As you have already noticed, my last several posts have been all pregnancy related and pregnancy updates. When you are expecting, so much of your life revolves around the life growing inside - your eating habits, your thought process, and your lifestyle. I found myself always googling all sorts of questions and pregnancy tips and products I was curious about. As we are preparing for our baby to arrive, I wanted to share my experiences for any mom-to-be or momma-to-be who are in a similar phase.
Best Pregnancy Books
It's difficult to figure out what to eat when pregnant and create a pregnancy meal plan for nine months. I mean you know what nutrients you need to focus on and all the healthy pregnancy food out there. However, knowing what to focus on weekly makes life much easier. This book provides a week-by-week guide on what to eat during each stage. Although I didn't try all the recipes, that's also included, I found it tremendously helpful to know what food-of-the-week to focus on for the target development. It just helped narrow down the overall list of food to eat when pregnant. I also loved learning and being aware of how my baby was growing each week and how the food was effecting the growth.
This book is quite insightful and educational. I really enjoyed reading this book and learned some valuable and fascinating information. Dr John Medina is a developmental molecular biologist and a dad, who draws examples from scientific studies and neuroscience research and facts, as opposed to mere opinion.
I have six other pregnancy books here, but I'd be lying if I said I read them all.
Nesting Phase of Pregnancy
My goodness, only four more days till Valentine's day, and we're so ready to meet our baby boy. I doubt I'll ever be fully ready for labor, but he is definitely a little too snugged in there and pushing around to hopefully make his debut soon. During this waiting period, I'll post a few pregnancy related topics while the countdown continues.
The Nursery Decor
I understand soon-to-be parents or soon-to-be mommas tend to get very excited about decorating the baby nursery. The whole decorating part can be fun as the anticipation of baby’s arrival builds up. Even though we live in a two bedroom apartment, and I’m highly tempted to invest my energy on these cute nursery ideas and nursery themes on Pinterest, I’ve decided to not dedicate an entire room to creating one just yet. Although designing and putting together baby's room would be so much fun, it’s not necessary for us right now. Why? Because of two reasons:
Staying positive and hopeful is not always easy during pregnancy, especially when the future is so unpredictable, and there are so many pregnancy horror stories out there (not to mention the hormones!) That's when self-love and supportive networks can help guide us in a more positive direction. Even with all that, it can be difficult to ignore the negativity that surrounds us, and we might not be able to always ignore them. And, that's okay. We are only human. We just have to move on and focus on the next day. Things that helped me stay positive:
The Big Birthday Month
It feels like just the other day that I've announced my pregnancy to my family, and I can’t believe I’m on the last stretch of this pregnancy process. Third Trimester - 38 weeks - full-term and counting! At any moment, we'll be welcoming our special little valentine. I'm so proud of how far we have come.
I don’t mean to sound as if time flew by for me, because the pregnancy process is a piece of cake. I know many women who’ve had hard pregnancies. Pregnancy is tough as it is with the ups-and-downs of hormones, emotions, physical changes, and all sorts of pregnancy symptoms. You are making a human being! Each stage of pregnancy can bring with it it’s own sets of challenges and symptoms - both positive and negative. You’ll have hard days, but I think, for every mother, the experience is unique. No two mother or no two baby are the same, and no pregnancy is easy. It’s the positive outlook that’s important to minimize stress and stay healthy (more on this later).
I enjoyed being pregnant, and I’ve had a healthy pregnancy so far and a very supportive group of friends and family who made this whole process so special and sometimes emotional, driving me to positive thinking and a happy state of mind. I felt so blessed. I’ve been counting my blessings for every good news I received whenever I went for my monthly doctor's visits. Now in the third trimester with 38 weeks already passed, they have turned into weekly visits. However, no matter how healthy you are, how fit you are, or how strong you are, you’ll find yourself wondering if your baby is doing okay, if you are eating right or doing the right things, or if everything is going well in there. That’s totally normal! You’re pretty much blindfolded until those ultrasounds and tests come through. Even then, things can always take a turn. Not everything can be foreseen even with the most technologically advanced tools in hand, but that's out of your control.
At the end of this beautiful journey of 38 weeks, I’m so grateful and as ready as I can be to meet my bundle of bliss. I’ve been nesting hard core, and it feels that no matter how much I get done and how many amazon packages I open, there is more to do and a wish for one more day to tidy up just a tad bit more. The realization that our baby might be here any day now has started to not only look real but feel real. With the bassinet in the room, the car seat setup, and all baby clothes washed and ready, we only have baby left to arrive and make it all into a home of three.
Thank you for your blessings and your well wishes as we count down to begin this new chapter of our lives.
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Are we have a Boy or a Girl?
