Sitting in Our Tree


2nd Pregnancy Must-Haves

pregnancy, dressing the bump, styleKelsey Bethune

Unlike Crew, Baby #2 was very much planned & was supposed to be my fall baby, since the internet & all my doctors & every single friend had informed me that it would probably take at least 3-4 months to get pregnant. It did not. We know how much of a blessing this is, I promise! But it was not my favorite moment to stand in the bathroom calculating weeks & arriving at the “August” answer to the due date question.

We moved to our current home on Capitol Hill in the dead of last summer… Almost exactly a year ago, actually. I have a very vivid memory of deciding to bravely take on a new playground as Crew & I learned our new stomping grounds last August, & feeling attacked by the oppressive heat on our walk home. Shade didn’t help - All I could smell was hot asphalt as Crew begged to be carried because the stroller was making his back so hot. THESE WERE THE MEMORIES playing through my mind as the midwife confirmed my due date at 7 weeks.

HOWEVER! In a very strange turn of events, I actually haven’t hated this summer pregnancy. In a lot ways, it’s been a LOT easier than being in late pregnancy over the winter months. Crew arrived the same weekend that spring arrived back in 2017, so it was cold & blustery & grey leading up to his arrival. I found myself needing a lot more clothing & buying a lot of maternity clothes that didn’t even fit that well on sale to accommodate the weather & made me even more self-conscious of my burgeoning body than I already was.

This summer pregnancy has yes, been very hot. But my body type has been loving wearing simple body con dresses, & I just generally appreciate some sunkissed tint to my skin & summer blonde hair, leaving me feeling, dare I say, like a pregnant goddess. EVEN WITH the weight gain & swollen EVERYTHING. Because don’t get me wrong, it’s all swollen. My calves somehow getting the worst of it. If nothing else, just the ability to wear sandals instead of closed toe, snow-friendly boots with these pregnant feet has swayed me towards being a summer pregnancy kinda gal.

The second time around has been easier (aside from the nausea that lasted from Week 3-18, after not having ANY nausea with Crew), largely in part to knowing what to expect, partially because my body knows what’s going on, & the rest because of the items on the list below. It’s a short list, but it’s how I’m surviving.


1. Boppy Wedge Pillow - Listen, I swore up & down that for any consecutive pregnancies, I was going to get one of those giant pregnancy pillows because sleeping became SO hard in my 3rd trimester with Crew. Well, I got one. But it was just too much. I used it once & never reached for it again. I’ve found that this little guy ( a saving grace the first time around, also) paired with one pillow between my legs (starting around 36 weeks when pelvic discomfort started kicking in) & two throw/swaddle sized blankets (because you can manipulate their shape) are all I need for good sleep. But this leads me to my second must-have…

2. Mama Bird Prenatal Vitamins - This is a different vitamin than I took with Crew, so we’ll see which kid is smarter ;) I’ve really enjoyed this brand. They still have that classic, weird prenatal pill odor, but I was able to get past it even with the fiercest of nausea in 1st/2nd trimester.

3. A prenatal chiropractor - This is something that is definitely an added expense, but we went into this pregnancy knowing I was going to start going around 24 weeks & planned thusly. I’m so mad I suffered through my discomfort with Crew’s pregnancy thinking that was just the way things are. I have never been to a chiropractor before, but it makes all the sense in the world to get your spine & pelvis adjusted during the chaotic body changes of pregnancy. It has helped with my sciatic pain (hi, carrying a toddler & a belly around), my heartburn (since baby is sitting lower), my sleeping comfort & some nerve pain I’ve had in my ribs. MOSTLY, I am going to help get baby in the best position possible for a VBAC, & am fortunate to be seeing a chiro that essentially specializes in that. Anywho. It’s great. Save your pennies. See a prenatal chiro.

4. Tinted SPF Moisturizer - I spent ooooone weekend outside for my only Tart wedding of the spring, & came home with all sorts of lovely melasma spots on my face. They get darker eeeeevery time Crew & I spend an afternoon outside, IT’S GREAT. Adding spf to my daily makeup routine has been the only thing to keep it somewhat at bay - For some reason, I’m great at remembering to put sunscreen on my toddler, but not on myself when we got out for the day.

