Pregnancy Woes and Whoas

It's crazy how fast time flies when you are trying to prepare your life for another human being to exist in the world. That said, I'm now 36 weeks pregnant. How did that happen? It seems like I was 9 weeks along and just telling our family yesterday. With holidays beyond us it seems like December never happened. In reality, December flew by all the while I sober drove my husband and an assortment of other people to every event I would normally have consumed multiple bottles of wine for. Wine. {sigh} 

People write all the time about "the things no one tells you" or "what you didn't know about being pregnant". This isn't one of those. This is more along the lines of me explaining the completely logical things you knew would happen, but from my personal experience. No wine, lots of bad food, weird body changes you never fully considered, and some mood swings that make you seem more like Sybil than you'd like to admit. 

I mean you know you'll gain weight, duh... But did you know that you would have an obsession with pie and many other creations by Betty Crocker? I didn't. In fact pie wasn't even in my top 3 dessert choices until I was pregnant. The order previously was ice cream, cupcakes, cake balls. Boom. When newly preggo I'd often put a small pillow in my shirt to envision how this belly might look down the road. So cute right? Turns out the tiny pillow insert does not account for your ass spreading, your boobs becoming water balloons, and your hands and feet looking like a sumo wrestlers. Put all this in the woes department. Mistruths you convince yourself of in the beginning become a distant memory by 36 weeks.

In my mind I could totally only gain 20 lbs and have a cute little basketball bump with no other crazy expansion elsewhere. Incorrect. Pie is amazing and readily available during the holidays. Enter 30 lbs later, and counting, with 4 weeks left. Oopsie. Despite my initially surprise of the breech of a weight I never anticipated seeing, I also felt this little nugget move. File that in the amazingly whoa category. I was laying in Pure Barre finishing abs and felt this weird little flutter that I couldn't believe. She was already like "mom, why are we doing abs? I'm trying to just lay here." A girl after my own heart from the start. 

Aside from weight changes and cravings for sweets and carbs only, there are many other things I thought about, but didn't really think about in detail like... having no clothes that fit. In the beginning your belly pops out a little in the daytime as you eat, but overnight reduces back down to what appears to be normal.This should allow you to wear your pants with a tunic or slowly move to maternity wear. Then suddenly one morning you wake up and your belly pop did not descend. And you're all wait... what happened here? Cue wearing your husbands sweater so you can go buy larger clothes. Finding maternity wear is a whole category of woe that I never considered in great detail. I thought it would be simple, and maybe fun? Untrue. I gathered a few pairs of maternity pants from Jessica Simpson's line I've been happy with because those models appear to actually be pregnant. The 6 foot tall models on other websites, with a tiny pillow insert as mentioned above in their shirt, are not in fact pregnant. Therein the problem lies. I'm a little over 5 feet so gravity and torso space are already not in my favor. I would receive these maternity dresses in the mail and look like a squatty gnome with a donut for a belly button. Yes. Although your belly button is now disappearing before your eyes, it can magically take the shape of a giant donut under your clothing. Once you see it then you're thinking about donuts and have to task yourself a reminder to get donuts later. Damn it.

Ultimately, I resolved to buying larger normal human clothes vs maternity wear. Exception with pants of course because maternity pants have a giant waist band that are freaking amazing. I may never wear regular pants again, definitely not for thanksgivings going forward at least. H&M had a great assortment of loose dress options that were inexpensive and made me feel like I had a little style mixed with my bump. Buy the larger size and don't look back ladies. I also invested in several high waist pants from Lululemon. Equally amazing and they make you feel really good about yourself. Don't look at the price tag, make it a double pair purchase, and pretend it never happened. I have lived in the high waist 7/8 Lulus from workouts to daytime to nights out as if they were real pants. Well worth it. 

