baby boy nursery

I am so excited to share Hudson’s room with you guys!  It’s probably the most special room in our house because it was my first time looking at cribs, rockers, baby toys, etc.  A completely new kind of project but so much fun.

I worked on this space with Pottery Barn Kids… and no one does a sweeter nursery than Pottery Barn.  They have so many beautiful children’s pieces – everything from cribs and bookshelves to swaddles, play mats, travel cribs, baby carriers – the list goes on.

The crib, dresser and glider are all Greenguard Gold Certified.  This means that they are made from sustainably sourced, chemical-free materials.  These products are screened for more than 10,000 chemicals that are known to pollute the air in your home.  This is something I hadn’t considered until I started reading about it and now I can’t stop thinking about it!  When you look at items on the PBK site you’ll see little stamps showing you what is fair trade and Greenguard Gold Certified.

I’m breaking down where every single item is from below.  I also wanted to share my vision for the room before we started!  This room is at the end of the hallway upstairs.  My thoughts were that it would remain the nursery for all of our children.  I wanted all of the big items to be gender-neutral, with a few splashes of blue throughout.  This way when Hudson is old enough to sleep in a bigger bed we can move the Babar art and blue rug with him and leave the rest for the next baby.

Pottery Barn has so many gender-neutral items that it made pulling this room together so easy.  I love how we carry the animal theme throughout the room not only with stuffed animals and art, but also with books, play mats, this quilt, organic bedding and changing pad covers.

nursery revealgray sweater dressblythe bookcasebabar printsmerced glider and ottomanblythe dresserubbi diaper pailbaby blue sleeperbaby nameplatesweater dressgiraffe basketblue star rugwhite nursery dresserivory nursery gliderwhite air diffuserbaby sweaternursery teddy bearwhite blackout curtainspottery barn mobileblue nursery rugbabar framed printspottery barn blythe dressermerced glider and ottomannewborn baby boywhite baby boy cribherend baby shoegray sweater dresspottery barn rocker

photos by Viva Lux Photography

dress | earrings | crib | mobile | starry rug | sheepskin | faux plantglider + ottoman | gold frames | humidifier | dresser | horse changing pad coverelephant changing pad cover | wipe warmerblackout curtains | mirror | diaper pail | laundry basket | bookcase | letter board | giraffe basket | nightlight | sound machine | giraffe frame set | play mat | giraffe stuffed animal | baby name plate – a hand-painted gift | fawn rocker | chandelier | Miku Baby Monitor | baby bath wrap | fawn stuffed animal | frames for prints | prints – purchased at a market in Europe

You can also find all of the pieces here!

I spend so much time in this little room.  It’s such a happy place to walk into each time I feed Hudson and get him dressed for the day or bedtime.  I know there are going to be so many memories made here, and I can’t wait to watch him grow into it.

Thank you so much for reading! XO –

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mz wallace metro tote

By popular demand, I’m sharing what I packed for the hospital!  I polled you guys on Instagram if you wanted to see the items we used or both the items we used and didn’t use, and everyone said both.  So here we are.

If you’re one of the 5 or fewer men that read this blog occasionally… you might want to skip the below.  This is a post for the ladies and could be read as TMI if it doesn’t pertain to you!  That’s your warning.

I used my MZ Wallace bags for the hospital and per usual, they were amazing.  These bags weigh nothing, can be wiped down easily and hold SO much.  I love, love, love them and plan on using them for Hudson’s diaper bag as well with a ToteSavvy insert.

For Me | Packed and Needed:

Two pairs of comfortable pajamas that button (for feeding)



Nursing Bras + Nipple Cream + Nipple Gel Pads (I used these more at home)

Large towel wrap and loofah – the ones in the hospital are thin and very small.  Your own towel will feel like a luxury!

Shower shoes/flip flops

Toiletries + Makeup + Chapsticks + Shampoo/Conditioner

Ponytail holders, hair clips, dry shampoo

Prenatal Vitamins

Pillow + Colored Pillowcase – so you know which one is yours

Baby Book for Footprints


Computer + Charger

Cell Phone Charger with long cord

Night Light

A going home outfit – you may or may not want to match your bambino!

At home I also had and used this underwear and this postpartum belt.  I also use and love this breastfeeding pillow!

For Me | Packed but Didn’t Need:

Large Mug + Straw – the hospital provided one

Blankets – our room wasn’t cold, if anything it was warm so I definitely didn’t need this

Socks – I opted for slippers

Pads – hospital provided them

Squirt Bottlehospital provided and I liked theirs better

Perineal Cold Packshospital provided “padsicles” that are way better than these.  They taught me how to make them for the first few days home.  Soak a pad in water and then fold up, ringing out excess water.  Layer them flat with wax paper between layers and stick them in the freezer.  These end up being much more absorbent than the cold packs.

