Posts in Pregnancy
Our Maternity Shoot for Baby #2

Thank you to our friend Jenny of Jenny Quicksall Photography for capturing this special time in our lives.

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What a gift to go back to the same spot we took maternity photos when I was pregnant with Milly. El Matador Beach in Malibu, CA will always hold such a special place in my heart but it was even more magical being there this time around knowing we are about to be a family of four very soon. Seeing Milly run into the water and kissing “her baby” gave me all the feels . It’s no secret I love being pregnant but being pregnant the second time around is even better. I think it’s mostly because you know how much your heart will burst open and the intoxicating way a baby makes the entire home feel like heaven. It’s also the pure anticipation of seeing Milly thrive as a big sister. I’m just so grateful we are bringing new life into this world.

What’s great about experiencing these big moments like being pregnant with baby #2 is it encourages you to capture this chapter with photos. I used to have to drag Mr. A to do these with me but now he totally gets it and understands the value in having professional family photos. Every time we get photos back he says to me, “I’m so glad we did this.” So if you’re reading this and realize it’s been forever since you’ve taken real family photos (not on an iPhone) together, book something immediately. They are such a priceless gift you’ll cherish forever! We really did nothing for these photos to come together. I mean we posed for a second here and there but it was all Jenny’s God given talents that made these photos so amazing! Milly was constantly running into the water, eating snacks, ignoring us and wanting to do her own thing. The wind was obnoxiously strong and my hair was flat the minute we walked out of the car. I mean it was really hard to get any photos of us three actually looking the same direction but she pulled it off despite an energetic toddler!!! I’m so happy with how these turned out. It makes my heart sing to have these photos and I can’t believe one day I’ll say I can’t imagine life before baby #2. Ok, I’m gonna go cry now. Bye.

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Custom Watercolor Birth Announcements by Consider the Lilies
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What a blessing to be able to work with Abby Hollar of Consider the Lilies to create Milly's custom birth announcements. I've admired her work for some time now. Not only is she an extremely talented artist, painter and water colorist, but she has such an incredible eye and amazing taste. She's also a blogger, photographer, and the kind of friend you love to brag about!  Working with her was so easy especially since I had no idea where to start. She pulled a couple ideas out of me and truly brought my vision to life.  I shared with her how I have an affinity for protea flowers and ranunculus and then shared some photos of Milly's nursery for more inspo. I love the soft blue gray she chose for her name and the delicate rose gold color for the back.  The floral wreath works perfectly with the newborn photo taken by Jenny Quicksall. We couldn't be more thrilled with how they came out! Thank you Abby!

Affirmations I Tell My Daughter Daily

“Speak to your children as if they are the wisest, kindest, most beautiful and magical humans on the earth, for what they believe is what they will become.” –Brooke Hampton

Photography Credit: Jenny Quicksall

Photography Credit: Jenny Quicksall

Throughout the day I speak to my daughter as if she understands everything I’m telling her. From when I greet her in the morning to when I’m changing her, bathing her or taking her on a walk-I’m always talking to her.  I’ve been telling her these powerful words since before she was born, when she was just a blueberry in my tummy.  I fed my mind positive thoughts and let those thoughts fill my heart and belly.  And every night since she was born I tell her the below when I lay her down to go to sleep.

·      We love you Milly.  Mommy loves you. Daddy loves you. Jesus loves you. Everybody loves you. (Sometimes I go down the list of all of our family & friends that love her).

·      You are the sweetest little girl in the whole world.

·      I love being your Mama.

·      You are such a happy baby.

·      You are kind and nice and smart. You are so smart, baby girl.

·      You are generous and helpful and such a good friend.

·      You have already changed the world and one day you will move mountains. 

·      You are good at everything you put your mind to. You can do anything baby girl.

·      You are confident and powerful. You are brave and courageous.

·      You are amazing Milly. Your nickname is “@LittleAmazing” because you’re amazing just like Daddy.

·      We are so grateful for you. You are the best part of us. We are so glad God chose us to be your parents. 

·      You are safe, lovey. Mommy is here and Daddy is here. We are right here beside you. We will always be here for you.  We love you so much.  You are so deeply loved.

·      I can’t wait to spend time with you tomorrow. You are my favorite part of the day.

·      Good night my Love. Sleep well. Have sweet dreams.

·       We love you Milly.  Mommy loves you. Daddy loves you. Jesus loves you.

Putting Milly to bed at night is some of my favorite time with her because I know I am teaching my daughter how to empower herself and I’m filling her mind with positive thoughts.  If you don’t already, I really encourage you to create your own affirmations for yourself and/or your child.  What will you say? What do you want them to be? I’d love to know what you come up with. Let me know in the comment box below.