This is is H&M... not maternity... but a size 12. {gulp}

Working out while pregnant seemed like nothing in the beginning. You're still kind of a normal size maybe just flabby looking in the middle. This made me way more self conscious than I ever expected. I guess I thought my bump would be immediately firm as soon as it started to form. Wrong again. Your bump takes more of the shape of dunlap for way longer than is fair for any woman. For me, it was about 24-25 weeks before my bump was firm enough to look like I was actually pregnant and not just eating pie daily. Although less pie might have helped the issue. Anyway, I'd go to Pure Barre and felt like the women around me had to be thinking "This girl has been coming for months and is only getting larger and less toned. Maybe this is not the workout I thought it was?" So eventually I invested in some PB socks that read "baby on board". This way everyone knew I was in fact pregnant and not some Pure Barre anomaly who's body rejects isometric movement and in turn bloats like a dead jelly fish. Pure Barre has been one of the things I tried to stay with religiously while pregnant until the last few weeks. In my mind I would do the sets of movement and think to myself "If I can't do this tuck for 30 more seconds I surely can't push medium sized ham from my lady parts." Surprisingly motivating thought process in class. The workout allowed me to do what I could and feel good without straining myself while keeping fit. My doctor mentioned numerous times that it will be super helpful in helping me bounce back post baby. Win. Win. I will likely try to take a few more classes, with the pregnancy modifications, before tiny human arrives. 

Tiny human. To be honest it was hard to even imagine her being a real person until I knew she was a she. Michael and I debated back and forth numerous times on what we thought our babe would be. He of course thought boy and I a girl. I for some reason just felt from the beginning that 'she' and I were together all the time... Driving around, running errands, working, whatever. When we finally went at 16 weeks to find out she would be our girl I couldn't contain my excitement. I literally burst into tears when they said our girl was coming. Not being a big cryer this really surprised Michael and myself. Once I got it under control and we could focus on her name that made everything so real. Not only was she a girl... She was OUR girl. She would always be ours and we would always be hers. Whoa. Incredible whoa. Now she is Elliott Grace and in 4 weeks or less we will meet her, finally. I can't wait to know who she will look like and what color her eyes will be and if she will have hair. So many wonderful whoas! 

Other weird things I didn't consider that fall into woes... Your body is going through some intense hormone changes and prepping to move a human being out into the world. Duh. But there are some odd side effects I never heard of like congestion. I have been congested for about 4 months solid. The introduction of a sinus and respiratory infection on top of that made me determine I would soon smother in my sleep. So I got a zpack and some mucinex and things have vastly improved. {For any new age moms who want to plague me with hate for my medication consumption while pregnant, you can keep the comments to yourself or shove it. In return, I'll keep my opinions to myself on you breast feeding your child to age 7 and not having them vaccinated, but likely still insisting you should send them to public school. Thanks for that.}

Next on the list... Carpal tunnel. Did you know that you can develop carpal tunnel while pregnant? Me either. Not ideal for a hair and makeup artist. So now I wear super cool wrist guards at night that make my hands smell like feet. Imagine wrist guards + 3-5 bathroom breaks a night and barely being able to wield your enormous pie eating body out of bed to make it to the bathroom. The result? 

Insomnia. Call me anytime between 3am-5am. I am generally awake then. They say it's preparing you for baby's new schedule for feeding. Maybe so. Feeding. A phrase I wasn't ready for in breast feeding class... Nipple damage. I'll leave it at that. 

Any other Mommas to be out there with weird instances they've experienced... I'd love to hear them. Unless they involve tragic birth stories, horrifying tears, blood loss, explosions or the like. Save those tales for post child birth. My last woe of pregnancy is that as soon as you tell someone you're pregnant they're all "oh girl, let me tell you this story about my cousins neighbor, she ended up with a vajanus." Wait what? Yes. People love to share horrific tales of birth that make you want to cry. As a glutton for things like that, I listen wide eyed to every detail and imagine myself sitting on a inflatable donut for the foreseeable future. Donuts. Hmmm. 

