In My Journal on
July 3, 2016

What I Ate While Pregnant – Second Trimester Pregnancy Diet

Second Trimerester Pregnancy Diet

I can’t believe I’m seven months pregnant now, that’s insane! Jack will be here in two short months and we are only just now starting to prepare the house. Wish us luck! These next few weekends are packed with home projects.

As time has gone on, my pregnancy diet has really changed. I’ve filmed two What I Ate videos over the course of my pregnancy so far, one at five months pregnant and one at six months pregnant, and it’s fun to me to look back and see the differences in them. Now that I’m at seven months, I’m thinking about filming one again. What do you guys think? Should I film a video every month until I’m due?

What I Eat In a Day – 5 Months Pregnancy Diet

  1. Iced Vanilla Coffee (Mio Energy Iced Vanilla Java with Milk)
  2. Energy Bites (Peanut butter, rice crispies, dates, and maple syrup or honey)
  3. In my Honest Company lunchbox (eaten during work hours)
    1. Apple
    2. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
    3. Vanilla Snackpack
    4. Brightside soft baked granola in cinnamon brown sugar
    5. Snapea Crisps in XO Eco by Blue Avocado container
    6. Cheese and crackers
    7. Orange juice
  4. Pastellitos
  5. Chicken and pasta
  6. Orange creamsicle push pop

What I Eat in a Day – 6 Months Pregnancy Diet

  1. Smoothie bowl (strawberries, bananas, Welch’s  white grape juice, homemade granola, kiwis) – I’ve been obsessed with these!
  2. French vanilla Folgers coffee with Dunkin Donuts vanilla creamer
  3. Hamburger with Cape Cod original chips
  4. Chips and cowboy caviar (made with mixed vegetables, beans, and homemade dressing)
  5. Caesar salad
  6. Pizza
  7. Coffee Cake

Thinking on it, I get a lot hungrier at work! I definitely snack more when I’m not at home.

Thankfully I haven’t craved weird things. Did you have any of those funny movie-worthy cravings, like pickles and chocolate, when you were pregnant?

Keep up with more day-to-day pregnancy updates on my snapchat (rebecca.kelsey) and on Instagram @rebeccakelsey.

In Beauty, My Journal on
June 18, 2016

If I Had $100, What Would I Buy? (June 2016 Edition)

For the third post in this series (check out my March wishlist and April wishlist posts if you missed them), I actually had a hard time coming up with a list that reached $100. My brain the past two months has been on a minimalist kick, reducing/reusing everything and anything to the absolute most that I can, which is good news in my book.

So, if I had $100 to spare in my budget this month what would I buy? Read more

In Review, Sponsored on
June 14, 2016

Simply Heaven Candles Review

Hello there, Kind Friends! Today I have a review of the two products I mentioned in my six-month pregnancy update (it’s actually almost time for my seven-month update, whoa), a lemon-scented candle and a lavender reed diffuser from Simply Heaven Candles.

This review has been sponsored by Simply Heaven Candles, but my opinion has not been swayed by compensation in any way. Check out the pros and cons of each product below.

all-Natural Soy Candle Review

Lemon Drop: Hand Poured Soy Candle Review

I love lemon scents, especially in the kitchen, so I was more than a little pumped to be getting this soy candle for review. With my pregnancy senses going crazy, I can smell pretty much everything, so the kitchen hasn’t been a great place for me to be if I don’t have a candle burning.

The pros of this product are it’s even-burning and long lasting flame. I’ve used this candle fairly frequently and it’s only half burned through, while in other candles I’ve had I believe in this amount of hours I would have already had to buy a new one. Thankfully the wax also burns evenly, so I don’t have any of those awkward wax dips or hollow middles.

The one con I’ve noticed so far with this candle is it’s undertone smokey smell. Chris doesn’t seem to notice this, so maybe it’s just my super senses, but underneath the lemon, I smell something similar to a campfire. It doesn’t take away from the lemon entirely, but I do think it detracts from the overall pleasantness.

Reed Diffuser Review

Lavender: Richly Scented Reed Diffuser Review

I tend to associate lavender scents with relaxation, probably along the rest of the world, so this reed diffuser was made for my bedroom.

The lavender smell itself is wonderful, and I love the presentation of the bottle for this product, but in the end, it doesn’t spread across the room as much as I’d like. I don’t think I have a big bedroom, so that was a little disappointing, however, I noticed the smell fills up my small bathroom well so I moved the product into that smaller space.

