Sometimes we find ourselves liking someone’s photos in our Instagram feed and have no idea how we or they even got there. More often than not they’re either a mama or pregnant, or in the case of Gaelyn Jenkins, both! Now a mama to not just one but two boys as of just one week ago (welcome to the world Elliot Floyd Jenkins!), we thought why not put a little more on her very full plate by asking her to tell us a little bit more about herself. Here this Los Angeles-based design director and blogger answers the big questions about being a working mom, how she prepped her first son for baby’s arrival and, of course, what brands really worked for that gorgeous bump of hers. Here’s what she had to say. Tell us about your maternity style. My maternity look has always been about maintaining my personal style without breaking the bank. A lot changes when you become a mama and I think it’s important to maintain your sense of self. Even if that means just dressing and feeling like your old self. I found that a lot of times maternity items are much like wedding items in that they’re marked up for no apparent reason. Having a blog has kept me motivated to stay looking cute which in turn made me feel good through my pregnancy. What has your pregnancy experience been like this time around? Honestly, I will tread lightly as I'm sure no one who's had a rough pregnancy wants to hear it- but this pregnancy has really been pretty easy. With my last pregnancy I had some pretty bad swelling and it turns out I had slight preeclampsia but it wasn't confirmed until I went into labor. This time around, I expected that I would be dead tired seeing as how I'm working full time and have an almost 2 year old. But all things considered, as far as being 38 weeks pregnant goes, I think I've got it pretty good. Will the boys be sharing a room? We just bought our first home a few months ago and although the boys will be sharing a room, we're really excited about the amount of space they will have. Our previous place was a teeny tiny little bungalow under 600 sq.ft and our sons room was about the size of a walk in closet. In our new place, I think the boys room is the biggest bedroom in the house! Due to limited space at the time, we bought a mini crib off of a friend for our first son and it just happened to be orange. While I never would have initially picked it, it did help shape the nursery inspiration. I tried to keep things fairly sophisticated and neutral in their room but the orange brings in little pops of fun childlike whimsy. We created a couple gallery walls that include a lot of colorful pieces, many of them done by our talented friends which makes them feel extra special. What are some of your favorite belly friendly brands? I like to mix and match a lot of non maternity pieces into my wardrobe with budget friendly finds from places like Old Navy, Gap & Target. But I do think a few things are worth investing in. ASOS maternity makes some amazing jeans. The Blanqi underbust support tank was a lifesaver this pregnancy. I was hesitant to spend the money at first but I literally wore it almost every single day. Being petite, a belly band never did anything to actually keep my pants up. But the Blanqi tank did, and it also offered back/belly support. I was able to wear my non-maternity jeans well into the third trimester. Also, I think its worth spending a little on a good little black dress. This time around I got one from Ingrid & Isabel and it's heavenly. It's a silky soft stretchy cotton blend that I can dress up or down and best yet, I can wear it post baby because its nursing friendly. How have you been prepping your first son for the new baby's arrival? We've tried prepping Oliver for the arrival of the new baby primarily with books. I think he might be just a touch too young to really understand what is happening. But we got a lot of books about being a brother or about "the new baby" and we try to read them often. He had a little boy busy doll (has zippers and velcro and buttons etc) and when he got it I referred to it as "his baby" but he never really cared for it or paid it much attention. After having more exposure to the books about baby he referred to the doll as baby, so here's hoping that a little bit of it is sinking in. Why is working important to you? I work a full 9am-6pm five days a week as a Design Director at a graphic design firm. Having a toddler and working full-time while pregnant can be tiring, but personally I love being a working mom and I think it keeps our whole family sane. I've had the privilege of designing for notable brands such as Nike, Coca-Cola, Herman Miller, Disney and more, and that is something that not only I'm proud of but think my kids will be proud of too!
Did you hear that? That was the sound of Nordstrom and Maisonette making all your kid's summer wardrobe dreams come true.
