how to feel sexier (even while pregnant)

What makes you feel sexy?  What about when you're pregnant?  While there are so many beautiful things I love about being pregnant, there are some things that make me feel less than, well, sexy.  But I'm trying to focus on the positive, so here are a few things I've found (or think I need :) to add a little skip to my 32 week pregnant step.

how to feel sexier (even while pregnant)

Bright nail polish: 
I'm not usually one to get a manicure often, but this summer I can't get enough coral and orange red (Essie Clam Bake is a nice option).

A simple and slight gold ring (or 2, 3, or 4): 
With the bright polish and a little!  These gold rings by Jennifer Meyer  are on my wish list!

A lacy bra: 
Besides the baby, there are 2 other benefits of gaining pregnancy weight ;).  This Luxe The Label bra is so pretty, comfortable and priced right!  I especially love it under a white tank.

Big bold earrings: 
It's hot, hair is up and there's something so fun about oversized earrings in the summer.  I've had my eye on this pair of J.Crew of tassel earrings.

Cute yet casual summer shoes:
My husband's cousin was wearing the cutest orange pair of Swedish Hasbeens over the 4th holiday and she looked so effortlessly stylish and darling.  Supposedly they're really comfortable too...a must while pregnant!

Rosy cheeks:
RMS beauty lip to cheek makeup is my favorite makeup I've bought in years.  It's the secret to the J.Crew model glow and is now available to the rest of us via RMS beauty.  I use it for both lips and cheeks and instantly feel better and brighter when I put it on.  And it's coconut oil based, organic and free of harmful chemicals.

Oversized Summer Branch Arrangements

I love the look of oversized green branch arrangements indoors.  It seems like almost every magazine spread features an arrangement of large branches. In the summer, a few branches with bright green leaves is a great way to bring the outdoors in.  Here's a look at what I used as inspiration for indoor branches as decor and what I did in my own home:

And my interpretation:
I cut a branch from a tree in our back yard that needs trimming, snipped a few small branches and stuck it in a large vase.  The easiest and cheapest DIY ever :)
Yes, that's my 30 weeks pregnant belly photo bombing...

One dish dinner: white fish with lemon, fennel, tomatoes and capers

The July issue of Martha Stewart Living featured this one-skillet white fish dinner recipe stating that it "might just become your dinner-party go-to all summer long".  This could be true, or at least make a regular appearance in your rotation.  And it couldn't be simpler.  I used ingredients that I had on hand and it turned out great!

Here's my version of Martha's white fish recipe which served 2 adults and 1 child:

1 lb white fish
1 cup (or more) cherry tomatoes sliced in half
1 lemon
2-3 Tbsp capers
1/2 red onion cut in large slices
1/4 cup pitted olives of your choice: sliced in half
1 large fennel bulb sliced
Artichoke hearts (I didn't have these but Martha suggested using them)
white wine (I used Savignon Blanc)
olive oil
salt and pepper

place veggies in a dish and top with white fish, olive oil, white wine, juice of 1/2 lemon, 1/2 lemon thinly sliced and salt and pepper.

Bake until the juices bubble and fish is done (I baked at 350).  You can also put this on the grill per Martha.

Speaking of the juice, it was delicious: tangy, tart and salty....perfect with crusty sourdough bread.

Summer Appetizers: Roasted Tomato and Zucchini with Goat Cheese Recipe

Roasted tomatoes are one of my favorite summer foods and when combined with goat cheese, make the easiest healthy summer appetizer.

Roasted zucchini is another favorite summer recipe that also tastes great with cheese (what doesn't).  I used a delicious goat milk gouda this time but it would also taste great over goat cheese.

Roasted Tomatoes:
*Half tomatoes and toss lightly with olive oil
*Lay cut side up on a roasting sheet
*Roast at 250 for a few hours or until they begin to shrivel, dry out and taste sweet (just make sure to pull them before they start to burn).

Roasted Zucchini
Slice zucchini into thin slices (about the thickness of a quarter)
toss lightly in olive oil
lay flat and sprinkle with salt and pepper
Roast at 350 for 30 minutes (or 250 for longer) or until they begin to brown and shrivel (just keep an eye on them).

Toast bread of your choosing (I like sourdough or french) under the broiler, layer with goat cheese and top with roasted veggies.


Simple Detox Plan: 10 ways to recover from a festive holiday

1.  Take a bath
The first step to a simple detox is to take a bath at night (preferably sober) in steaming hot water with 2cups:1 cup epsom salt to baking soda.  The epsom salts helps you sweat and pulls the toxins out of your muscles while the baking soda neutralizes the chlorine in the bath water.  Avoid using soap as it will neutralize the effects of the salts.  Add a little lavender essential oil to help you rest well that night.

2.  Start the day with room temp lemon water
It's true that lemon water can really improve your health.  Here's a few ways:

  • cleanses the liver
  • reduces aches and pains due to uric acid
  • enhances the immune system with vitamin C
  • hydrates
  • clears skin
  • reduces phlegm
  • gets rid of harmful bacteria thus improving breath and digestion
Simply add the juice of 1/2 lemon to 12 oz of water.

Fennel Detox Smoothie

Fennel has potent detox abilities and digestive aids.  I was inspired to make this by the fennel juice at Harvest Juicery in Chicago.  The fennel at Logan Square Farmer's Market looked great and when combined with lemon, grapefruit, mint and a few tart cherries (optional), this juice is refreshing, invigorating and...detoxifying.

*1 bulb of fennel plus leaves: end removed, separated and washed
*Juice of 1 lemon
*1 small handful of mint (about 2 Tbsp)
*1/2 large grapefruit (or more)
*8 tart cherries (optional)

Tart cherries' benefits include reducing inflammation and helping you sleep better.  Plus, they add a little brightness to this drink.


Unique Hostess Gifts under $50

Hostess Gifts under $50

For the entertainer:
*This white and coral vessel would be a beautiful host for nuts or all alone
*Funky and bright cocktail napkins
*Gorgeous geometric coasters and so many other great things from this website!

For the gardener:
*A ZZ plant can be found at almost any garden store (or home depot) for around $25 and it's so easy to keep alive and well...any gardener will appreciate that!
*A pretty plant mister also makes a great face mister for sunbathers
*This simple, organic vase would be beautiful with a single bloom or green stem
*Fill this fruit bowl with seasonal fruits for all to enjoy

For the chef:
*Any chef will be excited to use this spiralizer to turn zucchini or carrots into a light summer "pasta" quickly and easily.
*Co-Op hot sauce is based in Chicago and is preservative free and SO good!

Urban Family Adventures: Chicago's West Loop

Exploring the city and all of the exciting neighborhoods with new and different restaurants, shops, parks and people is just as educational as a museum, right?  Well, that's what I tell myself on some of our days off.   There are more than enough museum days in Chicago.  It's summer now and I need to soak it up and explore our city...

Here's how I kept everyone (mostly) happy for the day in the West Loop:

Harvest Juicery
1012 W Lake St.

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