Top to Bottom Shopping Tips During Pregnancy

The good news of your pregnancy will, of course, bring changes in your wardrobe and style. Expecting moms can still slay their looks during their pregnancy. You can simply check the varied online ideas for trendy clothes and makeup essentials to make your pregnancy look cute and comfortable.

shoes for pregnancy

Things You Should Buy

You know your old clothes will not fit you anymore once you are pregnant. Often it causes heartbreak and depression amongst females. However, the maternity section of clothes can also look stylish if you pick the correct product.


Few moms love maternity panties during their pregnancy, and it is the right choice to go for. Try avoiding the lace at this point as you may feel itchiness. Instead, you can always go for colorful cotton fabric. Cotton is safe as it never causes any yeast infection or gets dried up unnecessary, causing any rash or irritation.

During your first trimester, you will need to change your bra size for proper fitting. We always suggest our new moms go for supportive bras that give you ample comfort.

Dresses For Hiding Bumps

New moms may want to flaunt their baby bump or chose to hide it. This is entirely dependent on individual choices. During your pregnancy, you will feel comfortable in long skirts or dresses. One of the main benefits of these dresses is open-end designs. Therefore, it is easy to open them, especially during your ultrasonography times.

Consider the light colors while choosing the flowy or wavy outfits during pregnancy. These will keep your body cool, and you will feel fresh. During winters, you can layer your clothes with black jackets or cardigans.

Depending on your body type, you can also try the wrap dresses. They are very comfortable and stylish. Shirts are also very favorable during and post-pregnancy. You can pair it with beautiful jeggings. However, we do not suggest wearing a pair of denim during pregnancy, but you may try the online maternity jeans that are getting attention these days. You can wear them after pregnancy too.

You can go for zipper pants if you wish. There are different styles of trousers and pants that you can style yourself. For instance, flying combination or loose fit jogger style collection of trousers is useful during pregnancy.

Again, opting for light fabric leggings is a considerable choice for pregnant women. It helps your tummy to support well without making any restrictions. The thin fabric used in the making of leggings can help you to breathe. It is better as compared to the elastic waist pants or trousers.


During pregnancy, many women suffer due to swollen feet. When you choose comfortable shoes for pregnancy, your choice should be around cool sandals, or covered flat boots. These help to balance your body well, and you will not feel swollen finger issues anymore. Again, you can search online for the varied range of maternity shoes, depending on your choice.


DND Gel Polish: Preference for Dazzling Manicure in 2020

Daisy Nail Designs (DND) Gel Nail polish range has changed the definition of nail paints in recent years. Nail paints are heavy on nails and get brittle after 4-5 days resulting in breaking off from the nail. DND nail gel polish, on the other hand, is exceptionally light, retains the glossy feel, and also lasts for 21 days.

Moreover, DND nail gel polish and lacquer are available in so many shades, and most of them unique that you would not get in the ordinary nail polish. DND comes in more than 235 colors ranging from quirky bright to warm neutral, some glitter as well as some metallic finish.

Choosing The DND Gel Polish

You can wear any color nail paint you want, but few would suit more than the others. So, these tips would guide you to select those few.

Skin Tone – Different DND nail gel polish are available for different skin tones, and you can select the one which suits you. Do remember that the gel paints are different from the regular nail polish as they are shinier.


How To Optimize Protein With A Vegan Diet

A Social Tech Diva

Here’s another post from my friends over at Northwest Pharmacy and Health Perch that provides information on how to live a healthier lifestyle.  Originally written by Miranda Hammer, this post talks about how to get a sufficient amount of protein as a vegan and was extremely helpful to me because while I’m not a vegan (yet….maybe someday) I rarely eat meat.  I only eat seafood and products that come from animals such as egg whites.  But I think it’s beneficial for all of us to have some vegan days.  I’ve found that not eating meat daily really helps me control my weight better.  So if you’re struggling with your weight and interested in exploring the vegetarian or vegan diet (even if you don’t do it 100% percent of the time) then maybe this article can help you out, as well.

Protein is an essential macronutrient necessary for a healthy diet. Protein facilitates important functions including muscle, bone, and skin development; hormone production; and immunity. For individuals following a vegan lifestyle, optimizing adequate protein is not difficult, but it does take mindful consideration.

Building Blocks: Amino Acids

Before we get into vegan sources, let’s first discuss amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Amino acids are the organic compounds that join together to form a complete protein. When protein breaks down as we digest food, amino acids are the result.

