MATERNITY PHOTOS!!

maternity photos

So sorry I’ve been M.I.A! So much has been going on and it’s been a huge adjustment taking care of two little babies – we’re so lucky to still have family in town helping – my parents were here and now my sister is visiting – and I’m beyond grateful for all of them – I really don’t know what we would’ve done these last few weeks without them – if you’re getting ready to have a baby and people offer to come by and help you in any way – say “yes” – I promise you’ll need it!

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I was beyond lucky to have my friend Heather come by and take these photos of me and Emma before Steven was born. She’s amazing and I am absolutely in love with every single image!! And we were fortunate because we got them done just in time – Steven was born a week early and just 5 days after this shoot…

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jen lauren grant maternity photos

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jen lauren grant maternity photos

This might be my most favorite photo of Emma ever – she’s SO HAPPY!!!

black slip // kimono // lace dress // feather crown // emma’s dress // bracelet

GUEST POST: BLOOD ORANGE MOCKTAIL BY “COCKTAILS FOR BREAKFAST”

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While I’m recovering and spending some quality time with baby Steven, my friend Jordana from Cocktails for Breakfast put together this post for you guys. It looks so delicious!! Thanks Jordana! xo

From Jordana:

I am so thrilled to do a little guest posting for Jen while she’s out on maternity leave!  Those little ones of hers are the most adorable, no!?

I actually happen to be expecting myself.   And I happen to be obsessed with cocktails.  Just because there’s a baby on board, doesn’t mean I’ve suddenly changed my mind on the cocktail front.  I miss tequila.  That’s the one thing I haven’t been able to find an appropriate substitute for and I’m counting down the days until I sip on a tequila & fresh lime juice on a blanket in my front yard.

But in the mean time, I’m finding some good mixtures that still make me feel like my old self.   This one, with blood orange & mint hits the spot and I could drink it all day long!   It is heaven!   I’m sure if you wanted to throw in a shot of, well, almost anything, it would be delicious too.  But if you’re laying off the booze too, or just sitting at your desk and it’s noon and wanted something amazing to sip on, this will hit the spot.

Enjoy!
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Blood Orange & Mint Mocktail

Ingredients

Blood Orange Juice

Sugar

Mint

Izze Blackberry Sparkling Water

Directions

Make a simple syrup.  Add equal parts blood orange juice & sugar to a saucepan and heat until the sugar dissolves, just a few minutes.  Add mint while it cools.  You can make as much or as little as you want of the simple syrup.  I just wanted to try for the one drink, so I used 1/4 cup juice, a 1/4 cup sugar and five mint leaves.  You can add more mint if you like it minty, or less if you don’t.  As long as the sugar & juice is in equal parts, you could make vats of the stuff.

Add 2 oz of the simple syrup to a glass filled with ice, top with blackberry sparkling water.  Garnish with mint & blood orange slices.   Enjoy!

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Welcome Baby Steven!

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We welcomed little baby Steven into our family last Tuesday on 2/24/15. He’s already such a treasure! I’ve taken a lot of photos with my “real” camera and I’ll be sharing some of those too, but I wanted to go ahead and post some of the recent iphone photos I’ve taken. It’s so hard to believe that this time last year, we had no children, and now we have two! Emma and Steven are exactly 10 months and 27 days apart. They seem so very different right now – Steven with his floppy head and sleeping all the time and Emma crawling around everywhere and getting into everything – but I know that in about a year or so, they’ll be able to play and start becoming lifelong friends.

