Sunday, December 30, 2012

Something I've been wanting to tell you ...

A YEAR AGO: When life, and by extension this blog, really changed!

What a year! I can't believe hubby and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary yesterday! I wish I could show you a fashion flashback series of all the great outfits I've worn over 2012, as some of my fave thrifty fashion bloggers have done, but honestly, it's been such a crazy 13 months that I don't have enough of a repertoire to choose from.

When I was a single hipster blogger, I used to feature a lot of pics
 and tableaux from my boho apartment in Toronto, Canada.

Selling or giving away a big chunk of my stuff before getting married, then immigrating to the UK in the New Year and living there for four months before hip-hopping over to France, has meant the content of this blog has changed a lot in the past year-and-a-bit ... from a Toronto-centric "where to thrift shop" romp full of weekly finds/outfits, thrifty home decor ideas and frequent apartment re-orgs ... to part fashion blog, part how-gorgeous-is-Annecy tribute.

Happy girl, in September.

In the past year, I've come to believe (perhaps out of necessity!) that my blog should be fluid, and change in content as life changes. I hope I've maintained my love-of-thrift-and-vintage core, though, and that the often unfocused posts combining French scenery and personal fashion haven't been confusing or frustrating for you as readers.

The focus may change a wee bit yet, methinks. I've been a naughty girl. Haven't told you something big. But it hasn't been for lack of caring, just caution. In fact, I'm rolling the news out to you, my dear blogging buds, before I tell even my Facebook friends (and I'm not even sure I'll do that - it's a different, and more widespread, community as opposed to this intimate little domain, does that sound nuts?). See, just around the time this photo was taken, in early September, I had some news:

My saviour these past few weeks: a cheapie cashmere-blend dress
picked up at the Sunday market.

If I had shown you this semi-profile photo taken on December 11 when I featured my new Ugg boots (instead of sneakily posting a frontal shot with my belly artfully hidden), the jig would definitely have been up. This cashmere-blend sweater dress found for 10 Euros at the market has proved indispensable to my sanity and my evolving shape.

A few days ago: POP!

Now I'm 19 weeks gone, my 27-inch waist has disappeared (will I see it again?), and I'm popping out so much I can't even wear my "fat skirts" that I used to wear loosely around my hips.

Constant nausea for a good seven weeks, coupled with the illness and death of, and the subsequent mourning for, wee Dinky, made my first trimester pretty hellish - and had a direct impact on the content and frequently of my posts. When I wasn't crying or stuffing a croissant in my face to ward off yet another wave of nausea, I was pretty much parked on the couch watching Downton Abbey, too fatigued to even put on makeup. My fashion sense went completely out the window.

This week: thankfully this green Windsmoor coat found in a
 UK charity shop still fits me. 

Now that I'm into my second trimester, I'm experiencing what is called the glory days of pregnancy, characterized by no morning sickness, increased energy levels and a slightly renewed fashion sense - not to mention a growing awareness of the wonderful (and terrifying) reality of having a wee human developing inside me. The problem now is, What the hell am I going to wear? Nothing in my closet (except for sweaters) fits me. I can't find a maternity shop in Annecy and I'm sure that when I do, a dress will be prohibitively expensive. And the maternity selection at the local H&M makes me want to hurl (why have all the cool sparkly stuff for the 20-year-olds and make the ugly forest green pants for the preggos?). And so, the fashion journey will continue, to Etsy, where I've found a few style solutions for my slowly expanding girth.

A few weeks ago, with sunlight showing my new curves and wearing
 a maternity skirt found in a thrift store. 

I have no great desire to turn this into a Mommie blog, though that could be the inevitable direction. I have nothing against moms or ones who blog, please understand. Just not sure if I want to go there. But I have a feeling French attitudes towards pregnancy, childbirth and raising kids will figure somewhat, and intermix with my reactions to said attitudes. Natch, I'll document my evolving fashion sense and various pregnancy-related wardrobe dilemmas, frustrations and triumphs.  EDIT: Of course, I will **always** thrift shop and continue to show off my finds!!

TEASER: The lady at the boulangerie told me yesterday that French doctors expect pregnant women, in total, to gain one kg per month of pregnancy - that's just under 20 pounds! (So far I've gained three, and my doc isn't harassing me). Attitudes are definitely different in North America, where it's not uncommon to gain 30, 40, and upwards of 50 pounds when pregnant. 

