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Finding Maternity Clothes I Actually Want to Wear

Finding Maternity Clothes I Actually Want to Wear!  | RaisingArrows.net - it has gotten so hard to find decent maternity clothes - here are a few suggestions of where to look!I’ve been pregnant a few times.  13 to be exact.  I’m currently working on my 9th full term baby, so to say my maternity clothes are worn out would be an understatement.
Early on in this pregnancy, I went through my Maternity Tub and realized a lot of my clothes just weren’t worth keeping anymore.  I got rid of a lot (except for that pair of denim capris with the embellished edges that are literally falling apart, but I just can’t bring myself to admit it…).

However, getting rid of a lot means you have to look for replacements.  I quickly found out that was no small feat.

I tried the local thrift store first.  I’ll be honest…I blew in there on a whim right before I was due to hop a plane to Nashville.  I had 30 minutes to spare and basically grabbed things off the rack that “looked” like they would fit, bought them without trying them on, and headed out the door, stashing them in the back of the van until I got home from my trip.  That, my friends is NOT the way to shop.  However, I made a return trip to the thrift store a few weeks later and let’s just say that trying things on did not net me a thing to wear, but it did spare me the financial setback.

#MaternityClothesFailNumber1

Next, I tried an online second hand shop.  Everything I ordered had to be returned.

#MaternityClothesFailNumber2

I briefly looked at a shop in the local mall.  “Briefly” being the operative word.  It was readily apparent NOTHING there was going to be my taste or my fit.  I’m just not that into tight and low cut, and I really don’t need any help accentuating my baby belly, thank you very much.

#MaternityClothesFailNumber3

But, all hope was not lost!  I did end up finding Maternity Clothes Success!  I managed to snag some great deals on some great clothes that actually fit and that I actually WANT to wear!  While I know we all have different tastes and requirements and budgets, I wanted to pass along the places I found and things I purchased that have been worth the search.

Finding Maternity Clothes I Actually Want to Wear!  Ideas for where to shoot + a coupon code to one of my favorites! | RaisingArrows.net

Finding Maternity Clothes That are Budget Friendly and Modest

1.  Take care of the maternity clothes you have.  I don’t want to go on without saying this, mainly because I am the worst about this!  Wear an apron.  Wash the clothes correctly.  Use stain remover.  Don’t dry them until you have the stains out.  Store them properly.  Be nice to your maternity clothes and they will last you a lot longer.  (Amy, I’m talking to you.)

2.  Buy quality when you can.  I’m going to share with you a couple of ways to do this.  (don’t miss the coupon!)  First of all, you can save up and buy a staple item (I’m talking pants, jeans, or skirts) that will hold up well and go with a myriad of outfits.  For me, this has been Style J maternity skirts and the Rainbow Maternity skirt from Deborah & Co.

Finding Maternity Clothes I Actually Want to Wear - Rainbow Maternity Skirt (with discount coupon!) | RaisingArrows.net

Use Coupon Code:

RA10OFF

for 10% off your Deborah & Co. Order through September 30!

Secondly, you can look for good brand name maternity clothes at online second hand shops like ThredUP.  I will admit, I was scared of ThredUP.  First of all, I had no idea how it worked, and secondly, it seemed about as risky as me walking into the thrift store and pulling things off the rack without trying them on.  And remember, my last online second-hand shopping excursion had me sending everything back.  But, I learned a few things that helped make the experience a very good one!  (The shirt at the top of this post was one of my purchases!)

*Read the Material section.  Thankfully, ThredUP gives the fabric makeup of each garment.  If it says Spandex, I run the other way.  That basically means it will hug every curve of my body.  And yes, even 2% Spandex will do that.  Really think through what kinds of fabrics you like, and don’t buy something you hate thinking it will be ok.

*Look for well known brands and/or brands of maternity clothes you own and love.  Pay attention to what is in your closet and go on a hunt for those brands.  Also, look for well known (and expensive) brands that you may not have tried in the past.  These tend to be of better quality and will last you a lot longer.  Getting them at a fraction of the cost is a blast!

*Use the brand’s website to check sizes.  ThredUP will give you a size, but if you aren’t sure if that is your size in that particular brand, check it against what the original website says.

Free shipping on all orders over $50 (before tax or discount).

