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Month: June 2016

NonPrego Clothes for the Win

NonPrego Clothes for the Win

For any prego momma’s out there or for you babes working on it (we are rooting for you!) dressing a bump can be all sorts of interesting.

This post is essentially a public service announcement for continuing to look the best you can during what is hopefully the most amazing experience of your life. Four words:

AVOID TYPICAL MATERNITY STYLES.

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Shirt: Merona at Target

Long, flowing tops do nothing for your figure, pregnant or not. So embrace the bump & your growing curves! Wear shirts that are more form fitting. The best thing about this is, these are already hanging in your closet & you don’t have to spend a fortune on overpriced maternity clothes.

My quote throughout my pregnancy when it comes to clothes is “You always have to bring it back to the cooty-coo!” If the clothes just fall off the front of your belly, you’re literally creating a much wider version of yourself. If you choose clothes that cling all the way around your belly, you’re doing yourself a service by re-slimming the visual of your lower half.

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Shoes: Steve Madden

The only maternity items I purchased were the shorts shown in the picture above & a pair of skinny jeans (both from Pea in the Pod.) Let’s be honest, the whole hair-tie-around-the-belt-loop trick to turn your regular jeans into a forgiving maternity pair only lasts for so long. Investing in a good go-to pair of jeans &/or shorts (season dependent) is absolutely a good idea.

I also recommend Beyond Yoga‘s maternity line for workout wear. Their leggings are along the same price point as Lululemon but WAY softer & an absolute dream.

Bag details: Michael Kors suede sack John treated me to a few years ago.
Bag details: Michael Kors suede sack John treated me to a few years ago.

Purchasing regular clothes during your pregnancy will help you not to accumulate a closet full of clothes you just can’t wear after baby arrives. If you continue to purchase normal clothes, grab something that’s a size or two bigger than your pre-baby body. This way, you can still wear it after baby comes so your money won’t end up sitting in a pile of useless clothes you might not ever wear again.

Now, in the event you’re just more comfortable in maternity clothes with the way they are designed to give more love in the fabric around your belly, check out some of these styles I recommend:

Audrina Patridge in Envie de Fraise maternity line - notice the form fitting dress to show off the full bump & still outlining her booty, hips, & legs
Audrina Patridge in Envie de Fraise maternity line – notice the form fitting dress to show off the full bump & still outlining her booty, hips, & legs
Tie up a looser fitting shirt to avoid the baggy-saggy look
Tie up a looser fitting shirt like this ASOS Maternity model to avoid that baggy-saggy look
This ASOS Maternity line dress is form fitting & still a great way to stay cute & cool this summer
This ASOS Maternity line dress is form fitting & still a great way to stay cute & cool this summer

Don’t be afraid or self-concious to show off your beautiful growing body! I’ve had several mom’s tell me that they felt like a “whale” while they were pregnant – no! You’re pregnant, embrace the growth! You certainly don’t need to cover up with a tent top, especially in this heat. Plus, there’s a good chance your man will have even bigger heart eyes for you if you show off his greatest achievement 😉

-Jenna

Everything’s better when you look on the bright side.

Chicago Weekend Warriors

Chicago Weekend Warriors

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Not to toot my own horn or anything but I just have to say… 7 months pregnant & I still got it! 😛 This past weekend in Chicago at LiveNation’s Windy City Lakeshake was nothing short of an absolute blast. My girlfriend Laura & I danced our booties off while John played a total of 19 times in between sets, rocking the crowd while they waited for the next artist to hit the stage. He was literally leaving people chanting “One more song!” when he would close his laptop. The weather showed off all weekend with sunshine, warmth, not a drop of rain. All in all, this weekend was a total success story.

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We didn’t get a chance to eat at some of my favorite Chicago hot spots like Yolk or Bub City as originally planned. However, I did get a chance to lunch on the patio of Tavern on the Park with Laura which was excellent. I recommend the turkey burger with the house balsamic side salad – YUM.

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Long days & late nights made us slow movers each morning. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Chicago right downtown with a stunning view of the river. We walked hand-in-hand a few blocks every morning to a quick breakfast at the Corner Bakery Cafe, taking in the sights of Chicago; such a beautiful city.

