The Gift of Pregnancy

Maternity Photo Inspiration

Maternity Photo Inspiration  www.janalinhood.commy maternity inspiration board


Dear Baby Boy,

I have so many things on my mind. What still needs put away, cleaned, or done before you get here. And yet all I want to do is take photographs and soak in every minute of this miracle. How has it been nine months already? As anxious as I am to hold you in my arms I am wanting to relish in the present. The gift of you swimming inside me. The gift of your amazing brother and sister that I let stay up way too late last night snuggling in the bed with me.


Emotions are high when I think that these could be the last days I ever have a baby in my belly. The last times to feel those punches and kicks… the last days I can rub your precious little life inside me. Because I don’t know that there will be another baby… that the Lord would grant us with another.  Six years ago I couldn’t wait to be not pregnant.  To be more comfortable.  To be skinny again.  But I am older and wiser now.  Skinny jeans will come and getting up from playing on the floor will get easier.  For now, this is bliss.  I love you little fish.

XO Mama

Project 52:3 {Love}

Project 52:3 {Love}

Project 52:3 {Love}

Photo from our family maternity session by my dear- and uber talented- friend Jennifer Han. 

As part of a personal project documenting my memories of this place in my life called motherhood I am doing a 52 week journal, called Project 52.  I encourage you to join me in preserving ever fleeting memories.  If you wish to join and have a link to your project, please leave a link in the comments.  A year from now you will wish you had started today.  xo


Linking up to: Danielle  |  Mercies in the Morning

Modern Scrapbooking

Modern Scrapbooking Ideas from Janalin Hood

Modern Scrapbooking with Janalin HoodOne of my biggest personal goals is to get our family memories in the places that they should be.  Photos Printed.  Albums on the Shelf.  Portraits on the Wall.  Keepsakes Safely Stored. And yet, there is this personal struggle of how and where to start.  Memories are more than just the digital photos stored on my hard drive.  I want our story to be tangible for future generations to come. Here is where I am starting with our own personal storytelling. Starting with making some general rules on what I want and what format it should be.

PHOTOS:Family Album: Modern Scrapbooking with Janalin HoodAlbum

A Family Album (12×12 book) printed yearly that includes big camera, point and shoot, and iphone images.  Includes notes from mama, weather screenshots, detail images of our family inside our home.  Inspired by Project Life, but in a much looser, and attainable for me, format.

Vacation Album: Modern Scrapbooking with Janalin HoodAlbum

Vacation Albums (various sizes) printed with a fun color/theme following the trip.

Mama Journal (10×8 book) printed yearly documenting one photo per week and notes about what I am feeling/ wanting to remember.

A day in the life photos: Modern Scrapbooking with Janalin HoodDay in the Life

Hour by Hour photos.  A day in the life of our family.  A once (or twice) yearly small book documenting the everyday.

Family Heritage Photo:  Modern Scrapbooking with Janalin HoodGenerations

Generation Photos-  Having printed photos out of generations past to remind us all of our heritage.

Birthday Book-  A 5×7 Peel and Stick album that features one current image and the yearly interview.

Birthday Album- (Various sizes).  Printed with images all taken from a session

Baby Album- I have never found one I am happy with… so I have all sorts of notes and images that I am going to try to make some albums with.  Wish me luck!  :)

Current portrait on Wall-  because they should be!

Fridge Photos: Modern Scrapbooking with Janalin HoodSnapshots

Snapshots on Fridge- Stickygram makes some amazing ready to stick images from your Instagram!  Otherwise you can print photos and use peel and stick magnets for an easy DIY!


Home Video: Modern Scrapbooking with Janalin HoodVideo

Monthly Video Clips set to music of the current events.  Be sure and highlight children individually, and through interview.  Compile all at the end of the year for the annual DVD (maybe to be watched at New Year’s Eve?)


Keep cards, letters and keepsakes in individual boxes.

Quotable Book: Modern Scrapbooking with Janalin Hood

Quoteable Book

Make a Quoteable Book for each child.  Write observations and notes of love as well as their funny sayings.

Write Love Letters for the children to open in the future.  For sure on their birthday and also as the moment strikes.

Have a Cedar Chest to store keepsakes such as my wedding dress, baptism outfits, handmade quilts, etc.

Modern Scrapbooking Ideas from Janalin HoodRuler

Wall Ruler:  Documenting our children’s growth by making a tradition of marking their height on the ruler at their birthday party.