3.  Use layering to “fix” any fit issues.  This is the first pregnancy I feel I’ve finally gotten the hang of layering.  It has become my new best friend!  I think you’ll agree…

Favorite Layering Technique #1:

Tank HalfTees

Finding Maternity Clothes I Actually Want to Wear - Use Layering with HalfTees (coupon code included) | RaisingArrows.net

I bought my first Tank HalfTee from Deborah & Co. to use for nursing my last little one because Caroline (the owner of Deborah & Co.) told me how wonderful they were.  They were great, but it was during this pregnancy that I really fell in love with them!

14 weeks with Baby #9

See the white peeking out from the top of this shirt?  That’s a HalfTee.  That shirt is WAY too low cut without the tank.  This happens a lot to me because I have to buy XLarge maternity tops to accommodate my diastasis recti pregnant belly.  Using a HalfTee to layer makes any low cut maternity shirt you might own or buy plenty modest.

And I just found out Caroline has stocked BROWN HalfTees!  I’m going to be using my own coupon code to buy more of these!

Here’s that code again:

RA10OFF

for 10% off your Deborah & Co. Order through September 30!

Favorite Layering Technique #2:

Undercover Mama Nursing Tanks

Finding Maternity Clothes I Actually Want to Wear - Undercover Mama Nursing Tanks to use as layering (+ coupon code) | RaisingArrows.net

Yes, you read that right – nursing tanks.  Here’s the thing – Undercover Mama tanks are LONG.  While this drives some people crazy, I like it!  It means PLENTY of coverage for my expanding belly.  It also means a shirt that is maybe a bit see-through becomes perfectly acceptable when paired with a tank.  Yes, you can buy maternity tanks, but why not go ahead and get a tank that will carry you through after baby is born.  I also pair mine with a HalfTee when I have a shirt that is both see-through AND too low cut.  (You can purchase Undercover Mama tanks from Deborah & Co. using that same coupon code!)

Favorite Layering Technique #3:

Belly Bands

Finding Maternity Clothes I Actually Want to Wear - Belly Bands for layering | RaisingArrows.net

 I never have liked the below-the-belly maternity pants and skirts.  I can’t hold them up.  Truth be told, sometimes I can’t even hold up the regular over-the-belly ones!  That’s where belly bands come in!  Just about any brand will work – I have a coupon code for a couple of free ones (you pay shipping) on the ones from BellyButtonBand.com

RAISINGARROWS9

And here’s something new I’m trying this pregnancy…using 2 belly bands to help support my belly.  This was an idea from a reader, and I think she may be on to something!  I’m planning to bind my belly as soon as this baby is born (my OB has already put a plan in place to make sure this happens), but using 2 of these belly bands during pregnancy will hopefully offer some much needed support as well.

and finally…

4.  Find a friend to share with.  Sometimes this is easy and sometimes not.  I’ve had pregnancies where this worked out great because my friends weren’t pregnant at the same time or the same season, and other pregnancies where we were all pregnant at the exact same time.  But, if you can, find a friend who is a similar size and share maternity clothes.  (Make sure you mark your clothes with some sort of distinguishing mark on the tag so you return the right clothes!)  Just remember to take good care of her clothes (see #1)!

Have suggestions for finding maternity clothes
that are great deals and a great fit?
Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

A Classy Christmas Wardrobe for Mom?

A Classy Christmas Wardrobe for Mom? | RaisingArrows.netThe Christmas season is upon us, and this year I feel like dressing up and dressing classy! But, what does classy look like when you are a mom?

It seems a lot of styles today are either completely impractical for a mom or totally inappropriate for anyone, let alone a mom.

I want to look stylish.  I want to feel comfortable.  I want to be modest.  I want to be me.

Is that too much to ask?

Clothes & Makeup for Mom | RaisingArrows.net

So, here’s what I came up with…I would love to have your input!
{affiliate links included}

Starting at the top with my hair.  It’s going gray.  I don’t feel like doing anything about it.  I once met a woman in her early 30’s who had gone completely gray.  It was beautiful.  She had it styled nicely and it looked stunning.  I actually stopped her and told her so.  She informed me that her husband was of Indian descent and in his culture gray hair was beautiful and desired.  She had been a hairdresser and said it was difficult for her to let it go, but she had learned to love it.  She was owning it – it didn’t own her.  She didn’t look dumpy and old because she was a classy gray.