Snacks – I had brought all of these snacks because I had been told I’d be starving, etc.  I barely touched them.  I felt like the hospital was always bringing me food and water.  Christian also hopped out to pick up food a few times.  We barely touched the bag.  That being said, I did arrive at the hospital 8cm dilated, so we didn’t have a lot of chill time prior to delivery.  Better safe than sorry, but I just wanted to be honest that we didn’t up needing this!  

**This being said, hospitals will feed you but some do not necessarily feed your partner meals.  Christian has employee privileges at the hospital where I delivered so he could go to the lounge or grab food quickly nearby.  BUT, I didn’t realize this and thought it might be helpful to know!**

baby boy nursery

For Baby: 

A few going home outfits

Baby Hats

Baby Blankets

Baby Socks

Pacifiers these are Hudson’s favorite


For Partner:

Ear Plugs

Pillow + Colored Pillowcase

2-3 Changes of Clothes



Sweatshirt, Blanket


hospital packing list

 nameplate necklace | H necklace | sweater (old), similar style here (on sale) | denim – I sized up one size (on sale) | leopard bag | large bag | nursery room reveal here with room items linked!

And there you have it!  We stayed in the hospital two nights, and I definitely packed too much stuff.  But even looking back, better to have it and not use it than need it and have to send out for it.

When we left, the hospital sent us with a swaddle, pacifier and lots of things for me – extra squirt bottle, mesh underwear, pads, etc.  Take these!  They have plenty and they can’t repurpose them from your room.  You’ll use them at home.

I hope this list will be helpful to you if a hospital stay is in your future!  This was my first time ever spending the night in a hospital, so I certainly learned a lot.  I’m immensely thankful to the doctors and nurses who made our stay so comfortable.  I look back on Hudson’s delivery as the most wonderful experience (more on that here), and feel endlessly grateful for our time there.

If you packed something that’s not on this list that was helpful, please let me know in the comments!  Thanks so much for reading and sharing.  And you can see my maternity must-haves here! XO –

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nursery closet

Before I share Hudson’s full nursery with you guys, I wanted to share a peek into his custom closet that was designed by The Container Store.  I have loved my closet transformation so much (video tour here), so I was definitely excited to update this nursery closet into a more functional space.

Before it was installed, the closet was simply one shelf and a hanging rod.  Below I’m sharing a “before” photo from another closet upstairs with the same layout.  Considering baby clothes hang less than two feet… that’s a lot of wasted space.  With the Elfa Decor closet, we now have multiple shelves, drawers with dividers and floor space for a significantly larger amount of storage.

While I have the Avera Custom Closet line downstairs, the Elfa line is such a great choice for babies and kids.  As they grow up and their clothes take up a different amount of space, you can move the shelves and drawers around, continuing to customize the space to meet your needs.

AND The Container Store currently has an Elfa sale (30% off!) going on through the end of February!  So if you want to start the year with a fresh, organized closet, there’s no better time to get a deal.

baby closetbaby blue velvet hangerselfa closetbaby closetwhite pom pom basketvelvet hangerscontainer store elfa closetdl1961 hepburn jeannursery closetkaanas Sagrantino Mule

photos by Viva Lux Photography

The Container Store Elfa Closet30% off through the end of February!| hangers | denim40% off | sweaterunder $30! | heels 

Depending on your space and budget, The Container Store Custom Closets has so many options of what you can do to organize your closet or small space.  And trust me, once it’s updated you’re going to think, “why didn’t I do this years ago!?”

Thank you so much for reading – and the nursery reveal is coming next week.  Can’t wait to share it with you! XO – 

brought to you by The Container Store

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birth story

I’ve been looking forward to writing Hudson’s birth story so I can hold onto it as I’m sure my memory will fade over time.  So I wanted to write it while it was still fresh!

I’ll admit, I went into his birth with little to no expectations.  Every woman’s experience is different, our bodies and babies are so different.  Our next child’s birth could be completely unique and nothing like our first!  So I had a three step birth plan:  have the baby in a hospital, get the epidural and have a healthy baby however that may happen.  I really love the hospital and doctors we chose.  I completely trusted them to do what was best for the baby and myself.

After praying the baby would come early and be healthy (as probably all 9 month pregnant women do!), at 2:30AM on Friday, 11/22, I woke up with some lower abdominal cramping.  I thought it could stick around or go away, so I tried to drink some water, reposition and get comfortable.  I quickly realized there was no getting comfortable and at 3:00AM I got out of bed to walk around the house.

Around 3:30AM I used an app called Contraction Timer (recommended by my brother’s wife and so helpful) to start timing what I was feeling.  I started to realize this could really be it.  So I finished packing up my things, organized the pets food, ate some leftover pasta at 4:30AM and got dressed.  I tried to let Christian sleep until 5AM as I knew he had been really tired the night before (I feel I now deserve a gold star sticker for this).

