Love & Lifestyle by Lizzie

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I’m 39 weeks pregnant and spending as much time as possible relaxing, but I’m also always wrapped up in a project (cleaning, writing, organizing). I’ve remained busy and active throughout my pregnancy, which I recommend to any woman who’s thinking about becoming pregnant, or whose currently expecting. I’m also excited to announce that I’ll be starting a new blog series called The Greyson Diaries to inspire other mama bears and to write about anything and everything I experience as a fun, young mama! Stay tuned ✨

Love

December has arrived and with this sparkly, celebratory month comes a lot of pressure and stress when it comes to love. Let’s dive into the December 2018 love horoscope…

December is going to be an intense month for all of us (single or taken) and it will be an important time as we near 2019. Pay attention to signs, emotions, and moments. The end of the year is upon us (ahhh, here we go again) and it’s always a time for reflection, renewal, and a much-needed refresh. It’s a time to review and make moves! Whether you’re single and on the hunt for a new, inspiring flame, or you’re happily taken and simply remembering what you deserve and desire. Sagittarius rules December and the sign that controls this month reminds us to look ahead, while still making smart decisions now, for a beautiful 2019.

This month will be about growing and changing, without repeating the mistakes and same old lessons of our past. December is about listening to your heart and your head. Even if you’re happily entangled with your lover, that doesn’t mean there aren’t topics you’d like to discuss and issues you’d like to resolve. Now is the time! Love can make us silly, stupid, and blind. Sometimes, we imagine things to be different than the way they actually are. I’ve been there…and other times we know the painful truth, but we’re afraid of change and the fear of being alone.

I remember a few years back, when I was still with my ex, it was late December and we were having issues…once again. We were over and I had known that to be true for a while, but I am madly in love with the snow and this time of year. There’s something magical and whimsical about the Holiday season, snow, and the colder months. I remember feeling so angry and upset towards my ex, but we were about to have our first, big snowstorm of the season (which I always like to watch from the window and enjoy) and I didn’t want to watch the snow fall, alone. I invited him to watch the first snowfall with me and in the end, it made me feel even worse because we were over. I should’ve spent that evening alone; there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the moments we love by ourselves, but I was afraid. I’m telling you this flashback because I know so much more now than I did in the past (that’s called growth, my loves). It’s okay to be scared and it’s better to be alone than to repeat past mistakes. What’s the definition of insanity?*

I am very lucky to be cozy with my love this year and insanely happy and excited about our baby (who will be arriving soon). It took me years to make it through the heartache, betrayal, and pain from my past and to find Andrew. The road was long and lonely at times, but I’m thankful for the climb because my view now is unbelievable. I never expected that I’d be where I am today (becoming a mama) or that I’d meet someone as loving, amazing, and special as Andrew…but I did. If you’re still on the search for your love, don’t give up. I promise you, it’ll happen. It’ll happen when you least expect it and the moment will shake you in the most electrifying way. I still remember looking into Andrew’s eyes, smiling at each other, and knowing he was different. He was the one. If you’re happily taken and ready for yet another Holiday season I wish you cozy, loving moments, but I remind you to deal with anything that is bothering you this month. January is a fresh start…

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Hanukkah began December 2 and we enjoyed a nice, home-cooked meal (thanks to my mom) and we lit my mother’s gorgeous menorah. It’s a special time and for those celebrating The Festival of Lights, I wish you and your loved ones a beautiful and healthy Hanukkah. I grew up with multiple traditions and I was raised Catholic and Jewish. Yes, I always had a menorah lit and an overly decorated Christmas tree to wake up to. I’ve always celebrated all Jewish holidays and Catholic holidays. I’ve always appreciated Hanukkah, just as much as I appreciate the magic of Christmas. I never believed in Santa though (just a little fact about me)*. Those who know me very well know that I’m not a religious person. I attended Catholic services a few times and I used to attend synagogue when I was a little girl, but I’m very relaxed when it comes to religion. I also attended a private, Jewish school when for a few years (learned and experienced a lot). I believe in nature, animals, and positivity. I respect Judaism and Catholicism fully though because I was raised with both religions and countless traditions. As I await the birth of my first child, traditions are incredibly important to me.