I’m determined to own mine too in the same classy way by keeping it styled nicely.  I have a Hair & Makeup Pinterest board where I pin things I want to try, including YouTube videos of haircutting and styling tips.  I do not believe gray hair has to act its age.  I can still wear my hair “young” and look like a classy mama at the same time!

Next, my makeup.  I use a lot of L’Bri products (see my review of their skincare line here), but I absolutely adore the tinted lip balms from HardLotion!  I use these nearly every day to add just a bit of color to my lips while still keeping them moisturized in the dry winter weather.  Love, love, love these!

ATTENTION!!!
I have an exclusive coupon code for you to get
FREE SHIPPING
on any HardLotion order over $25!
CODE:
rachristmas
(expires 12/8/13)

Some of my favorites are the Bee Silk bar (keep these by your sink and in your purse!), the rash cream (safe for cloth diapers!), and of course, the tinted lip balm.

TintedLB-2T

Now for my jewelry.  This is where I really like my unique personality to come out.  I like my earrings big.  I try not be obnoxious with them, but I do like them dangly.

earringsI also like scarves!  They can totally take a plain ole t-shirt and make it fancy.  That is definitely an A+ in my book!  (added bonus:  they hide some of those “mom moments” – see my Murphy’s Law for Moms!)

scarf

Now, for the actual “classy mom” outfits!  I like to find that one great piece and work with it.  Sometimes it is a skirt, like this deep red skirt from Deborah & Co.

deep red

Even though I am only 5’4″, I like how classic and beautiful maxi-skirts are, and I don’t think they make me look any shorter than I already am.  This one is a nice color for the holidays.  My secret sister sent me the scarf (yippee!) and I had the black long-sleeved t-shirt in my closet.  The jewelry was also something I had on hand.  And don’t forget the fleece leggings (it’s below freezing here!) and the boots!

Another Coupon Code!!!
Get 10% off your entire order at
Deborah & Co.
CODE:
stylefortheseason
(expires 12/13/13)

Snag that really great ensemble piece or a pair of fleece leggings or nursing tank (with or without lace on the bottom) or another great layering piece like the half tee tank (I use these with shirts I love that are just a bit on the “low” side ;) )

Sometimes a classy Christmas outfit begins with a great sweater or pair of jeans.  Sometimes it is even a piece of jewelry that makes you smile or a pair of shoes that fit just right.

That reminds me — SHOES!  Christmas is the perfect time of year for boots!

outfit5

I found these at WalMart and I love them!  They are a dark brown and go with just about everything, and they are so comfortable!  I really want a pair of black boots, but I have had a hard time finding anything.  I don’t want a heel and I don’t want them obnoxious.  Anyone have any suggestions?

The photo above where I’m wearing jeans, I’m wearing some Israeli-made leather shoes that I found at a thrift store!  They are unbelievably comfortable!  Shoes can totally be the base of a classy mom outfit!

So, there you have it.  My guide to a classy Christmas wardrobe!  Keep it comfortable.  Keep it modest.  Keep it beautiful.  Keep it you!

Want to see more holiday outfit ideas from other bloggers?

Visit These Ladies:

Smithspirations

Growing Home Blog

A Mama’s Story

Raising Mighty Arrows

Artful Homemaking

The Modest Mom

Little Natural Cottage

A Delightful Glow

Thankful Homemaker

In The Nursery Of The Nation

Fleece-Lined Leggings Giveaway!

Fleece-lined Leggings Giveaway! | RaisingArrows.net  (plus a bonus coupon for FREE shipping when you order $19.99 or more!)

{affiliate links included}

On Tuesday I mentioned these fleece-lined leggings from Deborah & Co.  These have become a staple in my wardrobe!  The weather is going to be bitterly cold this coming week – so glad I have both the brown and the black!

These fleece-lined leggings were not at all what I expected, so I thought I should tell you a little bit about them in case you aren’t sure what they really are.

Fleece-Lined Leggings Giveaway!They are thick, with a bit of sheen on the outside.  Inside, they are like your favorite sweatshirt.  They don’t add bulk to my clothes, but amazingly they are all I need to stay warm, even in the wind.  I wear these under my skirts AND under my jeans for added warmth.

