Maternity Work Wear Capsule Collection

While I am more than thankful that maternity work wear is not what it was when my mother was expecting me, I still struggled to find affordable options than felt polished enough for my office environment. Typically, tailored shift dresses and pencil skirts with silk blouses and high heels are de rigueur for my work week. Needless to say, these options phased themselves out by the middle of the second trimester. After scouring many websites, I ended up being a loyal fan of A Pea in the Pod as I found it was worth the extra investment for the tailored dresses and tops and familiar designers I was searching for.

maternity taylor floral shift

This Taylor elbow sleeve shift dress for A Pea in the Pod has been great to layer with a blazer and heels for the office or a sparkly necklace and strappy sandals for a night out. The non-maternity version is available at Nordstrom.maternity rachel zoe

This Rachel Zoe maternity shift was conservative enough for the office, especially when worn over tights, but the little bit of metallic thread in the tweed gave it just bit of a glam edge. It’s also super comfy!maternity-coco-dress-navy-1_large

Probably my favorite maternity dress purchase, this Madderson London dress packs tons of polish, is super soft yet structured, and is incredibly figure flattering. It’s no wonder than Kate Middleton has been a fan of the brand as well.

maternity belted tunic

A basic black and white belted tunic blouse has served me well. Playing with different jewelry options and scarves has allowed me to add a pop of color to change up the look.maternity embellished tank top

This swingy embellished tank has been a go-to with black pants and a blazer for business professional days, and has layered well under a cream cardigan or blazer with jeans for a versatile “off-duty” look. There is a side tie that can be tied in the front or back to more clearly define your bump.

maternity minnie pant

After trying on countless pairs of black maternity work pants that were all too short, the J. Crew maternity “minnie pant” (currently on sale) was my saving grace and is still serving me well. I purchased the tall size so that they hit at the ankle and are long enough for the office and can be paired with heels or flats.

What are your maternity wardrobe work wear must-haves?

Advertisements

Life Lately

Hi everyone,

I’ve been away from blogging for quite a while lately, much longer than I intended, as I’ve been swept up in my “busy season” at work and getting ready for baby! As things are settling down at the office and my due date is drawing near, I hope to get back to more regular updates. The end of summer absolutely flew by, and I was able enjoy wearing most of my normal clothes until well into my second trimester. Even now that I’m less than four weeks from my due date, I’ve been able to get by with a “capsule collection” of maternity clothes. My biggest struggle was finding tailored, professional looking work wear that I felt confident in. I’m working on a post of my maternity work wardrobe must-haves for those in a fairly conservative office environment.

IMG_2509

I still really haven’t had any weird cravings, but did indulge in a weekly salt bagel egg white sandwich from Bodo’s Bagels in Charlottesville, VA (a UVa staple!) for a few weeks during my second trimester. I’ve tried to keep up a gym routine as much as possible, but have mainly been using the elliptical machine since the fluid motion is the comfortable with the extra weight I’m carrying. Most weekends have been spent tackling home improvement projects that have always been on the list, but now have a deadline. Ted did a great job putting up crown molding in the baby’s room and kitchen and installing a “built-in” bookshelf in the basement. We’ve also been trying to clean out to make room for all of the new baby gear that we’ve acquired from friends and family. My Alexandria friends, that have become like family, threw an amazing baby shower a few weeks ago that I promise to share as well!

IMG_2630

Glad to be back at it and sharing with my online friends. Thanks for reading!

xoxo,

Kristen

Peonies & Prosecco at Home: Downstairs Design Inspiration

Since moving into our house, our downstairs has been used mainly as a storage or staging area for donations, home improvement projects, off-season wardrobe items, etc. It’s so frustrating to have all of this extra living space that goes largely unused, especially since every bit counts in our small townhouse! When we moved in, Ted picked out a Restoration Hardware leather couch and last year I treated myself to the Bernhardt Salon Collection Desk that I’d had my eye on since spotting it in Elle Decor a few years ago. In theory, this should be one of the most functional spaces in our home from a workspace to a place to relax and watch tv (especially since we opted not to have an tv in our main living room). By nature, a partially underground finished basement isn’t the most inviting, but we do have two windows that allow partial daylight and a wood-burning fireplace that can be quite cozy in the winter. I’ve been driving myself crazy trying to figure out how to finish the space to make us want to spend time downstairs using key pieces we already have in place (desk, chair, blue accent chairs, rug). I think adding a few decorative accents like gold étagères to house books and trinkets as well as hanging a mirror to reflect light and floral arrangements for a few pops of color might be a step in the right direction. I’m stuck on window treatments as I do think they would warm up the space, but am thinking about something more minimal like roman shades instead of flowing drapes. How would you accent this space?