2018 will be a year to remember and cherish. It’s the year I’ve been blessed with my first pregnancy. I think from the moment we found out we are expecting, which was in June (my birthday month and our anniversary month), the thought of what might be the gender of our baby started to stir our minds and hearts. We decided we wanted to find out the gender after we have successfully completed our first trimester and embarked on the second phase of pregnancy. The waiting and anticipation was killing me, but this pregnancy process has been absolutely surreal and precious. After five months of patiently waiting, we decided to host a small gathering to share the special moment of reveal with few of our family and friends. My husband really wanted to host an at-home dinner with a few family members, but I got carried away.
My Guilty Pleasure
With Spring behind us and the first week of summer here, I figured I'll share a summer drink recipe for you. While Cherry blossoms and May showers are signs of Spring in Washington, DC, my family knows the season is here when the mangoes arrive in their fruitiest of aroma. As the weather warms up, mangoes begin filling the homes of all my relatives. Although this King-of-Fruits can be found year-round, their true taste peaks in the Spring season as they start to really ripen up as summer weather nears. Mango becomes the perfect ingredient to add to your tropical smoothie recipes, summer drinks, and fruit salads. Nothing is more refreshing than a glass of chilled mango lassi. Okay, there are other refreshing drinks out there too, but this mango lassi is way up there! And my mom's authentic mango lassi recipe is not only the best... it's oh. so. gratifying! If you're thinking of summer wedding ideas or drink ideas for South Asian weddings, this fresh fruit beverage can surely add personality and bring a seasonal flare to your wedding drink menu.
How to Stay Motivated and In Love
Hello, my people! It seems forever that I’ve been out of social media. Let me explain. I’ve been on a short-term sabbatical and paused on social media as I sought out to achieve “perfection” and a well curated visual appeal. You know, what I do comes from a place of love and appreciation. It’s truly a labor of love. When it turns to just labor, I like to take some time out to hit that reset button and really focus. And, then refocus: ensuring it’s all about the love. And it keeps bringing me back to you. Thank you so much for your messages (I love them!) and for getting in touch with me. I promise to you… I’m here, and I am okay. I hope you are too.
Spring Showers Bring Mother's Day Flowers
Mother’s day is here, my people. I have a list of the best mother's day gift ideas for you to enjoy the weekend with the important ladies in your life. In fact, there are some outdoor activities that can be enjoyed throughout spring and all the way to the end of summer season. Now tell me: do you spend weeks searching for the best mother’s day gift ideas or are you a procrastinator, who also loves mom dearly? I usually start thinking a month in advance but still find myself struggling at the last minute to choose from one of many gift options out there. At whichever point of planning mode you might be in for this mother's day, I'm sure this list will get your creative juices flowing. Blogging for me comes from a very personal space, and I tend to often draw inspiration from my own life. This list of mother's day gift ideas is no exception and was shaped by my personal experiences with my own mother. We have not indulged in all that's included here. It was built from similar experiences we have had or I would have liked to have had as a mother and/or daughter.
Cherry Blossoms Peak Bloom is here!
The big question this time around - are the cherry blossoms in full bloom? Flowering of the cherry blossom tree somehow marks the beginning of spring in Washington, DC. With the weather fluctuating every week, we didn’t really know what to expect. Although the Cherry Blossom Festival have started since March 13 and will continue till April 15th, the National Park Service had revised (twice) Washington D.C. peak bloom forecast to April 8-12. And this time... it worked! Although I'm not big on Cherry Blossom in DC and there are snow showers expected on Saturday, I’m hoping they can survive their already short span of life.
Photo Credit: Style Me Pretty
The cherry blossoms have bloomed
I usually dread going to the Tidal Basin to see the cherry blossoms, because it’s usually still cold in early spring and the weather fluctuates a lot. This year I’m thinking about paying them a visit, because our little cherry buds struggled hard last year and never got to bloom. The recent snow this year hadn’t affected them much, but the cold had pushed back their blooming time. There’s an overwhelming amount of hype around Cherry Blossoms, especially, in DC. I appreciate the new blooms, but after a few visits over the years, I had stopped feeling the need to be a part of all the hustle and bustle. This year, I do want to make an effort to go to DC and maybe share some pretty pictures with you. So, you see… the blog has helped me grow interest in things I had lost fascination for before. I’ve decided to easy in to the season and just make a random visit to the city one sunny day.
Spending Long Weekend in MD + DC
Good Friday and long weekend is here with some sunshine and warmer days. Who can complain! My little niece has been running around the house... making everyone hunt Easter eggs that she hid under and around all the furniture. She made some easter craft and played egg hunting games with other kids in school, so she brought home a pretty little Easter basket to continue the fun. She got me excited to explore some of the events that are taking place in the community. There are lots of Easter Egg hunt events and activities taking place in Maryland + Washington, DC this weekend. We don’t celebrate Easter, but in terms of decor for your Easter brunch or activities to do right at home, here are few pretty things that caught my attention:
How gorgeous and creative is this Easter-inspired Centerpiece sitting pretty on Southern Living? I have two fish bowls, from my own wedding, that I occasionally use to create centerpieces for my parties. So, as soon as I saw this garden centerpiece made of fresh produce and flowers, it immediately got my attention.