second trimester pregnancy favorites


Well, I am already more than a month into my third trimester, so these faves are a little bit delayed. The good news is that most of them are still working out for me in my current giant-belly phase. If you are entering the heart of your pregnancy, I can’t recommend these items highly enough!

Some notes on fit: When buying maternity clothes, I basically stuck to my normal size. Usually a medium. When buying regular person clothes for use during pregnancy, I usually sized up. Despite wishing I was a more sophisticated and fashionable lady, comfort has really won out during these last few months.

Second Trimester Pregnancy Favorites:

  1. Ingrid & Isabel Active Pant – Comfortable pregnancy workout gear was a priority for me since I basically wear it all the time. I bought THREE pairs of these maternity active pants, the knee length, capri, and full length. I love these tights because they can be pulled up over the belly or be folded down for a yoga-style waist band. They are supportive and flattering. They are still accommodating my belly perfectly into the third trimester, and I think they will be fine to wear post-pregnancy with the waist turned down.
  2. Storq bundle – Leggings + tank + dress + skirt. Love the comfy, above-the-belly leggings, and the simple dress. I wear them ALL THE TIME. I haven’t worn the skirt as much and the tank top is a little thin to be worn without some other coverage, but both are comfy and practical. The tank has become more of a staple now in the third trimester since I need REALLY long base layers to cover my huge belly.
  3. Gap Body soft bras – Maybe I gave up too quickly, but by the second trimester, underwire bras just no longer felt worth it. I’ve been wearing these soft, pullover style bras ever since. I wear them all the time, to sleep, workout, live life, everything. I think I have six or seven of them at this point. They are supportive and comfortable, although perhaps not the MOST flattering. I am scared because I read somewhere that wearing an underwire bra ALL through pregnancy (like 24 hours a day) and after will help your breasts stay higher and perkier… but then I also read that tight underwire bras can irritate some of your milk ducts. So, I am trying to do something in the middle. I’m keeping the girls relatively supported all the time and hopefully I’ll be able to live with the final outcome…
  4. J.Crew Maternity Jeans – Since I don’t have to dress up to go to an office, I’ve really gotten away with buying a minimal amount of maternity wear. I’ve only bought ONE pair of these maternity jeans. Instead of front pockets, these jeans have stretchy elastic panels along the waist band in the front. They are totally comfortable (and would probably be awesome comfy jeans any time, not just when pregnant!) but since they don’t go over the belly, they have a tendency to ride down. Even so, they have worked well for me throughout my whole pregnancy.
  5. Athleta Techie Sweat Ankle Pant – I LOVE these pants! They are NOT maternity pants, but I saw a very pregnant girl at prenatal yoga (I think she was due that day) wearing them and had to ask where she got them. I have been wearing them nearly every day since then. It may be getting a little gross. They are basically casual lounge pants, but I feel like they are stylish enough to wear on the street while walking Crusher and running some errands. They sit below my belly. I ordered them in a medium and they are still fitting fine… but I did just order a second pair in a large just so I have some super-comfy lounge pants for the final weeks of this adventure.
  6. Travis’ Hanes cotton tank tops – Starting at about week 23, his tanks tops were the only top I wanted to wear. They were long enough and covered the belly in a flattering way. The sad news is that they are starting to get a little too short for my third trimester belly.
  7. Mama Mio body lotions – I had REALLY itchy skin during the second trimester. My belly, boobs, and even legs were dry and itchy constantly. The Boob Tube and Tummy Rub Butter were daily soothers. Travis even helped apply it sometimes! (Probably any good lotion would work to relieve itching, but I am a sucker and I like that these contain a lot of different natural oils and promise to be safe during pregnancy and nursing.)
  8. Panty liners – What can I say, pregnancy is a little messy. There is so much extra liquid in your body and it leaks out at a higher rate than usual. I constantly have a runny/congested nose, and yes, more discharge down below, too. I suppose it is a good thing because it is helping to prevent any infections in the birth canal, but still, yuck! I’m not a panty liner type of girl in my regular life, but I feel like they are a necessity during pregnancy.
  9. Calcium & Fiber supplement – I was craving dairy in a major way at the beginning of the second trimester. Research suggests than cravings don’t necessarily indicate nutritional deficiencies, but I didn’t want to take any chances. If you aren’t getting enough calcium during pregnancy, the baby will steal it from your bones… and I would prefer not to get osteoporosis in the future. So, I started taking these Vitafusion Fiber Plus Calcium Prenatal Support Gummy Vitamins. They have 500 mg of Calcium (half the daily recommended amount for pregnant women) and fiber to help keep you regular, which is also a plus!
  10. Doughnut Plant donuts – My sweet tooth came back in a major way for the second trimester and Doughnut Plant donuts have been a major craving ever since. The Creme Brûlée and Tres Leches are my favorite flavors. I haven’t actually broken down and gotten them very often (only 3-4 times, I swear!) but that may change now that they just opened their new Brooklyn location!