I’ve been asked before if growing up Catholic and Jewish made the Holidays confusing or conflicting and my answer has always been, no. I learned so much and have always looked forward to the Holiday season (including both religions and every celebration). I was surrounded by my Italian, Catholic relatives and my Eastern-European, Jewish relatives growing up and I experienced incredible moments with all of my family. I will always remember and miss our big, family Passover seders in Manhattan, and the warm, cozy Christmas mornings spent at my grandma’s house in North Jersey. I want Greyson to learn about both religions, enjoy the sparkly, fun traditions and I will never pressure my child to feel any type of way towards religion. Again, I was never pressured or raised religiously, but I truly appreciate what I grew up with. I had the freedom to discover my own beliefs and values.

What are your traditions? What do you value and cherish? Do you have any new traditions this year? Some of you may be incredibly religious and others may simply enjoy the fun of the Holidays and the sparkle (that’s okay). Regardless of what you believe in, love, and focus on this time of year, the Holidays are more than religion. This time of year is about feeling thankful, giving to those less fortunate (animals included), cherishing the little moments, and spending time with those we love. It isn’t about gifts or decorations.*

I want everyone to cherish the glittery, beautiful moments as we near 2019! It doesn’t matter what you choose to celebrate, but I thought I’d share my traditions, since many struggle with combining traditions with a significant other this time of year. Celebrate love, family, and friends (the rest will fall into place). Happy Hanukkah and cheers to December!

Xo

Follow my blog, www.takeabiteoutofme.com to stay updated on the latest and feel free to follow me on Instagram: lizziemognoni
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Love & Lifestyle by Lizzie

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Happy Thursday! I hope everyone had a gorgeous Thanksgiving surrounded by family, friends, and delicious food. I am 38 weeks pregnant and each morning I wake up wondering when I’ll go into labor. It’s a beautiful and terrifying feeling, but I’m eager to meet the little angel I’ve felt move, kick, and grow for nine months. I feel as though I found out I was pregnant five minutes ago. I didn’t do any Black Friday shopping this year, but we’ve been so focused on home renovations and baby prep that I for once, didn’t care about splurging on Black Friday sales. I did finish my Christmas shopping for my parents, Andrew, & Greyson though. I’m as prepared as I can be! As the weather continues to get colder, I am cozying up with my winter favorites (including cuddling up with my fiance).

Love

This week I want to focus on a very special and important type of love…self-love. If you’ve endured a painful breakup, heartache, or change in lifestyle, you may be finding it hard to truly love and accept yourself. In our current society, beauty and status are everything. Women deal with insecurities that arise from social media, television/film, and unfortunately, comments and judgment from insecure people. I surround myself with positive, amazing people who uplift me on my bad days, but I’ve had insecure, jealous people try to hurt me in the past. Ladies, ignore the negativity on the internet and the nastiness that envelopes certain people. Also, money and status aren’t everything. Passion, drive, and love will get you through the rough times. Money won’t keep you warm or safe at night. Remember, there will always be someone who doesn’t like you, understand you, or love the way you do. I’m always stunned by how harsh and cruel people can be, but sadly, all I can do is be the complete opposite (positive, happy, and kind). You weren’t born to please or satisfy anyone, but yourself.*

It’s incredibly important to do what makes you feel happy and good about yourself. This Holiday season, I want all of the strong, special women of the world to focus on waking up feeling grateful and comfortable in their own skin. If you want to work out more, eat healthier, or change your routine…do it! But, while doing something positive to feel better, don’t be negative about yourself or your life. Negativity causes nothing but stress and unwanted pressure.

Moms…you still need to live for you, pamper yourself, and spoil yourself, regardless of the fact that you’re a mom! Your children want you to be happy, feel fulfilled and secure. If you feel insecure and unhappy you’re not beaming healthy, positive energy, which actually does affect your parenting and your children. We ALL endure moments of pain, stress, and weakness, but it’s imperative to make it through the trying times and become stronger. Take a moment to do something fun, have a “me” day, and indulge in a little sparkle. Significant others…take a moment to spoil and appreciate your loved one, especially if they’re feeling stressed, insecure, or down.

