HOW TO LOVE YOUR PREGNANCY: 1st Trimester Survival Guide

HOW-TO-LOVE-YOUR-PREGNANCY-1st-Trimester-Survival-Guide

First, CONGRATS on your pregnancy!  It will be one of the most amazing times in your life…I promise!  I was one of those people that DREADED pregnancy my entire life.  But it does not have to be bad…it truly is one of the best things you will experience.  I know what you are thinking: how will I ever make it through the 1st trimester?  Well, it does not have to be completely miserable…so, consider this your 1st TRIMESTER SURVIVAL GUIDE.  The 2nd part in my HOW TO LOVE YOUR PREGNANCY series will feature product must haves, lifestyle changes (or lack there of), and extras to make you comfy! (Can you say prenatal massage?)

Now, I do want to preface this post with a disclaimer.  Some women are VERY SICK during their first trimester.  And I don’t mean the occasional bout of morning sickness.  If this is you, I am SO sorry.  This article probably won’t apply to you, but maybe you can find a few things to get SOME relief.  I am not an expert on this topic but simply want to let you know what worked for me.

1) Find a PRENTAL VITAMIN that does not CAUSE nausea.  You may not even realize it, but your prenatal vitamin could be causing your morning sickness.  I tried 3 or 4 different types before I found that worked for me.  I chose to go the “raw, natural” route, and I SWEAR by these: Garden of Life Vitamin Code RAW Prenatal. They support healthy digestion AND ease nausea, in addition to providing you and your baby nutrients you need.

2) Eat the RIGHT foods.  I know, this is the LAST thing you want to hear.  But honestly, eating tons of fattening, greesy foods will only make things worse.  Not only will you suffer from indigestion, but your energy levels will be brutal, especially if you are not used to eating this way.  I learned this the hard way.  When I would tell people that I had not changed my Paleo diet much, I always got the same lecture: “Are you crazy?  Now is the time to splurge and eat what you want.”  Well, I tried it for 2 weeks…and I felt AWFUL.  So, what should you eat?  I absolutely loved FRUIT during the 1st trimester.  It was so refreshing and delicious.  While it can have a lot of sugar, fruit is very nutritious and can satisfy your sweet tooth.  Another great “sweet splurge?”  DARK CHOCOLATE.  Make sure you check the labels and look for chocolate that is at least 72% cacao and only contains a few ingredients.  Here are 2 of my favs: Alter Eco – Dark Blackout Organic Chocolate and Equal Exchange Organic Panama Extra Dark Chocolate. When you don’t feel well, you will crave carbs.  Although I ate pretty-Paleo, I did incorporate more carbs into my diet.  I loved RICE, POTATOES, and QUINOA.  All were healthy options that filled me up and kept my nausea at bay.  AVOID carbs in the form of processed foods.  If you absolutely need crackers, just find a healthy option.  I LOVE the Absolutely Crackers (Gluten-Free).  You can buy them at Whole Foods or online: Absolutely Gluten Free Original Crackers.   So, we all know that VEGGIES are our friend.  Stick to veggies that do not cause gas and ones that you do not have an aversion to.  I had an aversion to cooked greens, so I avoided them like the plague.  Veggies that cause gas?  Broccoli, asparagus, cabbage and Brussels sprouts.  The best way to figure out which ones do not cause discomfort is through trial and error.  Keep a food diary to help you rule out foods that make you sick or gassy.  Lastly, LEAN PROTEIN is very important.  A lot of people have aversions to meat during the 1st trimester, but find one that works.  I really loved wild caught salmon, pasture-raised rotisserie chicken, and grass-fed flank steak.  If you do not eat meat, find a source of protein that will fill you up.  For more healthy eating ideas, check out the first part of my HOW TO LOVE YOUR PREGNANCY series HERE.  I even provide a sample menu to give you some food inspiration!