herringbone throw ice blue

Lulu & Georgia Throw

ginger jar

Ginger Jar

pottery barn teen maison bookshelf

Maison Bookcase

royal blue chair

Royal Blue Arm Chair

desk

Bernhardt Salon Desk

Gender Announcement

Ted and I are thrilled to announce that we’re having a baby boy!
Kristen Baby Reveal (1 of 2) Kristen Baby Reveal (1 of 1)I’ve been getting lots of questions about how I’ve been feeling, what I’ve been craving, etc. so here goes. I’m feeling great! I have to say that I’ve been really lucky and didn’t really deal with morning sickness during my first trimester unless I let myself get really hungry. I did eat more carbs than usual since a salad sounded like the last thing I wanted to eat some days, but enjoyed being able to get away with eating bread without the guilt. Now that I’m well into my second trimester, my energy level is pretty much back to normal and I’m making sure to eat plenty of protein and veggies. Oh, and ice cream…for the calcium, of course. I’m also keeping up my gym routine, but have replaced more intense classes with pilates for strength and toning. I managed to stick to my pre-pregnancy wardrobe until just a few weeks ago when I finally started to pop. Each weekend has involved a closet cleaning session to keep weekday morning frustration at bay, with my beloved tailored J. Crew dresses and pencil skirts being the first items to go. See ya next spring!

Now that we know the gender, we can really get to decorating the nursery and settling on a name. Ted is a junior, so he’s petitioning for a third, but I’ll need a good nickname so there is no doubt who I’m talking to!

Thanks for reading!

xoxo,

Kristen

What’s In My Beach Bag

Kate Spade Pink Embellished Bow Bandeau from Everything But Water’s 30th anniversary collection.

Since I look more like I’ve been indulging a bit too much in ice cream and macarons verses really looking like I’m expecting, I was a bit self-conscious about baring my belly in a bikini. The eye-catching bow on this playful one piece seemed like the perfect solution to draw the eye upward and away from my midsection.

Kate Spade Grainy Vinyl Floral Tote

I snagged mine on sale at the Kate Spade outlet. There are usually outlets near the beach, and they make for a great rainy day activity.

Stella & Dot Tunic

A great cover-up for the beach or tunic top with white jeans.

Gold Mine Leave In Conditioner by Drybar

I know that some women enjoy the extra thick mane that they get during pregnancy, but since I already have plenty of hair, it’s actually been quite a challenge, especially with the summer humidity. I’ve been trying all sorts of new conditioning and anti-frizz products to try to tame my, now, straw-like strands. I like how light weight this leave-in conditioning serum is. It doesn’t leave my hair feeling weighed down like most anti-frizz serums do. Don’t be scared by the shimmery specs. I thought they might add a nice bit of shine in the sunlight, but by the time I’m done brushing and blowdrying, the sparkles are nowhere to be found.

Cupcakes and Cashmere at Home

A little light beach reading.

Target Floppy Brim Hat

Perfect for providing a little shade.

Tory Burch “Mini Miller” Jelly Sandals

Cute and waterproof!

What’s in your beach bag this summer?

Thanks for reading!

xoxo,

Kristen

Babymoon

I have been so excited to get away and spend a few days basking in the sun and sand. Unfortunately, we learned that we shouldn’t call a beach vacation any sort of “moon” since that seems to invite the rain. We headed down to Jekyll Island for a mini honeymoon for a few days immediately following our wedding since we had decided to take a longer trip to Paris and the French Riviera later that year. It rained the whole time! The same thing happened this past weekend when we jetted down to Naples, Florida for a babymoon, a final vacation without a baby in tow.

IMG_2433IMG_2428IMG_2435

As soon as we landed, we scurried down to the beach to try to catch a few minutes on the sand in between rain showers, but quickly had to seek shelter at the beach cabana. We spent the afternoon darting outside between rain showers, and eventually admitted defeat before seeking out a dinner spot in the historic downtown area.

The weather our second day wasn’t much better, but we had plans to visit dear friends at their nearby home that afternoon and evening. It was wonderful catching up with old friends and sharing a delicious meal. We even snuck in a sunset stroll as the weather cleared just in time for sunset.

IMG_2439

Our final full day, we had to admit defeat when faced with a forecast that showed nothing but thundershowers all day long. I spent hours finding a resort that boasted comfy cushioned beach and pool loungers, but also made sure they had a spa with prenatal friendly treatments, so that’s where we sought refuge from the storm. We treated ourselves to massages, I splurged on a facial as well, and enjoyed access to the spa facilities for most of the afternoon. I had also made dinner reservations at BALEEN, one of the few restaurants where you can actually enjoy a sunset dinner on the beach. Again, the rain foiled our plans, but we still enjoyed a lovely meal from the covered patio instead.

