and I’m obsessed with both! Linking those here and here.

What I’m Packing

We have our hospital bags packed (even though I’ve probably re-packed mine 5 times at this point!) and ready to go. I’m excited to be sharing a “What’s In My Hospital Bag” post so be on the lookout for that coming soon!

Thank You

I want to end this post with a huge thank you to each of you! So many of you have sent encouraging messages and reached out in some way and I’m so thankful to have a community of supportive friends and women in this space. Can’t wait to continue bringing you along on this blogging adventure!

xoxo, R

 

Travel Essentials: What’s In My Carry-on Bag

Travel Essentials: What’s In My Carry-on Bag

Outfit Details | Stripe Layering Top | Denim Jacket| Black Leggings | Baseball Hat | Sneakers | Sunglasses | Suitcase |                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Travel Essentials

With a lot of ya’ll planning or heading out on spring trips soon, I wanted to share what I pack in my carry-on bag and my go-to travel essentials.

I filmed a “What’s In My Carry On Bag” during our recent Florida getaway and I’m excited to be sharing that over on Instagram Stories, so make sure you head there to see more details! (It will also be saved to a highlight if you save this to reference at a later date!)

Now let’s jump into it!

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What’s In My Carry-on Bag

LV Neverful Tote | I’m such a tote girl and this one IMO is the perfect size for traveling.

Marble Laptop Case | I travel with both a hard cover and a zip case for my laptop to ensure it stays protected. Plus, how cute is this marble design! This White Marble Hard Case is only $17 on Prime and the matching Marble Laptop Sleeve is only $15!

AirPods + Case | AirPods or headphones are a must. I’m someone who likes to be distracted when flying so I usually pop on a Netflix show and I’m good to go. Linking a few cute AirPods cases: Leopard / Marble / LV Dupe – Check / Blush

Catch All Pouch| These are great for keeping all the little things organized. These Clear Pouches are great to quickly find what’s inside.

Hand Sanitizer + Wipes | Hand sanitizer and wipes are items I rarely leave the house without, let alone traveling. Yes, I’m one of those people who wipes down the airplane seat 🙂 but I’d rather be safe than sorry! My favorite hand sanitizer brand is Everyone and you can snag a pack of these on Amazon and throw them in all your bags.

Hair Ties & Scrunchies | I always make sure to have a few scrunchies and hair ties on hand – you never know when you’ll need them/want to throw your hair up after a day of traveling. My favorite are TeleTies, Gimme Hair Ties and I stock up on scrunchies from Amazon – this bag of 65 is only $6!! What!!

Facial Mist | A must for me while traveling! Ya’ll know how much flying just sucks the moisture right out of your skin. I generally like to fly with little to no makeup on so I can let my skin breathe and apply a spritz whenever I’m feeling like my skin it getting parched – or to wake up post flight. I’ve been loving this Pixi Glow Mist lately but also linking a few more of my favorites here: Evian Mineral Water Spray / Boscia Rose Water Mist / Mario Badescue Rose Water Mist

Hydrating Lip Balm | Just like having a face mist on hand, a good hydrating lip balm is key for me. I continue to rave about this Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask which is the perfect buddy to bring on the plane. I also love X and X and the good ol’ fashion Aquaphor Repair Lip Balm works wonders.

Snacks & Mints! | I always make sure to bring a few snacks just in case we were to get delayed, and they often don’t have what I would prefer for a snack on the plane. My go-tos are That’s It Fruit Bars, KIND Granola Bars and I’ve also been loving the Coconut Peanut Butter Perfect Bars lately. Gum and mints are always a must as well!

Healthish Water Bottle | I prefer to bring my own refillable water bottle instead of paying $13 for one at the airport! My go-to is this Healthish Water Bottle that includes the time of day on the side to keep you accountable about staying hydrated and getting your H20 in! Use code RALEIGH for 10% off your order.