My aspirations are high!  And I know I won’t get them all caught up with as quickly as I would like.  But to keep myself accountable I will be sharing a minimum of one project a month with you on my progress.

What has inspired you?  Are you planning on doing something with those digital images? 




Lingerie for the Modern Mom

Lingerie for the Modern Mom

Have you looked at the calendar?  One month until Valentine’s Day!!!  YAY!  Even though I don’t get real serious about the commercialization of the holiday I adore anything that has to do with hearts, pink, love, and emotion.  Oh yes, and chocolate.  I will buy some of that!!!  For the kids, you know :)

Lingerie for the Modern Mom

But more so than the day of Valentines, I am trying to focus February on my husband and our relationship.  It is SO EASY to get comfy, especially after kids, in the lingerie department.  You hear me sweatpants?  You are not going to be a staple anymore!!   In an effort to encourage all of us to take a quick evaluation of our unmentionables drawer I have pulled a few ideas that might give you enough time to do a quick update to your evening wardrobe before the big day next month.  And while I’m all for the super sexy lingerie that is just for hubby’s eyes, the underlying goal of this post is to help you find some cute items that you can wear around the house- in front of the kids- and whomever might stop at the door unexpectedly.

Lingerie for the Modern Mom

Chemise2e3723307b12ed5f20a0b4e417804107Satin PJs

Lingerie for the Modern Mom

Slip Gown

Lingerie for the Modern Mom

Camisole and Pant Set

If you have a favorite place to shop please link in the comments!  The more the merrier and we will all help one another out!  Happy shopping!  XO

Project 52:2 {Letting Go}

Project 52:2 Motherhood

Project 52:2 MotherhoodAs part of a personal project documenting my memories of this place in my life called motherhood I am doing a 52 week journal, called Project 52.  I encourage you to join me in preserving ever fleeting memories.  A year from now you will wish you had started today.  xo


Linking up to: Danielle  |  Mercies in the Morning

Project Nursery: Vintage Airplanes

WWII Vintage Airplane Nursery

WWII Vintage Airplane NurseryBlack and White Print / Globe / Model Airplane /Pillow / Rocker /

Crib / Changing Table / Fabric / Prop / Watercolor Print / Alphabet

Vintage Aircraft have a soft spot in my heart.  I grew up around some WWII crazed men (and loved it!) and my grandpa served during that time in the Army as well.  I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to make a face-lift to our nursery with this theme.  Although my project will not be using these selections literally (remember the super girly nursery that I have to work from??) I will be using elements to bring this feel to the updated space for our new little guy. So today I thought it would be fun to share some great vintage world war two nursery ideas with you!

What excites you most about decorating a space?


Winter Pregnancy

Winter PregnancyEnjoying the snow while it lasts on a day above freezing.  Happy Wednesday! XO

PS- Here’s proof you can get by without a Maternity Coat like I mentioned here.

Realistic Expectations

Comparison is the Thief of Joy

All of the pressures in the world for women to get it all ‘right.’ We have to have perfectly Pinnable birthday parties, home décor to the nines, fabulous homemade dinners on the table at 6pm every night, hair-makeup-and wardrobe that any fashionista would admire, and professional careers to show we can indeed juggle it all.

Surprisingly, after I gave up the professional interior design career I loved I found the pressures of modern day feminism begin to weigh on me. I mean… I stayed at home all day and had all this ‘extra’ time on my hands… why didn’t my life look as I thought it should?

Some of the other mom’s that I would follow through social media would make it look so easy to get it all done. The truth of the matter was that I was only seeing into the part of their lives that they wanted me to see.  Be wary of how much merit you put into social media: When you do that you are comparing your highs and lows to others’ highs. And that comparison- in any aspect of your life- is the thief of joy.

 Grace  |  Hebrews 4:16  #scripture art

Until one day I had a wake up call. A big one. One of these super-moms that I greatly looked up to posted that she in fact couldn’t get it all done. That she didn’t really have it all together like she had led her followers to believe. She admitted that while she would be greatly productive in several areas of her life that she didn’t have time to shower but a few times a week. !!Gasp!! I know there are days when showering is impossible, but that is one area that I would have never imagined she would deem unimportant. Relief. I felt forgiven.