Finally, my most unexpected, happy part of this process, and my final WHOA is the incredible amount of LOVE people radiate to you when you are pregnant. Thank you to all our friends and family for the incredible support and out pouring of joyful love for our little person. From showers, nursery prep, sweet notes, texts, and surprise gifts at our door we are truly overwhelmed by how special you have made this time for us. WHOA, THANK YOU. 

So ladies, I'm sure there will be a labor woes and whoas post at some point down the road. Until then... Happy 2016 and keep us in your prayers!


Same Girl... Fresh Face

Well hello blog lovelies...

Notice anything different? {cough, cough}

I mean how about my bloggie face lift? Not sure if you boos noticed I was still writing as a future Mrs... Meanwhile I'm approaching my 4th wedding anny. Oopsie. 

Clearly my blog took a back seat to the otherwise insane behind the scenes bridal and event glamming that's been going on. So I called upon Chelsea, owner of Bella Lulu Ink, to glam me for change. Well by me I mean my bloggie but you get it. Allison, (you now her right? Hehe) suggested Chelsea's etsy shop to me because she has fantastic options to liven up your blog quickly and easily. Allison knows my limited tech abilities. I.e. trouble shooting questions like "how does my computer turn on?" etc. Enter Chelsea.... Sure enough Chelsea actually set this whole look up for me... In like no time, and at a well worth it price! If you ladies are thinking of starting a blog or just giving yours a fresh face, get with Chelsea asap! 

Now, to this new blog. Previously, my blog was more focused on the shennanagains that any newly engaged or married gal would experience mixed with some other goings on like... I don't know weddings and glamming etc. I feel like a different gal now that 30 has arrived. Thats right 30. This handsome muffin planned a super fun birthday weekend of adventures.

Despite the multiple crisis situations like... several trips to urgent treatment, a broken hand, and the home we rented in Nashville for SEC weekend canceling our reservation 1 day before we arrived... the weekend was a great success. NEVER RENT from this guy if you would like to actual stay in the house you rented.

I don't know, maybe it's a quarter life crisis, maybe it's self employment, maybe it's just that I'm living a totally different life than 4 years ago? Hell I'm living a totally different life than 8 months ago. It's happier, lighter, and everyday is different. I think that this happier, lighter life style truly prompted a need for a new look, one more current to who I am now.

They say your 30s are some of your best years. You are more in touch with who you really are, and you accept who that person is a lot more easily than your 20 something self would have. I believe that. I also think you are a little more accepting of who other people are. I think that's the best part so far. Your friends, strangers family, they all have traits that aren't like your own and sometimes, they don't mix well. In your 30s that's ok because you know who they are, love them anyway, and hope they reciprocate that love for you when you are being an asshole. 

The 30s have also become the year of the baby for our group of friends. I guess I knew this time would come and I am delighted to hear the baby announcements as they roll in via our group texts before they hit social media. Hiding a pregnancy for 12 weeks is quite a hurdle itself in this group of gals. Pass the wine. In this summer to fall alone we are about to have a little league team of babies. In fact we had two precious peanuts join the world just this week! Welcome little Miles and Camden! I'm sure there are still some sneaky mommas out there who have not yet shared their surprise because they aren't at the 12 week mark yet. Fear not, I won't taste test your drinks or demand you to do shots with me. 

There's so much to enjoy about this stage of life and I am so grateful to be in this place right now. I think that's the direction that my blog will be rolling to. We are a unique group of friends. Super close, doing well in our jobs, having been happily married, dating, or enjoying single life, maybe there is a baby on the way. We are trying to spend time together and experience all the new things our growing city is offering each day, and being ever faithful to UK Athletics. Oh and we love having a million group photos.

Q: So how does living, loving, and being in Lexington look in your 30s when you are on the adventure of growing a company with your amazing business partner, loving on your husband/family/friends, and trying to be out and about in Lexington enjoying what's new? 

A: I'm not sure yet... but let's find out together! 


It Was the Year 1938...

Hello Hello!