5. Nugget/Chicklet/Whatever You Want to Call It Ice - I mean, there is something special about chipped ice during pregnancy, but I don’t know how I’d be surviving without this stuff at 38 weeks pregnant with a 112 degree heat index this weekend. PRO TIP: Chick-fil-a sells 5 lb. bags of their nugget ice for $1.50. A DOLLAR FIFTY. So, I go once a week. It keeps me cooled down, feels like a treat & ALSO keeps me hydrated. 10/10 recommend.

6. Maternity Shapewear Shorts - This is 100% about summer, not about shapewear. My thighs like to pledge themselves in solidarity with my belly & get REAL swollen during pregnancy, so these shorts have been a chafing prevention godsend. I seriously should probably own 6 pairs for how often I wear them, since I’m living in dresses/skirts. Highly recommend a black & a nude pair.

Honorable mentions: Daniel Tiger for keeping a toddler entertained when I simply cannottttttt go outside, my wonderful heating pad, city splash pads, & Trader Joe’s mango mochi.

The other upside to summer pregnancy has been the ease of the capsule wardrobe. Looking back at this blog post made my head spin… Because I truly just needed more clothes in those winter months. There were dressy holiday parties, & all kinds of crazy weather, & coats &… Bleh. Have not had to mess with that this time around & it’s been great.

I’ve pretty much dedicated myself to dresses since the spring, with some non-maternity clothes, a pair of maternity overalls & leftover maternity skinnies from Crew’s pregnancy filling in the blanks. These are the three pieces I’ve bought for this pregnancy:


1. Black Bodycon Dress - Many, many people raved to me about Storq’s maternity t-shirt dress, and I NEARLY bit the bullet & paid the hefty price tag… But thankfully, I had a ludic moment & realized how insane that amount was for a dress built for a pregnant body & ordered this Old Navy tshirt dress. It’s been GREAT. Super flattering, goes on sale frequently, not too thick for summer heat. Highly recommend.

2. Grey Sleeveless Bodycon Dress - Same thing here, except this somehow looks WAY better in real life than on this model. I don’t know why hers is so weirdly baggy, but this is my favorite thing to wear day to day. If I could do it again, I’d order at least two more colors… Or maybe just another grey one because #sweat.

3. Black Pencil Skirt - My other on rotation outfit is this pencil skirt with either a knotted tank top/tee or a cropped tee. I also have a random mustard midi skirt from Forever 21 circa 2014 that I can pair with the same tops, & it seems to make people think I dressed up when I wear either of these. It’s a great little trick for someone who most certainly did not dress up.

I think that’s it! In putting this together, I really am grateful for the ease of this summer pregnancy & how little it’s required. Less has been WAY more with a two-year-old to follow around, even if that still somehow hasn’t reduced my pregnancy weight gain at all somehow. Rude. Any other favorite summer pregnancy must haves? Leave a comment!

maternity style guide

dressing the bump, pregnancy, styleKelsey Bethune1 Comment

tee: Nom Maternity | maternity jeans: Old Navy | booties: Madewell

We're somehow coming up on the final month of this pregnancy starting in March... WHAT! I've been asked by a few people about favorite maternity brands & pregnancy clothing options recently, so I figured I'd put some of my maternity thoughts all in one place.

Be ye warned that I didn't start wearing any maternity specific clothes until about 20 weeks, which was right at the beginning of cold weather, so consider this a fall/winter wardrobe. Additionally, let's keep in mind that I consider myself to be the ultimate pear shape, so my sartorial decisions are guided thusly.