There are 20 different types of amino acids. The sequence of these amino acids determines the specific function of a protein. Amino acids come in three categories: essential, nonessential, and conditional. There are nine essential amino acids that our bodies do not make or produce at a slow rate, which requires them to be obtained through food. Nonessential amino acids are produced by most healthy individuals or stored within the body. Conditional amino acids denote proteins, which are only necessary for specific times such as during trauma, stress, illness, injury, or premature birth.

Protein in food is broken down into amino acids via digestion. The body then converts those amino acids into its own usable forms of protein. To make a protein, the cells in the body must have all the amino acids required for that specific protein. Since nonessential amino acids can be made within the body and essential amino acids come from food sources, it is imperative to include all the essential amino acids in your diet.

The Role of Protein in the Body

Humans need protein to create structures in the body such as muscle, bone, skin, and tissues. Protein is also necessary to help maintain the body’s fluid and electrolyte balance, acid-base balance, hormone production, transportation of fluids and nutrients, protection against disease, and fuel when absolutely necessary.

In Western culture, there exists a common belief that the more protein the better. In some scenarios such as extreme body building and during certain disease states, extra protein is necessary. But excessive protein intake when not warranted can lead to health complications including an increased risk for heart disease, kidney disease, and bone loss.

When adhering to a vegan lifestyle, it’s important to know what protein sources are high quality. A high-quality protein contains all the essential amino acids as well as some nonessential amino acids, which support the body’s functions. Animal sources such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy, and milk are all considered high-quality proteins. The digestibility of a protein is also something to be mindful of, since proteins need to be digested before we can fully utilize the amino acids. Our bodies digest and absorb certain proteins better than others. Factors that influence a protein’s digestibility are the source of the protein as well as the other foods it’s paired with. Animal protein has the highest percent of digestibility followed by plant-based sources.

Plant-Based Protein

Vegan sources of protein are derived from plant-based foods. Most plant proteins lack one or more essential amino acids, and therefore are incomplete proteins. This does not mean a vegan lifestyle can’t be healthy and balanced; it just requires some thought and planning. A variety of plant-rich foods are key to optimize protein in a vegan diet. By consuming two different types of plant-rich proteins, you can obtain different amino acids from each source. The two distinctly different plant proteins combine to create what is called a complementary protein. The different plant proteins do not need to be consumed together as long as a whole day of meals contains a variety of essential amino acids.

A classic example of a complementary protein is rice and beans. Legumes lack some of the amino acids that rice has, and vice versa. However, when consumed together, or on the same day, rice and beans provide all the essential amino acids necessary to create a complete protein.

A vegan is classified as someone who does not eat foods of animal origin. When adhering to a vegan diet, the emphasis should be placed on fruits, vegetables, legumes, wholes grains, nuts, and seeds. Ideally, unadulterated real foods from real sources constitute the primary dietary sources, but there are some vegans and vegetarians that also rely on processed foods and starches full of empty calories. Aside from optimal protein, it’s especially important for vegans to obtain enough B12, Vitamin D, iron, calcium, zinc, and essential fatty acids—all nutrients that may be easier to get from a non-vegan diet.

People choose a vegan, plant-based lifestyle for a number of reasons including concern over animal welfare, to offset environmental implications caused by factory farming, to eat more economically, to improve health, or for religious or cultural beliefs. Whatever the rationale, researchdemonstrates there are plenty of benefits to a plant-based diet. A balanced vegan diet is rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and is naturally low in unhealthy fats. This lifestyle can help combat heart disease, diabetes, and cancer; help maintain a healthy body weight; and improve gut health.

Optimize Your Protein: The Best Vegan Protein Sources

Legumes, nuts, seeds, tempeh, grains, and vegetables are examples of the diversity a vegan diet can offer. The most protein-rich examples are:


Notorious for their not-too-flattering side effects (soak in water and rinse to help reduce gas-producing enzymes), beans are an economical and versatile source of protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. Providing an average 15 grams of protein per cup, beans are a hearty and lean protein that can easily fit into a plant-based diet. Turn chickpeas into hummus, make a black bean salsa, add pinto beans to a salad, toss with brown rice, or make a multibean chili.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds come in black and white varieties and provide a hearty dose of fiber in addition to 4 grams of protein per ounce. Chia seeds absorb up to27 times their weight in water (or any liquid), which makes them a great thickening agent. Chia seeds can be used for puddings, overnight oats, smoothies, salads, and soups.

Hemp Seeds

These little seeds are rich in protein, with 9 grams in every ounce. They’re also a good source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Subtle in flavor, hemp seeds are a great addition to smoothies, salads, soups, or stews.