Hope all is swell in your worlds today! So far since my last post on life goals, things have been moving right along. Gym, Broccoli, Washing my face... all on par for now. As I started to delve further into these goals I began researching a few things. Whats on the list? Well it goes as follows:

1.) New exercises to work on at the gym. You know, so that I don't get bored after 20 minutes and decide that having walked 1 mile and pretended to know how to use the ab machine is a sufficient work out.

2.) New recipes that include mainly veggies and meats. Thus far anything mixed with Spaghetti Squash is my jam. I mean seriously this stuff is so easy to make, facades itself as a pasta, but is actually a veggie and only 42 calories a cup. Boom. Your mind has been blown. My favorite spaghetti squash recipe is to cook the squash, separate the inside into "noodles" by scraping it out with a fork. Then create your favorite pasta sauce and top the squash. I usually go ground turkey, tomato basil sauce, fresh basil, mushrooms, broccoli, and a little bit of mozzarella if I'm feeling frisky. 

3.) PinkLouLou Valentine's Weekend Mini Glams! Our NYE Mini Glam sessions were such a success that we decide we better bust them out again for the big V Day. You can learn more about these bad boys and book yours with us today by visiting our boutique site here. :) They will be a blast! Champs, apps, and girl gossip while glamming? Don't play, you know you'll be there.

4.) Learning more about Beautycounter Products and the culture of the company and how it originated. One of the most eye opening things I learned can be revealed in this super quick and sweet 2 minute video. Please enjoy. 

I'm sorry, but did she say 1938 was the year the US last passed federal law regulating what we use in products that we put on our freaking faces, skin, lips, eyes, hair etc? WTF? To really give you a sense of what was going on in 1938 let's check out some advertisements of the time...

Umm this is a lingerie Ad from March 15, 1938. I thinks some of these are actually coming back 77 years later.

An Ad for basically what existed prior to the rolodex... I actually didn't know there was something before that... Anyway it appears that its a "Ideal Xmas Gift" so hop on that for next year. 

Apparently, this lady took an adage from Beyonce's playbook and just woke up like this. Oh plus vitamins of course. 

I mean you get the picture... it was a long freaking time ago. The government tends to regulate most everything else for our "safety", but why not these products that we use everyday? I'm a little shocked that this issue has not been addressed by any of the major beauty companies out there to but I guess if its "not broke don't fix it", right? Well something is broken, and Beautycounter saw the need and stepped into fix somethings. We live in a world with almost unlimited access to the best foods, exercises options, sometimes jobs depending on the year, and even knowledge at our fingertips due to the growth of social media/ the internet. It's amazing to me that Beautycounter is about to turn only 2 years old in March and already reaches thousands of women across the US with 1 main mission in mind. 
To get safe products into the hands of everyone.
This is why I knew I had to be part of this change and part of the growth in this incredible company. You can learn more about the mission and other terrifying facts about the chemicals in most of our daily products here. To be a part of the change yourself, take the first step and checkout some basic products that you can use in your household. My post last week explains what basics you can start with here. There's even quick links to purchase with me. {Wink, Wink}
Meanwhile, when I was doing research on the above ads from the 1930's I found some amazing dating tips from the same time period. I mean with Valentine's Day right around the corner I figured we could all brush up with these little gems. They are super helpful after all. 
Out, damn wrinkles! Eyebrow raising re-adjustments of the underwear department are most certainly not encouraged
You can ask my husband, and I think Brad Paisley agrees, you will always be waiting on a women. I'm sorry that I'm not sorry.
Lookin' good: Or not, as the case may be. Men DON'T LIKE to witness public make-up application, it seems
Meanwhile, in 2015, I'm trying to figure out how I can convince my husband to learn to spray tan me. Guess I've got this all wrong.
Look happy: Never look bored (or at least not on dates) order the tips authors
Sometimes I sit like this, but maybe also in my underoos. I think that violates this rule and the next one.
Girdles and stockings: Specifically, a problem of the past, perhaps, but let it be noted that men have wardrobe malfunctions, too
I wish I could find my girdle. 
Not the rear-view re-touch: Heaven help she who uses a mirror for anything another other than reversing
Oopsie. I do this within the first 30 seconds of being in the car. Every. Time.
Nice threads: Your new knitted tee may look a million dollars, but do not bore your man with the details
Wait, he doesn't want to talk about the puppy picture I found on Pinterest?
But, darling: Public displays of affection were far from the done thing in 1938 - Tom Cruise, take note
Ok, in his defense, she appears to be giving him a wet willy and I think I'd be annoyed too.
Strictly deserving: All men deserve women's attention, say the tips' authors - this poor woman is in a catch 22, we sense
Well, this is a good point. Maybe don't talk to your waiter about how you were just here last week with your other boyfriend and it was actually way more fun than this guy with all the rules about stockings, mirrors, and wet willys.
Seemingly clever: Alcohol will make a girl silly, apparently. We wonder what it does to men in 1938
Well hell, don't be getting clever now. Good thing most of us are just silly.
Green-eyed monster: Focus on your date, lady, not on hers
Maybe she should've sat at that other guys table? He seems cool with the public head rubbing.
Game over: While we can't fault the 'don't drink too much and pass out' tip, pandering to your date's every whim IS likely to be tiring
Passing out is maybe not your best move. But hey, he's still paying the tab so that's a win. Plus, she looks super comfy and still has her cocktail in hand like a true lady. No spilling on that pencil skirt, girl.
Ok single ladies, get out there and get you a man for Valentine's Day. Then call us for your Mini Glam. :) 