Swing tops: These guys are great for my work-from-home days, when I can pair a swing top with leggings. Also great with a pair of skinnies, a top layer, & a heeled boot - The heel being super important because #thighs. Never flats, since the flare at the bottom of the shirt can accentuate my hip/thigh zone. I have about 4-5 of these guys, as they were a pre-pregnancy favorite (from Urban Outfitters & Target).
Turtlenecks: I've always known that tight was going to be the right choice for me during pregnancy, & having a staple 3-4 turtlenecks has been crucial for a dressier look, when paired with black denim & a pump or d'orsay flat.
Boat necks: Showing off some collarbone has been a nice way to remind myself that I have bones in my upper body, as things have filled out over the past few months. Nice & tight, these have also paired well with a third piece AND a coat. I have 2 of these in my closet.
Long camis: When all my shirts suddenly started showing off some belly, I came SO close to buying that black maternity cami at Target for $20 out of desperation. But I held off & found myself at H&M, where I got a super long black, grey & white cami for $6 each from their basics line. If you're wearing a full panel maternity jeans, you can for sure get by without this, but even at that, I don't love the faux button on the jeans showing & prefer to cover that up. Those three colors have been all I've needed.
Sweatshirts: I got a couple of these simple crew neck sweatshirts during my stylist days at Madewell, & I've really loved have them as a cropped look during pregnancy. Paired with sneakers & a baseball cap, this is as close as I get to a farmer's market look.
V-necks: I don't need to explain this. Paired with boyfriend jeans or skinnies or even a stretchy pencil skirt, these are a staple that I would potentially buy the maternity version of now that the bump is bigger.

Other notes:

  • I've made it through this entire pregnancy without purchasing a maternity top. These are all just tops from my pre-pregnancy wardrobe or tops I purchased from favorite shops.
  • However! I wish I would have invested in a white maternity button down early on in bump-dom. My regular button downs didn't last very long & I'm too close to the finish line now to justify buying one, but I'd like the option to layer with sweaters/sweatshirts this late in pregnancy.
  • I personally have stayed away from sweaters in these later months, since they just come off as bulky & unflattering on me. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to stay away from long turtleneck sweaters and knotted scarves, just due to my personal style preferences.

Long Sweaters: Much like swing tops, I've had to be a little careful here, depending on where the sweater length lands on my legs, but paired with a tighter shirt (usually a boatneck) & flat boots, this has been a pretty active go-to look for me. I've got about 4 of these in neutral or winter colors in my closet.
Duster: I only have a couple of these, but my dusters are a light knit & have been nice especially in late pregnancy when my internal temperature sits firmly at BURNING HOT every moment of the day. I'm more willing to pair these with looser shirts underneath since the length is more elongating on my legs.
Denim jackets: I have two denim jackets & one denim vest in my closet (again, thank you Madewell days) - One of my jackets is shorter, the other longer with distressing. I've found the shorter jean jacket to be my go-to, as it just seems to hit a more flattering spot when paired with dresses or longer shirts/sweaters.

Other notes:

  • I believe with all of my heart that a black leather jacket would have been CRUCIAL for my maternity pregnancy style. Next pregnancy?? Putting it in writing. Ya hear me, universe???
  • Blanket scarves have also been my saving grace, & I DID purchase this grey H&M coat on sale a few sizes up so I could zip up on the coldest & windiest of days. (I'm secretly hoping I can get it tailored for next winter, it's kinda great.) This winter has been INSANELY mild (it's 72 degrees today!) so there's only been a handful of days that it's been miserable outside.