So dear readers, I hope you'll jump on for the ride. Happy New Year! xo

78 comments:

  1. Many congratulations, Kelly, to you and your man! What lovely news! And what an amazingly neat little bumplet! I'm sure I was already like a ship in full sail at the half way stage!
    Pregnancy clothes are generally pretty crap, at least the affordable ones are, better to source stretchy comfortable "normal" stuff in bigger sizes, I reckon. Your oversized emerald shirt will do nicely! I'll have a rummage on my rail and see if there is anything which might do...
    You do look happy, and after a rough first trimester, it seems like the blooming has begun!
    I don't read any Mummy blogs, they are too much for me, but obviously if there is a baby in your life, it's natural to talk about them a bit! I like to use my kids as a comedy fall back!
    It will be interesting to hear about a French approach to pregnancy. I am sure much of what we are told is vital for our baby's health is merely culturally-based received wisdom dressed up as science. Usually with the aim of making mums feel guilty, it seems!
    Enjoy your pregnancy now you feel better, and keep us posted! Yay, new baby on the blogging block! xxxxx

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    1. Aww, thank you Curtise, for the kind words. I don't do Mommie blogs either and must say they don't interest me. From what I can tell, from reading and talking with people, the French approach is a lot less guilt-ridden than the approach you and I may have internalized - it is refreshingly common-sensical, in fact, but some may call it cold! More to come! Xoxo

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  2. Oh My thats fantastic. What wonderful news to share with us. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!I certainly believe that your personal blog should follow the contours of your life. Otherwise, what's the point? Go with the flow Mamma.
    Your life will change, and for a while, it will be hard to think about much other than your great new gift. But things get back on an even keel eventually.
    I doubt you'd put too much weight on anyway, but i reckon the French women have the right idea.
    Just keep healthy. Well done.

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    1. I reckon they do too, to be honest. I'm lucky in that I don't feel hungry all the time, as some women do. Thanks for the kind wishes and I will def go with the flow! Xo

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  3. Ah many congratulations on your pregnancy, and on your 1st anniversary too! Sounds like you're going to have a fantastic and very exciting 2013!

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    1. Thank you, Emalina, life will soon be totally unlike we've ever know it! Xo

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  4. Definitely on for the full extent of the ride! Congratulations and a big hug to you. What a wonderful thing to celebrate. I'm truly happy for you!!

    I think we should have a cyber-shower for you! ;)

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    1. Thanks, my dear Joni! A cyber shower would be cool! Xo

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  5. Oh could you be more beautiful!!!! Congratulations a new wee person in your life, how exciting.
    May 2013 be filled with lots of happiness and special memories.
    Love V

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  6. I am so happy to hear this, and you look great!! I understand the caution thing. Lil guy just celebrated his ten month bday, so it has been a fun and exhausting ride. Keep us posted and take good care of yourselves!

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    1. Thanks, you should have seen me a few months ago; I looked like a train wreak. Ah, ten months old, you must be pros now! My hubby and I have been single and selfish for so long before we met up - hard to imagine how drastically life will change, but I guess that's part of the whole process! Xo

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  7. Congratulations - that is wonderful news!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

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  8. Ah, Congratulations to you and your husband. 2013 will be a very exciting time for you! x

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    1. Thanks for the kid words and your email message, Emma Kate! Xo

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  9. Kelly,
    Congratulation to you an your husband on your first anniversary and the new little person to join us in 2013. What a New Year your going to experience and Christmas next year will be extra special. I'm so happy for you and can't wait to hear how everything is going, the names you choose, how you decorate the nursery, etc etc. Oh what a new fun chapter in your lives you are going to have.
    Take care and Happy New Year to you both.

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    1. Thank you so very much! I laughed when you mentioned the nursery as we have done no planning yet, and in fact, we live in a one bedroom apartment in the heart of Annecy, so there may not be a nursery until we buy or rent and move again! Xo

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  10. Congrats on your pregnancy!!! So exciting! I'm almost 27 weeks and does seem crazy that in a few months I'll be responsible for another person! I hear you unclothing options, I was really disappointed with H&M maternity line.

    I've gotten some pretty dresses from ASOS maternity line, not the greatest quality but will take me through the next few months. I've gotten a few pieces fromThyme Maternity and Motherhood Maternity that aren't completely unstylish. As each day passes maintaining sone Dort of personal style becomes harder and harder!

    Also I think it's natural and healthy for a blogs focus to change over time :)

    Happy New Year from Ottawa!!

