Honeymoon

A couple of weeks before my anniversary seems appropriate to finally write about my Honeymoon.  Especially considering that I started my first year of marriage looking like this:

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Eze, France

And I’m ending it looking like this:

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Eze, France

Kidding, on my actual anniversary, August 13th I’m hoping I will be holding a baby in my arms not still pregnant!  We shall see!

I have no idea what time I went to bed the night of my wedding.  All I know is the next morning I was up at 7 am throwing my things into a bag and running off to 8 am mass exhausted and hungover.  I drank a lot of white wine at my reception!  We then had to hop a plane to New York and onward to our first destination, Italy.  When we made it Puglia, Italy in the beach like town, Polignano al Mare I’m pretty sure we just passed out for 12 hours.

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This town is known for (besides being beautiful) the restaurant in the cave (which we sadly did not go to/ I’ll be back for one day) and the song Volare as the singer, Domenico Modugno, was born here.  The writer of the song was inspired by Marc Chagall (one of my favorite artists) paintings of lovers whimsically flying in the air together.  You will hear this song being played everywhere.  I heard it on the airplane in a beautiful slow version and I heard it next to our hotel as a little train picks tourists up by the statue of Modugno and plays it throughout the town.  It was adorable.  I absolutely loved this little town.

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Another endearing thing about this town (and the surrounding areas) are the poems that are written everywhere!  Instead of ugly graffiti, the graffiti was just of poems written in Italian of course.

After exploring our little town we ventured to others and managed to catch a few during their festivals.

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One of my favorite towns was Alberobello because of the Trulli.  These little funny shaped homes that are now full of little artisan shops.

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We also saw Lecce and Ostuni.  I do wish we explored Lecce more, but again, one day I’d like to go back to Puglia.  The food was amazing and everything was very affordable.

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I lived off of seafood pasta and white wine.

After Puglia we ventured North West to the Ligurian Coast.  We stayed in a town called Rapallo.

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I was so excited because I thought that one of my life long dreams would come to fruition by finally getting to walk around Cinque Terre.  My husband rented this beautiful boat to take us there but within twenty minutes I was sea sick and curled into a ball.  I did get to see Cinque Terre from the sea, but it was with one eye open and the other clenched shut trying to help myself not throw up.  Ah well, maybe one day I’ll be back but with Dramamine.

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The Ligurian Coast is home to one of my favorite dishes, Pesto!  Only they make their Pesto a bit differently.  They use a different type of pasta called, Trofie and they add cut up boiled potatoes and green beans.  Now, when I make Pesto I throw in green beans as well (and also some spinach and walnuts to sneak in more health benefits for Ari).

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My favorite town in the Ligurian Coast was Portofino.  There are a lot of shops there and little hiking trails to take you to more sights.  The Ligurian Coast was gorgeous and I enjoyed just laying by the infinity pool off of the cliffs with my new husband but it came time to explore new territory, Spain.  We took a short flight over to Barcelona and I made it my mission to see all of Gaudi’s work!  As a high school student I was obsessed with his architecture and how creative he was.  The man truly thought out of the box and I loved it.

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The Sagrada Familia was incredible.  They have been building this for over 100 years and it is still not finished.  It will be taller than any building in Barcelona but smaller than the tallest mountain- Gaudi did this in respect for God.  We did not go into any of the structures though because of the lines and the money each one wanted.  If I come back with my children I will make more of an effort to take them inside and let them learn, but I was having a lot of fun just exploring with Nick.

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Spain is known for their Paella.  We ate a lot of Paella in an effort to try them all (I think I make the best Paella though).  I found that my favorite dessert was Crema Catalana.  It’s like a creme brûlée.

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Our favorite restaurant however did not sell crema catalana or paella but fresh plant centered foods, smoothies and juices.  It’s called Flax and Kale and we went there every single day, sometimes twice a day for breakfast and lunch.

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We both needed to detox and my body especially needed alkaline plant based food after eating my weight in pasta and drinking more glasses of wine then I had ever had in those previous 26 years of life.

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happy husband

After our stay in Barcelona in this really cool hotel I might add, that was more like a petit museum (the owner of the hotel also owned an Egyptian museum) we hopped on The Crystal Symphony for a Cruise.