Skincare First... Then Makeup... and other Life Goals.

Hello Lady Loves and Happiest of Fridays!

I am still in shock that it is now 2015. Where did 2014 go? I feel like it flew by in a flash and then it was on to the next. I'm sure you are reading a lot of 2015 proclamations at this time of the year. Sorry, this will be slightly in that vein too, but hopefully informative in your personal success goals for 2015 as well. I have some goals that I am going to reveal to you... some embarrassing and some pretty fun. In an effort to try my best to make the most of 2015, and not let time slip away, I think having a group to answer to is helpful.

2015 Personal Goals... yikes.

The Big Thirty is upon me in only a few short months. March 13th to be exact. If you've read my blog before you know that I did pageants, danced competitively, and basically spent the majority of my life up to this point dieting. That said, I hate dieting. I absolutely love carbs in any form. Bread is #1 on this list followed more specifically by pizza. The fact is that I have, what I assume is a 700 pound woman living inside of me. Its a struggle daily to remind her that I can't afford to buy new pants right now so we need to not gain weight. So I would like to attempt to get between my competitive pageant weight (which was 105) and my wedding weight (which was 115) by my 30th bday. Possible? Yes. Easy? Not exactly. I am currently 126. EKKKK. I just told you my weight. Don't repeat that. I'm only slightly over 5 feet tall so I think hitting 112-114 is an attainable goal. More so than anything else... what you eat makes the biggest difference in your weight loss and overall feeling of your health. Sadly the old saying "You are what you eat." is accurate. My name is Dana and sometimes I am a whole loaf of bread from Malone's, perhaps a delicious cupcake from Gigi's, or even an ever delightful slice of Jet's Pizza. For the next 2 months I plan to be mostly green veggies, fruits, and meats. For some amazing meal plan and cleanse options visit my buddy Bryen here. I have followed one of his cleanses for years now when I am in need of a reset on my body. It ALWAYS works, when I WORK IT. Enjoying some gym time won't hurt either. 

In addition to the weight loss goal... taking care of my skin is next on the list. Why forget about your skin health when you are already focusing on the inner and outer health of the rest of your body? As a makeup artist, people ask constantly what to use makeup wise to have the best skin possible. The answer is not makeup alone. The origin of the solution is washing and moisturizing your face. If you aren't taking care of your skin, makeup can only go so far on a daily basis as well as for a special occasion. I mean the point of makeup is not to look like Mimi from Drew Carey.