Are you in your second trimester of pregnancy? Or recently survived it?? What were your favorite things that helped you stay comfy and happy?

Check out my First Trimester Pregnancy Favorites here.

currently // november 2013


watching… Brooklyn Nine-Nine. This new comedy is my current favorite. It is really funny. And sweet. And it actually addresses some important and relevant topics, like the changing dynamics of NYC and LGTBQ and women’s equality in the workplace. Plus, it is based in my neighborhood!

eating… Blueberry Scones – yum! I added a brown butter glaze to Martha’s classic recipe for a little more sweetness.

playing… Tiny Thief, a super-adorable puzzle game for the iPhone. It costs $2.99, but I think it is worth it. Cute and clever!

feeling… proud and happy that Bill deBlasio is our new Mayor of NYC!

listening… to songs that will motivate me through my marathon on Sunday. My current favorites are Cruise by Florida Georgia Line (the remix version feat. my favorite STL rapper, Nelly, of course) and Timber by Pitbull and Ke$ha. What other fun songs should I add to my playlist?

loving… my new Patagonia puffy vest. I wear it running and as perfect fall layer any time. Totally classic and comfy. (Wouldn’t it look cute with this colorful hat?!)

organizing… another great Holiday Gift Donation Drive with the Swap-bot community. We are collecting gifts for The Partnership for the Homeless to distribute at their Children’s Holiday Party here in Brooklyn. Join us?


What are you currently into?


Check out a blast from the past:

currently november 2012 // currently november 2011

navy for fall

Spring is usually my fashion comfort zone, mostly because of my love for pastels… but I am really digging this fall’s navy fashions. Instead of the NYC all-black-everything style, I think I’m going to do head-to-toe navy this season.

TOPS: Soulland Gee Raglan Stonewash Sweatshirt | Madewell silk hydrangea top | Rebecca Taylor stainglass tank

EARRINGS: silver dipped triangle studs

DRESS: Joie Halsette dress

PANTS: R13 slouch skinny jean | J. Crew matte crepe drawstring pants

BAGS: 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli bag | Clare Vivier messenger

SHOES: Rachel Comey Penpal Boots

NAILS: Yves Saint Laurent Bleu Majorelle | Essie After School Boy Blazer | Chanel Bel-Argus

What will your signature fall color be?

leopard coats & linoleum

I spontaneously decided that I NEEDED to rearrange our bedroom today. I think the process was successful, but more interesting was my discovery of two old LIFE magazines from 1948. Above is an image of the October 18th, 1948 issue’s cover story spread on New Fur Coats. You could purchase a (super-cute) leopard fur coat in 1948! Wild!

The Tampax ad on the left reads:

“Look to the girls at college for a preview of things to come. These youngsters are tradition-free, so their ideas and their ways are fresh and stimulating to others. …Take the case of Tampax.”

Those college girls and their newfangled ways!

I think I grabbed the magazines from the trash pile when we went to visit Travis’ Grandma Johnson after his grandfather passed away. I am glad I did. They are fascinating. SO packed full of advertisements! Mostly the ads are for liquor, cigarettes, canned vegetables, hand lotion, the modern wonder of linoleum, and nylons. Lots of nylons and stockings. And foundations. Including one “camisole” from Springmaid Fabrics that will help you “avoid dancer’s diaphoresis and the steatopygic stance,” which I think means it helps with excessive sweating and a fat butt.

In addition to the season’s latest fur fashions, the issue also includes profiles of Lena Horn, Laurence Olivier, and Karl Marx, plus a photographic essay on Vienna, and an article exploring “How Livable is a Modern House?” There is also an editorial regarding the presidential race between Dewey and Truman, titled Dewey Promises the Most Effective Use of Our Goodwill and Power:

“With the election only two weeks away Thomes E. Dewey looks like a shoo-in for the presidency. Since LIFE views the prospect with general satisfaction, the temptation is strong to let the inevitable happen without editorial prodding. Come silence or come shouts, the arithmetic of the ballot box will probably remain the same.”

My other favorite quote comes from the lead-in to an article about the naughty cartoons of Sam Cobeam:

“Ever since women took to wearing clothes men have been trying to visualize how they looked without them. As an international, nonseasonal pastime this pleasant sort of daydreaming has long outranked stamp-collecting, bird-watching and sidewalk-superindtending.”