In order to love others and the life you live you must first learn to love yourself! Life is scary, complicated, and messy and there’s no way to live a perfect life, but you can create your own version of perfect. You never need to explain yourself, your life, or your ideas to anyone. Always live for you and wake up with a positive mind and achievable goals. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Baby steps, my darlings. If you want a better life or better results, it is up to you and only you to make that happen! We write our own stories and we then become the author, the editor, the publisher, and the fan club. I’m always here for positive vibes, motivation, and advice, but I want YOU to make the changes you feel you need to make. I want YOU to be happy and to feel beautiful and secure. I believe in you…Xo

Lifestyle

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Of course, I’ve been asked about my favorite Christmas/Hanukkah gift ideas for 2018, and naturally, I’ve made a list for you. Again, I already bought Andrew, my parents, and Greyson their Christmas gifts. I bought Greyson two, gorgeous outfits and a giant, stuffed white bear (pictured above) which is a part of the crib bedding set. A few more presents are on the way for my loves! I didn’t focus on Hanukkah gifts this year since it falls early in December and Greyson’s due date is coming up! Christmas will be incredibly special though this year…

Some of my favorite gift ideas this year…

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This adorable, pretty Jellycat plush Reindeer named Robin is a great gift for a mama to be or for a young child. I bought Robin for Greyson’s nursery the other day because the beautiful plush goes with the Woodland Theme and she’s a pretty, simplistic decor touch. She can also be a deer (not a reindeer) if that works better for you! A plush animal is a perfect, easy gift and this time of year Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Hanna Andersson, and other stores come out with their special, Holiday gift plush animals (they’re always beautiful). Robin the Reindeer is insanely popular (she was even briefly featured on Keeping Up with the Kardashians and keeps selling out everywhere), but she can be purchased from Paper Source (link below)…

https://www.thepaperstore.com/p/jel-plush-robin-reindeer-med/50155100005?gdffi=183da551e6874fe9804412b3b28c67b8&gdfms=17E5F232FEC64DA3A7AA70DF8BDE3705&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI78iWrqL43gIVy0oNCh0FTQgjEAQYAyABEgLdhfD_BwE

Rainboots are a perfect purchase for any woman in your life and yes, they can be incredibly stylish. They’re also a MUST as we near the rainy, snowy, and icy days. I’m posting a few options below…if you’re unsure of what color to buy for the woman you’re shopping for, I’d say go with black (it’s the most stylish option and will go with anything)! But, there are countless options for any type of personality. You can also add a pair of pretty, boot socks (or knee-high socks) to go with the rainboots.

https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/hunter-refined-high-gloss-quilted-short-waterproof-rain-boot-women/5178576?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort&breadcrumb=Home%2FAll%20Results&color=aubergine

https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/ugg-shaye-rain-boot-women/4044854?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort&breadcrumb=Home%2FAll%20Results&color=tango

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Andrew bought me this Michael Kors purse and a black, Michael Kors jacket for my birthday (he did very, very well lol) and I thought I’d share this purse with my readers for some gifting inspiration! A handbag is a wonderful gift for a woman in your life who enjoys designer goodies, but it’s also a gift you know she’ll use. Women don’t view a handbag as a utility item, although we pack our lives into them each day, we view handbags as a piece of iconography and a showoff accessory. I am not posting any links to designer handbags, because there are too many options to pick from. Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, and Marshalls have unlimited options (and price ranges). Have fun shopping! I’d suggest tan, navy, black, or burgundy this time of year when buying a handbag, but it depends on the personality type you’re shopping for.

Watches are a thoughtful and desirable gift for a special someone in your life. Last year, I bought Andrew an engraved, Fossil watch (that he loves). Fossil, Michael Kors, and Versace make gorgeous watches, with multiple options and price ranges. You can even shop designer watches on Amazon.com!

Are you shopping for a mama to be or a new mom? If you want to buy a thoughtful gift for a mama in your life, buy something sweet and essential for the nursery! Pottery Barn Kids, Wayfair.com, Target, Buy Buy Baby, and Marshalls have wonderful, unlimited options.