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    1. Thanks so much, Emmett Katherine, and congratulations to you! I pop into your blog often (but don't always comment) and I think your style is great, though I can appreciate that it must get harder as time goes by. I have two friends who are closer to you, 34 and 32 weeks respectively, so we share a lot, which is nice. :) Aside from shopping online, I am not sure what I am going to do when I get bigger. There's more of a selection in Geneva, but it may be pricier too!

      I hope you're enjoying Ottawa! My Mom tells me it's super cold and that you've already had heaps of snow! Xo

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  11. This news put a smile on my face. I love your blog and will enjoy the evolution. There is a whole world of thrifting for babies/kids and it will be fun to watch your excitement at finding it. I will envy your French baby finds from afar!

    Aloha!

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    1. Why, thank you! I have seen some baby stuff in the one thrift shop here so I will be going back to suss that out. Other than that, I have a feeling that the Vide Greniers (essentially garage sales) in the spring will be a great source for stuff. I have a friend here who is about 13 weeks ahead of me so I'm lucky in that she'll give me store stuff when she's sone. Aloha to you - are you in Hawaii?

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  12. Eeek! Congratulations on the anniversary and the baby!
    So excited for the pair of you! Can't believe you managed to conceal that adorable bump and your great news for so long, either! I shall keep my eyes peeled for fabulous mum-to-be clothes when I'm back home and in need of some therapeutic shopping.
    Happy New Year and wishing you, your husband and the bump all that's good in 2013! x

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    1. Aww, thanks Vix, so kind of you. Wish I was where you live as I'm sure I could find some cool baby togs for cheap! I hope you're having a wonderful time in Goa! Xo

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  13. Oh My Goodness, Congratulations! The photo of you at the side view, (POP) reveals that you are absolutely radiant. I think it's only natural that your blog will evolve as you continue to grow and change. I think that's part of the beauty of blogging. I love the content that you share and will look forward to reading more.

    Sue xo

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    1. Thank you, Sue, very kind of you to say! You're right, blogs do change so I'll quit psyching myself to feel guilty and just go with the flow! Xo

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  14. Congratulations! I've just found your blog and I'll be along for the ride. If you'd like to let me know your size, I have one or two things you might like.

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    1. Aww, that is so sweet of you to offer, thank you, I will have to pop over to yours, and will send you an email in case you don't read this comment. :)

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  15. Kelly, I am so happy for you and your hubby - congrats on the anniversary too!! I'm glad to hear that things have settled down (ie your stomach) and you're feeling better. Having never had kids, I have not had to search for maternity clothes, but I would probably just wear lots of roomy dresses with leggings. I think that most of the blogs by the women we follow evolve, according to where we are in our lives; I know that mine certainly has. I look forward to seeing what creativity this new addition to your life will spark! Hugs, and a Very Happy New Year!

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    1. Thanks, Shelley, for the congrats! So far I am living in stretch knit dresses and sweaters/maternity leggings - they are the easiest and most comfy way of dressing! You're right: many blogs do naturally evolve with our lives, don't they? They would get boring otherwise. A very Happy New Year to you, too! Xo

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  16. Congratulations on this great new!
    I'm sure as your blog's themes change, the blog itself will retain your own mark and vision!
    Even though I'm french and nowhere near to have a kid, I'd love to know your point-of-view on french ideas around pregnancy... Having lived in France my whole life, the culture seems almost natural to me, and obvious.
    And anyway, if it helps you sort out/enjoy your life better, write about it!

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    1. Thank you very much. I am now reading a boom by an American woman who had two kids in Paris, called French Kids Don't Throw Food (released originally under the title Bringing Up Bebe). In it the author contrast what she sees as the American vs French approach to childbirth and raising kids. It's very interesting, and food for thought (a few of my pregnant friends, some who don't even live in France, are reading it!). The French way makes a lot of sense, and, in the author's view, leads to less demanding kids who have patience and real manners, in a nutshell. Sounds good to me! :)

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    2. I think I'm going to (try to find and) read this book. It's very intriguing.
      I remember reading on an american website that some restaurants didn't allow children to go in because "they might throw food", which I thought was a really weird idea.
      It also seemed weird to me, because if you're going to a restaurant you better bring your family with you as it is not something you'd do very often (since it's expensive), but they kept talking of restaurants as not "family-friendly". What I understood from this was that americans went to restaurant mainly for professional meetings. McDonald was deemed a family-friendly "restaurant" which felt off, because in my head it's fine to go to a fast-food from time to time as restaurants are expensive and it's still nice to go out, but if you can afford a real restaurant with your kids, you'd prefer the real restaurant. A bit unrelated, but that's what it all makes me think of.