Actually, I could quote the whole issue. …But I don’t have to because Google Books has the whole thing archived online. View it here. I may spend the rest of my evening taking a trip back in time…

(p.s. As I write this, I am also watching Bing Crosby in 1954’s White Christmas. I guess I am in a mid-century type of mood.)

best dressed 2012

This is over a week late — which makes it totally lame — but I already did all of the exhausting research, so without further ado…

My top fashion picks from the 2012 Academy Awards!

Full confession: I did NOT watch the Awards last Sunday. (Instead Travis and I watched six episodes of White Collar.) Also, I did NOT see a single one of the movies nominated for Best Picture. Not one. The only movies I saw last year were Fast Five, Cowboys Vs. Aliens, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Mission Impossible. Surprisingly, none of those fine films were nominated for Best Picture.

Thankfully, we have E! News to catch up on all the movie gossip and fashion! Overall, I think I liked the gowns from the Golden Globes more, but the unique red and white dresses at the Oscars were quite striking. My favorites:

  1. Emma Stone was adorable in Giambattista Valli.
  2. Rooney Mara looked cool in Givenchy.
  3. Michelle Williams rocked her coral Louis Vuitton.
  4. Shailene Woodley was lovely in long-sleeved Valentino Couture.

Many (including The New Yorker) picked Angelina Jolie as the best dressed, but i am bored of her. Or, maybe I’m just not a fan… what do you think?

early birthday goodies

While in California I was surprised by an early birthday party from my sweet in-laws. I loved the gifts I received so much, that I wanted to tell you about them… just in case you are in the market for any of these goodies…

  • Lululemon is something of a family obsession. Travis’ parents got me my very first Scuba hoodie, but it isn’t the one pictured. The one they got me is black, but it also has a detachable faux fur trim on the hood. It is limited edition. Fancy.

My sister-in-law, Chelsea, gave me a collection of gifts inspired by my love for Team in Training purple, and which also happen to line up with the February’s amethyst birthstone color:

  • My new favorite running accessory? Sparkly Soul glitter headbands. They are the best because they are a continuous band of stretchy, nonslip glitter. We wore pink during the Tinkerbell Half Marathon, and Chelsea surprised me with the two purple colors for my birthday.
  • Bobbi Brown is one of my favorite beauty brands and Chelsea got me the brand new, wildly bright, ultra violet lip gloss. Don’t worry, it goes on with just a hint of color.
  • Nail color has been a new and somewhat unlikely hobby of mine. Nail biting has been a bad habit for my whole life, but I am trying to break it. Chelsea knows that I’ve recently been interested in the non-toxic (healthier?) nail polish brand, Butter London, and she got me the metallic purple Hrh color.

I recommend all of these items — they are my new favorites!

I sure got lucky when I married into the Johnson family… and for many more reasons than just lovely birthday gifts. xoxo

getting ready for Alt…

This will be my first year attending the Altitude Design Summit in Salt Lake City… and I leave tomorrow morning! I am a little nervous, but basically just trying to get all packed and ready.

The conference is focused on lifestyle and design blogs, so there has been a LOT of talk about what everyone is wearing. A LOT of talk. There are many cute blog posts on the topic, like this one and this one. One woman says she is bringing SIX pairs of shoes. For a three-day conference!! I am a little intimidated. So I need your help….

There is a party on Thursday night themed “Winter Wonderland” and everyone is supposed to wear white. I was planning to just wear a white top and call it good, but I found a casual silver dress on Sunday at a Theory sample sale and now I am torn. What look should I wear to the party?

Either way I’ll be pretty boring and unremarkable, but what do you think…

Which look should I wear to the Alt Summit “Winter Wonderland” party?
 silver dress
 white silk blouse free polls 

I reserve the right to alter either look… but I will post a report on what I end up wearing on Thursday…

golden gowns

Picking my favorite Golden Globe fashions is something of an annual tradition of mine. (My picks from last year.) I didn’t even watch the full ceremony this year, but I managed to catch up on the fashion online. It is amazing how fast they get the photos up after the red carpet!

My very favorite was Claire Danes’ J. Mendel gown. It was a little weird and futuristic, but I thought it was a perfect, sophisticated choice for her third award win. I also liked the dresses worn by Heidi Klum, Helen Mirren, Amy Pohler, and Laura Dern.

The fact that I am choosing older women as my faves must say something about me… hmmmm… I really appreciate it when the women look fantastic without going the overtly sexy route. I think it is more difficult to pull off an elegant and unique look than it is to just show cleavage. (Michelle Williams also did it adorably.)

I usually love courageous and weird dress picks, but I didn’t love Angelina Jolie’s asymmetrical Atelier Versace dress. I think I may just not like red.