Lentils are another fantastic, economical plant-based protein.  These small but mighty legumes are simple to cook and loaded with numerous nutritional benefits. Lentils are high in dietary fiber, which help with digestion, satiety, and cardiovascular health. Lentils are also a good source of vegetarian iron, an essential mineral for oxygen transportation in the blood and proper metabolism. Pairing an iron-containing food with vitamin C assists with optimizing iron absorption.  Lentils are a combination of protein, carbohydrate, and fiber and provide 18 grams of protein in one cup. Add to a grain salad, veggie burgers, meatless sauce, or soup.


Cashews, almonds, peanuts (technically a legume, but you can find them with other nuts), walnuts, and pistachios all fall into the nut category. Nuts are rich in vitamins and minerals as well as healthy fats, and contain anywhere from 5 to 7 grams protein per ounce. Spread some nut butter on a banana or toast, make a trail mix, top your oatmeal, or grind into gluten-free flour.

Organic Tofu, Edamame, Tempeh

All three of these food sources are made from soybeans. Soy is a complete protein, meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids and provides between 10 to 17 grams per ½ cup serving depending on the source. Try to avoid processed, genetically modified, and soy byproducts by carefully reading labels. Opt for natural and fermented sources such as organic edamame, tempeh, and tofu. Edamame can be used similarly to beans, made into hummus, or added to salads. Tempeh or tofu can be sautéed into a stir-fry, crumbled into burgers, added to tacos, or substituted for meat in a meat sauce.


South American in origin, this seed, which is consumed like a grain, is high in protein and fiber. One cup of this gluten-free carbohydrate contains 8 grams of protein and is a good source of iron and magnesium. Quinoa is a terrific substitute for rice, can be used in stir fries, can be added to oatmeal for a multigrain breakfast, or can be used to make veggie burgers.

Curious about a plant based lifestyle but don’t want to become a full-time vegan? Try integrating more plant-based foods into your meals or instituting Meatless Monday as a way to reap the health benefits without having to say goodbye to meat.

Please check out Northwest Pharmacy’s Health Perch site for more posts on healthy living.

Build a Great Home Gym on a Budget

Check out this great article from my health/fitness bloggin’ buddies over at Northwest Pharmacy/Health Perch on how you can save money & time by creating your own gym at home!  Be sure to visit their site, a digital health magazine, for a variety of topics related to physical and mental wellness as well as how to fight the signs of aging.  Access their site here or at the below link.

Long commutes, expensive membership fees, and bad weather are just a few excuses that stall a regular workout routine. Consistent exercise promotes better health, improved energy, and a positive mood, so why not create a space for exercise where it’s most convenient: at home.

Though elaborate at-home gyms sound dreamy, these budget-friendly ideas are sure to keep a body moving without breaking the bank. Home gym equipment doesn’t have to be bulky. Build a killer routine using items that stow away under beds, pack in bags, are portable around the home, and can be crafted using items found at the hardware store.

The Savvy Home Gym Dos and Don’ts


  • Make use of what you find around your home. Old gallon jugs can be refilled and used as weights. Chairs, tables, and stools are also great pieces for plyometric, elevated, or decline moves.
  • Purchase items that store away so your gym doesn’t take over an entire room. Look for items you can tuck beneath the bed, store in baskets, or tuck on a shelf in the closet. For travelers, look for portable items you can pack up when you are on the go.
  • Scour garage sales, online resell sites, and gym closeout sales. Used gym equipment is often just as sturdy as brand new equipment, but at a fraction of the price. Many people get rid of equipment to make more room in their homes or because they don’t want to move it when they relocate. This is an opportune time for a bargain. Additionally, gyms that are moving or going out of business often hold fire sales.


  • Splurge on expensive and clunky equipment you may never use. It’s better to start small and work up to more expensive equipment as you expand your home gym. It can be tempting to purchase equipment because it sounds convenient, but it may turn into a bulky dust bunny cavern instead.
  • Set up a workout space in a room you rarely visit. When training at home, try to allocate an enjoyable space that feels like a sanctuary. Working out next to the washing machine or in a dank basement has less appeal than a cozy corner in the bedroom or a sunny spot on the patio.
  • Get too much too soon. Only purchase items you plan to use in the next few months. Wait to purchase heavier weights and more advanced equipment until you are ready to use it. Home gyms are meant to grow over time as you learn new exercises, increase strength, and become more proficient at training. Think of gym equipment as a reward for all that hard work. It feels great to go out and buy heavier kettlebells or a pull-up bar when those muscles get stronger.