Black skinnies: Madewell announced their maternity denim line LITERALLY four days after I found out I was pregnant, & you bet I hopped on board that train. I went with their black frost skinny jeans since these are some of my favorites for normal wear, but they now also have a really cute demi-boot cut available. I do advise getting these pretty early on so that the denim can grow with you as you fill out, & also going ahead & ordering your regular size & one size up. (Online returns are easiest to do in-store.) I'm right between two sizes in Madewell jeans, & since I ordered a little late (20 weeks) & after a 1st trimester of craving carbs, the larger size ended up being right for me.
Distressed blue skinnies: I found a pair of these on sale at H&M & it's been a really nice fit in my wardrobe. The style I got from H&M is really soft & pretty broken in, so these have been great for a casual look, with some distressing to help me feel mildly edgy... An important thing at 8 months pregnant ;) I also have a 2nd pair of distressed denim in black from H&M that I got on sale for $20.
Grey skinnies: As seen in the first photo of this post! Okay, to be completely honest, my grey skinnies are from Old Navy & I sorta loathe them. I can't wear Old Navy jeans when I'm not pregnant, which is probably a pretty good indicator that they won't be a good maternity fit. They're way too stretchy, & even wearing as small as a size 2, they require a belt & don't feel like they hold my leg shape very well. (I got them on sale, so I don't lose sleep over this.) But! I get THE MOST compliments & "where did you get those??" about these grey jeans, so the color, not the brand, made the list!
Black leggings: I've never identified as a leggings girl nor did I think so much of my maternity style would be defined by them, buuuuuut c'est la vie. Unless I'm leaving the apartment, I'm wearing leggings. I ordered a pair of Blanqi leggings pretty early on & snagged a second pair during an amazing Black Friday sale. I've really loved these leggings, as they don't collect lint & have a silky enough texture that they dress up really well. The belly coverage is seamless, which is great compared to my Target maternity leggings that have weird ribbing on either side of my belly. Combined with my two Target maternity leggings, I have 4 pairs of black leggings in my closet & it gets me through the week!

Other notes:

  • So you may have noticed that pants are where I've invested with my maternity wardrobe. They're also the only articles of clothing that I've found I needed to purchase actual maternity items. You just can't fake pants fitting. In all, I own four pairs of denim, four pairs of leggings.
  • When you're shopping maternity denim, you're going to pick between full panel & side panel jeans. I have two pairs of each, & I definitely prefer the side panel. I haven't had any issues with the full panel fabric falling down or anything (both from H&M), but it just feels bulky & unnecessary when I've got a long cami option to go under my shirts. The LAST thing I want is to feel bulkier than I already do. Side panels have been the way to go for me, though I do recommend not being tempted to use belt loops as handles. Cough.
  • Doing it again, I'll invest in a pair of maternity boyfriend jeans. I just never found a pair that I liked in stores, & honestly, ordering multiple sizes online from some place like ASOS just seemed so dramatic. Next time around, I'll have a good base with my current options that I'll have some energy to invest in shopping for boyjeans.

Midi dresses: THIS was unexpected, since pre-pregnancy, I always felt like midi just weirdly emphasized my calves & hips. But! Midi dresses have been my go-to dress length during this pregnancy, since the midi length paired with a heeled boot has somehow been the most flattering semi-dressy silhouette for me. Forever21 has been a GREAT option for some cheaaap jersey dresses that don't need to last more than a couple months... Which is what Forever21 does best right? This is what you'll find me in on most of these abnormally warm days between now & D-day.
T-shirt dresses: These guys got me through those awkward is-she-or-isn't-she pregnancy months leading up to a fully obvious bump. I wore a lot of these to my old part-time job, so I had a healthy stash from Old Navy, Gap, J. Crew & Madewell. They're a little awkward now with a bigger bump, since they pull tight across my back/butt.
Fit & flare dresses: I've worn these more often than I thought I would, especially when paired with leggings? Like, what? But for event days with Tart or a midwife appointment, this has been a pretty big staple for me. On warmish days, I'll opt for tights over leggings, & the real trick is a waistline that can sit over the bump without getting too short in the front. Not the edgiest of looks, but a staple nonetheless.

Other notes:

  • While I've been able to make it through with my pre-pregnancy dress options, it was pretty crucial to have my black jumpsuit from Hatch throughout the winter & its more formal events. From networking events to Christmas Eve to a funeral, my jumpsuit got way more use than I anticipated it would. I received it as part of Hatch's ambassador program, which was the only way it found its way into my closet, but if you are expecting a fall/winter pregnancy, I highly recommend investing in a jumpsuit!
  • I am wearing a maternity dress from ASOS for our baby shower this weekend - SO affordable & SUCH pretty options, if you're in the market for actual maternity dresses.