Small, thoughtful stocking stuffers and gifts are always a fun idea. You can always go with a bottle of cologne for any man in your life, perfume for the ladies you love, makeup (gift sets, lipsticks, palettes), candles, etc. Below are some options for simple gifting and stocking stuffers…

Alex and Ani bracelets:

https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/alex-and-ani-two-tone-initial-charm-expandable-bracelet/4978465?origin=category-personalizedsort&breadcrumb=Home%2FHoliday%20Gifts%2FGifts%20for%20Her&color=two-tone-a

Yankee Candles:

https://www.yankeecandle.com/product/all-is-bright/_/R-1513534

Makeup:

https://www.ulta.com/gift-guide-top-25-gifts?N=1r5xkzv

Designer socks for men (or women) and a pack of designer underwear/boxers (Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, etc.) for your man are great, simple stocking stuffers. For kids, Barbies, toy cars, books, and small, plush animals (Jellycat makes the best plush animals for the playful, whimsical child) make easy, fun stocking stuffers.

I hope I was able to provide a little inspiration for those struggling with Holiday gifts! I could go on for hours with sparkly gifts and shopping ideas, but that would become a bit excessive. Have fun shopping, gifting, and creating. I will chat with everyone soon…XoXo

 

Follow my blog, www.takeabiteoutofme.com to stay updated on the latest and feel free to follow me on Instagram: lizziemognoni

Thankful & Blessed

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Happy Thanksgiving my loves!

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it reminds me of family, friends, tradition, and New York City. I spent my Thanksgiving’s as a child dressed up in Manhattan; there’s something magical about the city, The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and spending the day surrounded by good food and people. Who doesn’t love some mashed potatoes and corn? I always feel extra thankful and blessed this time of year, but this year I truly feel thankful and grateful.

I woke up this morning cozied up next to my fiancé, with my kitties waking me up for breakfast. I touched my baby bump and realized this is my last Thanksgiving with just Andrew, which is a crazy feeling. We are so excited to be starting this new chapter together…

Today is about positivity, light, and love. It’s about appreciating what you have and where you are in life. What are you thankful for? Who are you thankful for? Spend today thinking about what you have opposed to what you don’t. There’s someone out there less fortunate than you, always.

Instead of writing about what I’m thankful for, let me show you through snapshots ✨

I wish everyone a beautiful day filled with love, happiness, amazing food, family, friends, and positive thoughts. Stay warm on this cold, winter-like Thanksgiving Day! Stay tuned for the latest L & L by Lizzie

Xx

The nursery

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design

For those who read L & L by Lizzie religiously, you’ve read briefly about my home renovations and it has definitely been a long, tiring process while pregnant! Projects bring out the best and the worst in people and are always stressful, but they’re worth it. If you’re passionate about reinventing a space, renovating a home (or room), or doing a smaller-scale project, go for it! Don’t be afraid of the obstacles and issues that pop up. Our living room hardwood floor still needs to be installed this week (and there are more projects to come after Greyson is born), but the nursery is finished and absolutely gorgeous. I couldn’t have done this without my amazing, incredibly talented fiancé. As promised, I want to share photos of the nursery and with each project, I will post pictures and advice! I have always loved designing and shopping for new, beautiful pieces.

Welcome to Greyson’s nursery…

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The theme of the nursery is Woodland (which plays off of the Cabin theme in our bedroom). I created a space that is playful, fresh, and woodsy. It is not only a space for our baby, but a space Andrew and I will be spending a lot of time in, too. There’s also a pretty bassinet and swing in our bedroom and of course, the living room will be a family space. I do believe a nursery should be a space for mom and baby (dad included).

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Little accents are everything! Once the hard work is over, add personal touches, such as candles, photographs, and special decor. Grey is one of my favorite colors and it’s one of those colors that works beautifully with natural aspects, such as wood. The grey, blue, and bright white mesh perfectly with the wood and rustic accents. I wanted wood present in the nursery (the antique bench, the wooden side table, and the birch tree branches).