Our @LittleAmazing Birth Story PART TWO
Photo Credit: Jenny Quicksall

Photo Credit: Jenny Quicksall

If you enjoyed reading PART ONE of Milly's birth story, keep reading to learn what I think helped me have a smooth labor and delivery. 

THE “A” TEAM From the moment I met the Owner/Certified Nurse Midwife, Simona and her team of professionals at the Natural Birth Center, I knew it was the place I wanted to deliver our baby and where I would get the best care possible. I appreciate that Simona is a certified nurse in addition to a midwife. She has attended over 1,000 births and her reputation precedes her. The environment she has created is welcoming, empowering and their philosophy is simple.  They believe that "every woman has the innate wisdom, power and sensibility to birth her baby naturally."  Our bodies were made to do this and their midwives and birth team trust in your own strengths and wisdom as a woman and soon to be mother.  It made me feel good to be in a place where I would be surrounded by women who support my decision to give birth naturally, a place where I would have a voice to make decisions about myself, my baby and my birth. I also loved the idea that I would be in a comfortable environment similar to my home, not a sterile hospital that would make me feel like I was having a medical procedure done instead of a beautiful, natural birth. And, since the birth center is across the street from Cedars Sinai Hospital, it was comforting to know that if myself and the baby needed to be transferred, we were close by.  I also loved that I could have the water birth I had envisioned for myself and our baby at the birth center-something you can't do at a hospital.  And finally, I loved the sense of community at the birth center and the complete trust and love I felt when I was there. 

HYPNOBIRTHING So much of our amazing birth story I credit to hypnobirthing.  Mr. A and I studied with Nina Phelan of The Soulful Birth every week the month before Little A was born.  Nina's class absolutely prepared us for our natural birth.  She was imperative to our birth journey.  Using the Mongan Method, Nina taught us how to relax and trust our birth journey.  I learned how to connect to my body and our baby and tune in to the natural birthing process.  She is an incredible teacher.  Because of the breathing and visualization techniques we learned I was also able to get through the intensity of labor in a relaxed pain-free state. The hypnobirthing classes very much prepared both of us. Nina's class prepared Mr. A so he could be the best possible birth companion.  He was able to help me stay focused and grounded during labor. He knew exactly how to support me through breathing, counting the waves (or contractions) and offering massages during the different stages of labor. He was my constant and my rock-keeping me motivated throughout the process.

No matter what kind of birth you envision for yourself and your baby, hypnobirthing is a powerful, priceless skill that will help you release any fear you have about birth, help you manage pain and stress levels and an incredible tool you can take with you throughout other areas of your life.  

DOULA  I think having a doula is key especially if you're having a natural birth and plan on laboring at home as long as possible.  We were referred to our doula, Darla of Darla's Darling Doula Service from our good friends who hired her for the birth of their daughter two years ago. They swore by her and said it made all the difference in the world having her on their birth team. We really appreciated that she is also a labor and delivery nurse so her birthing experience was unparalleled. I also liked that she is a wonderful mama of four, also had natural births and is extremely tuned in and was supportive of our birth plan. The way I thought of our relationship with her was that Mr. A would be in front of me so I could lock eyes with him, hold his hand and lean on him for emotional support. Darla would be behind me, giving me pressure massages and offering physical support. This would allow Mr. A to be my husband, my rock, my birth partner-and for him to not have to stress or worry about knowing all of the answers or to need to remember everything we learned in our birthing class because we had Darla.  For us, being first time parents, there are so many unknowns and having a doula on call was imperative. As soon as my water broke I texted Darla to give her a heads up and keep her posted on my progress.  A lot of first time parents end up going to the hospital or birthing center too early so having a doula helps you determine how far along you are so you don't go to the hospital prematurely.  In our case, Darla saved us from having Little Amazing at home since my labor did move so quickly! I thought I had time but if she hadn't of told Mr. A to get me in the car and head to the birthing center, we would have definitely had Little A at home (which was not the plan at all)!