While I do enjoy a nice toddlers and tiaras style headshot, this is not the goal image for a Tuesday dinner with the gals. The point is to look like a naturally enhanced version of yourself. With 30 fast nearing I was afraid if i didn't make it a priority now to handle skincare first... I might look like an old mop in like 10 years. Not great for business. For this reason I have become a consultant for Beautycounter.  Allison and I both decided it would be a huge benefit to the brides who patron PinkLouLou Design Studio if we both became consultants so we could provide the natural, safe, and effective products made available to us through Beautycounter. I am taking this in stride because I had to get in the habit of ritually washing my face each night and applying moisturizer both day and night. Believe me ladies, after a night of cocktails the last thing I was to do is lather up, but I'm trying to make it a focus. So far, we are good, 8 days in of course, but good. If you are interested in trying any samples of Beautycounter to see if this is a goal you can set for yourself... hit me up dana@pinklouloudesignstudio.com . If you want to just give a few of the products I recommend a go... then order here. :) I suggest starting small and adding on as you like products. The good news is that there is a "no questions asked 30 day return policy" if you don't like a product. Thats pretty amazing if you ask me. The full Essential Face Collection is a big assortment as shown below.

I would say to start small, like I did, and select maybe 2 products you can commit to using everyday. I actually selected 3 products for myself and they are the Routine Cream Cleanser, AM Hydrating Cream, and the Lustro Oil #3. I mix the oil with my moisturizer. I struggle with rosacea on my face and the #3 Oil has really helped cool that out under my makeup. The next addition for me will be the PM Hydrating Cream because I have loved the AM Cream so far.

2015 Professional Goals... Bring it!

For some reason, personal goals are always a little more daunting than the professional ones. I think when you love what you do it never seems like much work... just more like your life. Allison and I were truly beyond blessed in 2014 and could not be more grateful for those who supported our work. 

Weddings galore is what we really want. In 2014 we were so excited to work with our brides and we worked with a lot of them! In 2015 we want to keep that momentum growing and building and work to have as many amazing brides as we did last year, and then some. From bridal party chats full of laughs to pinning the final veil in, this past year was more than we could've hoped for. 

Marketing like whoa. You may have thought we marketed before, but in 2015 we plan to bring the heat. We stepped it up with some awesome opportunities with KY Bride Magazine and the new Lexington Scout Guide. GET YOUR COPIES PEEPS! Social media is such an incredible tool to grow our business and to help spread beauty tips and ideas to anyone, anywhere. Sometimes I slack on the social media game like not blogging for a long period of time... forgetting to post photos to my instagram, pinterest, Facebook, and twitter. No more. Prepare to want to unfollow me. Just kidding... don't unfollow me. I promise they will be worth scrolling through. 

Say 'YES' to new things and don't be scared to try something different. We typically pride ourselves on saying 'Yes' to requests and finding a way to make it work. I think 2015 will bring a huge assortment of new opportunities that we didn't know would be out there for us and we are ready to take them on. From photo shoots to destination weddings we are ready for some adventure. 

Meet, greet, and collaborate with vendors, old and new, even more. We are lucky to be able to work with some of the most incredible vendors out there and if there are opportunities in 2015 to do that more... we're in. If you are a vendor with an idea in mind of something you need hair and makeup for, contact us! We would love to pass ideas around and find a collaboration that works for us all! Reach out to me at dana@pinklouloudesignstudio.com. 

Sell things. A lot of the things. We have a shop via our website which you can check out here. We want to expand that shop and bring more unique gifts to our brides and their bridal parties. Send us your requests! We both want to expand the sales of our Beautycounter collections as well. We truly feel that this line of skincare, for adults to kids, will be hugely popular with those conscious of using health focused products.

Welp friends. I think that about covers it. Stay tuned for updates on how these goals are coming. Especially the birthday weight loss goal. If you see me devouring Drake's tater tots... remind me that your read this. 

Cheers to 2015 and to you!