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We also decided to add a holiday touch to the nursery, too! Christmas and Hanukkah are just around the corner and although Greyson will be too young to remember his first Holiday season, Andrew and I will remember every moment spent together ♥️✨

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6FB2484F-7BB2-4EEF-85B1-AC480B6025A2Thank you to all of my amazing friends and family for thoughtful gifts and so much love. Thank you to my incredible, hardworking fiancé for painting, installing the hardwood floor, and assembling every piece of furniture. We make a killer design team, but I literally wouldn’t have been able to achieve such a creative, beautiful space without you. You’re already the best daddy in the world!

Stay tuned for photos of our finished living room and all other future projects…

Xo

A letter to my baby

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Any woman who has carried a child (or multiple children) for nine months knows that you truly become a mom the second the strip reads positive, but the moment you give birth to your baby, “mom” becomes such an honored title and a full-time job. Your life changes forever and all at once. I am 37 weeks pregnant (9 months) and will soon be in the hospital, feeling every emotion possible (I’m so scared and excited), ready to meet my baby. This letter is to you, my little pumpkin…

Dear Greyson,

I am so excited to meet you and to start this new chapter in my life, alongside your daddy. When you’re born I will hold you close and you’ll look up at me, but you’ll also look up at another, very important face. You’ll look up at your daddy, who is already so in love with you. I want you to know that you have the greatest daddy in the entire world and he treats me like a queen. He will always love you and be there for you; when you’re older and going through the painful process of growing up, always remember how lucky you are to have a father like him. You will learn so much from him and despite the moments you two disagree and fight (yes, that’ll happen), you two will share an unbreakable bond. I wake up every morning feeling so lucky and thankful for your daddy and for you.  

This world can be terrifying, unstable, and confusing, but as long as you’re with your daddy and me, I promise to make you feel safe and loved. I will protect you every single day with every bit of me, but it breaks my heart to know that there are things I cannot protect you from. My parents weren’t able to protect me from everything, but I grew up strong and resilient, and so will you. I know you’ll be strong enough to overcome anything life throws at you (just like your daddy) and I will always be here to listen, help, and support you. There will come a day when you will question yourself and the world around you, but don’t be afraid. It’s called growing up, my angel. Don’t grow up too fast or be in too much of a hurry to leave home, because home is everything. Home is wherever daddy and I are. Daddy and I will never rush you or force you to make challenging decisions…trust me, we’ve been there. Take your time, take a moment, and take in the beauty around you. As I said, life can be scary, but it can also be unbelievably beautiful. The beautiful, breathtaking moments are what we live for. Never fear the mountains ahead or the winding roads, because the scenic routes allow us to experience the best views. 

I became your mom the second I found out I was pregnant and I am honored, thankful, and blessed to be your momma (your glam mama). I’m sitting here right now, feeling you move and kick and I will never forget my pregnancy with you. I will always be your biggest supporter, best friend, and partner in crime. Yes, I will also always be your mother, which means at times I will need to yell, teach, and ask questions, but I will never stop loving you. There’s nothing you could ever say or do to make me let go and I’ll never judge you. You’re part of me and part of daddy, which is one of the most incredible aspects to becoming a parent. Despite the fact that you have so much of us in you, you’re completely your own, amazing person. You will make your own mistakes and choices and you’ll write your own story. 

We’re going to go on adventures together and make so many memories. Time goes by way too fast and I will cherish every second I spend with you, even the simple moments. You’ve already changed our lives and there are so many people that are more than excited to meet you. They want to watch you learn, grow and smile. Please know how incredibly loved you are…you’ll never be alone in this world. Your fur siblings are ready to meet you, too (they’re driving me insane right now).

Sweetheart, I wish you a life filled with wonder, laughter, smiles, and beauty. I want you to always appreciate the little things and one day you’ll realize they were the big things. I want you to find your passion(s) and follow your heart and dreams, fearlessly. I also want you to know that you will forever be my baby and my best friend. 

