Tag Archives: Mom-to-be

Pregnancy & Positive Body Image: Celebrating Femininity & All Body Types

Hello 3rd trimester!!! I can’t believe it’s been already 28 weeks that I have a little miracle growing inside of my belly. It is, hands down, the best experience of my life! So before I was wondering about the purpose of life, having children (own or adopted) just might be it!

bump 27 weeks

I won’t say that it’s just sunshine and roses all the time, but it’s definitely worth the end result!

You may or may not recall, but last year I wrote a post about my struggle with my body image in the past. And even though I do have some off days here and there like everybody else, I do my absolute best to welcome and celebrate the changes my body goes through during pregnancy. Creating life is the most beautiful thing on Earth and we as women should embrace it.

This being said, there are so many people who are out there who feel entitled to make comments to future mothers like ‘Gosh! You are so small! Is it normal?’ or ‘Are you sure you don’t have twins in there?’. To me, each pregnancy is unique and as long as the baby is growing normally and you make healthy choices for the both of you, you are a great mother: Your size says absolutely nothing about your baby’s health or development.

What some individuals don’t realize is that those comments may be hurtful, especially if you catch a mommy-to-be on a day when she is not feeling that great about herself.

Recently, Cassey Ho from Blogilates, whom I greatly admire, did a social experiment on her Instagram account. What was the reason? She got really fed up with all negativity and cyber-bullying. Let’s be fair, famous or not, pregnant or not, we all have days when our self-esteem is not at its highest. So what she did is posted a photoshoped picture of herself with the ‘perfect’ body, but she didn’t mention anything to anyone.

Cassey Ho - the perfect body experiment Finally got my perfect body. Watch my new video where I share with you all my body slimming secrets www.youtube.com/blogilates (link in profile)

A photo posted by Cassey Ho (@blogilates) on Apr 16, 2015 at 9:21pm PDT

I remember scrolling through that picture. I was surprised by a drastic change in her body and thought to myself that something was off. I won’t lie, I was confused because those who follow Blogilates know that it’s just not the way she is. But as usual, there were plenty comments from both haters and admirers.

A day later, Cassey posted the following video on Youtube:

I was instantly relieved and reminded why I like her so much! What is the perfect body, anyway? Who is it that decides?

I remembered about a video on BuzzFeed posted a few months back about women’s ideal body types throughout history. Check it out for youself:

Lesson learned? EVERY SINGLE BODY IS BEAUTIFUL in its own and unique way. There is no such thing as a perfect or ideal body. We should all celebrate our beauty and uniqueness! This is why I was absolutely thrilled when a few weeks ago I was contacted by a company called eShakti to review their product.

eShakti.com is the only online women’s fashion apparel company offering sizes 0-36W and custom clothing. What I loved about it from the get go is that the company believes that all women have the right to wear affordable fashion that is made for them and makes them look their absolute best. *FINALLY!*

I was offered a choice of an outfit, and even though it was gifted to me, all opinions are my own.

Let me start by saying that normally I do not feel comfortable buying clothes online because I always have the fear ‘What if it doesn’t fit right?’, so I normally limit myself to buying books from Amazon. *What? A girl HAS GOT to shop! Haha!* The process, surprisingly was extremely straight forward.

Step 1: Choose the style

I went for a flowy maxi dress because I wanted to be able to wear it ASAP and for as long as I can, obviously! *Haha!*

Step 1

Step 2: Customizing 

This is the step that I normally fear.

I really loved that they have both standard and custom size option; especially that my baby bump is constantly growing! I can’t emphasize enough how happy I was to be able to put in extra comments to make sure that the inside lining wasn’t too tight to accommodate my growing baby girl. I also made sure to specify my height and ask to make the dress shorter (just enough to go all the way to the ground) because I plan on wearing flats and not high heels. *I’m all about comfort!*

There were also options to remove embroidery and/or pockets, but I really liked the dress the way it was and decided not to use them.

Step 2

Step 3: Ordering

Ordering was as simple as it gets! But I’ll be honest, I was still very much apprehensive about the quality of the dress and whether it would look like it did in the picture. I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome!

The dress fit really well: All of my instructions were followed to the T. Even the length was perfect! The color and quality were also great. After all was said done, I might reconsider shopping for clothing online! *Sorry, my dear wallet! Hehe!* 

And, of course, I was all for modeling it for you… AND CELEBRATING MY BEAUTIFUL BABY BUMP!

eShakti 1

eShakti 2

eShakti 3

By the way, the last picture is my favorite! I look like an air balloon and I’m absolutely loving it!!!!