I was so lucky with this labor. With Emma, I was in labor for 3 days, went to the hospital twice, horribly painful back labor, etc. And with Steven, I went to the hospital Monday night to check and see if my water bag was torn and perhaps leaking a little. I would’ve just gone to my doctor’s office, but they were closing for the day. So, my doctor told my to go to the hospital to get it checked out, but we were both pretty certain that it was probably fine. I was just patting myself on the back for being mature enough to get it checked out. Anyways, much to my surprise, it turns out my water had, in fact, broken and so they needed to keep me and induce labor since it’s unsafe for the baby to stay in there if the bag is torn. So, I called my amazing doula who came and stayed in the room overnight with us, they induced me, gave me an epidural, and that was basically it. I didn’t sleep well because Emma was there with us too – we’d packed up her travel crib and brought it since we didn’t really have a plan in place (my mom wasn’t due to arrive until 2 days later), but she didn’t sleep too well. By morning I was fully dilated, my doctor arrived, and I pushed for about 10-15 minutes and he was here! No  pain, never really went into labor… and what’s crazy/awesome is he’s just as easygoing as his birth was. Probably the hardest part of the whole thing was how mentally unprepared I felt for him to be arriving. At least with Emma, having bad contractions and actually being in labor, I knew she was on her way, I had several days to adjust to the idea, and I was in enough pain that I wanted very badly to give birth. With Steven, arriving 8 days early, with no contractions, I got kind of scared. I just didn’t feel ready. Our house wasn’t ready yet. His bassinet wasn’t set up yet. I was shocked to be staying in the hospital and having a baby. It probably wasn’t until I held him that it felt really real. However, as I write this, today is his due date, and I can’t imagine him having waited an extra week. He was definitely born exactly when he was supposed to be and I couldn’t be more grateful.

SHARED ROOM INSPIRATION

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via Apartment Therapy

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via Lay Baby Lay

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via Love Taza

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via A Cup of Jo

I’m actually so excited for Emma and her little brother to share a room! My sister and I always had our own rooms growing up, which was great, but there’s something about the shared bedroom (especially since they’ll be so close in age – 11 months apart) that I think sounds so fun – it’s like a permanent sleepover!! Baby #2 will sleep in our room for probably the first 5 or 6 months in a little bedside bassinet and then we’ll get him a crib to match Emma’s and move him into the nursery… And then they’ll be best friends forever and never fight! Right??

MESSY HAIR… THE GOOD KIND

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photo via elitedaily.com

Calling all Good-at-Hair Girls!

I need help! I’ve never been good at doing my hair. I’m fortunate that it’s naturally wavy and I used to be able to just shower, add some moroccan oil, let it air dry, and it looked fine. Sometimes it even looked really great! But, with a little baby who grabs and pulls it (hard!) anytime it’s down, I’ve worn it up almost everyday for 10 months now. So, I think it’s about time I figured out how to do some easy updos! A messy top knot looks and sounds like it was invented just for me! Totally my style! I love it, it’s messy, it’s easy-going, it’s feminine, but not prissy, it’s casual, it’s my hair soul-mate…. I just can’t quite seem to get it right. I’m not even sure why – I feel like it’s either not messy enough and I look like a sumo wrestler or it’s in the wrong place on my head or something else is weird… I should be able to do this!

Let me know if any of you have a trick or two up your sleeve that might help me!

For inspiration, here are some women rocking the messy top knot way better than I am… Maybe someday soon I can add a photo of myself to this list! Fingers crossed!

messy bun inspiration

image via Happily Grey

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image by Diego Zuko via Harper’s Bazaar

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Sienna Miller via Glamour

Hmmmm…. maybe what I really want is to be blonde…

 

MUDDLED MINT LEMONADE

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I’ve been super thirsty – that’s a pregnancy thing, right? – and have finally gotten to the point where I’m totally bored with water. So, the other day I whipped up a pitcher of muddled lemonade and it was exactly what I’d been looking for. Refreshing, delicious, healthy (fresh lemons and mint have vitamins and stuff guys!), and not water!

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It’s so easy and exactly what it sounds like…

INGREDIENTS (for 1 glass of lemonade – multiply to make more)

_ 1 lemon, cut into wedges

_ 4 sprigs of fresh mint

_ 2 tsp of honey

_ water

_ ice

DIRECTIONS

Combine lemon, mint, and honey in glass and muddle. Stir in water. Top with ice. Enjoy!

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