Nordstrom partnered with Maisonette to create the perfect in-store pop-up shop from May 24th-June 23rd, featuring some of our favorite baby and kids brands, like Pehr, Zestt Organics, Lali and more. (Trust us, these items are going to take your Instagram feed to the next level of cuteness. 😍) Items range from $15 to $200, so there's something for every budget.
Pop-In@Nordstrom x Maisonette
Maisonette has long been a go-to for some of the best children's products from around the world, whether it's tastefully designed outfits, adorable accessories, or handmade toys we actually don't mind seeing sprawled across the living room rug. Now their whimsical, colorful aesthetic will be available at Nordstrom.
The pop-in shops will be featured in nine Nordstrom locations: Costa Mesa, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Chicago, IL; Austin, TX; Dallas, TX; Bellevue, WA; Seattle, WA; Toronto, ON; and Vancouver, BC.
Don't live nearby? Don't stress! Mamas all across the U.S. and Canada will be able to access the pop-in merchandise online at nordstrom.com/pop
But don't delay―these heirloom-quality pieces will only be available at Nordstrom during the pop-in's run, and then they'll be over faster than your spring break vacation. Happy shopping! 🛍
This article is sponsored by Nordstrom. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.
One of the toughest parts of having the kids home all summer is finding activities that will keep everyone entertained. But, you don't have to go on a grand adventure or spend tons of money to do that, mama. 👏
Set aside one day (or night) a week for an at-home movie night. Make some popcorn, order pizza, lay out pillows and blankets in the living room and curl up with your favorites to watch a movie. Not only will a film keep the kiddos entertained for a couple hours, but they're great conversation starters and can teach valuable life lessons. Want to make it more special? Surprise them with a toy that will give them a hint of what you'll be watching that night!
We picked our favorites that both kids (and mama) will enjoy.
1. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
Our toy pick: Toothless plush dragon
We're back with our favorite dragon and Viking, Toothless and Hiccup, for the final installment of this trilogy. On the search for the Hidden World to keep all of the dragons safe, we'll see how far Hiccup and Toothless will go for love, friendship and family. (Psst: The film is finally available on Blu-ray and DVD!)
We interviewed Jay Baruchel (the voice of Hiccup) and writer and director Dean DeBlois. One of Baruchel's fondest memories as a child was watching movies with his mom and having conversations about the themes throughout the films—he hopes HTTYD does the same for families.
DeBlois touched on a theme that every parent can relate to. "There's nothing quite like raising a child and then, despite wanting to protect them and shield them from all of the unknowns in the world, you have to let them go and follow their destiny—and that's a difficult process... that's one of the big topics we tackle in the movie." Now cuddle your littles a little tighter.
2. Christopher Robin
Our toy pick: Winnie The Pooh
This film will bring your own childhood memories back as you make new ones with your kids. Grown Christopher Robin recieves a surprise visit from Winnie the Pooh and the two go on an adventure in the Hundred Acre Wood to find all of Pooh's friends. On this journey, you and your kids will follow along to see what happens when Christopher isn't excited about childhood wonder anymore, but focused on his own priorities... until his daughter encounters the beloved characters.
3. Mary Poppins Returns
Our toy pick: Illustrated edition of the book
The original kids are now grown with their own children, but while going through a tough time and dealing with personal tragedy, Mary Poppins is back to lend a helping hand again.
Throughout the magical adventure, Mary Poppins has a surprise around every turn and the use of imagination is a necessity—but the bigger lesson isn't for the smaller Banks kids. There are valuable lessons about grief, dealing with emotions and becoming resilient throughout.
Our toy pick: Sticker pack
Migo is a Yeti who comes across something he's never seen before, a human. After seeing the 'smallfoot,' he goes back to his village to tell everyone, but when no one believed him, he was banished from his home. His quest to prove that humans do exist takes him on an adventure of a lifetime. Kids will learn about friendship, what it means to be a family, and how to deal when you're feeling different from everyone else.