At 5AM, I woke Christian up.  I told him I thought I was in labor and after timing my contractions they were consistent.  He asked if I wanted to call my doctor first and my response was, “no, I don’t want to wake her up if it’s a false alarm.”  Which is hilarious to me – typical daughter and wife of doctors.  I never want to be the cause of waking anyone up!

Christian calmly got up, finished packing a few things and we hopped in the car by 5:20AM.

When we rolled into the ER, they asked if I wanted a wheelchair, and I said I preferred to walk.  I would periodically stop to breathe through a contraction as we made our way up to the third floor.  Then I was checked by a nurse… only to find out I was already between 8 and 9cm dilated.  As in, we were almost ready to push.

That’s when I started to get anxious.  I thought I had more time!  What about the epidural!?  That was literally one of the only puzzle pieces to my “birth plan!”  Christian could see my face start to shift once we heard we were much further along than we thought, and he stepped in to give me a little pep talk.  He said that if I could be this calm without medicine this far into labor, that I would be tough enough to push without the epidural if it was too late.

While I appreciated his vote of confidence… having a natural birth is just not something I felt ready to do.  I absolutely respect and admire anyone who does, but personally I am grateful to modern medicine and welcome it.

The nurse swiftly rolled me straight to labor and delivery and within minutes I was surrounded by wonderful nurses (who were all at the end of their long shift no less) taking blood and filling out paperwork.  They were moving as fast as they could to gather all the information and testing necessary before I could hopefully be seen by the anesthesiologist.

They made it happen, and an anesthesiologist walked in the room with 10 minutes to spare before a scheduled c-section.  He got me fixed up real nice, and all was well in the world in minutes.

From there we debated even calling our families and thought we could just let them know after the baby had been born since things were moving so quickly.  But the epidural slowed things down a little bit.  We had a few hours of downtime before it was time to push, so we called our parents.

You never know if your actual doctor will be available to deliver your baby, and I was so happy to see my doctor walk into the room.  Everyone at the practice is great, but I felt so lucky that she was there to help these newbies, as she is exceptional.

In what felt like no time, we were ready to push.  There were just four of us in the room – Christian, myself, my wonderful doctor and an amazing nurse.  The energy was so relaxed, so calm and happy.  After an hour of pushing during contractions, I felt this wave come over my lower body as our son was born.  I can’t describe it as accurately as it deserves to be described, but it was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.  I hope I never forget it.

Christian actually recorded the audio of Hudson’s arrival and it’s saved in the “CBL Bebe” saved stories on Instagram, but every time I listen to it I have tears in my eyes.  I had no idea that labor and delivery could be so wonderful, so zen, so joyous.

We were between two names for the entire pregnancy.  However once we met our boy with his head full of dark hair and inquisitive blue-gray eyes, I felt that his name was Hudson all along.

He is named after Christian and his maternal side as well as my maternal side, our Hudson Alexander Barnes.

baby birth storyyumi kim robe

robe | photos by Christian Barnes

We spent two nights in the hospital.  The nurses were absolutely amazing and took such great care of us.  When it was time leave I was ready to be in our own space again, but I knew recovering without those ladies was going to be a buzzkill.

Did I cry the first night home because I felt overwhelmed?  Sure.  But now, two weeks later we have a little bit of a rhythm.  Christian’s parents, my parents and my sister have met the baby.  We have an amazing NICU technician helping us a few days a week so I can get some work done.  I’m able to both learn from her and have a few time blocks of independence.  Hudson is a great eater and sleeper so far, and we are all just adjusting to life with him on the outside!

I wanted to share this story because I felt like during my pregnancy, women were so quick to tell me scary or stressful stories of pregnancy, labor, delivery and recovery.  I know everyone’s journey is different, but I have been amazed at how pleasant and happy the process has been.  And I know there is every kind of story out there.  But to anyone who is a little anxious or nervous about becoming a mom and the path required to get there, I hope this story will be reassuring and comforting.  Know that you could absolutely have a totally mellow, calm experience.  Those exist too!

Thank you so much for reading, for all of your kindness, love and encouragement.  December has been pretty busy for all of us, but I am hoping to slow down in January and really enjoy some downtime with my boy.  Having a newborn around the holidays has just been really, really special.  Gratitude to the max.  Love you guys and thank you for so kindly welcoming our Hudson to the CBL fam – XO –

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black turtleneck dress

My boy,

Today is your due date, although you happily decided to make your entrance four days early.  Things moved along so quickly – you were ready!

I found out you existed on March 19th.  And every day since then I’ve looked forward to this day.  I have so much excitement to meet you, to hold you, to love you.  It’s been you and me for the past nine months, and with every kick, every hiccup and every time I see your little behind jutting out of my upper left side (!!), I think of what it might be like to know you and be a part of raising you.