3) Eat small, frequent meals.  I can’t say this enough.  It makes ALL the difference in the world.  Eating large meals to the point of misery will not help your situation.  Eat small, frequent meals throughout the day and make healthy choices.  I LOVED apple slices dipped in almond butter, a small handful of grapes with some almonds, or half an avocado sprinkled with salt and pepper.

4) Belly Balm.  Look, no one knows for certain if belly balm helps prevent stretch marks or not. But why not use it?  It feels GREAT on your tummy and if it helps you worry less about stretch marks, then I highly recommend it!  My bump twin and one of my best friends, Lauren, purchased me the Honest Co. Organic Belly Balm, and I have LOVED it.  You can purchase HERE!

5) Prenatal Massage.  Treat yourself.  As often as you can afford it.  Trust me!

6) Wear clothes that make you feel NORMAL and CUTE.  I am not going to lie…shopping for clothes in the first trimester can be difficult.  I PROMISE YOU DO NOT LOOK FAT!  I constantly struggled with this, but looking back now, it was silly.  Wear things that make you feel good and treat yourself to something new.  Don’t worry, I linked up a bunch of cute, flow dresses at the end of the post!

7) Belly Band.  If you do not buy anything else, invest in one of these.  Not only will it help you stay in your regular jeans longer, it will also smooth out the bumps in your tummy as it grows.  Life saver.  Purchase this immediately!  You can buy the Ingrid & Isabel Bellaband HERE.

8) Lemon Water.  I absolutely despise drinking water, but it really is crucial to stay hydrated.  I have heard so many different “rules” about water consumption.  Some people swear by 8 glasses of water per day; others say to drink half your body weight in ounces.  The half my body weight was easy to monitor and adjust throughout pregnancy, so that’s what I went with.  Since I do not enjoy the taste of water, I added freshly squeezed lemon juice to it.  It actually helped a ton!  Get a cute water bottle (S’well is my fav!  You can purchase HERE) and drink up!

8) Exercise.  Y’all, exercise saved me.  Honestly.  Make sure you discuss with your doc prior to starting or continuing any exercise program, but if he/she gives you the go ahead, get up and move.  Whether it’s a walk, a swim, or your favorite exercise class, I promise you will feel better.  Even on my tiredest days, I would try to do SOMETHING.  I would instantly feel revitalized and could make it through the night without crashing.  Find something you enjoy doing, not something that you dread.  Additionally, if you are SO tired you can’t function, then take a short nap.  Anything under 30 minutes will keep you refreshed without causing you to be even more tired.

9) Fun pregnancy books and apps.  I absolutely loved getting my daily and weekly updates.  Some apps I love are OVIA, BABY CENTER, and WHAT TO EXPECT.  OVIA even shows you a picture of the size of your baby’s little hand.  It is so cute!  Books that I love:

10) Date Night or GNO!  Get out and live your life.  The more normal you can keep your life, the better you will feel.  Even if I was a little tired, getting out and about helped a ton.  Get dressed up…head to your fav restaurant…splurge a little…and have fun!

11)  Stay positive.  Embrace the changes.  I know this sounds silly, but it really does work.  How much easier is it to make it though a difficult time when you have something to look forward to?  Just think, you will have a PRECIOUS little to love and cuddle with at the end of your pregnancy.  What other time in your life will you have people (even complete strangers) doting on you, offering to help you, and telling you how beautiful you look?  You can seriously be having the fattest, worst hair, terrible skin day ever, and SOMEONE will tell you how great you look. It happens.  AND, in just a few weeks, you will feel AMAZING!    Honestly, the 2nd trimester brings so much energy, happiness, and strength.  You CAN make it through the 1st trimester, and the reward is pretty awesome!  ENJOY IT. EMBRACE IT.  AND TAKE ADVANTAGE of all the LOVE you are receiving!