The truth is that we all are given 24 hours in each day. How we spend them is up to us… when we take on an extra task something else has to give. In the end it is the relationships that we have in our lives that count. In the end it’s the people that matter. So today I write to you with a sink full of dishes, still in my pajamas, with trash that needs taken out and it’s ok. Because my girl tells me that I’m the “best mama ever” and have a little boy that loves to tell me how much he misses me when I leave him for even the shortest time. Soak it up, embrace the little things, and give yourself some grace. Because that, my dear, is what life is all about.

 xo Janalin


Honey Oat Bread

Homemade Honey Oat Bread #bread

For whatever reason I have always been intimidated at the idea of making bread.  It does take some time out of your day, and when you kill the yeast with too hot of water it can ruin your dinner plans, but all in all bread is very simple to make! My mom raised us on her famous butterhorns and there is nothing you can buy that competes with eating your own fresh bread!!

Originally I found the idea of a blogging bread project on Elise’s blog.  She did 40 loaves!  With her inspiration I will be baking a loaf of bread each month of this year and sharing it with you.  I hope this is an inspiration for you to tackle something you would like to become better at.  Even in baby steps like I am.  Maybe you would like some fresh bread in your oven too!

I found this recipe on Pinterest from Bakingdom.  Here photos were delectable!  And the bread tastes as good as it looks!

Very simple ingredients will get you started.  If you are into baking you should find them easily in your pantry right now.  Here is how my homemade bread baking venture went:

Homemade Honey Oat Bread #bread 2

First adding the dry ingredients to the bowl.  3

Raw honey!!!  Most honey at your local store is not real.  Our local store carries raw honey from Oklahoma.4

Warming the milk (and butter) in the saucepan.  And the honey is on a wire rack above the burner to warm as well.  (A little trick I learned from my mom!)5

Adding the wet ingredients…6

Ready to knead.  My favorite part!7

Done kneading and ready to rise.  Yesterday was so cold I left the oven door open to help the yeast.8

After the second rising… ready to bake!9

Scary inside of the oven shot.  Notice the pan of water underneath the loaf.  It will add moisture to your bread and catch any honey that runs off the top of your loaf.10

Final product!  I didn’t get a shot of the loaf before it was sliced because a hungry husband came home an hour early.  ;)   He loved it!

The only thing I wish I had done differently was add more honey when the loaf came right out of the oven.  The recipe even calls for it!  But we got distracted by the aroma and sliced it as soon as we could.

Honey Oat Bread (Link to Printable Version)
Makes 1 9×5-inch loaf


3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups oats
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup  milk
1/4 cup  lukewarm water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup honey

1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons warm honey
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons oats

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the flour, oats, yeast, and salt.

In a small bowl, or two cup measuring cup, warm the milk so that it’s hot enough to melt the butter, but not boiling. Add the butter, stirring until melted, then stir in the water and honey.

Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture, mixing with a dough hook until it just comes together to form a dough. Knead in the mixer, with the dough hook attachment, for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic (if you’re making this recipe by hand, the dough will be very sticky at first; flour your hands and work surface generously and be patient). If the dough is still very wet and sticky after 5 minutes of kneading, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough is barely tacky. If the dough is too dry, add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, to soften it up.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise until doubled, about 1/2 to 1 hour.

Once doubled, place the dough on a clean, dry work surface. If the dough is too sticky, lightly flour the surface before continuing. With your fingers, flatten the dough into a 9 by 12-inch rectangle. Tightly roll the dough, tucking the ends as needed, into a loaf. Place the shaped dough into a 9×5-inch loaf pan, cover with a clean dry towl, and allow to rise until doubled, about 1/2 to 1  hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place an empty loaf pan on the bottom rack of the oven and bring 2 cups of water to a boil.

When the loaf is doubled again, brush the top with the warmed honey and sprinkle with the oats.

Place the bread in the oven and pour the boiling water into the empty loaf pan on the bottom rack of the oven. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the bread is deep golden brown and the internal temperature is about 190 degrees.

Transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before serving.

What are you baking in your oven these days?  Do you have a favorite bread recipe I should try?

Maternity Must Haves

Maternity Must Haves

Maternity Must HavesBelly Jelly / Jean Jacket / Tank / Maxi Skirt / Sandals / Maxi Dress / Tights / Booties / Jewelry / Cardigan / Tee / Belt / Dress / Boots / Jeans

Maternity clothing. Do you feel the dread? I know in the past I have. I thought it would be a fun to put together some of my core maternity items to share with any new moms out there or for any of you that are wanting to update your maternity style. I have learned lessons the hard way, particularly during my first pregnancy, when I went to one store and did all of my shopping in one afternoon.