In every moment I spend in your nursery, I dream of the baby, boy and man you might be one day.  I think about kissing your cheeks and seeing you smile.  Standing you up in front of the mirror to show you how perfect and squishy your legs are!  Tucking you into bed and reading you a book.  Feeding you in the middle of the night, appreciating that time of having you all to myself again.  Just like it’s been day by day this year as you’ve grown in my belly.

You are the luckiest little guy because while you don’t know it yet, you actually have the best dad.  He’s brilliant, loving, patient and will always be able to make you laugh, even when the days are tough.  He’s done that for me for twelve years!  I knew when I was dating him that he was going to be a great dad one day.  And now you get to experience that – how lucky you are!  He took this photo of you and me on our seventh wedding anniversary.  It was hard to look serious because he kept making me laugh.  You’ll soon see – he’s the best.  Marrying him is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

I finish writing this letter with tears in my eyes because I am so grateful and overwhelmed with happiness to be your mom.  I promise to do my best to raise you to be patient, respectful, brave and loving like your dad.  And to chase your dreams no matter how crazy they might sound, to take risks… with the ability to laugh at yourself and not take life too seriously as I like to think I am.

Hudson, thank you for making us parents and for joining our family.  We love you so, so much and even though we’ve just met, you are already the center of our entire world.



pregnancy silhouette

photos by Christian Barnes

dress, also love this one, this one and this one | hoop earrings | bar earring

Thank you guys for being a part of this journey with us! XO –

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white brick house

outfit linked here

What do you eat in a day?

I pretty much eat the same pregnant as I have pre-pregnancy.  My sister is a nutritionist and told me that a pregnant woman actually only needs an extra 300 calories a day!

I’ll have a banana, smoothie, yogurt or bowl of cereal for breakfast.  Confession: I’m extra hungry in the mornings so sometimes I’ll have a banana at 6:30AM and a second breakfast at 10AM.

String cheese, a honeycrisp apple or some crackers for a snack.

Lunch is usually last night’s dinner leftovers or a pb&j.

I’ll cook dinner for Christian and have a sparkling water, caffeine free soda, SodaStream concoction, pomegranate juice or something fun to drink.

For dessert, I’ve been eating one of these a day.  My favorite holiday cookie… lethal!

Favorite maternity brands?

I shared my pregnancy must-haves here and some of my go-to’s in the Second Trimester Q&A.

Baby gear and products you’ve bought?

We have two strollers (one for travel), two baby monitors (one for travel), a travel crib, a bouncer, etc., and I’ll be sharing these products on the blog and social media in our nursery reveal and as we begin to use them.  I want to have more intel on convenience/functionality and that will require actually using them first!

How did you pick a stroller and car seat?  There are so many options!

Christian looks at Consumer Reports for basically everything.  Definitely every gadget or tech item.

What were your sister’s tips when you came to visit?

They were mostly in regard to organizing the changing table and dresser.  Folding baby clothes a certain way, organizing by size and style into drawer organizers, etc.  She is more of a minimalist and just made me feel better about not having a ton of stuff.  I don’t want three bouncers and 30 swaddles.  It’s too much!  She said she only had six bottles with her daughter and it’s all she needed, she just washed them and that’s that.  It’s honestly so true… who really wants that much stuff in their house!?

She went through the clothes I had for him for 0-3 and 3-6 months and recommended I buy a few more of this and that to have enough but not too much.

We set up a second changing station downstairs and organized a little basket of diapers, wipes, creams, etc. for that station.

If you have a mom friend or sister who can walk through your nursery like this for you – they really have the best intel into what you actually need and don’t.  It’s kind of specific to what you already have going on if that makes sense!

I took my sister-in-law with me instead of Christian to register for wedding gifts back in the day and it was one of the smartest things I did.  She walked around with me in each store and knew what I would and wouldn’t actually use.  It was incredibly helpful!

Tips for flying while pregnant?

I shared some international travel tips here!  For long flights I bought compression socks, made sure to have plenty of snacks and water, hand sanitizer and airborne and just tried to get up and walk around on 10+ hour flights.  I also opted for dresses over pants or leggings as the waistband would become uncomfortable after sitting for many hours.

I know they say to travel in your second trimester but is it impossible in your third?

Everyone is different, so I do think that answer is relative based on how your pregnancy is going.  Personally, I was uninterested in traveling in the third trimester.  Christian tried to get me to go to the mountains with him a few weeks ago and I was like… you can go by yourself!?  Ha!  Some of that had to do with us being super busy getting settled into our home and getting the nursery ready + baby prep and nesting.

I think weekend trips or travel by car would be totally do-able, but most airlines aren’t going to want you to fly past 36 weeks and your MD likely won’t want you traveling after 35-36 weeks.

