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Insta Love: Gaelyn Jenkins

Crushin’ on this west coast mama’s bump enviable style.

Insta Love: Gaelyn Jenkins

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!

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    Sunday Citizen

    I live in the Northeast and when I woke up this morning, my house was freezing. It had been in the mid 40's overnight and we haven't turned the heat on yet. Suddenly, my normal duvet felt too thin. The socks on my bare feet too non-existent. Winter is coming, and I'd been drinking rosés still pretending it was summer.

    I couldn't put it off any longer. It was time to do my annual tradition of winterizing my home—and I don't mean making sure my pipes and walls have enough insulation (though obviously that's important too). I mean the act of evaluating every room and wondering if it has enough hygge to it.

    If you've never heard of hygge, it's a Danish word that means a quality of coziness or contentment. And what better time to make sure you have moments of hygge all throughout your house than right now? As far as I'm concerned it's the only way to get through these dark winter months (even more so during a pandemic.)

    So I went room by room (yes, even my 4-year-old's room) and swapped in, layered or added in these 13 products to get us ready for winter:

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    This post is brought to you by Staples. While this was a sponsored opportunity, all content and opinions expressed here are my own.

    One of the biggest changes in my household once my daughter started homeschooling was that, suddenly, everything and everyone in our home had to start pulling double duty. While I was used to wearing a lot of hats (mom, wife and WFH employee, to name a few), suddenly our dining room was also pulling shifts as a classroom. My laptop was also a virtual teacher. Our living room hutch was also a school supply closet.

    If I didn't want my home to be overrun with an abundance of clutter, I had to find products that could multitask. Here are 10 products that are saving this WFH + homeschooling mama right now.

    Stylish storage cabinet

    Whether I need a place to keep the printer or just want to keep crayons and colored pencils organized, this pretty cabinet provides a mixture of exposed and hidden storage without clashing with my living room decor.

    White board calendar + bulletin board

    With so much on our plates these days, I need a visual reminder of our daily schedule or I'll forget everything. This dry erase version makes it easy to keep track of Zoom meetings and virtual classes—and I also love using the corkboard to display my daughter's latest work from art class.

    Natural Recycled 3-Ring Binder

    From tracking our curriculum progress to organizing my family's paperwork, I can never have enough binders. Even better, this neutral version is pretty enough that I can display them on the bookshelf.

    Bamboo storage drawers

    The instant you start homeschooling, it can feel like you're suddenly drowning in papers, craft supplies and more. Fortunately, these simple bamboo drawers can be tucked into the cabinet or even displayed on top (seriously, they're that cute!) to keep what we need organized and close at hand.

    Laminated world map

    I love this dry-erase map for our geography lessons, but the real secret? It also makes a cute piece of wall decor for my work space.

    Rolling 7-drawer cabinet

    When you're doing it all from home, you sometimes have to roll with the punches—I strongly recommend getting an organizational system that rolls with you. On days when both my husband and I are working from home and I need to move my daughter's classes to another room, this 7-drawer cabinet makes it easy to bring the classroom with us.

    Letterboard

    From our first day of school photo to displaying favorite quotes to keep myself motivated, this 12"x18" letterboard is my favorite thing to display in our home.

    Expandable tablet stand

    Word to the wise: Get a pretty tablet stand you won't mind seeing out every day. (Because between virtual playdates, my daughter's screen time and my own personal use, this thing never gets put away.)

    Neutral pocket chart

    Between organizing my daughter's chore chart, displaying our weekly sight words and providing a fits-anywhere place to keep supplies on hand, this handy little pocket chart is a must-have for homeschooling families.

    Totable fabric bins

    My ultimate hack for getting my family to clean up after themselves? These fabric bins. I can use them to organize my desk, store my oldest's books and even keep a bin of toys on hand for the baby to play with while we do school. And when playtime is over, it's easy for everyone to simply put everything back in the bin and pop it in the cabinet.

    Looking for study solutions for older children? Hop over to Grown & Flown for their top picks for Back to School.

    Work + Money

    It's 2020, but for American mothers, it's still the 1950s

    Once a woman in America becomes a mother, our society transports her back in time. In an instant, generations of sexist ideas and structures descend back upon her.

    We like to think that women have come so far.

    We have our educations. Today, our education system not only allows girls to thrive, but it has enabled the first generation in history—Millennials—in which women are more highly educated than men.

    We have choice. Access to family planning has given American women life-changing control over their fertility and the decision to start a family.

    We have basic respect. Today, our marriages are built on the principle that partners are equal regardless of gender.

    We have careers. It's utterly common for a woman to return to work after having a child.

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    We have acknowledgment. And our culture even declares that caregiving is essential work for both mothers and fathers.

    We have possibilities. And all of the potential our lives as women hold now gives girls the hope that anything is possible.

    But the truth is that American motherhood has the veneer of being modern, without any of the structures to support our actual lives today.

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    Life