Denim Jacket | I always end up freezing on the plane so I like to Dres in layers and adding a denim jacket is my go-to. Plus, it’s an easy item to throw on over a dress for dinner or shopping on your trip. This exact one is only $34! Here’s a few others: Light Wash Denim Jacket / Light Distressed Denim Jacket/

Baseball Hat | I can’t remember the last time I went to the airport without wearing a hat.  This White Adidas Baseball Hat goes with everything and you’ll get so much wear out of it. The best $20 you’ll spend! We usually fly super early in the morning so hats are great for hiding my hair and makeup that I definitely didn’t do for a 6am flight and are perfect for any athleisure or activewear looks you’re planning, depending where you’re going.

LV Card Holder/KeyChain – Can you believe I’ve had this LV Leather Card Case for almost 10 years?! It still looks brand new and has held up so well. Instead of a large wallet, I like to bring a small card case while traveling to keep things light and quick to find. If you don’t want to splurge, I’m linking some similar sized options below!

Gucci Leather / YSL Black / Tory Burch Neutral

Sunglasses + Case | You definitely can’t travel without some sunnies! I just recently snagged these $11 cuties that I’m so excited about!

Small Cross-body Bag | I like to keep a small crossbody bag within my larger tote for times when I don’t need to bring my larger tote, like out to dinner. This specific Tory Burch one is no longer available but I’m linking a similar one below.

Tory Burch Phone Crossbody / Tory Burch Straw Clutch / Straw Bucket Bag

The majority of these items you can conveniently snag on Amazon! I put together a Travel Essentials List so you’ll have a one-stop shop for everything you would need. Just head to my Amazon Store to check it out.

And that wraps it up! I hope this post was helpful and cheers to wherever your next flight adventure takes you!

xoxo, R

 

I Got Hair Extensions! Q&A

I Got Hair Extensions! Q&A

Hello Long Hair!

I’ve always been someone who has had pretty low maintenance hair. With the exception of balayage highlight touch ups and trims a few times a year, paired with hair that can go a good 5 days without washing, I consider myself lucky!

Because my natural hair is more on the fine side, I have played with the idea of extensions in the past for some additional volume. Clip ins were the extent of my trials until Hair by Lauren Burnside approached me about giving NBR Extensions a try. After much conversation and research to make sure I was informed, I decided to take the plunge.

Let me tell you. Best. Decision. Ever!

Here’s why: It has significantly decreased the time it takes me to get ready in the morning and has made my natural hair healthier (less heat, less product) and grow longer.

Q&A

Today I’m giving you the inside scoop and answering your questions on all things extensions!

What kind of hair extensions did you get?

Natural Beaded Rows™ Hair Extensions are an exclusive hair extension method created by Danielle K. White of DKW Styling. The hair extensions are placed in rows in the hair by creating a “track” with an exclusive bead and string technique. Wefts are then placed on the track and sewn in. The extensions are then cut and blended to create a natural and beautiful look!

As opposed to other extension methods, NBR offers:

  • Less points of contact
  • Smaller beads lay comfortable and flat
  • Placement is more comfortable and easier to put up because its U shape it’s more natural.
  • Quality hair is used for a better overall experience
  • Hair is sewn around thread and not your hair insuring a more comfortable wear and less stress to the hair as other all other methods stitch thru your hair
  • Custom colored extensions to match the clients hair which is also custom colored
  • NBR offers constant continuing education on the method and pre-training before even getting certified so stylists are well-informed and educated

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Where did you get your extensions?

Hair by Lauren Burnside – Lauren is an independent contractor who does all of her booking. To book a consultation for extensions, fill out the NBR survey (visit the link in her Instagram bio) as it answers many questions to help with the process.

You can also book color, cut and styling services through Lauren as well!

What is the installation process/how are they attached?

NBR is a bead and thread method – a track is made and handtied wefts are placed over the track and stitched to the track. While the process of initial installation takes 2-3 hours, it is well worth is my friend! This includes:

  • Consultation on extensions, the process and everything that will be done to your hair during the appointment
  • Color, highlight, tone, etc. based on your desired outcome
  • NBR installation
  • Wash, dry, cut, blend and style!

What lengths do the extensions come in? Can those with short hair wear them?

Hair can be purchased in 18” to 22” but Lauren will take care of this for you! Absolutely! Anyone can be a candidate for extensions – short hair, long hair, thin, thick, it’s more a matter of what your hair goals are and what you’re looking to achieve with extensions.

Can you tell you have extensions/see them?