Can you do a blog post on pregnancy outfits?

I have tons of pregnancy outfits tagged as ‘maternity outfit’ – just search for maternity outfit or click here!

Can you still fit in all of your shoes?  My feet got bigger.

Thankfully my shoe size hasn’t changed.  I was wearing heels at 38 weeks, this belly won’t keep me from my beloveds!  Somehow I can still put my shoes on and off myself.

I also haven’t dealt with much swelling so my rings have all fit the same.  Very thankful for that!

Do you plan on nursing?

Yes I plan on trying to nurse and we will see how it goes!  I have all the accessories and am going to do my best, but I firmly believe a fed baby is a happy baby.  We’ll do whatever we have to do.

Are you going to do any belly wraps or postpartum belts after the baby gets here?

Yes! I shared the one I bought here.

How did you find a doctor since you moved mid-pregnancy?

I always find my doctors by word of mouth first.  I asked all the women I knew in town.  Then I did my own research on their training and education.  I really love the practice we chose and have now rotated through almost all of the partners so that I have met them all, and they’re all wonderful.  I would feel confident having any of them deliver our babe!

Did you have back pain and if so, what did you do to ease it?

Everyone in my family has bad backs.  As in one has had surgery, one has thrown his back out numerous times throughout his 20’s and 30’s, one has a pinched nerve and the other just recently went to a specialist to inquire if they needed surgery.  Now that I’m thinking about it, I have the best back of the group and that’s not saying much!

I have loved my heating pad in the bed on a two hour setting to help me fall asleep.  I try to do prenatal pilates to stretch as well as walking and staying active to keep my core strong so it will support my back and additional weight. Keeping your core strong makes a huge difference in supporting your back.  One of the many reasons I love Pilates.

I think moving and constantly working on house projects has also kept me on my feet and moving around.

How’s the name process going?

We have been torn between two names ever since we found out we were having a boy.  We both can’t commit!  So much so that I haven’t allowed anyone to personalize anything.  I think we’re leaning toward one… but I won’t feel 100% sure until the hospital forces us to name him.  God bless this mess!

The good news is, if we have a second son one day – at least we know what his name will be.

In Dr. Barnes’s time in med school and beyond, did he ever participate in a delivery?

Yes!  During medical school Christian was a part of many deliveries during his OBGYN rotation and actually delivered a baby once himself!  He said it was something he felt he needed to do to complete his medical education to be a well rounded doctor.

But he says he would not like to do it again and would prefer to leave that to the professionals from here on out.  Ha!

Did you have any baby showers?

I did not.  Come to think of it, I actually didn’t have any bridal showers either and opted for two engagement parties with no gifts in each of the towns we grew up in.  I’ll be honest… I never look forward to going to a shower on my Saturday.  I mean, does anyone really?

I feel like often times at these showers you get a lot of things you don’t necessarily want or need, and I would rather have a “sprinkle” or something once the baby is here and ask for donations to a local children’s charity (we already love Extra Special People).

We also moved across the country halfway into my pregnancy to a brand new town and have been making new friends, so it’s just not the usual situation for a first time mom.  This baby has more than enough and we are fortunate to be able to provide for him both ourselves and through projects and partnerships in my job, which we are really so thankful for.  Because of this… I don’t have any hostess gift suggestions, I’m sorry!

What’s on your registry?

So because of the above, I didn’t really register for much.  I did make one small one online with some practical stuff for my mom’s sweet friends, but that’s about it.

Therefore I don’t foresee a big registry reveal post coming soon however I will share my hospital packing list, newborn must-haves, baby essentials and so on just like I have with pregnancy essentials!  I just have to become a mom first to know what exactly those are.

I think some of this depends on how young you are when you have your first babe.  We are in our early 30’s and both work full-time, so our emotional and financial maturity has made the preparation much easier than it would have been if we’d had this baby in our mid-20’s.

What trimester were you the most tired in?

I feel like I had a good amount of energy throughout my pregnancy, but month nine has definitely forced me to slow down.  I’ve been going 90 and now 35 is honestly about as fast as I can go.  I just can’t move around as quickly and the additional weight feels… heavy.  It’s definitely motivating to get back to my old self after baby.  We are getting a treadmill and I am so excited!!  I’ll be reserving all my Bravo! show watching for basement treadmill time.

Have you thought you were in labor yet?

YES!  At 38.5 weeks I had contractions for around 30 hours but they weren’t consistent.  Thankfully I coincidentally had an OB checkup during that window where they confirmed I was dilated but the contractions could stop or get more intense and I could go into active labor.  After 30 hours they stopped.  And here we are!

Christian has always been a big prankster, so now I’m convinced this kid has that gene is just messing with me already.