 


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Love Always LL


 

INSTA-LA

INSTA-LA Outfit Inspo

SHIRT Zara • VEST La Marque • HAT Janessa Leone • SHOES Chloe Gladiators

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit somewhere I have never been: LA!!!!  Can you believe I have never been there?  Let me just tell you…I LOVED IT and was ready to move to Lala Land!  The hubs was not too keen on that idea.  Although I did not have a TON of free time…pretty much one dinner and half a day, I definitely made the best of it.  It also ended up being a super productive trip in terms of baby-prep.  I visited this SUPER cool baby store, Bel Bambini AND discovered Kitson Kids (more on both of these later!).

So, without further adieu, here is LA in an INSTA…a collection of all my Instagram images from the trip.  There’s fashion, food, and even some #babylutz tied in!  ENJOY!!

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INSTA-LA Bestia Bone Marrow

BESTIA Restaurant

I have been DYING to try this restaurant.  It’s one of the HOTTEST in LA right now, and man, did it live up to the hype.   My foodie friend, Emily, and I literally ordered the entire menu.  It was TO DIE.  The pictures above are just 2 of the dishes we ordered.  2 out of probably 7.  The second one: BONE MARROW.  It was fabulous.  If you have never tried bone marrow, you should immediately.  You can even do a bone marrow luge with brandy or bourbon.  Obviously, we did not partake in this due to the little in my belly, but I have done this in the past.  I HIGHLY recommend this restaurant.  The atmosphere is super casual and very HIP.  The menu is definitely foodie-centric, and I challenge you to be BRAVE.  Step out of your comfort zone and try something new.  You won’t regret it.

INSTA-LA Bel Bambini

Bel Bambini

As much as I love Birmingham, we are lacking in the “modern baby” department.  We have some precious boutiques, but a lot of them are not our style.  SO, I was basically blindly registering and designing the nursery…UNTIL I stumbled upon Bel Bambini in West Hollywood.  SO SO SO CUTE!  They had pretty much everything I had registered for, including the strollers I was trying to decide between.  The salesperson was SUPER helpful and spent a couple of hours with me answering my questions and showing me all the goods.  How cute is the stroller I decided to go with?  It’s the STOKKE Lmited Edition True Black Explory.  It’s perfect for skipping around town and is compatible with my carseat!  I can’t wait to take Baby Lutz for a spin!

We ate a sushi place in the Hollywood Hills on the 2nd night…and check out this view!  WOWZERS!  While I would not recommend the sushi, the view made it worth it!  And you guys know how much I love a palm tree picture.

INSTA-LA Hollywood Hills

After a few days of LONG meetings, I had a free morning.  YIPPEE!!!  I knew I wanted to check out some of the beaches and POSSIBLY hit up the Ivy.  I really wanted to head down to Malibu and eat at Nobu but didn’t really have time.  SO, I decided to do the tourist thing and head to Venice Beach.  It was EXACTLY like I thought it would be.  Muscle Beach was pretty cool, I have to say so myself and is JUST like you see on TV.  We walked down the boardwalk and even scooped up some Venice Beach souvenirs.  Even better…I was able to take some FAB pictures.  These next 3 pictures DEFINITELY sum up our morning on Venice Beach!
INSTA-LA Venice Beach

INSTA-LA Venice Beach YELLOW

INSTA-LA Venice Beach BIKEOH!  I totally forgot to tell you where I stayed!  We stayed at the LOEWS Hollywood Hotel.  While I would not recommend the location (VERY touristy area), the hotel was FABULOUS!  It was hip, modern, and very comfy.  Here’s a shot of my Jimmy Choos parading around on their HOT PINK carpet.

