I started this post about a week and a half ago. My sinuses were acting up and I could not go to sleep. I stayed up drinking tea & crying a couple of nights. My sinuses are still acting up but I can at least sleep at night. I'v also been really frustrated with the skin on my belly stretching. I'v been trying to find before and after pics of other preggo women with stretch marks similar to mine but I can't seem to find any; the way my skin is stretching is kind of different. I think the not knowing of how my skin will look like postpartum is what's really bothering me. Will it be saggy? Will the scars be extremely visible? How am I going to fix my skin if it is really saggy & if there are very visible scars? I don't like the idea of doing any invasive surgery like a tummy tuck. I'v read up on some treatments for reducing stretch mark scars & some are pretty pricey. I'd just feel so bad spending so much money on something cosmetic.

It's overall been really hard dealing with the rapid changes happening to my body. I know I should be enjoying the last few weeks of pregnancy my worries & fears are kind of getting in the way. And not just my fears & worries about my body. I'v got so many things running through my mind.

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Don't be fooled by the pretty face & smile; I feel like poo. My pregnancy hormones have been going crazy this week. Monday - Wednesday I had insane back pain all day & night. I only got it to subside a few times. Once the constant back pain went away my sinuses started acting up. I barley got an hour of sleep last night I was so incredibly uncomfortable not being able to breath and having that pressure in my sinuses. When I was able to finally sleep I was siting up right with pillows propping me up. I also used my boyfriend's body to elevate my legs. Haha he tried wiggling out from under me but I gave him a good shaking to make him stop. He sleeps like a rock so it didn't phase him and I can guarantee he remembers none of it. Hopefully this only lasts a couple days like the back pain. Oh and my skin is breaking our a tiny bit. And by that I mean I have three microscopic spots on my forehead that are easily covered up with a bit of concealer.

Earlier in the week my boyfriend had a work dinner to attend & he decided to take his Toyota FJ40. It ended up breaking down a couple blocks from home. He thought is was just because it ran out of gas but it turned out to be something else. What that something else is, is still unknown.

Even though I feel like poo, today should be a fun day. The bf & I are volunteering at a Halloween carnival his work puts on for kids. So we're going to go get some costumes & head on over there later this evening.

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36 weeks & 6 days. My back has not been my friend at all today. I can't wait for my boyfriend to come home so he can rub my back a bit. I'v been trying to lay down and get comfy all day but nothing really seems to work.

We have quite a few projects going on right now. We're refinishing a coffee table & baby girl's dresser. I feel so bad because my bf has to do almost all the work by himself since I can't be around for sanding or painting. I also want to make a blanket ladder for the nursery as well. Kind of crazy how much blanket ladder's go for when it doesn't cost more than like $5 for all the material. Oh and I'v also got some new watercolor brushes coming in this week so I can paint something pretty for my baby girl.

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I finally get to hold my little girl in 3 weeks or less! Kind of crazy to think how soon she's going to be here. I have been impatiently waiting for so long I am excited that the days are finally dwindling down. Lately, my back has been acting up a lot more. It'll start to feel sore after only a couple minutes of standing up and walking around. I have a maternity belt but I got a weird belly cramp about a week ago and I haven't put it on since. 

Also, can we talk about how long my hair has gotten! I am never cutting it short again! I'm also pretty ready to get rid of those roots too. I probably won't touch them up until a month or two after my little babe is born. It's just a really long process that I don't want to start while caring for an itty bitty newborn.  

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The boyfriend has gone to Colorado for the weekend :/ I hate being alone but he does need to sort out a few things on a couple of houses he owns over there. This will probably be his last trip for a while since we've got our little babe coming real soon.

While my love was packing his duffel bag Vie decided he was going to try & sneak himself & his toy in there. What a cutie! He's going to have to take his daddy's place and keep me company in bed for the next 4 nights. I almost never let him up on the bed but this is one of only two circumstances that I do allow it.

Also, I wrote out a couple thank you card's for my love's mom & aunt since they got us some things from our baby registry. And I made a CD cover for our 30 week ultrasound appointment that we had recorded for my love's mom. We got it just for her when we went in to our appointment since we knew she'd probably want to see it. Thought I'd put my crafting skills to use and be all extra with the cover, makes it a bit more special for Grandma i think.

(P.S. I wrote on the inside of the CD cover 28 weeks when it's actually 30 weeks, oops!)

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34 weeks & 6 days today. This past week has been the first time I'v gained more than a pound in a week. I'v gained 4lbs this week and 3 of those pounds I gained in 2-3 days. I'll have to bring that up to my midwife this Thursday when we see her again. And in those couple of days my calves got swollen very easily. Like a short walk to the mail box would make them swollen. I'm probably just retaining water because I know I didn't go crazy and over eat enough to gain that much. Also, I feel like my belly has popped out some more this past week. My fundal height has had to have finally increase. 