I love you Grey 💙 Mommy and Daddy can’t wait to meet you. Xoxo 

Love & Lifestyle by Lizzie

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Hi, loves! I am sorry I didn’t post last weekend, but Andrew and I have been busy with home projects and baby planning. I’m 37 weeks pregnant (officially 9 months) and I am definitely ready for my little pumpkin to get here! I feel amazing, but it’s incredibly hard to sleep through the night. I am loving the cold weather and bundling up with a cute scarf, jacket, and hat! I hope you’re enjoying the end of November. Xo

Love

The Holiday Season is fast approaching and last week I talked about how stressful this time of year can be when it comes to finances, especially in regards to Holiday planning and gifting, but this time of year also reminds us of our old baggage. Old baggage doesn’t usually come in cute duffel bags and travel size containers. Are you fighting with your lover about old emotions or issues? Are you feeling haunted by ghosts from your past? Well, you’re not alone! We find that old flames (significant or not), exes, and old friends reach out to us before the Holidays to rekindle a friendship, find closure, or simply check in. But, a simple check-in may make us feel crazy, upset, or confused. Some of us are even faced with a special visit from a family member we’ve left in the past. Whether you receive an actual call, text, or email from a ghost of your past who begins to haunt you, or you’re simply thinking about those who are no longer present in your life, don’t let anything affect your love life and where you are TODAY. Today is far more important than yesterday and if you’re feeling confused, upset, or insecure, you need to communicate with your significant other. Sometimes, we just need reassurance that everything is okay (despite our mind playing tricks on us).

The problem with ghosts is they remind us of our biggest fears, regrets, and darkest emotions. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good ghost story, but I am not a fan of unexpected visits from certain ghosts. Ladies, we have a tendency to hold onto our past (and the emotions that reside there) tighter than a designer handbag; it’s okay to remember the pain from our past, those who influenced us (negatively and positively), but it can also be damaging to unearth the past while in a healthy relationship. Remember, your new partner isn’t your ex. If you managed to find someone equally as awful as your past romance, then I suggest leaving your new lover in the past, too. I truly know how hard it is to move beyond pain, heartache, and betrayal, and I’ve spent many Holidays wondering, thinking, crying, and trying to start fresh. It is up to you and only you regarding how you handle a run in with a ghost from your past, but sometimes it’s healthier not to respond or engage. If seeing a person’s name appear on your phone, or running into a person gives you anxiety, it is your body and mind’s way of telling you to walk away and to close that chapter. I have learned that not every book deserves a second read.*

I wish you and your partner a beautiful Holiday Season and I don’t want you running from the past anymore, especially if you’re in a different, healthier place. Enjoy where you are and don’t allow anything or anyone to derail your own, personal progress. If you’re single, I don’t want you running back to someone who hurt you, simply because you’re lonely and feeling haunted. I also don’t want you worrying about finding the one…let the Holidays be about YOU. Light up the season with what makes you happy!

Lifestyle

Everyone has been asking me what’s inside my hospital bag and since I’ll be delivering baby Greyson very soon, I decided to let my readers in on an exclusive tour of my hospital essentials!

Delivering a baby is scary, beautiful, and special, but what the heck do you bring? This is not a usual overnight bag packing mission and you’ll be there longer than a typical sleepover! You’ll also be uncomfortable at times, stressed, and tired. It’s a lot to take in and women stress over packing because there are too many unknown factors.

The hospital will supply you with what you truly need, but there are definitely must-haves that the hospital cannot provide you with! If you’re a glam mama like me, I know you’ll be worried about how you look, feel, etc., but your number one priority is breathing and delivering a healthy, beautiful baby. Don’t stress yourself out! When you arrive at the hospital be sure to have your ID and insurance card/information available because you will not want to waste much time looking for the important documentation, especially if you’re in pain. Once they’ve determined you’re in labor, it’s showtime! Make sure you have lip balm/chap-stick (knowing me I’ll probably arrive at the hospital with lipstick or lip gloss already applied lol), hair essentials (if you’re tying your hair back, etc.), your phone and charger. All of my essentials are in one, big bag (minus the Bobby pillow, extra pillows, and Andrew’s stuff). You never know when the exact moment you’ll go into labor is, what you’ll be wearing, how long you’ll be in labor for, or what you’ll actually end up using from your hospital bag, but you should be fully prepared.

