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WR in LA: Nicole Neves

Guess’ director of PR and events shows off her West Coast style with pregnancy #2.

WR in LA: Nicole Neves

When you work at a fashion company that’s one of the biggest names in women’s jeans, having a growing belly can be a blessing and a curse. The bummer part? Most of those cool denim styles are off-limits for a big part of your 9-month stretch. The exciting part is there’s endless inspiration for dressing your bump in ways most of your pregnant friends never dreamt about. Nicole Neves is case in point. As director of PR and events at Guess, this LA mama makes maternity style look effortless on her blog (and Instagram feed) My Sequin Life. From casual weekend wear to a night on the town, her blooming belly is just another one of her creative accessories. Here she dishes on life in LA as she prepares for her second son, and shows off some of her greatest fashion hits while pregnant. (Note: Nicole gave birth to baby boy Nixon earlier this month. Congratulations!) How would you describe your maternity style? My maternity style is really no different than my personal style when I’m not pregnant. I love anything from a great bohemian dress to an edgier leather piece. To me, it’s about making it look effortless and feeling great in whatever I’m wearing. Some days that could mean throwing on sexy heels. Other days, it’s comfy Nike sneakers. Both can be stylish in different ways. How does working in the fashion world contributes to your pregnancy style? I'm inspired every day. I'm working with fashion designers, editors and bloggers who are adventurous and ahead of all the trends. Social media like Instagram and Pinterest has also helped me to follow great fashion influencers from around the world. All of these great motivators push me to be creative with my own fashion. Even though I'm pregnant, I still want to look and feel great, and this comes out in my personal style. What are your favorite “belly-friendly” brands--maternity or not? What have been some of your staples throughout your pregnancy? I try to stick to belly-friendly brands only--no “maternity” pieces. I want to be able to wear the clothes after I’m pregnant. The best way to accomplish this is to go for dresses and pants with a stretchy waist. Some of my favorite brands are: ASOS, Zara, Forever 21, For Love and Lemons, Lovers + Friends and TopShop. I'm also obsessed with sneakers and wear them with dresses, shorts or leggings. A few of my faves are: these Nikes, these Nikes, and these Steve Madden Slip-ons. How have you balanced this pregnancy with motherhood and your full-time job? It’s a challenge, no doubt, but all bring such joy to my life that I make it work. I have a supportive and hands-on husband who understands that my career is important to me. We’re a great team and support each other, and in the end we always find a way to make our schedules work (while carving out plenty of quality family time, of course). What are you plans for work post-baby? How was your re-entry into the work world the first time, and what are your expectations this time around? Plans for work post-baby are to go back and start the juggling act all over again. My re-entry into the work world the first time around was difficult, but I made a conscious effort to focus on the quality of time with my son--since quantity wasn’t necessarily an option. Right now it’s tough to imagine the craziness of going back to work having two kids. Mornings are going to be the most challenging. Trying to get two kids dressed and fed, plus get myself ready--not to mention a “stylish” ready--YIKES!!! Having done it once, what's your advice for women planning to return to work after baby? Don’t feel bad about having career ambitions … and cut yourself some slack! I felt like a tightly wound ball of guilt when I went back to work. I felt like I was letting everyone down--family, friends, coworkers, etc. All you can do is try your best in all that you do. Everyone else around you will love and support you through it all. What are you most nervous or excited for when baby arrives? I can’t wait to see how my first son is going to react when we bring a baby home with us. It will definitely be a special moment that I’ll never forget. Tell us about an indulgent pregnancy day in LA.

  • Breakfast at Superba Food + Bread. I'd sit outside with a delicious pastry, homemade granola with Greek yogurt, or their Kaya toast.
  • Stop by Eggy. It has cool brands for boys like Munster Kids and NuNuNu.
  • Then a manicure at Mars. I LOVE nail art and this is a beautiful nail salon that creates amazing designs.
  • Lunch or dinner at Gjelina. Try to land a spot on the back patio and order any of their wood-roasted vegetable dishes (MUSHROOM TOAST!) ... and probably a pizza. Because I deserve it.
  • Next would be a spa afternoon at Burke Williams. I'd get the Relaxation Bubble Bath and Pregnancy Massage.
  • And finally, I'd make these shopping stops in Santa Monica: Zara for Mommy; Kitson for some funny and stylish kid’s clothes; Firefly and Kid Firefly .The adult Firefly is filled with great books, home décor, clothes and much, much more, and the kid Firefly is a great place for kids’ clothes and toys.

Products that solve your biggest breastfeeding challenges

Including a battle plan for clogged ducts!

When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

MilkBliss chocolate chip soft baked lactation cookies

MilkBliss lactation cookies

Studies have shown the top reason women stop breastfeeding within the first year is because they are concerned about their milk supply being enough to nourish baby. Consider MilkBliss Lactation Cookies to be your secret weapon. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, but they were formulated specifically for breastfeeding moms based on the science of galactagogues—also known as milk boosters. They also come in peanut butter and wild blueberry flavors.