MIND, BODY, SOUL I believe the harmony of mind, body and soul played a huge part in the ease of Milly's birth.  Labor and delivery is obviously a very physical journey so I knew I needed to keep my body strong throughout my pregnancy.  From the beginning of my pregnancy I practiced stretching to keep my pelvis and hips open, stayed extremely hydrated, did light exercise (mostly walking) and attended prenatal yoga a couple times a week at Happy Baby LA.  I'm obsessed with this studio and their holistic approach to creating a safe, nurturing place for mommy and baby.  I love the sense of community there and how you are surrounded with other mamas. The instructors, the people and the vibe is all positive. It's completely different than going to a traditional yoga studio that offers prenatal yoga. One of my absolute favorite prenatal yoga classes is taught by Khefri who uses Kundalini Yoga, meditation and mantra to nurture the mind, body and spirit. Her class helped me practice my breathing, allowed me to focus on my baby and really put me in touch with my body.  Her class really prepares you to have an empowered pregnancy and birth. The hour and a half I was there each week was so powerful. Every time I left class I felt closer than ever to my baby and more excited about my delivery.

I've always believed in the power of affirmations. During my pregnancy I consistently told myself affirmations. I wrote them down over and over again, would say them out loud and focused on them throughout the day. "Thoughts become things." This is a belief I carry with me through other areas of my life as well.  I told myself I would have a beautiful, calm, peaceful, healthy natural birth. Anytime I heard a positive birth story, I would think about it, take all of the amazing aspects from it and visualize my own birth story. I imagined it all of the time and I was very specific. I even told myself I wouldn't be at the birth center longer than 3 hours...and I actually believed it.  I would paint the picture over and over again of what Little Amazing's birth would be like. I think half of having a natural birth is committing to it. Most importantly, I really believed it would happen that way. In the deepest part of my soul, I believed that's exactly how it would be.  I would consistently have talks with God about his plan and praised him for this blessing. Everyday I would thank Him for choosing us to be Little A's parents and for this healthy, amazing baby.  It's such a miracle to get pregnant and to have a healthy pregnancy and it's something neither of us takes for granted.  And so I would quiet any negative noise I would hear anytime I shared I was having a natural birth at a birth center (which happened often). And Mr. A and I would choose to only focus on our choice, our pregnancy and the power of positive thoughts.  Even when I started getting painful back labor and acid reflex toward the end of my pregnancy we fed our minds with positive thoughts and focused only on the positive. This painful back labor only meant we were getting that much closer to meeting our baby!

YOU & ME + BABY MAKES THREE  I couldn't have done any of this without Mr. A. Having an active, hands-on partner during my pregnancy and delivery made a world of a difference.  I can't imagine going through any of this without him.  My "easy" pregnancy was mostly easy because Mr. A helped me so much. In the first trimester when I was so sleepy I could barely keep my eyes open after coming home from work at 7pm, he would do all of the cooking and cleaning. During all of our baby classes Mr. A is the one who took notes, asked questions and made sure we did all of our homework.  All of the day to day mundane "life" things at home he handled. This allowed me to focus on my body and the baby and not worry about anything.   He gave me a break when I needed it and even when I didn't think I did. He encouraged me to go to prenatal yoga, booked prenatal massages, helped me eat right, made sure we went on date night each week.  When I started getting pregnancy insomnia in my third trimester and the braxton hicks and back labor would hit in the early morning hours, he would get up with me and massage my back, get me water and help me go back to sleep.  He came to every baby appointment with excitement and joy. And on the morning of July 7, 2017 when my water broke and our pre-labor began, Mr. A was there supporting me, holding me and encouraging me. When I got tense and my breathing got off track, he helped me relax and calm down. His overall excitement about us being pregnant was powerful in making me feel secure and excited too. 

TRUST When it comes down to why I think I had such a beautiful birth experience it is all centered around TRUST. I trusted my birthing team beyond measure. Even when I realized my midwife's assistant would be delivering Little A because our midwife wasn't there yet, I felt confident and had complete trust in her.  Hypnobirthing taught me to trust my body, trust my baby and trust the birthing process.  Most importantly, I trusted my partner that no matter what, he'd be with me right by my side. I knew I would never feel alone or scared because I was holding on to him. Mr. A was holding me up when I was too weak,  and holding my hand when I delivered our baby girl. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Maternity Photoshoot in Flat Rock, Palos Verdes

After the sun didn't cooperate for us during our Malibu maternity photoshoot at El Matador Beach with Photographer Jenny Quicksall, we decided to try again a couple weeks later. Jenny was really hoping to capture some images with a fiery sunset. Mr. A and I were thrilled with the maternity photos we took in Malibu so we figured this other shoot was like a bonus round.  Unfortunately because of June gloom we still weren't able to get that sunset shot Jenny was hoping for but what she did capture was still just as magical.  For this shoot the vibe was very editorial and Drew of Rogue & Fox Floral Co. created a beautiful floral installation. Mr. A and I totally felt like we were models with the romantic table set for two dressed like we were going to a fancy dinner or event. I rarely wear black so I really felt out of my element but it was fun to show this side of our personality.  Being up on Flat Rock was pretty breathtaking. You really feel like you're on top of the world up there. Take a look at the entire shoot featured on POPSUGAR now. 