5. A Wrinkle in Time
Our toy pick: Space water coloring book
This fantasy film will take the entire family on an exploration through time. A young student, Meg, is having trouble accepting that her scientist father disappeared when she was a child. When three figures coming to visit her (Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which) she goes on a brave expedition to find out where her dad is in the universe. Along the way, she'll learn how to conquer her fears, persevere and the importance of kindness, no matter what.
Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.
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It's hard to believe that summer is upon us... wasn't it snowing and dark outside at 4 p.m., like, yesterday? Now the days are longer, the kiddos are starting to wrap up their school years, and as luck would have it, all the retailers are offering MAJOR deals in honor of Memorial Day.
Need to invest in a new bike for the summer? We got you. Time to restock the kids bathing suits? Got you there, too. Desperate to get yourself a new mattress, but don't want to pay full price? Fear not, we've still got you!
We checked in with our absolute favorite brands to find out what deals they're offering, and we corralled all that info into one tidy story.
Here are all the best online sales for this week and weekend. Happy Memorial Day, everyone!
Soma: Get 15% off your entire purchase or 30% off your purchase of $150 or more, or 40% your purchase of $200 or more. Get 15% off your entire purchase or 30% off your purchase of $150 or more, or 40% your purchase of $200 or more.
Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy.You've got this.
By the time I became a mother at 30, I was well-versed in healing my personal anxiety. I began teaching myself mediation through books I found in the library and then when I was 19 I met my yoga teacher who also taught Zen meditation. My first experience with Zen meditation was powerful. After I got past the discomfort of stillness and silence I began having powerful visions—some I still remember to this day.
When I had my first child, I was well-practiced in maintaining my anxiety and being aware that, while it would probably never go away, it didn't have to be something that would hold me back. Instead, it could become an asset.
Anxiety could be a spiritual antenna for me to pay attention to what circumstances don't work for me, especially in motherhood. I could use it as a tool rather than as something that would hold me back.
In some ways, motherhood was its own spiritual awakening for me. During my pregnancy, I was also closing my business of five years and wrapping up a divorce―on top of feeling totally nauseous the whole time. It was the perfect storm to trigger anxiety.
Despite those challenges, pregnancy, birth, and motherhood felt so natural to me. This was what I was supposed to be doing―it was like the sun was rising and leaving all that destruction behind.
Of course, meditation was a huge help. But as a mother, your meditation practice changes so much. During my pregnancy, I was so nervous about not having that time to myself―and for the first few years, I never really had 20 minutes to sit in silence and stillness (as any new mom knows!). So if I did get time during one of my daughter's longer naps, it was cherished.
I went from having a regular meditation practice to having a "meditate when you can" practice, and the sporadic schedule made my meditation an even more honored practice. It was something I got to do instead of something I just did.
Motherhood made me show up for meditation more presently―it became something I really worked at.
As a result, I felt myself becoming a more present mother and feeling more attuned to the energy of my child. In that first year, so many developmental changes are happening, and my meditation gave me a sensor to read into those changes. I even felt like it made up for the loss of sleep in a lot of ways.
I really feel as though motherhood itself is a meditation. Whether you get to sit in silence or not, you are so present―so aware of this kid―you are already in this state of awareness that meditation brings. Just by being a mom, you are meditating enough.
Whenever I'm able to find peace and stillness―no matter what may be happening in our lives―the practice kicks in. I take a deep breath and drop whatever I was doing before to be more present with my daughter. I grant myself grace when I have to multitask because I always know I can come back to that presence. For me, part of meditation is noticing that I need to take a moment to check in with myself, take a deep breath and recenter.
The good part of meditation is that there's always more to learn. I'm continuously growing―both as a mother and a person. Even in the most chaotic moments of motherhood, there's always a place of stillness I can come to.
The moment I became a mother was such a beautiful one―like waking up and knowing this was what I was meant to be doing. And just like meditation, it's a practice that brings me peace every day.