Do you have a birth plan? You seem so calm about that piece of the journey!

I don’t have a birth plan.  I really trust our doctors to do what is best for both me and our baby.  I’ll follow whatever instructions I’m given.  I see how hard all the doctors in my family work to best serve their patients, and I really trust that my doctors will do the same for me.

I also keep telling myself that millions of women before me have done this. Many without the luxury of medication and hospitals, so thank God I can take advantage of modern medicine!  Women that I consider stronger and weaker than me have had beautiful, healthy babies.  And they continue to have more kids… so it has to be worth it, right!?

Are you taking maternity leave?

As for maternity leave… I’m trying to figure out what that might look like.  I’ve never had a baby, so I don’t know exactly how much time I’ll need or how I will feel.  I do have some fun holiday projects I plan on sharing in December that I have worked on ahead of time.  I also love working and think that staying somewhat plugged in will invigorate me and mentally help me feel like myself.

We have hired a wonderful NICU technician to help us for the first two months as our families live many hours away.  My mom will also be coming to help for a little while, and Christian is able to not only take some time off but also be more in control of his work schedule, which is exactly why we waited until now to have our first baby.  I’m beyond grateful for that.

We all tend to unplug a little for the holidays so I’ll be taking advantage of that as well.  January and February are typically slower months for me anyway, so we’re just going to take it week by week and see how everyone is feeling!

Thank you so much to everyone who sent in these questions!  If you didn’t see yours answered here, it may have been answered in the First Trimester Recap or Second Trimester Q&A.  Some questions were more fitting for a doctor or medical staff, and please never be embarrassed to ask your doctor’s office questions.  I ask them all kinds of questions and they’ve never made me feel silly or small.  That’s what they’re there for, and no one knows more about trying to conceive and pregnancy than OBGYN’s and their helpful staff!

Thank you for reading – XO –

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As my pregnancy is coming to a close (due date is… Tuesday, yowza!), I wanted to share some of the products that have really helped me this year throughout my pregnancy.  Of course you don’t have to have these things, but they have certainly contributed positively during the ever-changing journey that is pregnancy!  I think everyone has their “must-haves,” so obviously take it for what you will.  BUT… let’s get into it!

You can click over each image to go to the product or click the # associated with each item at the bottom of the collage.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 a and b | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22


Because the only months I wore actual “maternity” clothes were fall, this short list is a little biased toward that season of style!

I love these leggings like crazy (talked about them in this post).

These were my favorite maternity jeans.

These were my favorite exercise leggings.  More on them here.

These were essential.  Like, don’t even question it. Buy them!

Shirt dresses were so comfortable throughout my entire pregnancy.  They’re also super cute and make you feel polished easily.  Also love this one.

I would recommend investing in a black bodycon dress – I love this one and this one.  You can layer sweaters or tees over it, style booties, sneakers or sandals.  They’re SO versatile.


Two things I didn’t really consider were pajamas and undergarments.  You’re going to want to find a few things that fit comfortably.  My old nighties became super short toward the end and I didn’t want to stretch out my favorite pajamas!

I bought myself these in the pant and shorts version and they’ve been great.

This set is my treat to myself for the hospital.

My favorite maternity underwear was definitely this pairThese are super soft, but ultimately the functionality wasn’t as great.  If any of you have recommendations in this area, I’d love to hear!


I took these and these and loved both.  Be careful with the prenatal gummies.  If you choose to take gummies you’ll need to supplement with an iron pill.  The only time I bought gummies my iron was low at my checkup, so those went out the window!

Once I hit 36 weeks I started taking these.  I’m hoping they’ll help with labor and delivery and will continue to take them after baby.


I combined a belly butter and oil throughout the last 4 or so months once my belly popped.  I also love this one!

A jade roller was nice to have in the final month while I’ve felt extra puffy.  Just using it daily in the morning with my skincare routine has been nice.


I upgraded my slippers, and it was a great call.

Joggers or sweats will become your bff.  These run big and I was able to wear them throughout all nine months.

Once my belly really started growing, this pillow was a major game changer in getting better sleep.  I sleep with it every night.  Don’t get me wrong, I look forward to finally ditching it, but it’s been so helpful during these big belly weeks!

My mom bought me a ton of epsom salts, certainly more than I need!  But in the final weeks I’ve used them nearly every other day for achiness and relaxation.


This book was great to have when I had random questions or thoughts.

This giant tumbler + silicone straws has helped me drink tons of water.  I jokingly call it my “big gulp,” and it goes everywhere with me.  It’s like my security blanket!  I also wake up in the middle of the night so thirsty and guzzling it.

Another service that has saved me is Rent the Runway.  More on that here and here!

I’ve also bought this waist belt to use in the weeks following delivery.  I like that it is three pieces and you start slow and then add pieces for a tighter fit as the weeks go on.