Overall, I would definitely purchase these products myself and try more from the candle line. I, in particular, would be interested in seeing how their fragrance oils and oil warmers measure up.

Thank you Simply Heaven for sponsoring this review! I am enjoying the products immensely.

Check out Simply Heaven Candles on Instagram to see more updates on their products and while you are on the platform, follow me as well.

See you all with another pregnancy update soon!

In Reading, Review on
June 5, 2016

Review + Giveaway – Kindling Flames: Gathering Tinder by Julie Wetzel

Hello Kind Friends! Today I’m happy to be sharing with you a book review in collaboration with the LovingDemBooks BookTube Tours for Kindling Flames: Gathering Tinder by Julie Wetzel.

I received this book in exchange for a review, but this post has not been sponsored and my options are my own.

This story is set in New York City where Vicky gets a job as the personal assistant to the CEO of Ritter Industries. Before she knows it she is thrown into the world vampires and her boss is one of the most admired of them all. There is a light romance in the book, but it looks like the actual vampire romance elements will come more into the picture in book two.

 

Kindling Flames: Gathering Tinder Book Thoughts

Overall, I enjoyed turning off my brain as I entered into Vicky’s life. The writing style of the author is usually not what I’d chose in a novel, as I prefer more descriptions and comparative language while this story was more straightforward, but as a whole this book entertained me and kept me stress-free on hard days. That’s exactly what I hope to find when I’m reading!

Kindling Flames: Gathering Tinder by Julie Wetzel Book Review

I was pretty much binging this book during my work lunch breaks. I wonder what books baby Jack will enjoy reading?

As for things I think could be improved upon; the main character didn’t seem to have any flaws in the story, which made her come off at times as slightly Mary Sue. As I move through the series I hope to see a little more development of this character. I also had trouble moving past some of the typos in the story, as I felt there were a little more than I’d typically see in a published novel.

On another note, if you actually read the acknowledgements of the first two books, you find out that they were initially combined in one manuscript. The story was written by Julie to help keep her sister entertained while she was deployed and I just love that idea. It made me happy to have that little sneak peek into the origins of this novel.

Enter the International Book Giveaway for Julie Wetzel’s Debut Novel

On Goodreads I gave this book a 3 out of 5 stars. I’m about 20% into the sequel, so make sure to add me on Goodreads to see my review once I finish part two of Kindling Flames.

Don’t forget to also enter the international giveaway to win a swag pack of Kindling Flames. You can also get five additional entries if you purchase the eBook or physical book of Kindling Flames. To get those entries, make sure to email a copy of your receipt to LovingDemBooks@gmail.com. 

You can purchase Kindling Flames on Amazon, Book Depository, and Barnes and Noble. Add it to your Want to Read list on Goodreads and check out reviews here.

What have you been reading lately? Send me your thoughts in the comments!

In Beauty, Motherhood on
June 1, 2016

6 Month Bumpdate and Pregnancy Favorites

We’ve got a lot to go into during this pregnancy update. The difference in my body 5 months to 6 months has changed dramatically, so let’s jump right in to my 6 month bumpdate.

Weight Gain at 6 Months Pregnant

During my 5 month pregnancy update I talked about how my hunger had increased and that has maintained this past month. In the first four months I gained very little weight and in these past two I can see more significant increases. I believe I’m up close to 15 pounds, but I try to stay away from the scale for the most part just for the sake of my sanity.

5 month versus 6 month pregnancy changes

As for my clothing, I’ve had to put a few of my dresses into storage because my belly lifted the dresses enough to make them too short to wear to work. For the most part I’m still able to wear my non-maternity clothes, since I typically wear clothes that are more flowy, but I have added three maternity dresses to my capsule wardrobe this past month. I still only have one pair of pants that fit, as well as the one pair of maternity pants I purchased last month, so most of my wardrobe is dresses. I just hate pants.

Changes in my Body and Symptoms

My belly button is days away from popping out and that is just so strange! My belly has grown pretty significantly in the past month so there is now no question that I’m expecting.

My vaginal discharge has also increased the past month, so much so that I’ve purchased Summer’s Eve Feminine Deodorant Spray. This is something I use twice a day to minimize odor and make me feel more dry and comfortable.