Now, what’s inside my hospital bag? 🙂

  • A plush, light pink Victoria’s Secret PINK robe
  • A short, loose, black nightgown
  • A black Isabel and Ingrid maternity bra (even though I won’t be breastfeeding, having a comfortable bra is a must*)
  • Heart shaped nursing pads by Bamboobies (even if you’re not planning on breastfeeding, your boobs still need leak protection*)
  • Cute, black-plaid slippers
  • My going home outfit (a short, grey, long-sleeved, knit dress and a black and white leopard scarf)
  • A knee-high pair of Victoria’s Secret PINK socks and a pair of gold, knee-high socks
  • A pair of Victoria’s Secret PINK grey, jogger sweatpants, and a loose, black, long-sleeved top (a second comfy outfit for an overnight if needed*)
  • A small bag filled with travel size shampoo, deodorant, conditioner, toothpaste, lotion, and a hairbrush, toothbrush, makeup wipes, hair ties, bobby pins, maxi pads (the ones intended for overnight protection), perfume, and dry shampoo
  • A small bag of makeup essentials (foundation, mascara, two types of lipsticks, chap-stick, etc.)
  • A small bag with Greyson’s essentials (a pacifier, baby blankets, a stuffed animal, three Ralph Lauren newborn outfits, and a Ralph Lauren newborn hat)
  • Cotton, hipster underwear (a 6 pack)
  • Phone charger
  • A book (F. Scott Fitzgerald, of course)
Follow my blog, www.takeabiteoutofme.com to stay updated on the latest and feel free to follow me on Instagram: lizziemognoni

Love & Lifestyle by Lizzie

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Current Mood?

Saturday marked 35 weeks of pregnancy and Sunday I celebrated my twenty-third birthday! I went out to dinner Sunday night, with Andrew to one of my favorite restaurants, LaScala’s Fire (so good). I also celebrated with my best friend Danny, with a perfect lunch; I feel insanely lucky, loved, and thankful this week and I’m looking forward to a year filled with new beginnings. Our home renovations are looking incredible (so much hard work on Andrew’s part) and I’m loving the pieces I bought for the nursery. I voted this morning and I urge everyone to do the same! The world needs a positive, influential change and that change starts with you.

Love

The older you become the more you realize when it comes to love; you will start to ask yourself a few, simple questions…

What do I deserve? What do I expect? What should I put up with?

What do you deserve? You deserve unconditional love, loyalty, and laughter. The person you’re with (or, the person you’re searching for) needs to love you for who you are, be loyal and honest always (communication and trust is everything), and they need to be capable of making you laugh and smile, even on the dark days. I can tell you from personal experience that sex and passion are incredible, but what gets you through the trying days is having someone by your side who helps you, listens to you, and encourages you. You need a partner who lifts the overbearing weight from your shoulders when you need relief. For example, my family and I endured a lot over the summer and Andrew stood by not only me but my family too, through all of it. I knew months before then but was reminded during that rough, stretch of time that Andrew is my soulmate. He has never left my side and I would stand by him through sickness, financial struggles, and heartache. Through my pregnancy, he has been my constant support system, has spent hours creating a beautiful nursery for our baby, pulled an overnight at the hospital with me when I was in pain, and he’s always ensuring I’m happy and healthy. When you’re young you envision the person you’re going to spend forever with as attractive, wealthy, and strong. We grew up watching our favorite princesses fall for their prince charming (always being rescued), but in reality, we deserve so much more than just good looks, charm, and money. We also aren’t damsels in distress, but at times we do need support and a shoulder to lean on. As you grow older (and hopefully wiser), your priorities will change and you will then realize what you deserve.

What do you expect? Love isn’t simple or easy, despite how beautiful it can be. You need to know what to realistically expect from the person you fall for. Living with a person and seeing them at their worst and at their best can change your expectations. It won’t always be butterflies and bottles of champagne! There will be late nights, early mornings, messes on the floor, piles of laundry, disagreements, and financial issues. If you’ve found your soulmate, don’t fear the messy moments, because you will both get through each day with lessons learned and a greater appreciation for each other. Love is about accepting your partner for everything they are and everything they aren’t. You knew they weren’t perfect from the moment you went on your first date and leaned in for that magical, first kiss. I never expected perfection from Andrew and yet, he has brought so many perfect, breathtaking moments to my life, without even trying.

