I’m now nearly a year postpartum and am still learning to work with the new shape of my body. While my weight is the same as when I got pregnant and my size is the same, my clothing does not fit the same. I was excited to partner with Olga for their new intimates collection Flirty as the biggest discovery I’ve made this postpartum experience is how important it is to love yourself and feel comfortable in the skin you are in at the moment. This post is in partnership with Olga an intimates company that specializes in intimate apparel for curvy and busty women. All opinions are my own. Olga’s Flirty collection may be found at Macys and Kohls.
Having a baby does some pretty crazy things to your body. It is basically stretched, pulled, swollen and deflated all in the course of a year or so. My body bounced ‘back’ a little easier after baby number one than it has with baby number two. Though I have technically lost the weight gained during pregnancy, my body is different than it was after my first pregnancy and certainly different than it was pre-kiddos.
I can’t blame ALL of these changes on the kiddos, because, in fact… I have AGED over the past six years. It is funny. In my head I’m still 25, but when I look at myself in the mirror I now see my mother and grandmother looking back at me. Between my changing body due to both aging and having babies, I really need to learn to love my body all over again. This holiday season I am really working on taking steps to feel comfortable in my new skin while making efforts to be healthier overall.
There has been so much this past year that I’ve struggled with both silently and pretty loudly depending on how well you know me or how close you’ve been to a melt-down. One of those struggles has (obviously) been appreciating my body as it is now and feeling good about myself in total. I’m gonna be totally honest, the tips below are from someone who doesn’t have it all together. These tips have worked for me in the past. These tips have come from friends who have dealt with these same struggles. But, they are from a totally imperfect person who is still trying to follow them all.
There have been so many times this past year where I’ve ran across a photo of me five, ten, or more years ago and have been caught up in wishing I still had the slender frame I had then. At some point I even broke down in tears for not really appreciating what I had then when I had it! Then it hit… that is the key. We are getting older. As much as I would love to not get another wrinkle or roll of funny mole on my back I also really, really want to keep getting older. (The alternative is really not a fun option.) So, my biggest tip is to take a moment and appreciate what you have right now in this very moment in time. Do you love your eyes? Think your ankles look great in those shoes you bought? Find the things about yourself that you LOVE and celebrate them. Focus on them. Appreciate them.
A bit of TMI here (though, isn’t this whole post really?): I wore my stretched out underwear and old nursing bras WAY past their expiration dates. When your panties are falling off you while you walk because the elastic doesn’t work anymore it is time to get new underwear. I had been waiting. I’d been waiting for my wonderful sleek figure that was just gonna suddenly appear. I was waiting until I had time to hit the gym more often or for my thyroid meds to finally make a difference. At some point I thought, It is time to STOP WAITING. Finding beautiful, comfortable, and well-fitted underwear, bras, and clothing items made me feel so much more comfortable in my own skin.
I don’t care if you feel best about yourself in a pair of yoga pants or some heels and earrings. Dress in a way that you can really feel comfortable and beautiful.
Side note: I have always had difficulty finding bras that are actually comfortable in my plus size figure. I even threw down way too much money at a popular plus-size clothing retailer to NEVER wear the bras that they custom fit to my body. They pulled and pinched and were so HEAVY. Enter in Olga’s Flirty Collection. I loved the look of them when the team at Olga sent over the lookbook, but was still weary that I’d actually like the selection. I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I’ve been with the quality, styles, fabrics, and fits of the Flirty bras and underwear I received. If you are looking to buy yourself (or a loved one) some really nice (yet affordable) intimate wear items then I’d highly recommend this brand. The sizes range from 34 C to 46 H.
This is the part I really, really struggle with on a day-to-day basis. I know what is good for me. I know that exercising and eating healthy will go a long way in making me feel better. I do overall make fairly good choices. However, I also know that when I am feeling down and out about things it is SO much easier to make the unhealthy choices. No judgement from me here and I will take no judgement on this as well, thank you. This is human. Sometimes we don’t always act in our own self-interest. I feel that moms especially don’t take enough time focusing on their needs because they want the needs of their family to be fulfilled first. So, whether it is committing to drinking more water, walking more steps, cutting certain indulgences… making a commitment to your health with invariably help you feel better about yourself. It is not going to fix it all right away and I really stress BALANCE in this area. Going into extreme lifestyle changes with high expectations is a sure fire way to get burned out and feel worse about things.
One of the hardest parts of these changes for me is not so much seeing myself in the mirror, but seeing myself in photographs. I’ve cringed and cried at the site of me in photos with my sons. I’ve focused on those rolls of fat or the swallow looking skin. I’ve made myself get in the photographs anyways. I’ve made myself STOP focusing on what I deem as imperfections in me and instead focus on how HAPPY I look or how beautiful my family is in that moment. I don’t want to get to sixty to look back and not see me in my photos of my family. I’ve found that making myself get in more photos and making myself look at the good in those photos has had the side effect of me actually liking myself in photos more and more often.