Phew! That took way longer than I thought it would, but of course it did. Hopefully this is helpful information! The end of pregnancy is getting so close for me that I've already moved on to nursing tops & belly bands, but there is certainly still more growing ahead of me in the next few weeks. Will the leggings be upped to 6? Honestly, it's likely. Happy baby growing, mamas!

Maternity shops to check out: (& don't forget to keep an eye on the sale sections!)ASOS MaternityOld Navy MaternityH&M MaternityMadewell Maternity DenimHatch*Pink Blush*Nom Maternity*Bae the LabelLegoeAmore & GraceRipe MaternityA Pea in the Pod *indicates companies I've partnered with, but honestly are really great

25 Weeks - Dressing the Bump with Hatch

dressing the bump, styleKelsey Bethune1 Comment

jumpsuit: c/o HATCH, The Emmanuelle Jumpsuit in Black | heels: Madewell | lips: NYX Liquid Suede in Orange County

Back at it again with Hatch & this incredible black jumpsuit. Apologies for the 2984798 photos, but I really wanted to show how it looks with & without bump, since I have high hopes of wearing this silk piece of heaven as often as possible, even post-baby. This makes black jumpsuit #3 for my closet, & not even a bladder with a baby jumping (trampolining, really) all over it can talk me out of wearing a one-piece. Hatch has done it again with bringing all the modern, chic vibes to mama style. I wore this jumpsuit twice, once with the tie above the bump & once below, making two completely different looks with one simple switch of the sash. Hurry, hurry - This puppy is on final sale!

I have been out of town for nearly three weeks, starting with Tart events & ending, sadly, with a lot of traveling for my grandmother’s funeral. It was wonderful to spend time with family, reflecting on my beautiful grandma’s life & being together, which is all she ever wanted. The last week has definitely been a blur.

I’m back in DC now, wishing I could be taking in holiday goodness like City Center (pictured above), but instead up to my ears in boxes, cleaning supplies & paperwork as we prepare to move to a new apartment in the city. All. The. Things. I have so much to do but honestly would rather be wearing this jumpsuit, on the couch, drinking sparkling apple cider that I’m pretending is champagne, ignoring it all. It’s so strange that our last baby-less Christmas is going to be such a non-traditional. chaotic one, but hey! What has been NORMAL about this year, anyway? Wake me up on December 29th, when all our things are in our nearly-twice-as-large apartment.

Back to packing our little life up. There's approximately two necklaces & one paper notebook I'm especially excited to see turn up... Hopefully. Also, my blow dryer blew its last breath this morning (BEFORE my bangs were dried, OF COURSE), so at this rate, I'll just be able to throw everything away as I go instead of packing it. *face palm* I'll be okay guys, really. REALLY.


23 Weeks - Dressing the Bump with Pink Blush

dressing the bump, styleKelsey BethuneComment

style_pinkblush-2style_pinkblush-8style_pinkblush-13style_pinkblush-14style_pinkblush-4style_pinkblush-6 style_pinkblush-16 style_pinkblush-3style_pinkblush-9 style_pinkblush-7dress: c/o Pink Blush - Grey Heathered Soft Knit Maternity Sweater Dress | boots & scarf: Madewell
This was the day that we wandered out to pick out a Christmas tree, & I debated back & forth on what was probably the last day of 2016 that I could get away without tights. Seasons seem to come & go with a bang in DC, throwing a random week here & there of too warm or too cold weather that both throws your wardrobe off & often gets your husband sick.

It's tradition for us now to pick up hot chocolate from Dolcezza, which we consider to be the best hot chocolate in the city, when doing anything Christmas tree related. It's hard EVERY year not to pick up a decadent, INSANELY rich hot chocolate (with a perfect hint of cinnamon) from literally around the corner, but even harder this year when my caffeine intake is limited & every single even mildly unhealthy thing seems to pop up somewhere between my knee caps & my hip bones, wheeeeee.

