Pregnant in the Summer in Phoenix

"Pregnant in the summer in Phoenix, that'll be fun." - said everyone. I used to laugh and shrug it off; after all, I was pregnant through a summer in Phoenix with Imogen. Just not THIS pregnant. So I wouldn't call it super fun, but it's definitely doable! And it's nice to have friends with pools. :) But let's be honest. Being largely pregnant doesn't really feel great in any season, right? So we're just trying to stay positive, and "it's a dry heat" is a really popular phrase around here but it's really true, although even a dry heat presents its challenges in figuring out what to wear some days.

Yesterday the high was 109°, but we had life to live and stuff, so we decided to head out, run some errands, and take some maternity photos in the bright mid-day sun downtown. I haven't been great at documenting pregnancy this time around, so it's been nice the few times that we've remembered to shoot. And with a toddler, you just have to shoot when you can, right? No more waiting for this magic hour stuff, because magic hour happens exactly one hour after her bedtime, and that would be fun for NO ONE. Oh plus, something about feeling massively huge and insecure (32 Weeks). :) I'm the type that gains weight everywhere when I'm pregnant and I can't really relate to most maternity style posts, but I've found a few things that have worked for me this pregnancy!

1. THESE jeans have been my go-to.

They're light weight (the only jeans I can tolerate in this heat!), cheap, and stretchy. I order a size up and get a shorter length and then use the hairband around the button trick. So far this pregnancy, I've tried so many pairs of maternity jeans, and these beat them all by far. And no... Old Navy is not paying me to say this. Hah!

2. Buying shirts that you can wear after baby.

Maternity shirts, while comfy and ruched on the sides, are going to all be banned to the back of the closet once the baby comes. You'll want nothing that accentuates your post-baby belly, at all. Ever. In fact, you'll want to burn all your side-ruched shirts. So after having learned that last time around, this time, I went for oversized, flowy shirts that I know I'll feel comfortable in while I'm working on slimming down my waist after the baby comes. This shirt I found at Anthropologie actually last time I was trying to lost post-baby weight, so I know I'll still want to wear it later! (side note: I do think maternity tanks are worth the investment. I bought a few early on and they're great for wearing regular shirts over, because you'll need that extra length coverage.)

3. SHOES ARE EVERYTHING.

Lord knows those cute little feet of yours are gonna change too. My feet grew a half size when I was pregnant with Imogen! I love these clogs (the ones I'm wearing are the low wood brown oiled nubuck clogs from Lotta From Stockholm - LOVE THEM) and I also love their classic clogs because of how easy they are to put on (who wants to bend over with a giant baby belly? Not me, ever). I love the low wood clogs for how just a little bit of heel makes a gal feel a little more dressed up... and yes, they're so comfy too!

And of course I had to end it with a few photos of the one of us who isn't totally awkward around the camera. ;) Hah! My little tiny dancer. I can't help but take photos of her if she's around. You know?

It's so crazy to think that there's a little boy in there that we are going to meet in a couple months and love forever. What's he going to be like? Is he going to be like a little smaller boy version of IQ? Is he going to be so chill, or really rambunctious? Is he going to have freakishly tan legs like his sister or blindingly pale legs like his mama? Whoever you are, little guy, we already love you so much, and you are already loved by so many of our friends and family, too.

Extra sources// Imogen's shirt is from Geo Fox Apparel. Her shoes are Mini Melissa. My colorful bag was a lucky find at Junkee in Reno, NV. And thanks Josh for taking photos of us!

Team Rhodes / Last Week in Missouri

On our last week in Missouri, before we packed the living room up (the rest of the house was in boxes!) our good friend Katie Day came out to take photos of us and I'm so grateful for her for doing this!! We did a little photoshoot trade (you can see the ones I took of her family with her cutie pie newborn daughter, Nora, HERE) and I can't tell you how much these mean to us. They represent the end of an important chapter for us, a home we loved, a place where Imogen spent her first year and lots of other firsts.

Thank you so much Katie for giving us these photos! It's crazy how much has even changed in the span of two months, and it'll be so fun to look back on these, back to the time when we only had one kid, and we had this crazy beautiful Victorian house, and I wasn't mega pregnant (only a little pregnant!). :)

And that's what happens when you try to dip a pregnant broad. ;)

Decor on a Budget (with sources!)

So right now, we're in between homes, and it has me feeling like I'm going a little crazy because sometimes I feel like putting together a home is one of my favorite things to do (projects! painting! anyone else out there relate?). But being without a home to work on doesn't mean I stop thinking / wanting to talk about it! Decorating is maybe one of my favorite things to think about, but another thing I love thinking about is saving money. I think some things (like sturdy furniture pieces that will have a place in your home for a LONG time) are worth splurging on, but for extra decor musts (rugs, light fixtures, etc) I'm here to tell you that you can get some really great stuff that's more affordable than you might think. Let's talk.

Get Realistic!

First of all, I think it's important to get realistic about pricing. When I say my rug budget for an 8'x10' rug is $250, I can set that budget to represent the low end of the spectrum, because I've seen most rugs of that size cost well over $1000 and even on up to $5000. Had I not researched the rug market, I would have looked at a $250 price tag on a large rug and been appalled. See what I mean? Gotta get a good perspective before you begin shopping seriously.