INSTA-LA LOEWS HOLLYWOOD

So, AFTER Venice Beach, I decided to head BACK to West Hollywood to eat at THE IVY.  I mean, if this place doesn’t scream LA, then I don’t know what does.  When I walked up, I was immediately surrounded by beautiful people hobnobbing on the gorgeous patio.  The space was adorned with flowers and presented a somewhat stuffy atmosphere inside.  But would you expect anything less?  They even greet you with a glass of champagne while you wait.  As I took my seat outside, I looked around for celebs.  I immediately noticed Matt Damon just chillin on the patio.  No big.  The menu wasn’t overly impressive, but they had plenty of delicious salads to choose from.  WARNING: they were priced at about 40 bucks a pop, but hey, that’s LA for ya.  I settled into some bread and a lobster salad and soaked in my surroundings.  It was a beautiful 75 degree day, and the hustle and bustle created such a buzz.  As I walked out, I noticed SO MANY of my favorite stores.  Holy moly. I only had a few minutes, so I had to make a quick decision.  I decided to check out KITSON KIDS.  Um adorbs.  I ended up purchasing SEVERAL items for Baby Lutz.  Look how cute!

INSTA-LA Kitson Kidsi

Kitson Kids

TOP LEFT Indikidual • TOP RIGHT Nununu • BOTTOM RIGHT Indikidual • MOCCASINS Freshly Picked

That afternoon, I had the opportunity to take my sales team on a scavenger hunt of sorts all around Hollywood.  It was a blast!  I figured this was a great way to knock out some of the touristy stuff, while providing an avenue for team-building.  Y’all, the scavenger hunt was NO JOKE, so we abandoned the hunt and decided to rock the photo challenge.  We were presented with tasks to “act out” certain photo challenges.  I even bought selfie sticks for each team.  One example was to “interact with a  celebrity.”  Along the Hollywood Strip, they have people dressed up as celebrities that accept tips to take pictures with them.  OH MY GOSH, it was hilarious.  We stopped to chat with Zach Galifianakis (from the Hangover) to fulfill that requirement.  Another was “show respect to an authority figure.”  Again, they had people “dressed up” in police gear.  These ladies pretty much looked like strippers.  My favorite was “eat food in an interesting way.”  Unfortunately, I promised the team I would not post any of the pictures on the blog, so you will have to use your imagination.  But here is my first experience with a selfie stick…

INSTA-LA Selfie Stick

Overall, we had an AWESOME trip!  I wish I had more time to explore the city, but now I know exactly where I want to go next time.    So, until my next trip to LALA LAND…

Love Always LL

#IDecideHow: Monogram Maternity

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I am SO excited to be partnering with St. Vincent’s and Monogram Maternity on a new series titled #IDecideHow. (cute tagline they created huh?) Over the next several months, I will be introducing you to St. Vincent’s exclusive maternity program, providing behind the scenes coverage of their facilities and amenities and a full recap of my experience. Don’t worry, this series will feature a giveaway AND must-haves to get you through your pregnancy.

So first, what IS Monogram Maternity?

As their vision states, they are a first-class program “Empowering Women To Make Decisions About Their Birth Experience.” I have to admit…I have always gone to St. Vincent’s for my OBGYN services, but I never new this existed. Just like many of you, I am a full-time working mom-to-be, and my career is such a huge part of my life. I travel a LOT for work and still want to have time to socialize with friends, blog about all things-lutzurious, exercise, and spend time with the hubs. I have said over and over again throughout this process that I wanted my life to remain as normal as possible over the 9-10 month period. Pregnancy shouldn’t be a hinderance, but a wonderful addition to our lives. Following a program that provides flexibility, convenience, and customization was very important to me.

When I first entered the Monogram Maternity Suite, I was blown away. I instantly felt like I had walked into a spa. It really was beautiful! I was welcomed with strawberry infused water, a soothing aroma, and warm smiles. This doesn’t sound like a hospital environment does it? Once you check in, you are introduced to your “birth designer.” She will give you a tour of the facility and what services they offer through the program. Then you sit down and go over your exclusive birth experience wishes. They also work very closely with your physician who makes all of the medical decisions and answers or addresses any medical questions or concerns you may have.

What do they offer?