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    3. I found it online and downloaded it. It is written in English. I'm not sure about the whole restaurant thing, but the author of the book does contrast French kids going to a restaurant in France (quiet, eating everything in front of them, respectful etc) to her experience in America in the same setting (screaming kids, special menus for kids consisting of bland food, etc). It's very interesting. Let me know if you find it.

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  17. Congratulations on your baby bump! Having had 2 children myself, and a very strict doctor (happily) I recommend you listen to the French doctors. Trust me, you'll be much happier afterwards if you don't have a lot of unnecessary weight to lose. The extra will be on you - your face, your arms, etc. and you will feel like a shlump.
    Best of luck in the coming exciting months!
    Nan

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    1. Thanks Nan! I am with you on that, honestly I am. I just hope my genes and appetite are in my favour. I'm not craving junk and luckily am not hungry all the time. In fact I have to eat small meals as I feel icky when I get too full. :)

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  18. I knew something was up! You are sporting a beatiful happy glow.

    I can't wait to see the wee one. I'm sure you will find thrifty solutions to outfit that beautiful gift.

    Have a great 2013, be healthy,happy and prosperous!

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    1. Ah, how intriguing, you did? Was it my lack of fashion posts? Thanks for the kind wishes. French kids dress well here - you wouldn't believe the shop windows, they make them look like,wee adults (which, I suppose, may reflect their attitude in general towards how children should act). Hopefully well find a way to dress the little guy in style, a la cheap!

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  19. Congratulations!!! How very exciting for you. Of course your blog will take on overtones of your new life, but it can also help you maintain focus on things you love to do and express and that's great as our little ones have a way of consuming time, attention and it's easy to set aside what you love in the process.
    So blend the best of both worlds! Happy 2013.

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    1. Thank you, Lynda! Yes, I agree and am hoping for that balance, for sure. Your wee ones are lovely. Happy 2013 to you and yours!

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  20. Hi, Kelly, and congratulations! You look radiant! I've dipped into your blog before, but now have added you to my growing Follow list. I love France, and had heard how beautiful Annecy is. It'll be fun seeing more of it through you.

    Thanks for your comment on my blog. Where did you live in England? I lived in Crewe and then Huddersfield (the real creme de la creme, eh?).

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    1. Thanks Val Sparkle! We lived on the north-west coast, St Anne's near Blackpool. It was a pretty place but a bit too small for me, and not a lot of young folk! Nice to see you joining the blogging world and I hope you're enjoying it! Annecy suits us way better - it's so beautiful. :)

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  21. Fantastic news! What an amazing adventure you've had this year and you've looked extremely stylish the whole time, fingers crossed 2013 is a brilliant year for you too xxx

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    1. Thanks, Clare, sweetie! Very nice of you to say! Xo

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  22. happy new year! congrats on your anniversary and -wow, a baby belly- congrats!!! 2013 must get an amazing year for you and your hubby!
    :)

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  23. Omg! Girl! Congrats! So happy for you!
    Mothehood is the greatest and at the same time the worst, but all together it's worth it
    I' m sure you will be as stylish as ever!
    Oh btw husband is gorgeous be sure to tell him!
    Happy NY Kelly!
    Thanks for your lovely comment
    So happy for you!

    Ariane xxxxx
    '

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    1. Thanks Ariane! What you said, I have heard that exactly! Thanks, hubby us pretty hunky isn't he? All the best to you in 2013! Xoxo

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  24. ...and so your journey continues ~ CONGRATS!
    AND I will continue to live vicariously through
    your expeditions 8-)!!!
    GOOD LUCK (as always) Kelly!
    S~

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    1. It sure has been a journey! Thanks for kid thoughts, Sue, and have a great New Year too! Xo

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  25. Congratulations, so happy for you.
    I was also very sick at the beginning with my childres, but looking at them now it was all soooooooooooooo worth it.
    Hapy 2013 for the whole family.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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    1. Thank you, my dear Sacramento, yes, after all the pain that is to come, and all the sleepless nights, I know it will be the biggest gift in the world to us both! Happy New Year to you. Xoxo

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  26. ...my dear Kelly you look soooo radiantly beautiful. Congratulations from a friend that truly loves you.