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Our Gender Neutral Baby Shower Soiree
Feeling SO loved by all of our family & friends! @LittleAmazing is such a blessed baby!

Feeling SO loved by all of our family & friends! @LittleAmazing is such a blessed baby!

It's still so surreal to me to think that almost a year ago I was celebrating my Bachelorette Party in Palm Springs and now, I'm married to Mr. Amazing, living in our first home with a baby on the way! What a whirlwind year it's been! I am so incredibly grateful to have had two baby showers hosted for me. My mom hosted a shower in my hometown of Sierra Vista, AZ with my best friend, Jeff and sister, Sonya. The theme was appropriately bumble bee and every detail from the food to the black & yellow candy bar and bumble bee cookies were perfection.  It was intimate and extremely special.  

For my shower in LA, where I've called home for nearly 10 years I wanted the shower to be casual and laid back. I knew we'd have a big group of girls but I wanted it to still feel personal.  Since we're waiting to find out the gender of @LittleAmazing, I didn't have a particular theme in mind-I just wanted the space to exude baby! The invitation designed by Kirra Reyna Designs really set the tone with the blue, green and pink pastel watercolors, clouds and stars.  I just loved the softness of our invitations and signage and how there was something vintage about them. My friends who hosted, Ruth, Faith, Breelyn & my mother-in-law Nicole, carried that theme throughout the shower-stringing the most adorable handmade cloud mobile above the beverage cart and other cloud and star mobiles above the tables. I can't wait to use these in the nursery for decor (so stay tuned for our nursery reveal very soon). Guests were invited to "dress their guess: blue or pink, what do you think?" It was pretty split on thinking the baby will be a girl or boy.  The gold balloons and black and white patio furniture was a good neutral backdrop for the rest of the decor.  Silver dollar eucalyptus and white garden roses weaved through the black wicker peacock chair made it the absolute centerpiece of the party which made me feel like a bohemian Queen!  I knew I wanted to wear white (my favorite color) and was so happy to find this lace maxi which I paired with my new favorite heels (they have velcro straps which are perfect for this mama-to-be's growing belly)!  

The day before the shower I went to the LA Flower Mart and picked up my favorite peonies, colorful ranunculus and dahlia flowers to decorate the tables.  I love having fresh flowers at the house and these made me so happy!  The theme for the menu was all of my pregnancy cravings-although I don't know if I really have had any true cravings since I just eat everything I've always enjoyed-lol!  Guests were treated to catered Chick-Fil-A sandwiches, nuggets tenders and salad. We had southern sweet tea, lemonade and fresh coconuts for refreshments and a make-your-own bubbles bar. The dessert table included a ton of sweets including a rosé gummies station!  Guests played games and decorated onesies using a DIY onesie decorating kit from A lil' Moore complete with paint, iron-on stickers and decals. Favors included super soft aden + anais swaddles which double as sarongs, beach blankies and hair wraps (for guests who don't have little ones yet) and I also gifted guests my favorite natural and organic skin care products from California Baby-a staple at the Milloy-Simon household!

Scroll down to see some of my favorite photos and then be sure to check out the full feature on POPSUGAR!  

Special thanks to my bestie, Breelyn Stone for taking all of the photography at my shower. 

Credits

Photography: Breelyn Stone

Invitation & Signage: Kirra Reyna Designs

Furniture: Cost Plus World Market

Peacock Chair: Cost Plus World Market

Cloud Mobile: Polly Chrome Crafts 

Catering: Chick-Fil-A

Fruit & Fresh Coconuts: Melissa's Produce

Cake, Cupcakes & Cookies: Susie Cakes

DIY Onesie Decorating Kit: A lil' Moore

Candy: Sugarfina

Marshmallow Treats: Bliss & Baker

Brandi's Dress: A Pea in the Pod

Favors: aden + anaisCalifornia Baby

AMA with Mr. A and a Little Amazing Update

We are SO close to meeting @LittleAmazing! I can't believe it! So many feelings as we get closer to becoming parents. I hope you enjoy this AMA and then be sure to head over to POPSUGAR FOOD to watch another AMA I did there updating all of you on how content will work for Eat the Trend and Get the Dish during my maternity leave.

Also, HUGE UPDATE: Mr. A changed his instagram handle to @MrAMeals so follow him there! 