With the launch of Flirty at mass department stores, Olga now provides sexy solutions for curvy women everywhere, encouraging and empowering women to be #FearlesslyFlirty because “sexy comes in every shape and size.”
The collection features four bra styles ($45 each) – deep plunge, balconette, unlined underwire, and deep plunge with lace. It also features coordinating hipster panty ($12.50) in playful colors and prints. I chose a deep plunge and balconette bra and coordinating panties to test. I am in LOVE with both though the deep plunge is worn more often simply because I got it in the nude shade.
Western Chief sent complimentary rain boots to get us ready for a Pacific Northwest Spring and to introduce themselves to A Well Crafted Party readers. All thoughts and opinions are my own. For more information on my posting guidelines please visit my policies page. This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links help this blog without any additional cost to my readers.
Yesterday was the first day of Spring. The weather here in Portland has been pretty typical… aka, rainy. All the rain is totally easy to deal with when you also get to appreciate how GREEN it is here these days. My back yard is currently heaven on Earth. The day we took these mommy and son style photos was a typical Portland grey. Which was GREAT because I’d been hoping for a good bout of rain so I could pull out my new rain boots and not look silly walking around town.
Ideally I’d pair these classic mid rain boots with more fitted pants… but, these ARE my skinny jeans at the moment due to crazy after-baby body changes. And, thought my knees ended up being a little funny looking due to the tucking the not skinny-enough jeans I was overall fairly happy with my Spring in Portland attire. Getting dressed now days is difficult. Things don’t fit the way that they used to and I always have to dress in a way that I know I can feed the baby without having to completely disrobe. You can’t see it, but underneath my nice little rain coat is yet the millionth button up shirt that I own. It doesn’t even matter the color because they all look alike to me nowadays and are likely covered in some sort of bodily fluid.
I don’t know if I’ll lose some sort of PNW cred for admitting this but, even after living in Portland for nearly 9 years now, I’ve never owned a pair of rain boots until now. I was the crazy lady you’d see getting their feet soaking wet in flats. Yep, that lady, she was me. My shoes and feet have never been more dry! It took a little getting used to wearing rain boots, but after a day out in the rain with dry feet I was pretty much sold on them. I also liked that they were super easy to clean up after a day in the rain than other boots.
My son got the batman rain boots and has never been happier about a pair of shoes. Though, I think what he loved most about his outfit was that I was encouraging jumping in puddles rather than making sure he avoided them. We styled his boots with his jeans, chambray button up shirt and heather grey t-shirt with a bright yellow rain jacket. I love the classic rain jacket paired with the unexpected pop of these rain boots.
And, yep… they have capes!
Mommy: Lucky Brand Plus Size Ginger Skinny Jeans (Size 16) | Western Chief Classic Mid Rain Boot in Black | Black Anorak Rain Jacket from Target (Size XL) |Black and White Blanket Scarf – I got mine ages ago and couldn’t find a good link to it… so, here are two similar scarves (affiliate links) BB Gossip Large Tartan Blanket Scarf & Afibi Women’s Oversized Plaid Checkered Tartan Scarf
Today is the first day of Fall and it also marks the first Fall that I have participated in the Back to School shopping frenzy since I myself was in school! They tell you that childhood passes by quickly… but, I don’t think I was quite prepared this year when suddenly my son was in pre-school! When Sports Authority wrote to ask for me to explore their back to school deals I almost balked at the idea because my kid is just 4! However, after a moment I realized that he was heading into pre-school this year and, somehow, over the Summer had grown out of or put holes in nearly everything he owned! I quickly explored the Sports Authority website and was delighted to discover that they not only had a great selection of sports items for adults (what we’ve previously shopped at the store for) but also had quite the selection of shoes, jackets, bags and clothing for my little guy‘s first year in pre-school!
Growing up back to school shopping was often a time where money was tight and the extra expenses stressed out my parents. However, I do remember many years where my grandparents would take us out to buy a new pair (or more) of shoes for back to school. I always loved the tradition, but didn’t really understand it until this year.
Over the Summer my kiddo wore out his shoes with all the outdoor play and growing feet. I didn’t even bother buying him new shoes over the Summer because I knew that they’d just get ruined! So, when the first few days of school were looming along with picture days, field trips and cooler weather, I pulled out all of his shoes to discover that he didn’t have ONE pair that fit him well and didn’t look worn to the sole. Seriously, my four year old is now in size 12.5 shoes while all the ones he had over the Summer were size 10.
He was not quite as excited about shoe shopping as I thought he should be… well, that is until we found the running shoes. The idea of getting a pair of shoes specifically designed for going fast was just the ticket into getting him excited about this tradition. The Adidas Boys’ LK Sport Running Shoes made both he and I happy. I didn’t have to have him wearing neon every day, and he got his running shoes. Plus, they didn’t cost an arm and a leg! He asks to wear his new shoes nearly every day now. The running hasn’t stopped since. 🙂
This post is written in collaboration with Sports Authority. All opinions are my own. Please see my policies page for more information on sponsored posts. Thank you for reading about the companies that help make this blog possible!