Lessons Learned: There are actually four trimesters to dress for. Did you know that? I sure didn’t with babe #1 and was greatly frustrated when I came from the hospital with little options of what to wear. My advice: Plan on layering and using the same basics throughout your pregnancy and post-pardum (fourth trimester). Use what you have in your closet already. Don’t get caught up in a sales person’s helpfulness and purchase too much.

My first pregnancy (baby born in December) I felt frumpy. I wore what I had purchased on that one day shopping trip and towards the end none of it fit. AT. ALL.  Second pregnancy (baby born in June) I learned how to wear layers and utilize much of what was already in my closet. I liked that I was dressing the way I wanted to and was happy to get dressed each day. Third pregnancy (baby due in January)- I used the same ideas from second pregnancy and also discovered maxi dresses and skirts! (Seriously the best ever!!) The word ‘pretty’ would actually cross my mind when I looked in the mirror.  And I would get random compliments about being one of those ‘cute’ pregnant women. But the truth is, I looked the same  in the third pregnancy as I did in the first.  The difference was that I had discovered how to dress for the belly. So I am sharing my research of trial and error with you in hopes that it will save you money and bring you some ‘pretty’ days!

First Trimester: I like to call this stage the “cheeseburger belly.” For the most part you can wear your regular clothes. Do not go out and buy maternity wear if things start to get tight! You will grow out of them way to quickly. Instead look for loose flowy tunic tops to cover up your tiny belly.  If your pants get too tight look for a waist extender or find a pair of inexpensive shorts/pants that have an elastic waist.  Yoga pants are also awesome during this time!

  • Belly Jelly to keep the tummy from itching. I can attest that I have NO STRECTH MARKS after three times of being pregnant. (Big babies too!) In high school I did get stretch marks during a growth spurt (on my legs) so I know I am capable of having them. This stuff is awesome! I use 3-4 cans per pregnancy, usually starting at the beginning of the second trimester.
  • Comfortable undergarments. At a certain point you won’t be able to stand anything tight on your body. For me this means a larger sized bra (and I only purchase under-wire free now) and Hanes Bikini panties that I mentioned in the what to pack for the hospital post.
  • Also be sure and get some maternity tights! I love the opaque ones (black again) from Old Navy. Surprisingly much more comfortable than you would expect!
  • Body Pillow. This will make you sleep so much better in the second and third trimesters! I know they have some that are specifically for pregnancy, but I like mine just fine and it isn’t so huge that your husband has to sleep in another bed!

Second & Third Trimester:

  • Long and Lean Tanks or Liz Lange Maternity Tanks, both from Target. These will serve you well in all trimesters (I still keep them as a layering staple in my closet when I am not pregnant) but you will find them particularly useful in trimesters 2-4. A must for nursing as well! Black is the color I recommend. Be sure and match to the Tissue Tee listed below.
  • Long Sleeve Tissue Tees from Target. These will layer over the top of your tanks for warmth in the colder months. As mentioned above, you want to get a matching color to the tanks to keep your layering discreet. This is particularly useful when you are out and about and nursing. I never use a cover and no one notices me nursing… this is my magic trick! So, again, black is the color I recommend.

** You only wear black clothes the entire time you are pregnant?**

Good question! No, but they are the primary staple that I wear under almost everything. Black is very flattering to the baby bump and will look nice with almost any color layered over the top. A white/white combo is my second go-to favorite!