IMG_2477 IMG_2483IMG_2480IMG_2500

Exciting News

After 15 years of friendship, 6 years of marriage, and countless adventures together, Ted and I are excited to welcome a new addition to our family this December!!!

IMG_2389

photos courtesy of Brittany Patterson

Date Night with Rocksbox

It’s true what they say, “You can take the girl out of the South, but you can’t take the South out of the girl.” Since moving to Alexandria, we’ve been saying that what Old Town really needs is a great southern restaurant, and I couldn’t have been more excited when I heard that a new place was opening on King Street called Magnolia’s. If Magnolia’s isn’t a classic southern restaurant name, I don’t know what is! In true southern girl style, a hair appointment is always a reason to go out to dinner, so that’s exactly what we did and Magnolia’s did not disappoint. Wanting to dress up a little, I selected an eyelet peplum top paired with white jeans and blush pumps for a pop of color. My latest arrival from Rocksbox contained the perfect assortment of sparkle to glam up a classic black and white ensemble. The classic color scheme allowed the jewels to take center stage, and we all know that I love a little (or lots) of sparkle. The delicate Wanderlust + Co heart ring and SLATE studs were a lovely complement to the bold necklace so that the look wasn’t over the top. I was so taken by the Perry Street Floral Crystal Necklace that I decided to purchase it. Unlike other subscription services, Rocksbox allows you to opt to purchase pieces you love instead of giving only a short window to return the things you don’t, and operates under a wear and return model. This allows you to request special occasion pieces that you may only want to wear once without feeling pressured to buy, or having to fret over precise timing since you return whenever you’re ready and the subscription is on a monthly basis, much like Netflix. You even get $10 each month in “shine spend” towards any piece you’d like to purchase, and the purchase prices are discounted from retail. Every girl knows that jewelry can truly transform an outfit, and Rocksbox allows endless options. What are you waiting for? A free month? Well, go ahead and give it a try! As a special gift for Peonies & Prosecco readers, use code peoniesandproseccoxoxo for your first month free!
IMG_2322 IMG_2328 IMG_2316 IMG_2329 IMG_2348IMG_2314IMG_2345

Thank you for reading and thank you to Rocksbox for sponsoring this post.

xoxo,

Kristen

Hair: Nadine Matar

White & Pink on Princess Street

Besides the many boutiques and restaurants, one of the great things about living in Old Town is the rich history behind many of the historic homes and streets. Princess Street is one of the few streets that is still paved with cobblestones, and though not friendly to a stroll in heels, is a popular spot for engagement photos with couples from across the metro area. Ted and I enjoy strolling around the streets of Old Town on the weekends, often stopping for lunch or an ice cream cone. We usually vary our route around town because we always notice a historic plaque or cute town home that we haven’t seen before. If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend heading over to this part of town for brunch at Jackson 20 or Virtue Feed & Grain and shopping on a Sunday afternoon. Bishop Boutique, Duchess M, and The Shoe Hive are a few of my favorites!IMG_2246IMG_2239 IMG_2225 IMG_2228 IMG_2229 IMG_2230 IMG_2233 IMG_2235IMG_2236IMG_2283IMG_2280IMG_2289IMG_2303

Dress / Pumps / Necklace and Earrings from Rocksbox, c/o (try out Rocksbox free with code peoniesandproseccoxoxo)

Thanks for reading!

xo,

Kristen

Living Room Refresh

When we first moved into our house, the walls were a dingy butter creme yellow framed with off white trim on the windows and accent woodwork. It just gave a dated, nineteen-eighties feel to the room no matter how many modern pieces and metallic accents I added. After countless trips to The Home Depot to find the perfect paint color, I finally settled on this warm gray custom shade that is an exact match to the rim of my china, Femme Fatale by Monique Lhuillier for Royal Doulton. I then set to work scouring Homegoods, Overstock.com, and One Kings Lane for furnishings and finishing touches. I tend to favor textured neutrals because they have a timeless elegance and never go out of style. It’s easy to switch up accent pieces for a bit of color from season to season. My favorite piece in the room is the sunburst mirror from One Kings Lane that hangs over the fireplace. It’s a stunning focal point, and just fills the room with reflected light. I’m also pretty proud of the framed amethysts that I found broken and banged up in the clearance section of Homegoods. With a little effort and elbow grease, I was able to bring them back to life. Where are your favorite shopping destinations for home decor?
IMG_1549 IMG_1551 IMG_1509 IMG_1519 IMG_1512IMG_1501IMG_1502IMG_1528IMG_1527