Waiting to Find Out Our Baby's Gender Until I Deliver

In a world where are there are few surprises, Mr. A and I made the commitment early on to wait to find out the gender of @LittleAmazing until the moment after I deliver.  This journey has been an absolute thrill and I strongly recommend it to anyone who has the patience! It has really allowed us to focus on how grateful we are just to be able to create this miracle baby and to start our family together.  We know it is already written. God knows our baby and it is all part of His plan. You can read more of my thoughts on why we are choosing to wait in this post I wrote for POPSUGAR MOMS. 

Photography Credit: Jenny Quicksall 

Photography Credit: Jenny Quicksall 

Sneak Peek: Our Maternity Shoot at El Matador Beach, CA
Photography Credit: Jenny Quicksall

Photography Credit: Jenny Quicksall

From the first time I spoke with our maternity photographer, Jenny Quicksall, I knew she was the perfect person to capture this special chapter in our lives.  Not only is she incredibly talented with an eye for detail, lighting and composition but she is an absolute joy to be around.  Her beautiful energy is infectious and being a mama of two, she and I immediately connected about my pregnancy and our babies. Jenny is extremely easy to work with and makes shooting with her feel natural when photoshoots never "feel natural." She made the entire experience so much fun despite it being cold and cloudy that even Mr. A was even enjoying himself! We chose to take our maternity photos at El Matador Beach in Malibu, CA since we love the beach and wanted to get some shots with the large rock formations.  While we were taking photos we realized that a year ago we were in Joshua Tree shooting our engagement photos with Brandon Kidd. So wild to think of all the milestones we've reached together in a year. We got married in August, traveled to Greece & Italy for our honeymoon, found out we were pregnant with Little A, bought our first home together, renovated our first home and now we are only weeks away from becoming a family of three.  What a truly amazing year we've had! Seeing these photos really makes me appreciate Mr. A even more. He is such a great partner, friend and husband but I really can't wait to see the wonderful father he's going to be. He already does so much for @LittleAmazing and I and I thank God everyday for our life together.  

Continue scrolling to see our maternity photoshoot sneak peek with Jenny Quicksall @JennyQuicksall and stay tuned for the full feature on POPSUGAR.com

Photography Credit: Jenny Quicksall

Photography Credit: Jenny Quicksall

Photography Credit: Jenny Quicksall

Photography Credit: Jenny Quicksall

Photography Credit: Jenny Quicksall

Photography Credit: Jenny Quicksall

Photography Credit: Jenny Quicksall

Photography Credit: Jenny Quicksall

Photography Credit: Jenny Quicksall

Photography Credit: Jenny Quicksall

Photography Credit: Jenny Quicksall

Photography Credit: Jenny Quicksall

Photography Credit: Jenny Quicksall

Photography Credit: Jenny Quicksall

CREDITS: Photography by Jenny Quicksall | Dresses by Pea in a Pod |  Hair & makeup by Kasia Bohos | 

Babymooning in Maui and Our Must Visit Spots

Babymooning might be a fairly new concept but I'm all for it. Going on one last epic trip before the baby comes was a great way for Mr. A and I to celebrate us and our family of two. We know the big adventure is yet to come when we welcome our little one in July but we also realize life will change for a bit and it won't be as easy to just jet set to Hawaii for a romantic getaway.  It was tough to choose one island to visit but ultimately we chose Maui for its mix of paradise and resort amenities. Our trip was 5 days and it was the perfect amount of time for us to connect, enjoy one another and experience new things with each other. Together, Mr. A and I compiled our list of must have spots to visit while on the island whether you're there babymooning or not. 

COCKTAILS & MOCKTAILS AT MAMA'S FISH HOUSE 

Everyone told us Mama's Fish House is a must visit.  So we went directly from the airport to the famous restaurant for lunch.  The place faces the water with breathtaking views and a refreshing ocean breeze. Tiny little birds fly in and out of the restaurant and the intoxicating smell of gardenia flowers is everywhere. Decked out with bamboo chairs and Hawaiian decor, it's the epitome of tropical.  And while the food was good and completely authentic (fresh seafood and traditional Hawaiian sides), it was really expensive and we ended up having plenty of dishes on our trip that were more delicious elsewhere on the island. So for us, we would suggest going there for a cocktail (or a mocktail)... and if you dine there, go for a sunset dinner on one of your last nights to really make it special.