You can check out eShakti for yourself through the following media channels:

Website: www.eShakti.com
Facebook: eShakti
Twitter: @eShakti
Pinterest: eshakti

Finally, the company was kind enough to provide my readers with a discount of 10% until May 17, 2015.  You can take advantage of it by entering code candiesandcrunches in ‘the promotional code’ box. *Please, be advised that I do not benefit from any of your purchases.*

A few other pointers:

  • It is not case-sensitive.
  • Code can be used any number of times until the validity period.
  • It can be combined with any other promotional offer, gift coupon or gift card in the same order unless explicitly specified otherwise in the offer conditions.
  • This discount code is not applicable on clearance / sale, gift cards & overstock categories.
  • Not applicable on previous purchases.

Finally, I’d like to finish off this post by saying the following:

EMBRACE YOUR BODY AND FEMININITY REGARDLESS YOUR AGE, SIZE OR BODY SHAPE! YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!

celebrating all body shapesSource

How do you celebrate your body?

xoxo
Olena

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Filed under Fashion, Health, Motivation, Reviews

Baby Bump 25-week Fitness Update & CanvasPop Giveaway Winner!

Hello darlings!

Today’s post will be rather short because I would like to announce the winner of the CanvasPop giveaway!

and the winner is

If you didn’t win, don’t be upset; peeps at CanvasPop were super nice and provided all of my readers with a discount code CANDIES35 to get a rebate of 35% off any order until April 30. Just in case you are wondering, I am not getting any percentage of sales if you do end up using their services; I do, however, truly believe that you will be really happy and satisfied with the service and quality you will receive from CanvasPop.

Without further ado, the winner is… *Drum Roll!!!*

giveaway winner

Congratulations, Danielle! I will be contacting you shortly in order to provide you with all details on how to redeem your prize!

And here is a quick check in of my baby bump at 25 and a half weeks.

25.5 weeks

The baby girl is growing!… GROWING VERY FAST!… and so is my belly! *Haha!*

I’ve been really active this week. I attended my first prenatal aqua class on Monday, which was super fun!

I also decided to cut down on running and started biking/spinning instead. It was a nice change, but I definitely had to do some adjustments. For one, I have to keep my back straight up instead of leaning forward or otherwise the bump is in the way. *#PregnancyProblems haha!*

spinning

In addition, I’ve been focusing on toning my arms and legs with an occasional dance HIIT from Gina or, as many of you may know her, Fitnessista. *Fun, fun, fun!* By the way, have you heard? She is expecting too!!!

SoliBeat

And, of course, I’ve been taking relaxation quite seriously! *LOL!*

Lush bubble bath

I’d like to hear from you now. Is there anything that you would like me to share with you in terms of how my pregnancy is going? Cravings? Workouts? Pains? Hopes? Fears? Please, do let me know!

Have a great weekend!

xoxo
Olena

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Filed under Fitness, Health, Pregnancy

Swimming & Pregnancy

Hello beauties!

I hope you had a great weekend and spent Easter with your loved ones!

I think I mentioned to you recently that I was going to join a prenatal aqua class. Well… It finally happened! I had my first class yesterday, and I must admit, I had a blast!

First of all, it was nice to be for once surrounded by ladies pregnant just like me. *Call it sense of belonging! Haha!* All ladies I had a chance to talk to were super nice and fun. Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to develop some new friendships with other mommies-to-be.

pregnant

I must admit, I rocked my 2-piece bathing suit with PRIDE. It’s my baby girl who is in there, after all, and not donuts. *Fine… Maybe a piece of cake or two! Wink, wink!* 

Finally, our instructor was very friendly and the class was super fun. I was pleasantly surprised that I got a chance to work on all major muscle groups: core, legs, arms, even my back. We even did some stretching exercises. In addition, I thoroughly enjoyed jumping in water. It didn’t even feel like I was 25 weeks along!

light as a feather

Source

There are plenty of benefits of swimming during pregnancy *or in general*:

  • A low-to-no-impact activity and a great cardio at the same time,
  • Reduced stress from lower back,
  • Lowered pressure on joints,
  • Resistance training: feel the burn!
  • A very enjoyable and fun workout option!

Last but not least, don’t forget to enter a chance to win you free canvas print from CanvasPop. *See details here.*

IG giveaway

All you have to do is follow this link: a Rafflecopter giveaway. You can have up to 8 entries to increase your chances of winning by fulfilling all of the options. *Just saying! Haha!*

What is your favorite aqua workout?

xoxo
Olena

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Filed under Fitness, Pregnancy

Baby Bump Growth Reveal

Hi loves!