I also switched up my foundation from the CoverFX creme foundation to the NYX Total Control foundation. I definitely prefer the CoverFX formula so much more but they don't have my shade :/ and they carry a million shades but none of them really match me perfectly. The NYX in Vanilla matches better, maybe a tad bit light, but topping it with the CoverFX foundation that I have makes it almost perfect.

Oh and I finally found a cute dresser for the nursery! We're going to pick it up later this evening. We won't be using the mirror it comes with since I bought a really cute one a couple months back but maybe I'll use it for my vanity since I have yet to get a vanity mirror.

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Sometimes it can feel kind of overwhelming when I have no clue where to start when I'm looking for safe and effective everyday house hold items like cleaning products, beauty products, & personal care items. I'll be sharing a couple of my personal tips and tricks to make it easier for anyone else who likes making sure they're not bringing in toxic and harmful items into their home.

Tip 1 - Google "list of best (fill in the blank)" & "things to avoid in (fill in the blank)"

This is usually how I start my research by googling a list of the best product I am looking into. Kind of silly but it gives me something to begin looking at when I have no clue where to start. Usually within those lists are some kind of product that excludes certain ingredients/chemicals for being harmful. I look into those ingredients/chemicals and now I have something to go off of from there and I can look into similar products without those specific ingredients. Then I usually follow up with googling "things to avoid in" and I might find some more information on what to look out for.

Tip 2 - Search on EWG

"The Environmental Working Group's mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. With breakthrough research and education, we drive consumer choice and civic action."

EWG makes it so easy researching beauty, household products, and food safety. They have 3 different guides that score and take an in depth look at the ingredients of a wide range of products based on how safe & environmentally friendly they are. Skin Deep (beauty), Food Scores (food), & Healthy Cleaning (cleaning products). One thing I love about all three guides is that that they give an overall rating to a product and then when you click on it you get information on why it got that rating. With the Skin Deep & Healthy Cleaning guides the ingredients within a product will get ratings as well and there'll be more information on what makes those ingredients hazardous or safe. Food Scores does give ratings in a similar way but they also look into nutrition and processing concerns. Each guide has a little bit of different criteria as to how they give scores and if you go on each of the guides' faq's pages you will find out how they do so.

EWG's guides don't have every single product out there but it is a good place to look at what common ingredients are hazardous and need to look out for.

Tip 3 - Reviews

The last thing I want to do is buy an expensive, all natural product, whether it be a cleaning product or beauty item, and then have it be shit. So once I have compiled a list of potential products to buy I look at reviews to find out if they actually work and get the job done. And sometimes reviewers will bring up another potential hazard

Optional Tip - Is It Vegan?

I always look for vegan products and this usually makes my research go by pretty quickly since it limits my choices greatly. That may sound like a bad thing, and sometimes it is, but typically I like that I have a bit more of a limited option. (Especially when looking at makeup. Keeps me from spending a ton at Sephora) So usually with Tip 1 I also google "best vegan __". I'v become pretty acquainted with non vegan ingredients but if i'm unsure I just go to my trusty friend google.

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This may seem like a lot to some people but knowledge truly is power. I am more than happy to spend a couple minutes looking into the safety of a product than blindly buying whatever is most convenient that can lead to the hindrance and damage of my health.

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Bambo Nature is one of the safest disposable diaper brands out there. They are eco friendly, chlorine free, and dermatologially tested. They are also certified with the Nordic Ecolabel which is one of the strictest accreditations out there.

These are the diaper's we'll be using for the first 1-2 weeks when my little girl gets here. We'll be waiting for all her meconium to expel before switching over to cloth diapers.

Angel Baby Bottom Balm - natural, clinically tested, dermatologically reviewed, non-irritating, zinc and lanolin-free & vegan. I'm all about natural & safe and this is definitely meeting all my standards.

The only 2 brands I will be using are Babo & Babytime. They're natural, safe, & vegan. I currently have the Babo Calming Bubble Bath & Wash it smells really nice and I can't wait to bathe my little one with it. 

Goddess Garden seems to be the only option I found for baby sunscreen that is safe & vegan. The vegan criteria is always the hardest to fill. Even though I won't be using sunscreen on my little one until she's around 6 months to a year I picked some up just to have on hand. Finding these products in store can be tricky and I would rather not compromise if we had a last minute hiking or beach trip in the future.

It can't get any better than pure Argan oil for dry baby skin or diaper rashed bums. Argan oil absorbs quickly into the skin making it safe for cloth diapers as well.

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Look out for my next post where I'll be detailing how I go about researching what products are safe and how I came to deciding which products to use.

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