I have worn other tights under my skirts, but typically by the end of the day I’m so sick of them – hot, itchy, bleh!  But these fleece-lined leggings are not like that at all!  I wear them all day long and they are super comfortable.  Plus, I like the modesty they provide for any skirt I am wearing.

Today, I am super excited to be able to offer you a quick giveaway of these leggings from Deborah & Co.!  If you win, you’ll get to choose the size and color and they’ll be shipped right to your doorstep in time for your holiday wardrobe!

As an added bonus to all of you, if you order $19.99 or more from Deborah & Co. between now and Black Friday, you will be emailed a special coupon for FREE SHIPPING during the Black Friday Sale at Deborah & Co.! (*US orders only*)

That means, you can order these leggings now, get your FREE SHIPPING coupon and order bigger items during the Black Friday Sale with FREE shipping to boot!  This would be a great way to grab some Christmas gifts and holiday attire at a price that is easier on your wallet.

Fleece-Lined Leggings Giveaway | RaisingArrows.net (plus bonus Black Friday FREE Shipping coupon!)

Now for the GIVEAWAY!
email readers CLICK HERE and scroll down to enter the giveaway)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do I Care What I Wear When I’m at Home?

I’ve never been super concerned about my appearance.  Even in high school, I learned to get by with the minimal amount of makeup and time getting ready because I would rather sleep in than get ready for school.  In fact, some days, I wouldn’t mess with getting dressed in much more than sweats and a t-shirt for school and wait until I went out at night to really “get ready” for the day.  The only exception to this was when I had to put on a cheerleading outfit for the day.

Now don’t get me wrong, I really DID care about what people thought of me and appearance was definitely a huge part of that, but I just didn’t want to take the time.

As an adult, my time became even more crunched and I began to find myself confused by what an adult Christian woman “ought” to wear and what she “ought” to look like.  I tried frumpy, I tried sassy, I tried pajamas and hair piled on top of my head.  None of it seemed right.

About a year and a half ago, Caroline from The Modest Mom and I teamed up to bring you the She Wears Skirts series because I knew I needed to ditch the pajamas and the idea that skirts are frumpy and learn how to dress with femininity and good taste.

But still I held to the idea that I only needed to “get ready” for the day when it was time to leave the house or Ty and I needed to go to an event.  Otherwise, pajamas and a pile of hair on top of my head were the order of the day.

It wasn’t that I really WANTED to look like that day in and day out, and I must admit, I was terribly bothered by the fact that my sweet husband came home to THAT every day…not exactly the essence of freshness and beauty…but I felt I just didn’t have the time to spare.  I hit the ground running every morning.  How could I possibly find the time to “get ready” for the day when my day always began the moment I awoke?

Then my husband made a casual statement that set the wheels turning…

He said he loves it when my hair is all curly.

I know that seems random, but let me explain something.  My hair is thick and heavy.  The first day I wash it, it is quite curly, but by the next day or so, its weight pulls it into rather choppy waves that usually end up on top of my head so I can avoid actually trying to make it look like something.  When Ty and I go out, I try to make sure my hair is freshly washed and styled so that it isn’t such a mess.  But most days we are NOT going out and most days it IS piled on top of my head in an rat’s nest of a style, sort of like this:

Because my hair is thick I can sort of “get by” with this sort of “hairstyle”, but I realized it was saying something about me that spoke volumes.  It was saying,

“I don’t care.”

And it wasn’t an honorable, turning from vanity “I don’t care”, it was a LAZY “I don’t care.”  There, I said it…I was being LAZY.  It wasn’t that I didn’t have time, it was that I wasn’t MAKING time.  That makes that rat’s nest even more hideous, huh?

I sat in on the Botkin’s Reclaiming Beauty webinar this past Tuesday and while so many things were good food for thought, there was one little bitty comment that became the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back…the camel known as My Appearance at Home.

They made a comment about running around the house in a stained Mickey Mouse t-shirt.

Ok, so it wasn’t exactly a Mickey Mouse t-shirt I had on, but it WAS stained.  That’s right…I was sitting there listening to the webinar in a stained, grungy t-shirt.  And yes, my hair was piled on top of my head.  My husband came home to a woman who looked like she had just drug herself out of bed.

