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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Recent Outfits on Sale

Sunday Beach Blog
 Cableknit Sweater $98 $58 // 40% off with code HOLIDAY

Sunday Beach Blog
 Striped Maternity Tee $24.95 $14.97 // 40% off with code BESTCYBER

 Stripe Poncho $168 $75.79 thru 11/30 (no code) // more sizes in ivory combo for $84

Sunday Beach Blog
Leopard Clutch $275 $233.75 // 15% off $250+, 20% off $500+, $1000+ 25% off with code GOBIG15 | Cuff Bracelet $78 $62.40 (similar link bracelet) // 20% off with code THANKFULLY
Sunday Beach Blog
Buffalo Plaid Popover $59.95 $35.97 // 40% off with code BESTCYBER

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Best Black Friday Sales

The craziest shopping day of the year is here! Time to knock out your Christmas list from the comfort of your home. I've updated the sale information for my favorite retailers below from Tuesday's post and added a few more. Happy Shopping!

AG Adriano Goldschmied - maker of my favorite legging ankle jeans! Take 30% off site wide thru 11/30 with code AGTHIRTY.

Bloomingdale's - Take $25 off almost every $200 you spend. Plus free shipping and returns! Online thru 11/28.

Banana Republic - Half off sweaters + 40% off everything else with code BRFRIDAY!

Camilyn Beth -  A great source for classic holiday dresses that no one else will have! The more you spend the more you save:
spend $50 – $100 and recieve 10% off with code THANKS10
spend $100 – $400 and recieve 20% off with code THANKS20
spend over $400 and recieve 30% off with code THANKS30

Old Navy - Everything is on sale at least 40% off with hundreds of styles 60% off! No code necessary. I recently picked up this green plaid scarf and festive boot socks. I also have my eye on this aztec print blanket scarf. Check out their Get Gifted List for more ideas!

Gap -  50% off everything with code BLKFRIDAY. A few items I purchased this Fall: buffalo plaid popover, sherpa lined parka, maternity long sleeve tees.

Joie -Enjoy 25% off your purchase. Use code THANKS. Free shipping & returns too. This grey silk dress is my #1 holiday dress pick (and perfect for NYE too!).

Nordstrom - hundreds of items marked down like these Tory Burch riding boots and quilted boots. This rabbit fur vest (now 40% off) has been on my wish list since last Christmas! Shop all women's sale shoes, clothes and handbags & accessories.

J.Crew Factory - 50% off everything! Prices as marked online. Plus free shipping on orders of $50 or more with code SHIPGIFTS. How fun is this ski scene sweater or plaid pants for the holidays? Hurry sale ends at midnight!

J.Crew recently came out with the Great Gift List. So much good stuff!! Shop gifts For Her, For Him, For Girls, For Boys, and Under $50. Plus get 40% off these amazing styles and 30% off everything else with code HOLIDAY.

Kate Spade - 25% off your entire purchase with code MERCI and new styles added to sale! PLus free shipping & returns! Looking for a red dress for your holiday party? Check out this tie back, this bow back, and this open back silk mini dress all on sale!

Shopbop - Buy more, save more! Get up to 25% off with code GOBIG15. Christmas came early - - I found a credit sitting in my account! So naturally I ordered this bordeaux dress and a festive Frosty Face sweater.

Tory Burch -  Holiday Sale Event: Spend $250+, receive 30% off with code THANKS. Plus free shipping and returns.

More notable sales!

Ann Taylor - 50% off everything / Code: CELEBRATE
Anthropologie -  25% off everything / Code: SHOPTOIT
Design Darling - 20% off / Code: THANKFUL 
Diane Von Furstenberg - 25% off / Code: HOLIDAYFUN
Loft - 40% off / Code: BF40
Madewell: 25% off / Code: CALMDOWN
Neiman Marcus Take $50 off purchases of $200+ online / Code: THANKFUL
Rag & Bone - 25% off sitewide (no code) 
Talbots // 50% off one item, 40% off entire purchase (no code) 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

For This Child I Have Prayed

I am most thankful this year for getting pregnant. In the season of Thanksgiving and gratitude, I thought it was time to share my IVF journey. This is my story.

It's been three years since I got off birth control. Scott and I went to Zimbabwe in November 2012 and started trying after I got off malaria medicine. We took a pretty laid back approach. I had friends who charted their temperatures, took ovulation tests, and stressed out every month. I had no interest in becoming consumed with getting pregnant. I thought it would happen naturally. It didn't. 