Not at all! In order to ensure the perfect blend, my hair was colored in a certain way so that no matter what, the blend is seamless. My goal was to walk out feeling like I still had my natural hair look/feel, just elevated a bit! (Goal accomplished!)

Specifically on my hair, I received a combination of low lights, babylights and teased foilyage to create a natural blend. I had some areas that needed blending in general and her underneath was all dark/one color and needed to be broken up. Lauren finished with a toner to seal the cuticle after lightening. (No filter photo below.)

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What is the cost?

Most first time clients can expect to pay around $1,000-$2,200+ and this is based on desired length and number of rows needed for the best results. This is of course different for everyone and dependent on multiple factors which is why an initial pre-consultation is so important so you can feel informed going into your first visit.

For specific pricing questions, contact Laurn Burnside

How frequent do you need to re-visit the salon for maintenance?

Follow up appointments are needed about every 6-8 weeks for lifting, depending on your hair. Costs vary for each appointment.

Do NBR Extensions damage your hair?

With proper care and maintenance, not at all!

The question of whether or not your natural hair can get damaged seems to be a common conversation around extensions. Before learning more about the NBR method, I also had my concerns. However! From my experience, if you make your hair a priority and treat it with proper care (just like you would with your skin, exercising, your diet, etc.) it will actually help your natural hair grow!

Can you brush your hair normally?

Yes! Brushing is extremely important when having extensions to ensure the hair doesn’t get tangled or matted.

I try to take a good 5 minutes each night before going to bed to really brush through my hair (starting at the ends and working up) and generally sleep in a loose bun or braid.

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Are there any styling restrictions that come with having extensions?

I have not experienced any down sides in terms of styling with my extensions – in fact I can now do more with having more hair!

What products are recommended for extensions?

A good shampoo and conditioner, daily use of hair oil and a good hairbrush!

Here’s a few of my favorites below:

It’s recommended to shampoo no more than 2-3 per week. Personally, I can go a full week to 10 days in between washes. However! That doesn’t mean neglecting the hair in-between that time. I apply hair oil each day and take time to brush to ensure it gets evenly distributed throughout the extensions.

Here’s a quick run down of my routine for you!

On hair washing day:

  • Mask – I oftentimes apply a hair mask to my dry hair and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes before jumping in the shower (while I catch up on laundry or scroll through Pinterest :))
  • Shampoo – massaging gently where the extensions are placed but still ensuring that all the hair around gets a good wash
  • Condition – I focus the conditioner on the mid to bottom portion of my hair, especially the extensions and let it soak in for a minute or two (if possible, I try to rinse with cold water)
  • Apply Detangler + Brush – I’ve enjoyed using the X detangling spray and I would highly recommend a Wet Brush
  • Apply Hair Oil/Heat Protectant – this is a must! Because extensions do not receive the oils that your natural hair produces, it’s important to take care of them even more than you would your natural hair. I like the X hair oil and the Moroccanoil Hair Treatment
  • Air Dry – When possible, I try to let my hair air dry before applying heat. It’s usually about 75% dry by the time I touch my hair dryer
  • Blow Dry – Because extensions do take longer to dry, my Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer has been life changing! I highly recommend it.
  • Curl + Style – And last but not least, I curl my hair with the T3 Convertible Wand

Can I go swimming and do activities with my NBR Hair Extensions?

This is a common question and yes, you can swim and do activities with extensions. It’s recommended to wear in a loose braid or ponytail.

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How often do I need to get my hair?

It’s suggested that new hair is put in about every 4-6 months. In some cases hair can last up to 8 months. This is different for everyone and dependent upon 

More questions?

If your question wasn’t answered above, be sure to leave a comment below or send me a DM – I’d be happy to chat further with you!

xoxo

Raleigh Tay

My Sunless Tanning Routine

My Sunless Tanning Routine

                                                                                           

Get Glowing!

A frequently asked question I receive from all of you is what tanning products I use and how I achieve my tan on a regular basis. Today I’m sharing just that!

Everyone feels a little bit more confident with a bronzed glow, am I right?! I thought as we’re starting to head into the winter months, what better time to share, because these products can be used all year round!

Keep reading for insight on my tanning routine, favorite products and some tips and tricks!