I’m also finding more smells in the home to be bothersome, so I’ve added two home fragrance items this month, thanks to Simply Heaven Candles. They have sponsored a portion of the below video and a full review post will be coming on these products soon.

Featured: Lemon Drop Candle (for the kitchen) and Lavender Reed Diffuser (for the bedroom)

My energy levels are also a lot lower this month, so I’ve been going to bed a lot earlier and have had trouble keeping up with my blog and other freelance work. I’ve had to scale back a lot in that way, which emotionally was hard for me to accept, but now I’m trying to be more understanding of what the rest I need.

The last change this past month has been the introduction of acid reflux. Not fun! I’ve had to keep antacids in my purse at all times because, as of yet, I haven’t been able to find a pattern as to what I’m eating/doing that leads me to that discomfort. Thankfully it’s not a daily problem, but something that comes up 2-3 times a week.

Kicking

Jack is not much of a kicker, Chris has only been able to feel him kick a handful of times and no one else has had the pleasure. He seems really calm, fingers crossed that he stays calm after birth too. Most of the time he kicks in the nighttime, but he also kicks when I’m watching TV using my iPad (since I lean it against my stomach) and when we go to the movie theaters. I assume it’s the loud sounds that get him going, but it’s still pretty cute.

That is all I have to report this month for my 6 month bumpdate. Pregnancy isn’t getting easier! Make sure to follow me on social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat: rebecca.kelsey) for on the go bump photos and symptom checkins.

In Events on
May 25, 2016

How You Can Come #2gether4theChildren

It’s pretty obvious to anyone that knows me why I’ve suddenly had an influx of interest in children’s related topics. Becoming pregnant has helped me gain new perspective on all of the different causes that impact to our little generations, so when I started hearing more about #2gether4theChildren I knew I had to share their efforts.

#2gether4theChildren is a campaign for the Miami Children’s Health Foundation (MCHF), a fundraising branch of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital (formerly known as Miami Children’s Hospital). While this pediatric hospital is based in Miami, it strives to provide the best care for sick children around the world. You can read some of their highlighted accreditations and awards on their website, filled with stats about how they are ranked among other leading pediatric hospitals, but the most important thing you need to know about Nicklaus Children’s Hospital is how they are changing the lives of children everywhere.

We need hospitals like this, we need doctors that are willing to take that second, or even fifth look, to make sure that absolutely everything that can be done for their patients is being considered. Without MCHF and the funds that they provide to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital through donations, Gracie and many other children like her wouldn’t be here today.

You can help support children like Gracie and the dedicated teams that made her survival possible. Use the video prompts above to donate to MCHF (or donate here) and come #2gether4theChildren, even the cost of one take-out meal can change the life of a child.

And if an extra $25 is too tough to spare at the moment (it happens, I’ve been there), you can be an instrument of awareness by changing your profile photo on Facebook to include the MCHF heart in a beautiful pink heart filter using the easy to follow steps on 2gether4theChildren.com.

Spread the word, our kids need help.

In Reading, Review on
May 21, 2016

The Crown by Kiera Cass Book Review

Who does Eadlyn pick at the end of her Selection?

The Selection Series by Kiera Cass has finally come to a close. I can’t believe it! I’ve been enjoying and re-reading this series over and over again the past three or so years and it’s odd to finally have a conclusion.

If you haven’t heard of The Selection Series, here is a synopsis of book one:

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

In the below video I share my book review of The Crown as a whole (with and without spoilers) and how it fits in relation to the series.

 

Overall, I believe that the plot elements of The Heir and The Crown were really interesting, but I felt that they should have been explored with a few additional other scenarios added in more gradually as a three book arc. Eadlyn’s transformation isn’t a surprise to me, but I felt like it should have been more built up over time, especially considering the huge announcement she released to the country on the Capital Report in the last chapter.

As for the husband she ends up choosing, I’m happy with the choice (for spoilers on who wins Eadlyn’s selection, see the above video). However, I feel like the relationship was rushed in the last quarter of the book. There had been a few hints in book four, but it wasn’t what I would consider a gradual love that built up because of the way it was presented.

See more details in my above video and if you haven’t, check out the creative book trailer for The Crown from Epic Reads.

Did you read The Selection series? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments.

Don’t forget to also follow me on Goodreads for more book thoughts.