$23

Evereden multi-purpose healing balm

Evereden multipurpose healing balm

Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.

$20

Lansinoh milk storage bags

Lansinoh milk storage bags

For a breastfeeding mama, there are few things more precious and valuable than the milk she worked so hard to pump—and it's the stuff of nightmares to imagine it spilling out in the fridge. With these double-sealed milk storage bags, you can be assured your breastmilk is safe and sound until baby needs it.

$12.50

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Nursing a baby is a 24/7 job, which calls for some wardrobe modifications. Because Belly Bandit specializes in making things more comfortable for the postpartum mama, they've truly thought of every detail—from the breathable fabric to the clips that can be easily opened with one hand.

$47

boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

Boob Ease soothing therapy pillows

For nursing moms, duct can quickly become a four-letter word when you suspect it's getting clogged. By keeping these soothing breast pillows in your breastfeeding arsenal, you can immediately go on the defense against plugged milk ducts by heating the pads in the microwave or cooling them in the freezer.

$25

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

A unfortunate reality of nursing is that it can really seem to limit the wardrobe options when you have to think about providing easy, discrete access. But by adding functional basics to your closet, you can feel confident and prepared for breastfeeding on the go.

$59

Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

Bebe au Lait cotton nursing cover

Nursing in public isn't every mama's cup of tea. But babies can't always wait until you've found a private place to get down to business if that's your preference. That's where a nursing cover comes in handy. This one is made from premium cotton and features a patented neckline that allows for airflow and eye contact even while you're covered.

$36

Lactation Lab basic breastmilk testing kit

Lactation Lab breastmilk testing kit

Curious to learn more about the liquid gold you're making, mama? The testing kit from Lactation Labs analyzes your breast milk for basic nutritional content like calories and protein, as well as vitamins, fatty acids and environmental toxins to help boost your breastfeeding confidence.

$99

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5 brilliant products that encourage toddler independence

Help your little one help themselves.

One of our main goals as mothers is to encourage our children to learn, grow and play. They start out as our tiny, adorable babies who need us for everything, and somehow, before you know it, they grow into toddlers with ideas and opinions and desires of their own.

You may be hearing a lot more of "I do it!" or maybe they're pushing your hand away as a signal to let you know, I don't need your help, Mama. That's okay. They're just telling you they're ready for more independence. They want to be in charge of their bodies, and any little bit of control their lives and abilities allow.

So, instead of challenging your toddler's desire for autonomy, we found five of our favorite products to help encourage independence—and eliminate frustration in the process.

EKOBO Bamboo 4-piece kid set

EKOBO bamboo 4-piece kid set

This colorful set includes a plate, cup, bowl and spoon and is just right for your child's meal experience. Keep them in an easy-to-reach cabinet so they'll feel encouraged (and excited!) to get their own place setting each time they eat.

$25

Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Before you know it, your little one will be asking (okay, maybe demanding) to fill their own water cups. This amazing 4-pack of cups attaches directly to the fridge (or any glass, metal, tile or fiberglass surface) making it easier for your child to grab a cup themselves. Just be sure a water pitcher or dispenser is nearby, and—boom!—one task off your plate.

$29

Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

These beautiful blocks, made from sustainably-sourced wood and water-based, non-toxic, lead-free paint, will keep your little one focused on their creation while they're also busy working on their fine-motor skills. The puzzle design will encourage patience as your kiddo creates their own building, fitting one block in after the next.

$18

Lorena Canals basket

Lorena Canals Basket

This *gorgeous* braided cotton basket is the perfect, accessible home for their blocks (and whatever else you want to hide away!) so your kiddo can grab them (and clean them up) whenever their heart desires.

$29

BABYBJÖRN step stool

BABYBJ\u00d6RN Step Stool

Your kiddo might be ready to take on the world, but they might need an extra boost to do so—cue, a step stool! An easy-to-move lightweight stool is the must-have confidence-boosting tool you need in your home so your growing tot can reach, well... the world.

$20

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I wasn’t sure if I wanted to have kids—so here’s what I did

We asked our three most pessimistic friends who have kids whether it's worth it or not

As told to Liz Tenety.

Around the time my husband and I were turning 30, we had a genuine conversation about whether or not we wanted kids. I was the hesitant one because I was like, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Let's just hold on. Okay, let's talk about this. Because we love our life. We like traveling. Is this what we want?"

My husband said, "Let's ask our three most pessimistic, crabby friends who have kids whether or not it's worth it."

And every single one of them was like, "Oh, it's unmissable on planet earth."

So when I got pregnant, I was—and I'm not ashamed to say this and I don't think you should be—I was as connected with the baby in my belly as if it were a water bottle. I was like, I don't know you. I don't know what you are, but you can be some gas pain sometimes, but other than that, we're going to have to meet each other and suss this relationship out.

But all the cliches are true that you just know what to do when the baby comes out. Some of the times are hard, some of them are easier, but you just gotta use your gut.

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