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Friday & Saturday my girl, Laura (Lou for short) joined us at the show where we spent some time in the backstage artist area playing in the photo booth in between Lou’s taste testing of several Moscow Mules while I watched her in pure jealousy. We were thoroughly entertained by Sam Hunt, Lady A, Tim McGraw, Brooks & Dunn, the list goes on & on.

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Sunday heated up (literally & figuratively) with 90 degree weather & Jason closing the show. It was Britt’s birthday as well so we had a little birthday party to celebrate my sweet B’s big day with cupcakes, cake, cocktails/mocktails, & a gorgeous full-moon-lit fireworks show at the end of it all.

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John & I caught the 5:50am direct to Nashville Monday morning (ouch) getting us home just in time for an ultrasound appointment to see our sweet perfect baby. Now THAT’s how you end a wonderful weekend!

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-Jenna

PS – Huge thanks to all of the LiveNation runners & employees for hauling us around all weekend & making our time at the festival so hospitable – y’all are much appreciated!

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Everything’s better when you look on the bright side.

 

 

Real Life Letters

Real Life Letters

My dad’s mom, my Oma, always taught me the importance of a handwritten letter & now more than ever, these small gestures can truly mean the world to someone.

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We are all so accustomed to the immediate forms of communication we have now with texting, emails, LOL’s & BRB’s that when you actually receive a handwritten letter in the mail, doesn’t it sort of stop you in your tracks? Wow, someone really took the time to sit down & write me this card. It can mean so much to someone these days & it’s such an inexpensive & creative way to put a smile on someone’s face you love.

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With Father’s Day around the corner (this Sunday, June 19th!) sit down & write your dad a card to let him know how much you love him. It doesn’t have to be a novel or even well written, but I know my dad keeps every letter my sister & I have ever sent him. Little cherished messages.

For those of you whose father’s have passed on, maybe today would be a nice to day to sit down & reflect on  some of your favorite memories with your dad. Write them down. Journaling can be a very therapeutic way to release emotion. And! If you have a brutal memory like me, remind you of the good times years down the road when you revisit your notes. Father’s Day can be a tough day to get through but remembering the better times may help to put a smile on your face & remind you that he’s always there with you.

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Cards aren’t just for Father’s Day so sit down & write out birthday cards, thinking of you’s, & cards for any ol’ holiday you’re celebrating! I love to add stickers (total 4th grade girl at heart – hence the “Jenna Straub” pencils I still have from elementary school that my dad had made for me) & use Sharpie makers to make the card that much more my own. Hobby Lobby almost alway has stickers on sale so stock up & have them on hand for when you need them. Another great place to get card stock is Home Goods. They have ADORABLE cards for $1.99 similar to the Papyrus cards (which can get pretty pricey.) I almost always grab about 10 cards every time I pop in there so I have them at the house when I need them for last minute messages.

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Fun Father’s Day fact: My Father is basically my favorite person on the planet! A total goofball & the best Mr. Fix-It on this side of the Mason-Dixon! Huge thanks to this man for always being an open ear, making me laugh, building my dream closet, being the brains of the tech department for #BlondeOnTheBrightSide, & for being the #1 dad a girl could ask for! Love you, Mike Monkey!

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And for my soon to be baby Daddy, I know John is going to be the most amazing father our child could ask for! He’s already doing way too much shopping & needs to chill the hell out 😛

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We are heading to Chicago for the Windy City Lakeshake with Jason, Sam, Tim, Lady A, & a laundry list of amazing talent for a sunshine weekend of music & fun. I’ll post a recap next week & be sure to follow along on SnapChat – jennamichelley – to stay in on the action. Have an amazing weekend!

-Jenna

Everything’s better when you look on the bright side.

CMT Awards 2016

CMT Awards 2016

I seriously feel hungover today. John’s teasing me that it’s from all that water I drank last night. But this preggo momma was out til almost 3am! I still got it 😉

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|| CMT AWARDS 2016 RECAP ||

Caleche & I started our morning getting our hair done at The Dry House. I wanted a high top knot & she wanted some half up-hald down braids. I have always loved their blowouts & styles but I’m so picky about my hair that by the time we got downtown to Baja Sexto Taco for a gorgeous patio lunch after we left the salon, I already took my hair down & decided to re-do it myself.