So far, my search with cute maternity clothes that don't SEEM like maternity clothes has been far less daunting than I anticipated. YAY! As a fat bottomed girl, I've always known I'd have to go full on Kim K. with my maternity style, while working hard to avoid what could be a Jessica Simpson pregnancy situation... Minus the personal trainers at the end. Fitted maternity dresses like this one from Pink Blush have been my saving grace, pairing super well with either tights & layers or even my black coated denim leggings that still just barely slide under my belly. Also crucial has been the breathability factor, since I fluctuate between seasonably cold & OMG GET THIS COAT AND SCARF AND CLOTHES OFF ME in the blink of an eye while walking the city. It's great.

This week, the baby & I have starting poking wars, which is both funny & sweet. Given its parentage, there's no way this little babe won't have an outrageous personality. Fresh pineapple continues to be my only craving, & sleeping through the night already seems to be a thing of the past... Which seems cruel with an impending newborn on the way. But c'est la vie. I spent a good 30 minutes of my insomnia last night just staring at the 3D ultrasound photo we have, imagining the nights I'll spend awake, able to touch that very same face. How very surreal.


22 Weeks - Dressing the Bump with HATCH

dressing the bump, styleKelsey BethuneComment

Dressing the Bump with HATCHDressing the Bump with HATCHDressing the Bump with HATCHDressing the Bump with HATCHDressing the Bump with HATCHDressing the Bump with HATCH sweater dress: c/o HATCH, Waffle Crew Dress in Wine | clogs: Old Navy (similar)| necklace: Madewell

HONORED to announce that I am one of HATCH's first brand ambassadors in their #HATCHgal program. I've been following this brand for what seems like 100 years years, but is in reality more like five - When we were freshly married & babies were a far-far-away-someday dream. Shout out to Cup of Jo aka the Queen Mother of Lifestyle Blogging & Really the Reason We're All Here.

I tried SO hard to put off any maternity clothes purchases for as long as I could, & it was a weird personal victory to make it halfway through without giving in to maternity jeans. I have a very long waist, so it took a little longer for my bump to show up, which helped prolong the boyjeans & stretchy highwaisted jeans of pre-pregnancy. But when 20 weeks hit & that whole rubber band jeans hack was NOT working, I knew it was time. I went kicking & screaming, but it was time.

THE THING IS that there really was no glory in forcing myself into my "normal" clothes, which mostly just resulted in unbuttoned jeans under the restaurant table & wearing my largest flowy shirts that were cute & oversized pre-baby, but at 19 weeks, were just hugging my weird baby-or-big-lunch bump. It was a strangely emotional thing to admit it was time for maternity clothes, especially at this point in weekly growing pains & weight gain when my waistline feels like an old friend from middle school that I remember fondly but doubt I'll ever see again.

That's where HATCH's collection of chic apparel swoops in, offering a line of clothing that I would & could honestly wear post-baby. It's a perfect blend of elevated tomboy & classic styles, redefining maternity with nary a pleated side seam in sight. This sweater dress is so perfectly heavy & warm, but thin enough that I feel really confident about my winter coat zipping over it for at least another two months. I've already worn this dress 3 times in a week. It doesn't count if it's with different people every time, right?

Weird body image issues & style redefining aside... It's pretty surreal to be writing a post about my pregnancy style. For what felt like SO many months, I waited for this bump to show up, just for physical proof beyond headaches & falling asleep on the couch at 8pm that this is real. For YEARS, I dreamed about what these little kicks would feel like, & now I can reliably feel this tiny human at mostly any given moment. The human body is incredible & miraculous & really awesome for growing this babe without me having to even think about doing it. Crazy, right?

So! Now that you know where to get your maternity clothes, send me all your maternity POSES. The baby bump is still small enough that I feel like you can only see it if I'm squishing it with both hands (as demonstrated by these photos), a pose that always annoyed me when OTHER people did it. WHO AM I.

As a final note, if you've never been to DC in the fall, you're missing out. These yellow lines streets are everywhere, & it's almost enough to wish that fall would stay forever... But Christmas.