And that’s all she wrote!  I have packed my hospital bag, it is literally in the car, and I’ll be sharing more details on those details after baby comes.  I want to make sure to share the things I actually needed and used and not the unnecessary things (there are quite a few bags, ha!).

Thank you so much for reading, and if you had something that was essential to your pregnancy, I’d love to hear in the comments.  XO –

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skull scarf

Some of you may remember this post when I shared that I was using Rent the Runway Unlimited to help supply my pregnancy wardrobe as my body changed month after month.  Well I’ve been consistently using it since July, and I will say it again and again – it’s been a lifesaver.

I am able to consistently have four pieces on rotation, and if something doesn’t work I just slip it back in the mail and select something different.  There have been times I’ve loved something so much that I’ve kept it for weeks… like this turtleneck dress in today’s post. If you really fall in love with an item you can hold onto it for as long as you like or you also have the option to buy it at a discount to keep.

Best of all, items come in only two business days and the dry cleaning and insurance is taken care of.  So select it, wear it, and send it back via UPS at no cost.

celine cateye sunglassespregnancy styleblack leather jacket 8 months pregnantalexander mcqueen skull scarfstyling white bootieschain earringsrebecca minkoff edie bagthird trimester pregnancy styleceline cateye sunglassesmarc fisher white bootiespersonalized leather jacket

photos by Christian Barnes

dress, also love this one and this one | love this jacket and this one | similar bag here, here and here

As we enter week 37 of pregnancy, my biggest third trimester wardrobe tip would be to take advantage of a service like this!  I really have not bought much clothing-wise during this pregnancy other than a few staples (denim, leggings, fitness leggings, some tees, etc.) because I’m able to use Rent the Runway Unlimited.  I can try new pieces in the privacy of my own home and send them back for free if they don’t work.

Best of all, I know that once I’ve had this baby, I can continue swapping out pieces  while my body slowly gets back to pre-baby clothes. And I love knowing my closet won’t be full of pieces that are all different sizes!

If you’re new to Rent the Runway, you can get 50% off your first month of RTR Unlimited with the code RTRKATHLEEN.

If you’ve tried it before, I’d love to hear what you think!  I would also love to hear anyone else’s third trimester outfit tips.  We can all learn from each other! Thanks so much for reading and sharing – XO –

brought to you by Rent the Runway

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black turtleneck dress

When we were getting married, I remember being asked what I was going to give Christian as his wedding day “gift.”  I thought, “um… a wedding band?” We chose not to buy additional gifts as the wedding celebration and band exchange felt like pretty big gifts in themselves.

Now that we are welcoming our first child (this month!), the question of a push present has come up.  When I think of a push present, it symbolizes something a little different. This is a memento on the day of your child’s birth.  An item to symbolize the creation and carrying of this little person and their awaited arrival. And maybe even something you can give to them (or their wife) one day when they’re older.

I was lucky to receive my push present a little early – two carat diamond stud earrings from Clean Origin!  And here’s why these diamonds are a little different than what you might expect –

They are made in a lab rather than dug from a mine, which means they’re 100% ethically sourced as well as environmentally-friendly.  This also makes Clean Origin’s diamonds 20-40% less expensive than mine diamonds. You could spend the same amount and get a larger carat size or get the same carat size at a much lower price.  This is a great pitch when talking your husband into a new jewelry purchase… just sayin’.

The only thing that actually makes lab diamonds different than mine diamonds is how they’re formed.  A lab-created diamond is grown using technology that replicates the natural diamond growing process.  Therefore, the end result is a diamond that is chemically, physically and visually the same as those grown in the Earth.

black turtleneck dressdiamond stud earringpush present ideaclean origin earringclean origin diamondsthird trimester2 carat diamond studs34 weeks pregnant

photos by Christian Barnes

SO, with all of that being said, gorgeous diamond stud earrings definitely aren’t your only option!  Below are some of my top push present picks for the girl who loves something extra sparkly.

Diamond Earrings | These are two carat, three-prong stud earrings that I know are timeless and classic.  

Diamond Band | I love stacking bands on my both my right and left hand.  A beautiful band is such a fabulous gift for not only a push present but any big celebration – anniversary, holiday, etc.  I love this Duchess Diamond Band!

Bracelet | If you’re a bracelet gal, these tennis bracelets are showstoppers.  So gorgeous.

Of course Clean Origin also has unlimited options in the engagement ring and wedding band space as well.  You can see all of those on their website.

If you are expecting and have a push present in mind or your husband gave you something super special when your first was born, I’d love to hear what it was!  Thanks so much for reading and sharing – XO –

brought to you by Clean Origin

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ritz carlton budapest

I remember reading an article that suggested having a food delivery service lined up to make your life easier once your baby is born.  I thought this was so smart and something I probably wouldn’t have thought much about otherwise.