Who wore your favorite Golden Globes look?

fall fashion treatise

I work from home. I have been doing it full time for over two years. I know that many home workers recommend setting a strict schedule, waking up early, showering, and getting dressed and prepared the same as you would for an office job. I choose to do the opposite.

One of the luxuries of working for yourself is setting your own schedule, so I do. I wake up a little after Travis, do some house chores, then get right to the computer and start working. I don’t get dressed up in business clothes in order to sit at my computer all day alone. I am usually wearing workout clothes or jeans. Due to this very lenient dress code and my year-long marathon training adventure, the majority of my recent clothing budget has been spent at Lululemon.

I am fine with my casual wardrobe. It means I don’t have to do a lot of ironing or spend a bunch on dry cleaning. But this fall things may need to change a bit. I have a number of professional events coming up that will require some nicer outfits. Because I dress professionally so infrequently, it wouldn’t be smart to invest in trends. I need just a few quality, basic pieces that I can pack for conferences or wear to networking events.

One of my goals is to look like Annie Walker (Piper Perabo) from Covert Affairs. I’ve only seen two episode of the show, but she always looks professional, yet hip and pretty. Plus, as far as celebrities go, I think Perabo is a reasonable equivalent to my coloring and (goal) body shape.

These photos of her aren’t very impressive (they are all I could find online), but her outfits are always basic, but with just a tiny bit of style (like a colored blouse or belt, or cool jacket) and great shoes. Annie Walker was my inspiration for this set of J.Crew basics I wrote about for Ace recently:

Very plain, but slightly updated with the cropped trousers and silk blouse. I think I could pull off any of these pieces and mix and match them with what I already have in endless ways. Practical!

A huge trend for fall is leopard print. I am usually not an animal print girl, but I am trying to be open minded. I put together this collection of possible leopard accent items for a post on Ace:

So, as you can see, I have been doing my research, and last weekend, I put it to the test. Travis kindly accompanied me on a shopping trip with the goal of getting a few nice outfits that I could wear to the upcoming BlogHer Handmade conference. I focused most of my shopping energy on J.Crew and I found a few key pieces that I absolutely love!

The NY Times style section listed their five things you need for fall. Here are my suggestions:

  • High-waisted skinny jean – These jeans sound like the most unflatterning thing ever — skinny & high wasted? sounds terrible — and I never would have bought them if I hadn’t tried them on and been blown away. My legs look nothing like the girl in this photo, but these jeans are amazingly flattering and comfortable! They look great with a tucked in shirt and heels. I am pretty sure I am going to be wearing them every day, plus they can be dressed up for casual business attire.
  • Café capri in wool – These were the pants that I set out originally to get. I was not sure if they would be flattering on me, but I was thrilled when they looked great and I didn’t even have to go up a size! These pants end at the ankle, so they are great for showing off cute shoes.
  • Blythe blouse in silk – Everywhere you look this season you’ll find silk blouses, and there is no way anyone could go wrong with a classic white one. I love this shirt. So pretty and it goes with everything. I love it tucked into the jeans, with a jacket, or under a sweater. I think I should have bought multiple, but I’m just not that smart.
  • Pia calf hair pumps – I went a little out of my mind and bought these leopard pumps. They are way outside my comfort zone, style-wise, but they just look so fantastic! Great with jeans and skirts and trousers. Since my entire wardrobe is so basic, these pumps are my one item of flair!
  • Skinny leather belt – Belting at the waist is still right on trend. Lady-like silhouettes are in for fall and a nipped in waist helps achieve the look. More adventurous dressers will go with a flashier style, but I am sticking to a basic brown belt with everything.

Such basic pieces, but I am a basic girl. I’ll add some flair with some jewelry or a jacket and pair the pants with tops I already own. Lady-like and refined is the goal.

What are your suggestions or top picks for your fall wardrobe?


FYI: I know that I am a bore for sticking with J.Crew, but it is just so easy! If you visit the Soho store, ask for Caitlin. She is one of the personal shoppers there and she is amazing. She helped me with sizes and was the one who suggested the high wasted jeans. I never considered myself as someone who would utilize a personal shopper, but she was very helpful (and her services are free).

i just can’t quit you, Gwyneth!

Egads! I got Gwyneth Paltrow’s most recent GOOP newsletter today and it basically melted my brain. It was one of her fashion spreads and I can’t help but want everything she wears in it. Every $800 thing. Ugh. Most of all, I am going bonkers over this Isabel Marant jewelry.

…although, when I finally mustered up my courage to go into the Isabel Marant boutique in Soho, all that was waiting for me were fancy sweat pants, weird vests, and mesh tank tops, so I am not going to vouch for the entire brand…