Mai Tai for Mr. A and a Virgin Lava Flow for his Baby Mama

Mai Tai for Mr. A and a Virgin Lava Flow for his Baby Mama

The view as your walking down to Mama's Fish House

The view as your walking down to Mama's Fish House

MAUI'S HEART ROCK AND NAKALELE BLOWHOLE

Despite being almost 7 months pregnant with cankles that wouldn't quit, I had no intention of just spending our babymoon hanging at the resort all day sipping virgin pina coladas with my feet up! I wanted to explore Maui as much as possible! We walked, hiked and climbed our way around the island and during a day trip to Kapalua we made our way to find the Heart Rock and Nakalele Blowhole.  There's a trail at mile marker 38.5 where you scale rocks and sandy dirt down to the famous spot. Round trip it's about a mile hike with a couple steeps spots so I would recommend wearing tennis shoes or secure sandals.  Once you get to the bottom, you'll see the blow hole to your left and if you turn around and look to the right along the water, you'll see the heart shaped rock!  The blowhole is quite impressive, powerfully shooting water over 100ft in the air. But beware, signs along the trail warn visitors that the blowhole is dangerous so it's best to stay at a safe distance when visiting.  

Heart Rock with my loves!

Heart Rock with my loves!

BREAKFAST AT GAZEBO RESTAURANT

Our wedding photographers, Brandon & Kristin Kidd suggested this spot as an absolute must eat. Maui is one of their favorite places to visit and they frequent there pretty often to shoot weddings making them practically locals plus they are foodies just like us, so we knew it would not disappoint.  The Gazebo is located in Lahaina on the property of an apartment complex by the pool.  The casual restaurant is on a gazebo (this is probably obvious) with limited seating and a wait time averaging an hour.  But trust me, the wait is worth it! The portions are large and meant to be enjoyed family style.  Once you're seated, the service is quick and the food is hot! I enjoyed a glass of POG (pineapple orange guava juice) with Hawaiian fried rice and pineapple mango pancakes. Mr. A ordered the Portuguese Sausage Platter. Despite being super hungry and eating a ton, we still had leftovers! 

Traditional Hawaiian Fried Rice

Traditional Hawaiian Fried Rice

Pineapple Mango Pancakes with Coconut Syrup

Pineapple Mango Pancakes with Coconut Syrup

Portuguese Sausage Breakfast Platter

Portuguese Sausage Breakfast Platter

MAUI'S SUNFLOWER FIELD

it's hard not to stop at the Sunflower Field in central Maui and snap a pic. As far as the eye can see the land is speckled with bright yellow flowers.  It's absolutely gorgeous! The Biodiesel Sunflower Project offers tours for visitors but keep in mind the field is on private property and a working farm so respect the land and please don't pick the flowers! 

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ROAD SIDE SMOOTHES

While Shave Ice will always be my first love, you rarely marry your first love (although I adore a good high school/college sweetheart story and admire those couples who find each other early on in life)! And while I had plenty of shave ice while we were in Maui, the sugary snow just didn't compare to the fresh fruit smoothies we enjoyed during our babymoon. Our favorites were found on the side of the road on our way around the north part of the island.  Family owned and made in a small truck, we placed our order with one of their young daughters.  I ordered pineapple mango and Mr. A got guava peach. When they came out you could just see they were the perfect consistency.  Thick ribbons of frozen fruit with the most intoxicating smell.  Oh my goodness they were the best things I had ever had! I guzzled mine so quickly I almost forgot to snap a pic! 

Paradise in a cup!

Paradise in a cup!

Road side food trucks are the best!

Road side food trucks are the best!

BLACK SAND BEACH

For me, going to Black Sand Beach was worth the trip to Maui alone! From the smooth black pebbled beach to the nearby lava rock anchored by the turquoise blue water, the Black Sand Beach lives up to all of the hype I've ever read about.  If you get there early, you'll find yourself alone where you can really soak up all of nature's beauty.  Black Sand Beach is off the Road to Hana (another HUGE must do when visiting Maui-so important that it deserves its own post coming soon). The area is lush with palm trees, birds of paradise and every other hypnotic Hawaiian flower.  It's like nothing you've ever seen before!

While some of it is black sand, it should probably be called Black Pebble Beach!

While some of it is black sand, it should probably be called Black Pebble Beach!

Definitely bring water shoes if you're a baby like me. The rocks aren't all smooth!

Definitely bring water shoes if you're a baby like me. The rocks aren't all smooth!

Whether you go to Maui for your babymoon, honeymoon or any other special celebration my recommendation is to take advantage of the entire island! Rent a car, roll down the windows and let your heart be your guide! There is so much more to do on Maui than just hang by the pool. For more photos, go to Instagram @BrandiMilloy and search the hashtag #littleamazingmauimoon.