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Our first stop was Majorca/Mallorca.  We went to a wine tasting there which was a lot of fun.  Believe it or not I’ve never done a wine tasting before so I was very excited to have this experience.  I loved our cruise!  I also had never been on a cruise before, so that in itself was exciting for me and scary.  One night I had to grip my bed while trying to fall asleep because of a storm at sea.

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Our cruise also had tea time at 4 pm and I don’t think I missed one day of it!

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I love me some tea time

Next stop Monaco.  I woke up, the sun was shining and I had breakfast on the balcony and this sight to see.  I was on Cloud Nine.

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I loved Monaco.  Nick and I walked around during the day and looked around at all of the shopping.  I did not go into any casinos!

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The most beautiful Starbucks

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At night we went to a beautiful party at Grace Kelly’s Rose Ball and saw Andrea Bocelli sing.  I cried, it was too much beauty and I felt like the luckiest girl in the world.  As Nick’s grandfather would say, it was a happy cry.

Another tour that our cruise offered was to Eze, France.  I did this tour solo because Nick was running all sorts of crazy errands that day.  I missed my bus with the group (Nick’s fault) and had to take a taxi to Eze which was actually a great experience.  I was able to ask the taxi driver all about Monaco, Grace Kelly and their citizenship (it’s quite hard to acquire citizenship there).  He dropped me off to meet up with my group at the Fragonard perfumery.  With no husband around I went crazy with souvenir shopping.

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me with my first set of goodies
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Their perfume is their art

Eze was beautiful and hilly.  It was quite the hike and I did it happily in my flip flops because I was just so happy to be there.  All of the shops were so cute.  I made sure to pick up quite a few toys for my Ari from all of the toy shops.  As always the people in France were so kind.  I get defensive when people say the French or Parisians are rude.  I have never found this to be true.

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After my relaxing solo adventure through Eze it was time for our last stop, Rome!  I still make fun of Nick for this because he booked us at the scariest hotel!  I don’t even want to get into all of the things wrong with this place!  I was just so happy to wake up in the morning and just get hell up out of there into the city!  I had not been back to Rome since I was 16 years old.

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I kept trying to piece things back together for myself.  It is such a romantic city and I loved rediscovering it again with my happily ever after.  We stumbled upon the coliseum together, campo de’ fiori and met up with a couple of Nick’s cousins.  We ended our trip with another party.

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It’s a happy life with Nick

And that was our Honeymoon, finally recorded after almost coming full circle with our first year of marriage.

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Maternity Fashion

It’s a rainy Saturday morning and everyone in my house is asleep.  Ari came home a couple of hours ago after her first camp out with her nature camp!  She stayed up until 4 am with the other little girls in her group so as soon as she got home from 7 am pickup I had her take a shower, take her kids multivitamins and probiotic, rubbed some lotion mixed with lavender oil on her and put a movie on to secretly lull her to sleep (she kept telling me she wasn’t tired).  She came home bright eyed and bushy tailed but I figured  it would be best if I had her sleep the rest of the morning and maybe do an activity with her in the afternoon/evening to help her sleep schedule be a little less hectic tonight.  We’ll see how that goes!

As for me and baby we are just waiting around for our due date!  We have two more weeks and I’m feeling pretty good.  Too much standing and walking and I need to sit down though.  Too much sitting and I need to stand up because my back hurts.  It’s constant adjusting until I finally put my feet up and curl into the fetal position at night with a little foot stuck under my rib cage.  I am so excited to meet this little person who has been rolling around and testing the limits of their space every day inside of me.  With that being said, I know some part of me will miss my bump and having a little life to nourish within my core.  Dressing the bump has also been so much fun especially during the summer.  There have been a few people who have commented sympathetically, “poor thing, how are you dealing with the heat?”  And I have to say, the heat in Ohio this summer has not been that bad.  I have enjoyed wearing my little polka dot maternity swim suits to the pool, sitting under an umbrella with a magazine and just watching Ari play.  I also have to say being pregnant in the summer has been very cost efficient.  Winter pregnancies need a whole new coat to fit around the bump!  I wouldn’t even want to try and pull over a tight sweater and be left to sweat every time I went into a warm room.  Not to mention being off balance with a big bump and trying to navigate walking on icy sidewalks.  Yikes!