 

Have something in mind.

In our last home, I knew exactly what chandelier I wanted in our dining room. The downside? It was $950. I took the characteristics of my dream chandelier (black iron, strong geometric lines, open bulb look with multiple bulbs) and began to look for something along those characteristic lines from other online vendors, and I found something I was very happy with for $175 plus shipping from China (I think it ended up being $250ish after shipping). And dare I say I liked the eBay find even more than the spendy one!? (Source for our chandelier HERE, on eBay.)

We ended up finding this rug and our nursery rug on Rugs USA (This rug is no longer available, but click the photo to visit their site). They have incredible sales!

We ended up finding this rug and our nursery rug on Rugs USA (This rug is no longer available, but click the photo to visit their site). They have incredible sales!

It's probably gonna take some time to hunt bargains down.

Buying things that are pricier are a lot easier, because they're presented to you in your face. They're the first things you see pinned on Pinterest because usually the product photos are better (when I found the chandelier we bought on ebay, the product photos were taken with a cell phone and then there was a weird striped border put around it. I would never pin that, you know?). It probably took me an additional two months of looking for our dining room light fixture - and so many websites, and so many eBay and Amazon listings. You gotta put in the time, dudes. It's worth it, though! And don't get me started on how long it took me to pick out rugs (we went with Rugs USA because their selection is MASSIVE and their sales are crazy good).

 

Don't forget to show your walls some love.

Art, plants, posters, anything! You can achieve a pretty big impact for a small investment, whether you hunt down some paint by number paintings at an estate sale, or (shameless plug) you download a print from some internet photographer to blow up for a wall in your home. ;) (Check out my shop HERE for options for your walls! At $10 for a digital print, you officially have no excuse to not have something hanging up!)

Photo by Laura Gummerman for A Beautiful Mess. Click through to see my entire Living Room tour from our previous home!

Photo by Laura Gummerman for A Beautiful Mess. Click through to see my entire Living Room tour from our previous home!

Set a budget for each room and know what to splurge and save on!

In our old home, we were spending so much on other parts of our living room that our budget only left about $100-150 ish for an 8'x10' rug! And guys that is NOT a lot of money at all. I had doubts I'd find anything that cheap. But I'm here to tell you that a little creative searching led me to a rag rug we love from Overstock (Link HERE - $129! It's out of stock but you can sign up to find out when it's back). Knowing your limitations and sticking to them feels incredibly rewarding! But you know, if you have a dream rug in mind and it's $800, and your room redecoration budget is like $1200 (in other words, that rug takes up most of it) then you buy that rug, dang it, and you get creative with the cost of the rest of the room! You can find a good couch on Craigslist and have it cleaned, or search antique stores or junk shops for your side tables. All I'm saying is, you make your priorities to splurge on, and that's okay! (Side note - the chandelier above was found on Lamps Plus, but also worth checking Lamps Plus Open Box (where we purchased ours, and it arrived in brand new condition) for even deeper discounts.)

 

GO MEGA BUDGET.

I'd be remiss if I wrote a post on budget decorating and I didn't talk about the value of scouring thrift stores, junk shops and antique malls. Obviously I can't link to sources when it comes to this kind of thing, but mega bargain decorating is of course my favorite! The coffee table above? We found it at a Salvation Army for $5. The large orange lamp to the right of me (it's HUGE and PERFECT) I found at an antique mall for $20. I have a favorite mid-century modern leather chair that we happened to grab from Craiglist for a $15 STEAL. These are the kinds of things you can't link to, and you can't duplicate from a magazine, but that's what makes them the MOST valuable - because they are what makes up your own special and unique style! And instead of letting tales of other people's successful bargain hunting make you feel bummed, let it inspire you to get out there and find something rad of your own, even if it's not what you ever thought you'd look for. I mean, I never set out to the antique mall to find a giant orange-red lamp, (I think that day I went looking for a wooden step stool, which of course I didn't find) but I'm so glad I went!

And I can't believe I'm even giving away my Craigslist bargain search secret, but here goes. If you like mid-century modern furniture and decor, well, never search for the terms "mid-century modern" on Craigslist. If it's labeled as such, then somebody that has it knows the value of what they have and they'll charge you accordingly. That's totally fine if you're looking to find something interesting and pay for it, but if you're looking to find something at a really cheap cost, then try searching for the terms "retro" "60s" etc. Think of the terms your grandparents use when they're describing something as mid-century modern and search for that. ;) I even sometimes search for "vintage" because I think to a lot of people, "vintage" covers a lot of bases. We found a really great MCM vinyl chair set for $10 a chair because they were labeled as "retro chairs" and that was it. Meanwhile, anything labeled "Danish modern" is going to cost you your inheritance, chump. ;)

Just FYI - everything linked in this post was as sincere as it gets! I'm not being sponsored by anybody for this post. This is the real deal, you guys. Happy decor hunting!! And if you have any bargain decorating tips, share below!! xo - Sarah