What was I communicating to my family by looking like a tired, old, haggard mommy?

What was I communicating to my husband by greeting him in the yuckiest clothes I own?

I was saying,

“I don’t care.”

But I do.  And this week I am resolved.  I am resolved to get up in the mornings and take a little extra time to get dressed, fix my hair, perhaps even throw on a bit of makeup, and greet the day with a fresh perspective.  A perspective that says, “I care.”

Here’s what I wore yesterday, along with the approximate time it took me to actually get ready (just to prove to myself it really isn’t that much out of my day!):

The aqua maternity shirt is one I’ve owned for years.  The maternity skirt is from The Modest Mom.  The shoes are ones I recently bought at WalMart (Earth Shoes).  They are just a simple brown mule.  I didn’t end up wearing the scarf much of the day because it was in the way, but my thought here was that “IF” I needed to head out somewhere or someone stopped by, it would be a good accessory to have at the ready.

I did wash my hair (as you can see in the photo, it was still wet) and because of that, I needed to curl my bangs.  I used a curling iron I splurged on a while back after a recommendation from another blogger.  I LOVE it!  It heats fast and has a nice big barrel that works for my thick hair.

(you can purchase it here)

I also wore my apron when I worked in the kitchen to avoid greasing up my shirt.  And, I did put on a slight bit of makeup.

Time: 20 minutes

I cooked breakfast in my pajamas, ate with the children, and then headed off to get ready while they tidied up and finished their morning chores.

And here’s the part that just floors me (even though it shouldn’t)…

I was much more productive than usual yesterday!  I felt great.  I was calmer and more prepared for my day.

So, I plan to keep going.  To make it a habit.  To show my family and my God that I really do care about this temple and what it says to the world about the God I serve.

Won’t you join me?

The Reclaiming Beauty Webinar Starts Tonight!

Meg and I were afraid we might not be back from vacation in time to participate in the very first session of the Reclaiming Beauty webinar tonight, but as a family, we decided to come home a day early.  So, needless to say, she and I are VERY excited that tonight is the first night of the webinar and we will be there live and in person (as live and in person as you can get online ;) )  Anyone else planning to be there tonight?

Pssst…there’s still time to sign up and remember, you get all the audios and visuals whether you can attend live or not.  Here’s more info and the registration form!

Teaching Our Daughters About True Beauty

If you haven’t seen the Reclaiming Beauty webinar advertised, please let me introduce you to it!  My daughter and I are so excited to be attending this series from the Botkin sisters and could not wait to share the details with you in the hopes that we will see you there!

What drew me to this webinar is the fact that my daughter is crossing over into that age that begins to take note of what it means to be beautiful.  I want to give her the tools to recognize true beauty and a higher standard than what the world has to offer.

The Reclaiming Beauty Webinar is a series of 7 1-hour long sessions starting September 25th at 7pm Central Time.  The cost is $44 and you will receive audios along with a powerpoint of the webinar.  So, even if you miss a session, you will have the webinar in its entirety.

Here is what will be covered:

#1. What God Says About Beauty and Beautification
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

#2: What Style Is Your Heart, Mind, and Soul?
Pardon Me, Ma’am, But Your True Identity is Showing

#3. Getting Your Temple in Order
The Physical Foundations of Beauty

#4. Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
How to Work with the Build, Coloring, and Natural Beauty God Gave You

#5: Putting Things Together
Composition, Style, Occasion, Accessories

#6: Acquiring New Pieces (and Revitalizing Old Ones)
How to Get What You Need with Minimum Time, Money, and Fuss

#7: The Focal Point
Being a Good Steward of Your Face and Hair

I see this as an investment in my daughter’s future and a great way to spend some quality Mother/Daughter Time.  Additionally, despite the fact my younger daughter is not old enough to attend (they recommend the webinar for ages 12 and up), I will have the webinar on mp3 for when she is old enough to hear the message.

So, carve out your Tuesday nights for a few weeks, snuggle up on the bed with your girls and start reclaiming God-given beauty in a God-honoring way!

I can’t wait to see you there!

For more information and to register for the Reclaiming Beauty Webinar, CLICK HERE!