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The weather yesterday was PERFECT! When it was time to start getting ready, Caleche & I sat on the balcony in the natural sunlight & decided to do our own makeup for the awards. I know what I like best for my clothes & hair so I just decided to do my own makeup too. My girl, Britt, has taught me so many amazing tips on makeup that I’ve got it down pretty good.

We headed to Palm Restaurant around 5 to grab some grub before the show started. I love the food there so I made reservations a few days earlier. Everyone in there had an awesome energy, all dressed up & ready to head to the awards.

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We sat a few rows behind Luke, Jase, Britt, Sam, Carrie; all the amazingly talented country musicians there having their talents celebrated & recognized. The commercial breaks are the best part because it’s like a family reunion where everyone stands up & walks around to socialize & catch up.

We left about 20 minutes before the show was over to make sure we could make it to Loser’s on time for John’s official CMT Awards after party. John killed it on stage as usual! Everyone was having a blast & the weather was 100% perfect.

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After his show, we headed over to Whiskey Kitchen where we met up with Britt, Jase, Kasi, & Billy to have some laughs & drinks. Sam & his guitarist, Tyrone, where there as well so it was so nice to see them & catch up. They are seriously some of the most genuinely nice guys John & I know, we just love them & are so proud of how their career is taking off.

Momma & Daddy P finally rolled home (I’m clearly the designated driver) around 3am – my feet were throbbing! It was all worth it & so much fun. We are taking these times in while we can before baby comes!

||WHAT I WORE ||

As mentioned, I searched for a form-fitting dress on ASOS & Naked Wardrobe for the perfect outfit. I ended up going with a $42 white with black detail dress from Naked Wardrobe. My boobs were originally all over the place in this dress so I repurposed an old nude bra & sewed it into the dress to keep the girls under control.

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The shoes I wore are ASOS Hovercraft Caged Heeled Sandals & they’re actually on sale right now for under $60!

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My choker was a $1.99 piece of lace that I bought at Hobby Lobby & sewed two hooks & eyes onto the back to create a latch.

HUGE thanks to everyone who made compliments on my outfit last night! It was so appreciated & made a pregger lady feel pretty nice! I hope everyone has an amazing rest of the week & weekend! CMA Fest is officially underway & it’s gonna be a wild weekend here in Nashville, have fun!

-Jenna

Everything’s better when you look on the bright side.

How To Do Nashville

How To Do Nashville

I get private messages several time a week with requests on what to do while y’all visit our wild & crazy city. With the CMA Festival in town this weekend, this is the perfect time to fill you 85,000-plus suit-case packin’, Nashville-bound travelers in on where to go & what to eat!

Wether you want to do “the typical touristy Nashville” or do what us locals prefer, below are some of the go-to spots as far as restaurants & bars are concerned.

|| DO NASHVILLE LIKE A TOURIST ||

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Broadway. That’s the answer! Up & down the street that is Broadway, you’ll find the heart of old town Nashville, live music, & streets filled with tourists cocktailing & having the time of their lives. Nashville really does come to life around here & there are so many options within walking distance of each other, that you can’t possibly get bored or have a bad time down here.

Acme Feed & Seed ($) This restaurant is located at the end of Broadway & is a great spot for lunch, dinner, sushi, etc. They have an awesome rooftop which is definitely a Nashville hot spot.

Honky Tonk Central ($) – This multi-level bar offers live music on every floor. It’s a great open air vibe with views over looking downtown & Broadway.

Tootsie’s Orchard Lounge ($) – If you’re visiting Nashville, this is a must. It’s a world famous lounge where the likes of Willie Nelson & Kris Kristofferson got their start as young musicians. The main bar downstairs is the original & very small. The energy in there is electric! Upstairs, they’ve recently added a new addition where there’s a little bit more room to move & a nice rooftop.

