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It never comes as a shock when we hear that a style blogger is from NYC. I mean, come on, even the least fashionable NYers you know have their own sense of style. But that doesn’t mean every city doesn’t have its gem. Especially when it comes to Well Rounded mamas.

Today we’re taking a trip down south to Little Rock, Arkansas to visit the very lovely and stylish Julie Wax of I Heart Heels, who is currently pregnant with her second. We’d like to say we discovered her, but truth be told, she’s been catching people’s eyes since she launched her blog in 2008. A self-proclaimed celebrity junkie, Julie scours the country -- anywhere from her local grocery store to Barney’s -- to find the cutest ways to wear all her favorite shoes. But her style extends well above her feet -- she’s even got her pulse on the best green beauty finds and, of course, baby products.

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Here she tells us what it’s like being Well Rounded in Little Rock.

What’s your maternity style been like this time around?

My maternity style is very much like my pre-maternity style! I love to wear oversized tops with a skinny bottom (sometimes jeans, but usually black leggings for comfort). Then, I slip on my sneaker wedges and oversized black handbag from Rebecca Minkoff (that's actually my future diaper bag...shhhhh). If I do wear a fitted top, I love to pair it with an unbuttoned button-down shirt, or I'll wear a button-down (buttoned!) with a vest and ankle booties.

How has this pregnancy treated you?

I've been lucky enough to have pretty smooth pregnancies, so I can't complain. This one has breezed by quite a bit more since I have a 4-year-old son running around me!

How have you been prepping for your baby’s arrival?

I'm such a planner, so I've got the nursery to a tee and all of my gear waiting and ready (it also helps this is my second, so prep is much easier). I've also been taking a natural childbirth class, continuing my Pilates classes and seeing a chiropractor once a week so that maybe the delivery goes slightly quicker/smoother this time around. You can never prep too much!

What has been your nursery inspiration?

The nursery is light pink and gray with a modern aesthetic (lots of clean lines, chevron and polka dots). It's really my favorite room in the whole house right now. I found the color inspiration from baby catalogs like Restoration Hardware Baby & Child and Pottery Barn, and once I had the colors, everything else started to fall into place. I referred to lots of photos of nurseries online (Rosenberry Rooms, for example). The furniture from NurseryWorks was also one of the first things we bought and put in the room, so after that, the other pieces were sort of easy.

What are some of your favorite belly-friendly brands?

For maternity, I love Isabella Oliver and ASOS for dresses (with my Mama Spanx, of course) and Gap for workout wear. Seraphine Maternity, Babes with Babies and Fourth Love are all great everyday maternity brands. For non-maternity, I'm completely in love with Michael Stars. The one-size-fits-all styles lasted me up until very recently! Oh, and for nighties, Belabumbum is excellent.

What are some fears/excitements you have about a second baby entering into your world?

Well, I don't have the same first-time baby fears this time around (body after baby, nursing, etc.), so my fears the second time around are more about balance and how I will achieve time for both little ones, my husband and myself. I also don't want to neglect my firstborn, so I think it will be a challenge, but one I'm totally ready to conquer!

How is being pregnant in Little Rock unlike being pregnant in other cities?

Being pregnant in Little Rock is nice versus a really big city because I don't have too many logistics to worry about (like subway stairs and walking). You still get the feel of a city without it being too rural. The temperature is also pretty nice -- I don't have to brave a terribly harsh winter (although if I were pregnant in the summer, I would be singing a different tune!).

What is the maternity shopping like near you?

It's actually terrible! When I went to have my maternity photos, there were literally two shops to choose from, so I had most of my clothing loaned to me from brands. I personally did all of my maternity shopping online.

What outfit are you dying to get back into post pregnancy?

My endless amount of skinny jeans. I just look at them and dream right now! I'm quite obsessed with them. Oh, and don't forget the heels ;).

When I was expecting my first child, I wanted to know everything that could possibly be in store for his first year.

I quizzed my own mom and the friends who ventured into motherhood before I did. I absorbed parenting books and articles like a sponge. I signed up for classes on childbirth, breastfeeding and even baby-led weaning. My philosophy? The more I knew, the better.

Yet, despite my best efforts, I didn't know it all. Not by a long shot. Instead, my firstborn, my husband and I had to figure it out together—day by day, challenge by challenge, triumph by triumph.

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The funny thing is that although I wanted to know it all, the surprises—those moments that were unique to us—were what made that first year so beautiful.

Of course, my research provided a helpful outline as I graduated from never having changed a diaper to conquering the newborn haze, my return to work, the milestones and the challenges. But while I did need much of that tactical knowledge, I also learned the value of following my baby's lead and trusting my gut.

I realized the importance of advice from fellow mamas, too. I vividly remember a conversation with a friend who had her first child shortly before I welcomed mine. My friend, who had already returned to work after maternity leave, encouraged me to be patient when introducing a bottle and to help my son get comfortable with taking that bottle from someone else.

Yes, from a logistical standpoint, that's great advice for any working mama. But I also took an incredibly important point from this conversation: This was less about the act of bottle-feeding itself, and more about what it represented for my peace of mind when I was away from my son.

This fellow mama encouraged me to honor my emotions and give myself permission to do what was best for my family—and that really set the tone for my whole approach to parenting. Because honestly, that was just the first of many big transitions during that first year, and each of them came with their own set of mixed emotions.

I felt proud and also strangely nostalgic as my baby seamlessly graduated to a sippy bottle.

I felt my baby's teething pain along with him and also felt confident that we could get through it with the right tools.

I felt relieved as my baby learned to self-soothe by finding his own pacifier and also sad to realize how quickly he was becoming his own person.



As I look back on everything now, some four years and two more kids later, I can't remember the exact day my son crawled, the project I tackled on my first day back at work, or even what his first word was. (It's written somewhere in a baby book!)

But I do remember how I felt with each milestone: the joy, the overwhelming love, the anxiety, the exhaustion and the sense of wonder. That truly was the greatest gift of the first year… and nothing could have prepared me for all those feelings.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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My husband and I always talked about starting a family a few years after we were married so we could truly enjoy the “newlywed” phase. But that was over before it started. I was pregnant on our wedding day. Surprise!

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