We certainly live closer to friends & family than we used to, but we’re still many hours away.  Being so new to town, we are still making friends and trying different churches, so I don’t expect or anticipate some running list of meals being brought over.  BUT now that there are so many amazing services out there, there’s no need to worry about that!

I’ve shared many times on Instagram that we love HomeChef.  But I wanted to make things even easier post-baby.  No prep, no clean-up.  Below are some of the best suggestions I received from CBL girls for both national companies as well as some that are local to Georgia!


Freshly – my dad has actually used this before.  Although he said the menu didn’t have as much variation as he would have liked, he still said the meals were good.

Tovala – I think this looks really good.  A top contender!

Balanced Bites

Nourish Foods – I have tried this company before when we lived in OC and they were good!  At the time most of the options were meat but it appears they have more vegetarian dishes in the rotation now.

Dinner A’Fare


Local to Georgia:

Good Measure Meals

JB’s Fresh to Go | There is no website but you can get on their weekly email menu mailing.  If interested, leave a comment and I will share the email address there!

I hope this might be helpful to some of you looking for the same service!  I think we’ll try to start locally, but Tovala is looking pretty delicious if I do say so myself.

Thanks so much for reading and sharing – XO –

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aristot bassinet

– the most gorgeous bassinet from Aristot I can’t wait to use once baby boy is here! –

michael stores turtleneck

– the best basics from Michael Stars

burgundy python booties

– CHIC calf booties

framebridge nursery prints

– waiting on the nursery bookshelf so I can load it up with all of these sweet books –

personalized leather jacket

– a customized leather jacket from Josefinas

Another week has breezed by which brings me closer to this baby’s due date.  I feel both ready and totally unprepared.  That’s probably normal, right?

At 34 weeks, I kicked it into gear getting my hospital bag organized, figuring out what I want to bring for the baby to the hospital, buying diapers, washing crib and bassinet sheets, etc.  I think doing some of these motions are helping me feel a little more calm about the major life pace change ahead.  My mantra has always been “outer order, inner calm,” so going through these motions is calming for me.

I do plan on sharing what we packed for the hospital after I have this baby.  I want to make sure to share only what we actually needed, so I think it will be more informative after our experience!

The temperature seriously dropped this week so I’ve been drinking all the tea in my sweatpants.  It reminds me of almost every day in San Francisco, and I can’t help but continue to be completely overwhelmed with gratitude at the difference in our life from this time last year.

Even with a major cross-country move, the workload of buying our first home and decorating it/working on the exterior, experiencing the third trimester and preparing for our first baby, Christian starting his first job… I still feel calmer every day and more like myself.  Of course it comes with its own stressful moments, but I still feel like we’re working toward life goals and things we want for our future.  It’s rewarding and feels like an investment rather than a chore.  Even with bumps along the road!

If anything, that year of struggle has really made me appreciate so much.  So, so much.

What are you grateful for right now?  If you don’t keep a gratitude journal or share a few things each night at dinner with your partner – I’d highly recommend it.  I am always happier on the days when I do!

Thanks so much for reading and sharing – XO –

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zella leggings

I was somehow able to get away with not purchasing maternity clothes much until my third trimester.  That’s when things changed and this belly took the lead!  I knew that if I didn’t get some maternity exercise leggings, there was no chance I’d stay active.  Finding the energy to move your body in the third trimester is challenging enough, but if you’re going to be uncomfortable in your clothes, forget it.

So I grabbed two pairs of Zella leggings from Nordstrom, the Mamasana (photographed here) and the 7/8 legging with pockets.  They’re definitely the only two pair of fitness leggings I currently fit into. Bonus points that they are such a great price point.

While I wouldn’t say that I’m necessarily workin’ up a sweat these days, I am trying to get my legs moving or stretch with Pilates.  Not to mention that just wearing these leggings with a denim jacket and baseball hat is sometimes the easiest outfit I can grab to feel both comfortable and put together in these final weeks pre-baby.

LA hatlevis denim jacketmaternity leggingsblack adidasblue dodgers hatmaternity exercise leggingsmaternity v neck teewhite faux fur bench

photos by Christian Barnes

leggings, also love these and these | tee, non-maternity version here | denim jacket, also love this one | hat | sneakers

Do any of you have tips for staying motivated to keep it moving while pregnant?  I welcome any advice from the seasoned mamas out there!  We are most definitely winging it over here, but every time I feel this little guy moving around I think about how much I’m going to love strolling him in our new neighborhood.

You can see some of my favorite at-home workouts here, a Q&A on my Mirror device here and my January fitness challenge here (WOW that pre-baby body is… different than what we’re looking at these days!).

Thank you so much for reading and sharing – XO –

brought to you by Nordstrom

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