Six months later at my annual, I mentioned to my Ob/Gyn we were trying to get pregnant. She usually recommends a fertility work up after six months. Since we hadn't been taking it too seriously, she advised to take ovulation tests (Clearblue Easy is the best!) for three months first. I never got a smiley face and so began nearly two years of bloodwork, shots, and treatments. 

One of the tests in the fertility work up is a Hysterosalpingography or HSG. This was the most painful experience of my life and I wish someone had warned me. The nurse told me after that some people don't feel a thing and some pass out. I was the latter. The test immediately showed that my left tube was blocked. Come to find out many months later that so was the right. 

My Ob/Gyn recommended Houston IVF and I'm so thankful she did! Everything is done in-house - nothing leaves their facility so they have complete control over the whole process. While I had a primary physician, I saw each of the doctors during the course of my treatments and highly recommend all. For the next six months, I did several rounds of chlomid. I had ovarian cysts a couple times so we skipped months here and there. The effectiveness of chlomid decreases after so many attempts so we then moved on to intrauterine insemination (IUI). After four failed IUI's, the doctor concluded my other tube had blockage too. 

Throughout the many months of blood tests, pills, shots, ultrasounds, and procedures, I was generally in good spirits. I had a practical attitude. Part was a self defense mechanism to stay emotionally detached (in the event it didn't work) and the other part was I knew it was out of my hands. Of course there were days when I was sad and depressed. It was especially hard every time a friend announced a second or third pregnancy. I also didn't feel the need to talk to someone else who had gone thru infertility. The idea listening to their success stories didn't sound comforting since nothing had worked for me. I did talk openly to my close friends & family about it and was comforted knowing I had a prayer team.

My IVF cycle began in April 2015. I didn't realize that it's more of a two month process. I started with a cycle of birth control pills. Then came the shots. This was the part I feared most - for the pain and for the complexity of the medication. Our bathroom looked like a drug dealer's there were so many vials and needles. It was a lot of pressure to make sure I mixed the vials appropriately and gave myself the correct dosage which changed throughout the month. I taped my medication calendar to the bathroom mirror and would check off each dosage every morning and night. I started with one shot a day building up to three. The ones at night were painful and I dreaded them. Funny, I actually looked forward to giving myself the morning shots once the evening shots began. In comparison, the actual egg retrieval and implantation procedures were relatively painless (and quick!). Although, they do put you under for the retrieval. 
A friend who went thru IVF numerous times (and now has two children) shared this advice with me and it helped me immensely thru my journey.

1. Repeat I Samuel 1:27, "For This Child I Have Prayed". I can't count the number of times I've repeated this verse. It got me thru every blood test and every shot. 

2. Eat pineapple. I ate pineapple for days before and after each treatment. It contains an enzyme which helps with implantation. (My doctor said it was an old wives tale but I'm pregnant!)

3.  Do Fertility Acupuncture. Houston IVF offers acupuncture in partnership with Eastern Harmony. I went once a week for a long time and then immediately before and after my implantation procedure.

Some people have a "babymoon", we had a post-IVF moon. We went to the Bahamas for a week as soon as it was safe to travel. It was an extremely relaxing vacation and we came home the day before I would take the pregnancy blood test. The nurse called a few hours after my lab work with the sweetest news that I was indeed pregnant. I literally screamed in my office. I was in shock. Neither of us were expecting IVF to work the first time. Fast forward 28 weeks later and we are joyfully awaiting the arrival of our baby boy. Scott and I couldn't be more excited or thankful! 

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm happy to answer any questions. Leave a comment or email me at the address on the Contact page. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Special Delivery

Sunday Beach Blog

Sunday Beach Blog
Sunday Beach Blog
Sunday Beach Blog
Sunday Beach Blog

Knock, knock, special delivery! Coordinating hat/gloves/scarf are one of my favorite winter accessories. It was finally cool enough last weekend in Houston to wear my new set from Vera Bradley. This one also comes in a tan zebra print or black & white geometric print

My other favorite winter accessory are Ugg boots. There's nothing quite as cozy (or comfortable)! I had the classic tall boot for years and then finally got a new pair (the Bailey Button pictured) last year. Of course, Ugg came out with a whole new classic slim collection this Fall. Same coziness but sleeker design!

Get The Look

Photos by Ailee of Snapshots by Ailee Petrovic
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