  • Full panel maternity jeans. You will need 2-3 pairs depending on how often you wash. I get two in a couple of sizes (have I mentioned that I gain about 60 pounds when I am pregnant? I haven’t yet delivered a 50 pound baby… so it goes elsewhere on me!) I have bought jeans from just about everywhere and other than the awesome score I found one lucky day at TJMaax, I have to say for the money Old Navy is where you need to go. And if you are tall like I am they offer talls!
  • Leggings. Many, many retailers offer leggings. And they are so comfy and cute. I like them best in the fourth trimester when I can wear an oversized sweater/shirt on top until my regular jeans fit again. Word to the wise- Leggings are not pants- especially when you are pregnant! Cover your rear! ;)
  • Maxi skirts and dresses. By far the most comfortable thing you could purchase! I am not really a skirt gal (love my jeans!) when I am not pregnant, but I think I might be after last summer when I wore them every day. You seriously feel like you are wearing your pajamas, but look super cute at the same time! I would wear a maxi skirt with a long and lean tank in the second trimester (sometimes layering a chambray shirt or jean jacket on top) almost every day. I bought 3 maxi skirts and three dresses, all from JCPenney and Target. The maxi dresses will come in handy any time you want to dress up. I wore the swim cover up maxi dress (Target) to a wedding and with some jewelry looked as formal as anyone else. I grew out of my maxi skirts after the second trimester, but the dresses still fit beautifully. I expect to be wearing the skirts again after baby is born during the fourth trimester.
  • Short fitted dresses. Hubby loved this one dress in particular. I would wear it with tall boots and layer a jean jacket if needed on cool days. These fitted dresses are fantastic in your second trimester when you have that perfect sized bump to show off!
  • Short empire waist dresses. I have a non-maternity dress from Maurices that I have had for ages that I keep as a staple (pregnant or not) to wear to more dressy events such as church and funerals. Look for a good fit just under the bust and flare from there.  My dress is short sleeve and during the winter months I layer a tissue tee underneath and a long grey wool sweater on top.
  • Belts. You need belts! When you can find a stretchy non-maternity top that will fit your bump it finishes perfectly with a belt. The belt helps define your bust from the belly and is a great way to pop a color or tie in with your shoes/handbag.
  • Jewelry. During the summer in particular I was sure to always have a statement necklace or lightweight scarf on with my Long and Lean tank. This will bring the eye up towards the face and gives you a chance to make the same outfit look differently.
  • Cardigans. I use non-maternity cardigans as well as a few that are maternity. My favorites are the non-maternity ones though because they are smaller than your belly. So you have your cute baby bump sticking out and the rest of you covered in the cardigan. Magic trick to instantly make you look slimmer!!!  PS- Wear a belt over the cardi!
  • Jean Jacket/Chambray shirt. These layer wonderfully just like the cardigans do. And they are lighter weight for summer/fall months when you don’t need the warmth. I love that they are neutral as well so you can wear them with just about anything.
  • Yoga pants/ Sweat pants. Yoga pants should be the fold over top, and sweat pants should have a nice wide band.
  • Shoes. I know many a fashionista that rocked her high heels while pregnant. (Kudos to you if that is you!)  Especially after you have your first (and are chasing/carrying said toddler) you will find flat or stable shoes are a must. I love my tall riding boots, slip on loafers, booties, sandals, and flip flops. Ugg style boots would also be great.

Fourth Trimester: Initially you will still be wearing your maternity clothes. Be prepared to leave the hospital looking 5 months pregnant. I was so surprised at this when I delivered our first! My mom went home wearing her pre-pregnancy clothes… so I assumed I would as well. And although that sometimes does happen I think it is more of an exception than a rule. For this pregnancy I did end up ordering the Belly Bandit for post-pardum compression. I will let you all know what I think of it after I try it out for the six weeks they recommend.

  • For nursing: Keep wearing those Long and Lean tees with a Tissue Tee over the top. As I mentioned above I will post after baby is here about how I use these to nurse without a cover and still be discreet. I don’t have one of these necklaces, but am hoping to get one. And I can’t stress enough- underwire free nursing bras.
  • For pumping: (Unfortunately I am an expert at pumping, I exclusively pumped for 9 months with our first.) You need this bra and the car adapter for your pump. Here’s to multi-tasking!!!

What you don’t need to buy:

  • A maternity coat. Unless you live in Canada and then I might forgive you. Maternity coats are a marketing ploy if you ask me. Layer up and if you can button one button, then call it good!
  • Pajamas. Raid the hubby’s closet. An oversized t-shirt and a pair of shorts will get you through. :)

If you want some more style inspiration please check out my Maternity Style Pinterest Board.  Over 100 pins that will send you to where I have purchased from and/or outfit inspiration.

Third Trimester Winter Maternity

Here is a current photo of me and the babe!  We have tried two weekends in a row to take some family photos with the belly and it hasn’t worked out either time.  Since it snowed I thought it would be good to hop out the back door and snap a photo just in case this little boy comes before we get our family shoot done.  I practice what I preach!  Wearing the Tissue Tee, Old Navy Jeans, and Forever 21 Cardi (belted).  Simple and chic.

And my question for you…  What are your thoughts about getting the obligatory ‘MomChop’ haircut after baby?