My Pregnancy Must Haves

I can't believe I'm already in my third trimester with Little Amazing! It has flown by. We are getting so close to meeting our little miracle baby 7/17/17!!!  I've had what most people call an easy pregnancy-no morning sickness, not a lot of aches and complaints and I've actually been busier than ever! However, once the third trimester started, I definitely started feeling a little more uncomfortable than usual. Here is a list of my favorite products that have been my must haves during my pregnancy. If you know someone who is pregnant, these are great gift ideas especially as we approach Mother's Day! 

SNOOGLE  Original Total Body Pillow $45.00 

SNOOGLE Original Total Body Pillow $45.00 

My friend, Liz gave this to me shortly after I announced I was pregnant. I thought I wouldn't really use it since I was sleeping just fine and already had a body pillow. Oh how I was wrong. Towards the end of my second trimester I couldn't snuggle up to the pillow fast enough. Now it's the only way I can get comfortable in bed. You can use it a multiple of different ways and it offers just the right hip and back support. It's been a God send with the inevitable acid reflex I heard so much about because I can use it to lay on my side but also prop my chest up at the same time. I even use it to elevate my feet to relieve my poor cankles! It's definitely a bedroom must have regardless of if you are carrying a baby! 

VIM & VIGR  Compression Socks $33.00

VIM & VIGR Compression Socks $33.00

I've always been a big fan of compression socks. I wear them for recovery after a work out and love wearing them when I fly across country. They help prevent swelling, energize legs, alleviate achiness and even help reduce varicose veins. When I have to shoot all day and be on my feet, these save me from swollen calves and ankles. They really work and I love the cute designs. And although I've been a fan of VIM & VIGR for years, I saw Whitney Port just listed them as her pregnancy must haves too. :) 

URPOWER  Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser Humidifier $26.00

URPOWER Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser Humidifier $26.00

During my first trimester my allergies were so bad. It could have been the time of the year (winter) but there were some nights I couldn't stop sneezing and my nose just kept running.  My midwife recommended I use a humidifier with essential oils. I found that the breathe blend helped me the most. It's a combination of peppermint, rosemary, lemon & eucalyptus. I would also add a couple drops of lavender to help me sleep. Even now, I will use this to help me relax or create a somber environment while I do prenatal yoga. 

BIO OIL  Purcellin Oil $20.00

BIO OIL Purcellin Oil $20.00

When I asked all of my Mommy friends what belly cream they used, a majority swore by this one. Even though I'm pretty sure getting stretch marks from pregnancy is a right of passage and totally dependent on your genes, I still have been religiously rubbing my belly down morning and night with this stuff.  If oil isn't your thing, I've been alternating with this cream too! 

MANDUKA  Assuage Pants $88.00

MANDUKA Assuage Pants $88.00

Mr. A calls these my MC Hammer pants! They are SUPER soft and incredibly comfortable. I'm obsessed with them! For me, my tight yoga pants started being too tight around my belly and no longer comfy so these were a great swap for me! They actually look really cute with a casual tea but I wore them on our babymoon with a tight body suit and kitten heels and it actually worked for an evening look. 

SUBSCRIBE NOW to BrandiMilloy.com for new content EVERY WEDNESDAY!

I'm happy to share that I will be posting more about my personal life right here on BrandiMilloy.com From being married to Mr. Amazing and our journey together as newlyweds, new home owners and soon-to-be new parents to decor ideas and renovation projects from our 1930's Spanish bungalow to entertaining ideas and recipe hacks PLUS my travel guides and must have food spots....I can't wait to create and share more with you all! So be sure to SUBSCRIBE to BrandiMilloy.com, my YouTube page and follow me on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter. xoxo, B

Mr. Amazing & I Answer All of Your Questions on Life, Love & Little A

I finally convinced Mr. A to do an AMA with me. He was nervous at first but I think he'll get the hang of it! We had fun doing an Ask-Me-Anything video for POPSUGAR FOOD and then did a bonus video for my YouTube Channel. Head over to my YouTube Channel to watch all of the fun and let me know what you think. Be sure to subscribe because we'll be doing more content together...showing you our relationship, life with a baby on the way, home renovations, trips, our favorite recipes and more! 