The Home Gym Starter Kit


Resistance bands pack a lot of power into your workout without taking up space in your home. Exercise tubing, loop bands, mini bands, and power bands are just a few types of these affordable exercise tools. These bands are available in different levels of resistance: generally light, medium, heavy, and extra heavy.

Step bench

Aerobic step benches provide a useful platform that adds variety to your training. These sturdy surfaces aren’t just for step aerobics. Use them for step-ups, box squats, bench press, lateral lunges, incline push-ups, and so much more. For some moves, depending on the sturdiness of the piece of furniture, you can sub in a stool or chair you already have in your home.

Yoga mat

Not limited to yoga, a quality mat offers a padded, stable surface to perform floor exercises. Mats also protect your flooring from sweat and dirt that may build up while you exercise.

Kettlebells or dumbbells

Bodyweight exercises alone can build strength and endurance, but adding weight elevates training to a whole new level. Kettlebells and dumbbells each offer their own unique benefits to training, and both have pluses and minuses. Kettlebells require a slight learning curve, but once mastered, they often become a preferred resistance-training tool for many because a single kettlebell can be used for multiple exercises. Kettlebells are also more compact as they go up in weight, so a 30-pound kettlebell takes up less space than a 30-pound dumbbell.

Medicine balls

Another versatile resistance training tool, medicine balls can be used for explosive movements, core work, squats, and sports-specific training. Medicine balls come in different shapes, sizes, and materials. It’s best to research which type works best for the exercises you plan to incorporate into your workouts.

Pull-up bar

Though it can be added, a pull-up bar helps build a strong upper body and core. Bars can be mounted into the wall or hung from a doorframe and easily removed after each workout.

How I Use Technology To Stay Fit (As A Busy Mom)

With the continuous evolution of technology so many things we do on a daily are much easier now…including staying fit and maintaining a healthy lifestyle if that’s what you’re into. Sure you can eat healthy…but are you eating the right portions? You can exercise….but are you getting enough and burning enough calories to make it effective?  You can go for daily walks with the goal of getting in so many steps. But how do you know exactly how many steps you’re getting and wouldn’t it be nice to track this daily? With techie devices such as fitness trackers and apps such as MyFitnessPal you can achieve all of these and more. I know because


I love this app!  I mainly use it for the food diary where I track my meals on a daily basis.  This gives me visibility to what I’ve eaten and the calories I’ve taken in from the foods I ate, which is mainly what I want to track.  But I also like to use the nutrition view so I can see information such as how much fat, protein, and carbs I’ve consumed for the day.  This is very helpful to me with the protein information since I do not eat meat anymore (except for a little seafood every so often) because I want to make sure I’m still getting enough of it. Also, not all fats are bad but this view splits out the different types of fat we consume so I can see how much of the good and bad types I’m getting.  I also love that I can sync it to my fitness tracker and use it to track calories burned.  Additionally, MyFitnessPal will send you an alert when you have not logged in for the day to track your meals. So it reminds you to help you stay on track.

Fitbit Fitness Tracker

I’m fairly new to using a fitness tracker, which is a device that tracks daily movements contributing to calorie burn such as 

workouts and steps taken.  I’ve had my Fitbit Flex for a few months and I love it!  There are different types of Fitbits on the market but I chose the Flex version because of its slim design and simplicity (see my review of the Flex and Charge I had a chance to try out courtesy of Verizon).

This fitness tracker helps me track the number of steps I’ve taken and alerts me when I’ve reached 10,000 steps for the day (I always love it when my Flex vibrates letting me know I’ve reached this many steps!).  It also syncs easily to MyFitnessPal so I can also see how many calories I’ve burned for the day.  But there are a variety of fitness trackers from which you can choose.  There are even some that you can use online although you have to be consistent with entering your information since you aren’t wearing the device.  The options for fitness trackers are plentiful.

Virtual Accountability Group

I have a gym membership but I RARELY go to the gym.  As a matter of fact, I’ve lost more weight working out at home than I did when I was going to the gym up to 5 times a week.  But how was I able to stay on track with my fitness goals without going to the gym, attending a fitness class such as bootcamp, or working with a personal trainer?  And how was I able to spend under $150 to lose the weight and inches in a month?  I joined a virtual accountability group.  These groups are on the rise and social media outlets such as Facebook make them easily accessible to people who may live near you or even those who may be geographically far from you.  In the Facebook group I joined, they had a monthly fitness challenge I participated in that helped me lose over 12 pounds and inches in a month….after being at a plateau for a couple of months while attending the gym prior to joining the group.  Read my post here on why I think these groups are the way to go if while on your fitness journey you’re looking to save money and eliminate the need to commute to a gym or other fitness facility.