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Products I Use At Home

When it comes to self tanning at home, I’ve tried several of the most popular products and found these to work best for my skin. Things I look for are, application, smell, natural color and longevity.

To prep the skin, I shower, exfoliate (my current favorite is the Raw Sugar Coconut and Mango Body Scrub) and begin with clean, dry skin.

As a lotion formula, Tanceuticals Color Correct Lotion in Dark applies even to the skin and produces a nice natural color (no orange tints!). The coconut scent eliminates the self tanner smell which is one of my favorite things about this product! Also, the Tanceuticals line is vegan-friendly and doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients so it’s a win win for your skin.

Get 10% off any Tanceuticals purchase with code RALEIGH10 

I’ve also found the Loving Tan 2 Hours Express Mousse is great if you are short on time. St. Tropez’s Classic Bronzing Mousse is another good option but in my opinion, it has a bit more of a tanning smell to it.

For application, I prefer to use this mitt,  this mitt, or a kabuki body brush to apply the tanning product directly to them, then blend in circular motions on the skin.

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Face Self Tanners

When it comes to tanning my face I use the Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops in Medium and Dark depending on my tan at the moment. It’s super simple! Just mix a few drops with your moisturizer and massage in with your hands. (Make sure you wash them after!) You can adjust the intensity by how many drops are used – I generally stick to about 3. This bottle is great to travel with as well.

Isle of Paradise also has a Self Tanning Water which works great for your body with the easy spray applicator. I always make sure to blend in with a mitt after to decrease any potential streaking.

Quick Fact: These two products are on the Clean at Sephora list if that’s something you keep top of mind for your products.

For a deeper color, I use the Tanceuticals Color Correcting Face Lotion and apply with my hands or a face brush, separate from the one I use for my body.

I’ve found that both of these products work well and provide an even, natural looking color. While I do have somewhat sensitive skin, I haven’t had an issues with either causing breakouts.

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Salon Spray Tanning

As you’ve probably seen me share several time on stories, I frequent my local Sun Tan City here in Indy – it’s my favorite way to get a quick glow!

Before going, I shower, exfoliate and apply primer to my whole body – the Designer Skin Sunless Primer is my favorite and it smells so good! I find it helps to let the primer soak in a little bit so I apply at home prior to going to the salon.

Always be sure to use the barrier cream available at the salon on more dry spots like elbows, knees and in-between your fingers/areas you don’t want the solution to collect and cause splotchiness.

My Sunless Tan Cocktail at Sun Tan City
Dark or Medium Clear Solution + Double Leg Pass + Hydration

The above is fool proof from my experience! I never have issues with streaking or unevenness and I can get in and out in 20 minutes.

I always opt for the clear solution so it doesn’t get on my clothes, sheets or the seats of my car. I stop in on a night when I do not have plans, keep it on overnight, then shower in the morning and boom I’m done.

Quick Fact: Did you know, if it’s raining out, a member of the STC team will escort you to your car with a big umbrella so your tan doesn’t wash offf? Such a nice perk! 

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Tips & Tricks

  • Exfoliate in the shower prior to self tanning + let your skin dry all the way
  • To prevent any streaks or unevenness, avoid getting wet anywhere you applied self tanner until it is fully developed. (I recommend applying or getting a spray at night and rinsing off in the morning)
  • For best application, use a Mitt or Body Brush
  • To achieve a darker tan, apply in layers, waiting in between for the product to dry (or apply two days in a row until you achieve the color you want)
  • Continue to moisturize your skin each day to help it last longer – my favorite right now is the Raw Sugar Coconut and Mango Body Lotion

The above applies when getting a spray tan as well, plus:

  • Apply a Primer to clean, dry skin and let is soak in prior to your appointment
  • Utilize the barrier cream available at the salon on knees, elbows and hands (don’t forget your fingernails and toenails to prevent nail polish discoloration
  • To keep the bottoms on your feet from getting discolored, place a towel in the bottom of the sunless tanning booth under each foot
  • Always wear loose fitting clothes after getting a spray tan

I hope this answers your questions and if not – feel free to come say hi on Instagram and shoot me a DM!

Happy tanning!

xoxo

Raleigh Tay