With Hoda & Kathie Lee on TODAY Show talking babies & buns!
Photo Credit: TODAY SHOW/Nate Congleton @photonate

Photo Credit: TODAY SHOW/Nate Congleton @photonate

Photo Credit: TODAY SHOW/Nate Congleton @photonate

Photo Credit: TODAY SHOW/Nate Congleton @photonate

Even though it's been 3 years since the first time I was invited on the TODAY Show I am still SO grateful anytime they invite me on the show and the butterflies are always there up until the cameras roll. I think if you don't get butterflies when you're doing LIVE television, you have no soul! Just kidding but seriously the rush of doing LIVE television is so exhilarating but stressful too because you want to make sure you say everything you need to say, don't skip a step, etc. Well most of those rules go out the window when I'm with Kathie Lee & Hoda. They are always so much fun and this time they had a sweet surprise just for me! You can watch the entire segment where I showed the ladies how to make my Cookies & Cream Cinnamon Rolls and my Banana Blueberry Ice Box Cake right here

Photo Credit: TODAY SHOW/Nate Congleton @photonate

Photo Credit: TODAY SHOW/Nate Congleton @photonate

My Go To Snack Right Now

Everyone keeps asking me what I’m craving. If you’re eating a lot more protein, you’re having a boy. Consuming bread like it’s your job? Definitely a girl! For the most part, I’m eating the same foods-more veggies, lots of water and no supersized Oreo chocolate bars. The snack that is always stocked in my fridge? noosa yoghurt. I’m not even a “yoghurt person” but it’s the only yoghurt I like.  I love the thick and creamy texture made with whole milk and all natural ingredients. They just came out with three tart & sweet flavors: orange & ginger, strawberry & hibiscus and pear & cardamom.  And while I love them by themselves, they are great for making smoothie bowls; toppings for my whole-wheat waffles and I just love a dollop on top of my warm oatmeal. The rich and creamy noosa is the perfect combination with the warm oatmeal.  Check out my go-to recipe below and then click here to download the noosa coupon! You can find the new tart & sweet flavors at Target stores nationwide. 

Brandi's Afternoon Snack

Ingredients

  • 1 bowl warm steel cut oatmeal
  • 1 tub Strawberry & Hibiscus noosa yoghurt 
  • fresh fruit (raspberries and strawberries)
  • chopped pistachios

Directions

Top warm oatmeal with a dollop of noosa yoghurt and garnish with fruit and nuts. Serve and enjoy!

Be sure to follow me on instagram @BrandiMilloy for more fun and easy recipes!

 

Dear Little Amazing (My First Trimester Update)
Some of my favorite books from my childhood are Dr. Seuss. Can't wait to read them all to Little A.

Some of my favorite books from my childhood are Dr. Seuss. Can't wait to read them all to Little A.

Being a first time Mom is a whirlwind of emotions. And as much as I thought I knew about pregnancy from my Mom, Sister and close friends, it's a whole new adventure for me. I thought I'd capture how I'm feeling in a series of letters to our baby, Little Amazing and share them here with you.  Reaching the first trimester was such a huge feat and now I finally feel like I am settling into this new chapter of carrying our first little babe.  For photos and more updates, follow along on instagram @LittleAmazing. 

1/17/17

Dear Little Amazing,

You are such a beautiful blessing and we can’t wait to meet you.  Your Dad always said you would come right after we were married and he was right.  He told me on our second date that he wanted to be a Dad and he has been talking about you ever since. I had a feeling God had sent you even before we confirmed it.  I felt different. I just knew it.  I feel like I already know you.  You made my first trimester almost too easy.  You’ve been such a good baby-never making Mama sick.  You had me craving baked potatoes, steak and veggies but when am I not craving those things? I’ve wanted to take more naps on the weekends and sometimes I can’t stay up past 9pm but that’s probably best for both of us. Everyone keeps telling me to sleep as much as I can now but I have a feeling even when you’re here I won’t be able to stop staring at you long enough to go to sleep.

Your Dad has been so awesome-giving me foot & leg rubs and making dinner for me when I’m too tired.  He is the best. I can’t wait for you to meet him.  You have a lot of people that love you already. Your grandparents are thrilled! You have so many aunts and uncles-it’s going to be fun! And your cousins, Maximus and Bexton are especially excited! They’ve already nicknamed you “Sweetie!” You've already flipped our world upside down and changed it for the better. 

I’ve so enjoyed our first trimester together.  I find myself smiling a little more, radiating love and always on the verge of giggling. It's a miracle what's happening inside of me. My mommy friends tell me the next six months are going to fly by! I hope it doesn’t go by too fast! They also tell me being pregnant was some of the best times in their life.  I've never been happier and I'm cherishing every moment.  Thank you for being our little love baby. I hope you know I'm soaking it all in day by day and loving each milestone we reach together.

Love,

Mommy