Yep, YouTube definitely makes my list of go-to’s for staying fit! Although I have a fairly decent collection of workout videos I do at home, YouTube helps me add the variety I need.  There are SO MANY workouts to choose from on YouTube that you are guaranteed to find what you’re looking for.  I love to search for specific type of workouts such as something that is short and easy designed for the abs, arms, and legs.  I typically stick with my workout videos for longer exercises.  So YouTube helps me to mix it up while also saving me money since I don’t have to pay for their videos.  I am also planning to start recording YouTube workout and foodie videos so look out for me!

Other Fitness Apps

Running was very challenging for me to do in the beginning.  I wanted to get better at it because I knew it would help me shed body fat and is overall a great way to get and stay in shape.  So when I got really serious about becoming a decent runner I downloaded an app that would help me…Ease Into 5k.  Today, I normally run 20-30 minutes and it comes fairly easy to me.  Ease Into 5k helped me build up to that by starting me out in very short intervals of walking and running while steadily increasing the intervals so I could get accustomed to running longer.  I highly recommend this or other run apps such as Nike and Couch to 5k if you want to get better at running.  After a few weeks of using these apps consistently you will probably be surprised at how much easier running becomes for you.

can eliminate the need for you to pay a personal trainer who may charge a few hundred for a handful of sessions or joining the gym that you have to travel to after a long day at work.  If you haven’t already you can get started now by simply downloading a fitness app on your phone.  So give it a try and hopefully you’ll make it a part of your lifestyle.

A Fitness Tech Diva

Ok so I recently had the awesome opportunity to try out the Fitbit Blaze courtesy of Verizon Wireless!  I will start by saying that I’m a Fitbit Flex owner but I absolutely fell in love with the Fitbit Blaze….I really did not want to have to send it back!  I definitely plan to purchase one very soon.  Ok so I want to give you a simple review of the Fitbit Blaze based on my experience with it.  So I’ll give the good and the bad (although I don’t have much bad to say about it at all).  Read on!

Fitness Meets Fashion!

Fitbit BlazeOne of my least fave things about the Fitbit Flex (and a number of other wearable fitness trackers I’ve seen) is that it isn’t that appealing to look at.  For example, when I’m going out in my cute outfit the Flex can be a bit of an eye soar sometimes.  But it serves its purpose.  Then comes the Fitbit Flex!  This savvy-looking smartwatch gave my Fossil watch some competition…I didn’t even wear my Fossil as much! And although the Blaze I tried out was not a color I’d normally pick for a watch (blue) the band can get switched out for a different color. They even have one that is a metal link band, which is similar to my watch!  But I will say that for some the design of the watch may be a bit much…everyone is not into the “big-faced” watch and that’s what the Blaze looks like.  But I still think it is a “cute smartwatch”…something that has been needed for a while especially from the Fitbit line of products.  So finally Fitbit has nicely married fitness and fashion!

Fitness Meets Tech!

I love the look of the Fitbit Blaze but I also love the data it provides.  This smartwatch comes with a good number of features including a colorful touchscreen, stopwatch functionality, automatic tracking of sleep and heart rate, and of course my favorites, the step and calorie counter.  Additionally, the Fitbit Blaze also shows when you receive calls and can be used as an alarm.  I also thought it was really cool to have the ability to receive text messages on it.  Overall, I was pleased with the features the Fitbit Blaze offers and the data it provides to help me track my daily fitness activity.    

Some additional tidbits:

  • Didn’t care too much for the packaging the Fitbit Blaze came in and I actually had a hard time taking it out of the type surrounding it was in (maybe that was just me though)
  • Definitely a bit of a learning curve but a very, very small one in my opinion…some of the features I did not use (almost nice to have more than what you need though, right?)
  • The screen of the Fitbit Blaze smartwatch looks very nice but I was a bit worried at times about scratching or even cracking it.  I’m sure they have some type of screen protectors that are available for them that I just haven’t looked into yet (definitely will do so when I purchase my own).
  • I didn’t really get the built-in workouts it came with and thought they could have left this feature out.  But maybe it helps those most who are just getting started with their fitness journey and working out.

Other than that, I think the Fitbit Blaze is an EXCELLENT product!  And for all the comes with it the price isn’t bad at all, either.  Check it out at Verizon Wireless ( now only for $179 this month! If you decide to get it I’m sure you’ll like it just as much as I do!