The Pedal Tavern – SAVE YOURSELF. Take it from a girl who’s done it. Now… I love to workout & I equally love to have cocktails when I’m not preggy. Just because I love both of these things does not mean I love them together & I believe in no shape or form should working out while drinking go together. I did the pedal tavern with my coworkers in Minneapolis one year in the middle of FEBRUARY. I was layered in cold-weather clothes & about 10 minutes into the dang “bike ride” I was stripped down to my tank top. Ask me when I caught my buzz… essentially never. You’re too busy sweating your ass off trying to get the damn pedal tavern to move that the alcohol doesn’t even do it’s job properly & if you’re friends are lazy, they don’t pedal & you’re on your own. Needless to say, I don’t envy anyone on a pedal tavern & prefer to have my drinks on a stationary bar stool. Added side note: One of my readers let me know that Sprocket Rocket Party Bike is a company in Nashville that have motorized taverns! That sounds like a much better plan to me  – Thanks, Diana!

|| DO NASHVILLE LIKE A LOCAL ||

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This essentially means that you avoid Broadway at all costs. On the opposite side of Interstate 65, there’s an area known as Mid-Town. Here, you’ll find Demonbreun Hill, where Tin Roof, South, Winners, Losers & a wide variety of bars are located. This is where you’ll have a better chance of running into a country musician than anywhere downtown proper. Don’t get me wrong, this side of town still gets wild but compared to Broadway, you don’t get the cowboy boot, cowboy hat wearing crowd that most people think “Nashville” is.

Note: I don’t known a pair of cowboy boots OR a cowboy hat & I actually don’t think any of my girlfriend’s in Nashville do either. Shockingly enough, we don’t wear that stuff around here although visitors think “that’s what we do here.” Pretty interesting!

Restaurants that I highly recommend:

5th & Taylor ($$$) This restaurant is GORGEOUS & located in Germantown. I’ve been here several times for girl’s nights & it’s stunning. I recommend getting there early for a cocktail at the bar & enjoying the atmosphere or their excellent patio. Trust me when I tell you to order the beer can chicken. I know it sounds like a simple meal but I can honestly say it’s the BEST chicken I have ever eaten. They know what they’re doing there, FOR REAL.

Tavern ($$) Tavern is in Mid-Town & is an M Street restaurant. Complimentary valet parking located out front during busier hours. They have an amazing brunch on Sunday’s but be prepared to wait. Their buffalo cauliflower appetizer is amaze & I love the chicken skewers here (ask for the sauce on the side because sometimes the chef has a heavy hand & the sauce is extremely thick.) Their kale salad is also my favorite salad in Nashville. Order it the way it’s served. It’s excellent.

St. Anejo ($$) There’s a little area downtown where in this single block, you will find St. Anejo (Mexican style with a modern twist), Kayne Prime ($$$ – high-end steak house), Virago ($$$ – the best sushi in Nashville), & Whiskey Kitchen ($$ – American style eatery with a great happy hour.) All of these restaurants are owned by the same restaurant group, M Street & the rumor around Nashville is that Justin Timberlake is part owner of St. Anejo but I hear that rumor is exactly that… a rumor. A girl can dream. St. Anejo is my favorite of these restaurants for a lunch or dinner because their patio & open-air concept is just perfect for cocktails with friends. I love the food here & I recommend drinking your margarita with George Clooney’s tequila, Casamigos. It’s smooth as hell! #Dangerous

Adele’s ($$$) This adorable restaurant is located just across the street from Virago & they do take reservations (I recommend making one.) They have a small menu but great variety. Get the pizzette appetizer, it’s SO flavorful. Drinks are poured pretty strong here so keep that in mind! I like this place for girl’s nights or date nights as well.

|| GETTING AROUND ||

Public transportation isn’t really what Nashville is known for so don’t expect to need to learn the downtown bus system. If you can’t get there on foot, just Uber anywhere you go. It’s so much easier to Uber (& cheaper!) Parking downtown is typically $20 anywhere, anytime & Uber’s are just so much cheaper. It’s about $5 from Broadway to Mid-Town & we all know this is the only route if you’re drinking anyway. If you don’t have Uber or even know what it is, it’s an app you can download to your smart phone to call for driver’s in their personal vehicles to pick you up & take you where you need to go. You safely link your debit or credit card number to the app. The tip is included & no cash has to ever be exchanged. You can rate your driver & keep in mind, they rate you so, be respectful.

|| P. S. ||

The CMT Awards are downtown tomorrow at the Bridgestone Arena. Expect road closures & traffic but a hell of a good time. After the awards, my hubby is playing his official CMA Fest After Party at Loser’s Bar & Grill in Mid-Town. Everyone is invited so come & say hi! I’ll post Thursday with details on the night & how I ended up dressing my almost-7-month bump (Eek! It’s happening so fast!) Have an amazing week!

-Jenna

Everything’s better when you look on the bright side.