-One on one consultation with your birth designer via phone, email, or in person
-Prenatal education (see www.idecidehow.com for a full list of classes)
-2 locations: St. Vincent’s Birmingham and St. Vincent’s East
-Full access to Blessed Beginnings Boutique
-15% discount at our St. Vincent’s One Nineteen spa during your pregnancy (yes please!)
-FREE prenatal lactation consultation

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As you exit the beautiful space, spend some time in the Blessed Beginnings Boutique to purchase stylish maternity gowns, last-minute baby items, or lactation supplies. Some of the lines they carry are The Paisley Pea, NuRoo, and MilkMakers Lactation Cookies. Oh, and how cute are these baby leggings? Look for a giveaway featuring boutique items, a photography sesh, and more cool items in the next month!

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Don’t worry, Monogram Maternity will be with you throughout the entire process. They want your birth experience to be as unique as you are. Remember, what I always say? If you want to wear sequins to brunch, then by all means rock those sequins to brunch (or to birth ;))! Bringing a child into the world should be NO different. It should be exactly how you envision it with care that is centered around you and your little. If you are trying to decide which hospital to choose for your delivery, I urge you to do your research and due diligence. Meet with different facilities to find out what programs are offered and which one meets your needs. Take a tour with Monogram Maternity of St. Vincent’s to see if it is a fit for you and your future little. You can visit their website at www.idecidehow.com or call/visit these locations:

Monogram Maternity at St. Vincent’s Birmingham
Fourth Floor, Women and Children’s Center 
(205) 212-MOMS

Monogram Maternity at St. Vincent’s East
Fourth Floor, Birth Suites 
(205) 838-3278

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I CANNOT believe I am in the FINAL 2 months of my pregnancy. Baby Lutz will be here before we know it! I feel like these last 2 months are when all the action happens, so stay tuned for all the info you can possibly handle. If you are trying to get pregnant, currently expecting, or know someone that is expecting, make sure you follow along and SHARE with your friends and family!  I can’t get over this sweet little picture of baby Lutz, so I am posting again!

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Love Always LL

ROCK THE BUMP: Mara!

ROCK THE BUMP Mara 4

Yall, I have been LIVING in Mara Hoffman since getting pregnant (and my La Marque fringe of course). Her stretchy, body-con dresses are PERFECT for rockin’ the bump. You can dress them up, down, or all around. Not only will you look super fab in her colorful designs, but you will feel comfy AND stylish.  Comfy AND stylish?  You don’t get that very often.  And that’s the name of the game when it comes to pregnancy!

TIP: Go up 1 (or 2) sizes to get the most wear out of the dresses throughout your pregnancy.

She has both long and short options. If you are self-conscious about your legs, go for a maxi version (as featured in this post). If you want to rock the bump AND your svelte legs, then opt for a shorter version. One of my FAVS right now is this Shift Dress (shown below in BEAMS YELLOW) . It’s not super fitted but hugs the bump JUST right. Throw a blazer over it for work or rock it with some platforms for a night out with the girls.  Instant chic!  You can purchase HERE.

ROCK THE BUMP Mara

How cute is the maxi paired with my FAV La Marque fringe jacket? It is HOTTER THAN HELL right now, so I do not recommend this jacket during the day. However, La Marque makes an AMAZING fringe vest that can be purchased ON SALE HERE or at GUS MAYER locally.  For a fab mix of high and low, I paired this outfit with my Christian Loubouton Hippik heels (sold out, LESS EXPENSIVE similar version HERE) and Dannijo statement necklace (sold out, similar HERE).  Speaking of, I am thinking of crafting a HOW TO: Rock HIGH and LOW post to help people pair SPLURGE items with SAVE items.  Would this be beneficial to y’all?

ROCK THE BUMP Mara 2

TIP: Adding a vest or jacket elongates your figure and accents the bump perfectly. They will also hide those all-too-familiar love handles.

ROCK THE BUMP Mara 8

 

ROCK THE BUMP Mara 5

 

ROCK THE BUMP Mara

 

DRESS Mara Hoffman • JACKET La Marque • SHOES Christian Louboutin Hippik (sold out, similar HERE) • NECKLACE Dannijo (sold out, similar HERE)

Non-preggos, since this is NOT a maternity dress, you can rock this outfit as well! Don’t worry, I am linking up all-things Mara at the end of this post with shoppable links!  PS, I love how matchy-matchy this dress is with our landscaping.  I couldn’t have planned that if I had tried!