    Cathy P.

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    1. Thank you, my dear Cath. Love you, and miss you, too. Happy New Year! xoxo

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  27. Replies
    1. Thank you, and for stopping by! I love your blog and your style!

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  28. you look so great with your bump! so wonderful to see photos.
    K ox

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    1. Thanks, sis! I have been meaning to send some to the fam, bad not to, so this will serve as a reminder! xoxo

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  29. Happy, happy, happy 2013 and congrats on your beautiful bump!!!!!!!!! So very happy for you! Such a pretty momma to be!!! :)

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    1. Thanks, I love that outfit too. Found the 1990s jumper at a thrift shop in Canada and almost didn't get it - can you believe it? It's now a fave piece. xo

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  31. So exciting!! Congratulations! I hope your 2013 is just as adventurous and exciting. :)

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    1. Thank you, I have a feeling it will be!

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  32. WOWWWWW!!! SO excited for you. You are going to have a French-citizen for a child. How COOL! It will be all "pardon. ma mere..." and "s'il vous plait, puis je mange une croissant?" (ok, I suck at francais!!). Big hugs from the corner of Milverton and Monarch Park (I'm sure you've already received plenty from this end of the Danforth!). Wishing you all the best in your pregnancy. It sucks, but will be over soon and you'll have tender little tootsies to shower with vintagey goodness!!! :)

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    1. Aw, Sarah, thank you so much, so nice to hear from you! We are thrilled. The thing in France is, our child won't automatically become a French citizen, as we may expect. He or she won't qualify until 15 years of age, and only if he/she has resided in the country for a certain number of years! I will send you an email in response to your email, but I am so happy you check in here from time to time and I hope you are well! Xoxo

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  33. I'm such a doughnut - I missed out on your news! But here I am now sending you great huge hugs and congratulations! I'm happy for you. I wish you a stress-free, healthy, happy pregnancy. What a trip you've had lately in all senses of the word. And happy shopping for new clothes. Let's see them all!

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    1. You're an awfully cute doughnut, Melanie, thank you! I feel wonderful now, now that I've past the first trimester, and it's been healthy and happy and stress-free, so I really can't complain. Have so much to show you guys; must get snapping pics! Xoxo

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  34. Congratulations! You are just the cutest little pregnant woman. I love that photo of you in the grey sweaters. You are definitely glowing. And what a treat that your wee one will be born in France! Looking forward to seeing how your life and blog evolve with this new blessing.

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    1. Aw, that is so very sweet of you to say! The grey sweater I am wearing overtop was a Christmas gift from Saks Fifth Avenue, and it's THE nicest cashmere I've laid eyes on hands on! Yes, it will be an experience having a baby here - I hear the level of care is excellent and that they keep you in the hospital for a week after giving birth, so I feel good about that! Thanks for the kind wishes. :)

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  35. Lovely! Congratulations - you are luminous!

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  36. Hi Kelly! Congrats with the bump! Wonderful isnt it? :) I just wanna say thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment, I really appreciate it! :) Im also in two minds how to work my current wardrobe around my growing bump. Maternity clothes are sure going to cramp my style, H&M ones are gross and there are no maternity shops where I live either *sigh* You mentioned Etsy in your post, do you know of any shops there that might help out a bumpy woman? :) By the way interesting to read about the cultural differences in how pregnancy is looked upon.

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    1. Hi Izzy! Thanks for stopping by, and yes, it sure is wonderful. I I hear you completely on the difficulty surrounding finding decent maternity clothing. The H&M selection is truly gross (they keep all the cool stuff for the 20 year olds and make the ugly forest green pants for us preggos!). I haven't yet bought a true maternity dress on Etsy.com, though if you do a search for maternity dress you can find some nice styles (handmade). What I have bought so far are 1990s grungy velvet dresses with empire waists, and 1980s sweater dresses, both vintage, that will accomodate my belly for now - the knit ones stretch and the empire waist ones are higher waisted - I think they'll also do for post-pregnancy. Living in a new country being pregnant has definitely been an experience, as all those cultural assumptions you take for granted are flipped on their head!

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  37. Oh my goodness! I have some catching up to do here! Congratulations!! What wonderful news! You look radiant. And congratulations on the first anniversary too. Count me along for the ride.

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    1. Aw, thank you so much for the wishes on all fronts. Glad you'll be on for the ride! Xo

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