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Paris was chilly and I could not zip my coat over my little 6 month bump!

  I thought I could be one of those girls who could get away with wearing their normal attire or at least be able to buy normal dresses instead of maternity specific but I quickly found that maternity was just made to fit better and is much more comfortable!  The normal wrap dresses I tried on would maybe fit my breast area but then be too tight on the bump or reverse; they would drown my breast area in fabric and be perfect for the bump.  One of my favorite flowier dresses I wore to an event and felt so beautiful in it but when I got home I had red marks in my shoulders.  The dress had been cutting off my circulation and I had no idea!  So that is why I decided to really research into maternity clothes and commit to the investment in getting clothes that fit my new body type.  I have had so much fun finding cute little dresses and fashionable jeans.  Maternity pants are the first investment I made and early on because my belly felt so tender even when the baby was tiny.  I needed the stretchiness.  A great brand I found at Nordstrom is Paige.  The jeans fit under your bump with two elastic pieces carefully hidden at the sides.  I have a pair that are black with trendy little rips and tears.  I love them.

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paige

Now on to my favorite, dresses!

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kimi and kai

I love a cute dress sans pants!!!  Comfy and classic are two things I love.  One company I fell in love with, again through Nordstrom, is Kimi and Kai.  I was lucky enough to be able to collaborate with them and have them send a couple of dresses to share!

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kimi and kai

Kimi and Kai also have their own website you can visit to see more than just what Nordstrom is offering.  The great thing about maternity clothes is that they can last more than just three trimesters.  Some maternity outfits double as nursing outfits, so instead of having to pull your entire shirt up or down or completely remove it, you can just discreetly pull at a secret piece of fabric and voila!  Milk for baby!

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best of both worlds: maternity and nursing dress combined by kimi and kai

The white dress with black polka dots is exactly what I’m talking about.  Pick up one of those frills on the shoulder and baby has access and no one has been flashed.  I am all for breast feeding but I prefer a cover because I personally am uncomfortable with anyone seeing an intimate moment like that between my child and I, so the more discreet I can be, the more comfortable I am.

A few other designers I like are Seraphine, Olian and Majamas.

One of my favorite dresses that I will be wearing after my pregnancy is this Seraphine navy polka dot dress.  I also fell in love with their comfy form fitting maxis.

Olian has a lot of fun prints and they are based out of Miami.

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Olian

I also found a Company called Moms The Word that sells several different designers.

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I wore this Tees by Tina dress to my baby shower. Found through Moms The Word.
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This dress is Moms The Word’s very own Milan dress.  So comfy and pretty.

And if you just want to be down right comfy, work out, fall asleep, nurse baby, lounge on couch… repeat… I suggest Majamas!  USA made and eco friendly!  Their recycled polyester fabric is my favorite!  I want to live in it forever.  They also have great organic cotton dresses.  I wore one last weekend to a party actually.  I forgot to take photos but no worries it doubles as a nursing dress so I will be wearing it a lot in photos of my new bambino and I!  Their qualcosa tanks are my absolute favorite to wear working out with a bump because they cover your posterior bum when you’re wearing leggings and they cover the bump beautifully with their gorgeous patterns.  The florals are my favorite.  The company is actually in Chicago and the owners are very friendly and helpful (I’ve called them a couple of times to help me with sizing).

Maternity fashion is so cute in my opinion and it’s best to do whatever is comfortable for you and wear whatever makes you feel beautiful because there are parts of pregnancy that are just not so glamorous.  In my opinion when you look good you feel good.  During some of the hard times in my life I knew the best way to cheer myself up and get myself out of the house to work hard for my daughter and I was to just take a shower and put on a cute dress and some red lip stick.  Somehow that made everything else feel manageable to me.  Everyone has their own tricks: yoga class, deep breathing, massage, cooking a beautiful meal, cleaning their home, netflix binge watching etc… Whatever you need, do it because you’ll come back so much better.  Pregnancy in the grand scheme of things is so short but so memorable.  My daughter keeps a photograph of me pregnant with her in her room.  It really is such a beautiful time for you and your child.