What is your GO-TO pregnancy staple?  Shoot me a comment and let me know.  I would love to hear your ideas to share with my readers!


 


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Love Always LL


 

You Want to Do WHAT to My Face?

MD Wellness and Aesthetics

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of partnering with B-Metro to live blog during MD Wellness and Aesthetics re-branding event.  You all may remember the post and pictures from the event.  Not only was the event super successful, but I learned a LOT!  Several of you reached out to me regarding one of the products I tried out: Instantly Ageless.  So, I wanted to pass down the information I gathered down to you guys, as well as some info about the Eclipse Micropen.  Sound interesting?  Keep reading.

So, first, what is INSTANTLY AGELESS?

MD Wellness and Aesthetics

I tried my best to get 2 pictures that were similar, but I could not get the lighting to match exactly.  #firstworldproblems Anyways, the time difference between the 2 pictures is literally 2 minutes.  The treatment not only smooths out fine lines and wrinkles, but it lasts up to 12 hours.  This a great, non-invasive treatment to get you through date night looking extra smooth!  PS, I sound like I am selling this stuff, but I was NOT compensated or asked to blog about my experience with this product.  It was just that good that I had to share the wealth!

How does it work?

-3 main ingredients work together to tighten and firm skin to create a smoother, flawless complexion.
-Argireline is the main ingredient. This is a peptide that works similar to Botox WITHOUT the needles!
-As I mentioned, it is non-invasive and works in 2 minutes.
-It is in essence, an anti-wrinkle, micro-cream.
-It clearly diminishes the visible signs of aging quickly and effectively.

How much does it cost?
-NORMALLY $125 for a box of 50 ($2.50 per).  HOWEVER, MD Wellness is running a special: 2 for $10, 10 for $40 or a box of 50 for $100!


MD-Wellness-Eclipse-Micro-Pen

And now on to the Eclipse Micropen aka Hollywood’s Hottest Secret.  Initially, it sounded a little scary, I have to admit, but when I learned more about it, I realized JUST how non-invasive this treatment is compared to some other options.

How does it work?

-Micro-needles create micro injuries which tell your body to produce collagen and elastin (aka Collagen Induction Therapy).
-Treatment creates micro channels in the skin
-For even better results, you can use in conjunction with your OWN PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) to stimulate the collagen by 1000%.

What is it used for?

-Acne scars

-Fine lines and wrinkles

-STRETCH MARKS (praise the LORD!)

-Hair restoration (MD Wellness is offering $100 off…see below)

How much does it cost?

-3 treatments are $600 without the PRP, $1000 with the PRP, which is much less than laser treatments.

**MD Wellness IS running a special on this as well.  If you purchase 2 Eclipse MicroPen Elite sessions, you get the 3rd free!  We are also doing hair restoration with the MicroPen and PRP….$100 off each hair restoration session!

Does it hurt?

Don’t worry, they will numb the area with lidocaine prior to the procedure.  I have not personally had this treatment, but Buffy with The Style Gathering has recently.  Make sure you visit her post HERE.

The staff at MD Wellness is FABULOUS!!!!!  They are super nice and go above and beyond to help!

MD Welnness and Aesthetics Birmingham

 

We had a lot of fun jamming to the tunes of THE Hugh Rowe Thomas (doesn’t that name have a rockstar ring to it?)!  Y’all, he is ONLY 17 years old and had the crowd rocking’ the entire night.  Check him out on Facebook!

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Obviously, I am not an expert on any of this, so if you are interested in any of these treatments, reach out to the amazing staff at MD Wellness, so they can answer your questions.  As SOON as I have this baby, I am going back in to try the micro-needling treatment.  I will give you guys a full review then!  Hope this answers some of your questions!


 

Love Always LL