What do you put up with? I want to blatantly say “You don’t put up with anything” and sound completely in control, but that isn’t realistic. We will never be in full control, which for most of us, is a hard truth to grasp. There are aspects to any relationship that we can put up with and aspects that aren’t okay and shouldn’t be ignored. Does your lover snore? Does your lover leave clothes on the floor after taking a shower? Does your lover curse more than you’d like (some of us find that sexy)? Those little annoyances are manageable, normal, and nothing to cry over. Yes, in the moment we may yell over dirty dishes and clothes on the bathroom floor, but at the end of the day, it’s all about accepting each other and picking our battles. No one is perfect (including me)! If you’re putting up with issues that are far greater than tiny messes and a little cursing, than you need to address those issues, or simply walk away from the relationship if the issues are causing you pain and anxiety. Issues such as lying, cheating, abuse (verbal or physical), disrespect, addiction, hoarding, manipulation, or dangerous financial issues (gambling, spending total income on drugs, or another, unhealthy hobby) shouldn’t be ignored. You shouldn’t put up with anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, unsafe, or anxious. If you find yourself saying “I put up with my significant other” more than “I’m happy and in love with my significant other” than it’s time to move on. As I’ve said before, it’s unhealthy to continue watering a dead flower…invest in a new plant!*

Lifestyle

In honor of my birthday Sunday, I want to talk about a few of my favorite stores at the moment for presents (birthdays included), cold weather fashion, and pre-holiday planning! Are you stressing over what to buy your loved ones for the Holidays (already)? Money is tight this time of the year (you’re not alone), so plan ahead and shop around! It’s also smart to give yourself a budget and stick with it. I love Marshall’s for birthday presents, holiday gifts, and seasonal essentials. It’s a great place to find a present for just about everyone on your list from kids, men, women (of all ages), and your parents! I love designer goodies and especially during the Holidays, Marshall’s is filled with designer finds. Sometimes, it takes more than one visit to the massive store to find everything you want. Take your time and start shopping!

Victoria’s Secret and PINK are perfect for holiday shopping and for any pregnant mamas (such as me); their clothing is not only cozy and comfortable, but as a mother-to-be, or a new mother, you can still rock sexy, lounge-wear and sporty looks. Also, if you’re pregnant and planning for the hospital stay/post-baby clothing, invest in new bras, a pretty robe, and looks to wear around the house and on casual outings. I will be home with Greyson before I know it, enjoying the colder months in our cozy place, and I’m still going to live in pretty clothes (duh) while remaining comfortable! Fashion is everything to me; I want to say to all of the new mama bears out there, and to those preparing to give birth (like me), you can still dress cute and wear your favorites while home with your new baby. You’re not dead and life’s a party…dress like it.

I’m investing in some new, cozy pieces from Alicia DiMichele Boutique, which is in Marlton, New Jersey (you can also shop the boutique online). Again, the clothes from there that I’m obsessed with right now are cozy, comfortable, AND cute. The colder months allow you to dress up, but also layer up and enjoy dressing more casually (lounge-wear, sportswear, and lots of sweaters). Why do you have to choose between comfort and cuteness? The answer is, you don’t have to. I always choose both!

I’m in love with animal print, grey, and layering right now. The weather is finally cold enough to show off our favorite, fall essentials, such as scarves, boots, and cardigans. I love a layered look, with loose waves or curls, a statement handbag, and fall makeup. I’ve been doing a dark, smokey eye with a lighter lip color the past couple of weeks, but I also love a dark lip (burgundy, purple, chocolate brown). Lastly, I want to give a shout out to Alex and Ani! If you’re looking for a gift for a lady in your life, shop Alex and Ani; the bracelets have meaning, are affordable, and they make a true statement. I love wearing all of my Alex and Ani bracelets, with each one possessing its own meaning. They’re pretty, trendy, and simplistic. I’m all about them.

Good luck with all of your gift buying this season and with pre-holiday planning! If you’re simply on the hunt for pretty finds for your own closet, check out some of my favorite stores and fall for new, beautiful merchandise! I wish everyone a gorgeous week and make sure you rock the vote today! Xx

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