I thought I was due for an update, so here it is! *Taaaaa Daaaaa!*

The biggest news yet is that I started feeling the baby! And no, they are not butterfly sensations or popcorn popping feeling, they are full blown kicks and punches. At times I even find myself jumping up from a surprise. But let me tell you, I absolutely love, love, LOOOOOVE the feeling! I truly think it’s the most precious thing I’ve experienced in my entire life. I can’t stop smiling and giggling when I feel my little bundle of joy moving around… I’m smitten with her *or him* already…

smitten

Another exciting news is that I finally registered myself for prenatal aqua classes at the local swimming pool. I can’t wait to meet other expecting mommies in a little over 2 weeks from now, and, obviously, have fun while exercising in water!

can't wait

To finish off, here is a picture of my baby bump progress from December 4, 2014 to February 12, 2015 to March 19, 2015.

7-17-22

Total weight gain: 5 pounds.

I still consider myself pretty lucky because I don’t have any particular cravings. *Fine! I gave in and had an Oreo McFlurry from McDonalds on Monday… and I enjoyed every single bit of it! No regrets whatsoever. Haha!*

Now tell me what you’ve been up to? Any exciting news or upcoming events?

xoxo
Olena

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Filed under Pregnancy

What’s It Gonna Be? Bow Ties Or Bows? A He Or A She?

Hellooooooooo ladies and gents!!!

You love the title, don’t ya?! *Hehe!*

20 weeks

If you expect to find out the gender of our baby from the get go, then… how do I put it nicely… well… then you don’t know me!!! Go and read my blog from the very beginning! NOW! *Fine! Since I’m in a good mood today, just read to the end of this post and we’ll call it even!*

bow or bow tie

Source

So let me start from the very beginning. Justin and I found out what we would have on Friday. It was super exciting to see our baby for the second time! I can’t explain the joy of seeing pretty little face, fingers and toes! It still hasn’t really hit me yet that there is a baby growing inside of me. It’s truly a miracle!

We decided to reveal the secret to our families first over Sunday lunch. I must admit that both sides of the family tried some dirty tricks to fish out some information… But what can I say? I am a true Spartan girl, I don’t break. *How cheesy! I love it! Haha!*

On Friday evening, Justin and I went to a children clothing store and picked out the very first outfit for our baby. We also bought a few decorations for the table to keep the suspense and keep our families on guessing.

table set up gender reveal

Needless to say, there was a lot of noise and action over that little box! I love messing with people’s minds!!! *Oh wait! I’m so sorry! I’m still messing with yours! NOT!*

Guessing games

Also, as you can imagine, if you follow my Instagram account, there was plenty of food!

Scalloped potatoes…

Scalloped potatoes

Savory crepes with meat filling…

Savory crepes with meat filling

Vitamin cabbage salad…

Vitamin cabbage salad

Peach and cream jello…

Peach & cream jello

And a bundt cake…

Bundt cake

Oh… I’m sorry! You are still waiting to find out what it is!!! You know… I’m pregnant… It’s so easy to get side-tracked by food!!! *wink,wink*

Alrighty! The secret shall be revealed now. However, I must warn you… It’s not 100% sure yet! It was hard to tell because baby’s legs were crossed. *As the doctor said, ‘Don’t paint the walls yet!’*

Drum roll… It’s a…

It's a girl

It’s a GIRL!!!

We are extremely excited! That being said, even if in the end of the day it turns out to be a boy, we’ll be equally thrilled. All we truly care about is that the baby is healthy!

Without further ado, our traditional big family picture. *I love them dearly!!!*

Family

And of course, this cute swimming little pink duckling!

Pink duckling for a girl

Have a wonderful day, loves!

xoxo
Olena

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Filed under Pregnancy

1+1=3… Say What?!

Hello my loves!

If you have no idea what the *BLEEP* the title means, then you are about to find out!!! Call it spilling the beans or letting the cat out of the bag, but the secret is about to be revealed… *MWAHAHA!*

Are you bracing yourselves??? Get ready for it…

*DRUM ROLL!!!*

we are expecting

WE ARE HAVING A BABY!!!

I know, I know.. I’ve kept a secret for a while…  A WHILE… Well, to be precise… for over 19 weeks!!!

Ron-Burgundy-What-Did-You-Say-Anchorman

Ummm… I was gonna say… we’ll find out the gender of our baby in about a week!!! *HAHA!* 

Brain Oh No animated GIF

Nooooooowwww it makes sense to you!!! All the cooking and Instagram pictures… You see? I wasn’t hiding it THAT much!

WE ARE THRILLED!!!

I won’t blab much more and simply let you digest the news! I shall be back to tell you some juicy details soon!!!

xoxo

Yours truly,
Olena a.k.a. Mommy-to-Be 🙂

20 Comments

Filed under Pregnancy