Leave it to my face to break out like a teenager during pregnancy. I dodged morning sickness so I figured I would dodge this, too. Not a chance. The breakouts have been dependable and consistent. I decided to try Alba Botanica's Good & Healthy Anti-Oil Weightless Moisture Lotion to deal with the problem. I wanted something that would be healthy for my skin but get the job done.

Alba Botanica's Good & Healthy Anti-Oil Weightless Moisture Lotion is referred to as a smoothie for the skin. It's packed with Lutein, tons of vitamins and other phytonutrients from Kale, Spinach and Swiss Chard. So it is quite literally a smoothie for your face. I have super oily skin and this lotion left it matte and clean to the touch. No oil slick here! I love that it contains non of the icky stuff like Parabens, Phthalates, Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate and Sodium Myreth Sulfate. It's also 100% Vegetarian. The first ingredient is also water, which is a good sign.

I love that my skin no longer feels like a crater. That's been pleasant. Alba Botanica's Good & Healthy Anti-Oil Weightless Moisture Lotion has been keeping it clean, refreshed, hydrated and, best of all, pimple-free!

Click here to read more about Alba Botanica's Good & Healthy Anti-Oil Weightless Moisture Lotion.

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Over the summer, sunglasses become a necessary part of my wardrobe. All I wear are aviators. Aviators are super versatile and they look great on mostly every face. Warby Parker's Into The Gloss collaboration features a pair that I am dying over. Vogue alum Emily Weiss and Nick Axelrod collaborated with Warby Parker to design two pairs of aviators in premium Japanese titanium. I'm loving the sun option. The partnership took a year of designing and testing glasses to come up with glasses that you are going to love. Great aviators are comfortable, first and foremost. They should fit effortlessly on your face. They should also be light in weight. People who don aviators want no-fuss sun protection that looks good. These Warby Parker glasses are just the right pair.

Click here for more information on the Warby Parker Into the Gloss Collaboration and to snag your pair. 

I started off at 105 lbs and am now 129 lbs. For someone who has been small my entire life, it was a bit of an adjustment at the beginning dressing my new body. Nothing fitted around my waist and forget about jeans. I couldn't get any of my old pairs over my thighs. 
I've started having a bit more fun dressing, now. I've found quite a few items in my wardrobe that have been doing double-duty for maternity. This dress is a great example. It just expanded to fit my belly and is still super comfortable. G-d bless stretchy clothes.

Necklace: Jora (Etsy)
Bangle: bought at Bhoomki

I'm preggos! This is my first pregnancy and there were lots of surprises. At first, though, it was a bit intense. I've known so many pregnant women and each woman's experience is different. But there are some things I wish I knew before this started. Here are 5 of them:

1) The tiredness in the first trimester is like no other exhaustion. I really enjoy working and often work crazy hours. Tiredness is not a big deal for me. For the first trimester, though, it was a new type of tiredness. My body was completely worn out. I felt like I had no energy to do anything. I remember being on the train and being on the verge of tears because I had to stand. My body just felt done ALL THE TIME. When I started reading the books, I realized this is actually the norm and it's so much better in the second trimester. 

2) Eating for two is no joke. The books say you're actually eating for one and half. Screw that shit. My body was demanding about 5 full meals a day and I would get gripping tummy pains if I didn't listen right away. My appetite increased before I found out I was pregnant so it seemed like I was just ravenously hungry for no reason. During Passover, we were going to Connecticut for the night and Adam made me a big bowl of potatoes in the morning because the thought of not having potatoes readily at hand was catastrophic. It was not pleasant.

3) My mind went a bit cray cray. Now that I'm in the second trimester, everything has settled down, including my mind. At the beginning, I was consumed with constant worry. Were the bumps on the bus going to hurt my baby? If I ate spicy food, would it hurt my baby? How am I going to find time to be a super mom? How much money does it take to raise a child (thanks, Google)? Should I get another job? If I'm breastfeeding every 2 hours, when will I find time to binge-watch the next season of Orange Is The New Black? The worry was constant and all I could do was talk about it. My sister is one of those super moms that makes it look really easy so she assured me that it all works out. It just kind of does. You start off with the best of intentions and you try your best and that's all you can do

4) I didn't realize that my body would be a vessel and I would no longer have much control. From the beginning, my body was just making demands. Eat lots of potatoes. Eat peeled and horizontally sliced oranges twice a day. Drink hot chocolate in the morning instead of tea (this was hard). Drink lots of water. My body was in complete control and I just followed along and fulfilled its demands. Usually, I was in control. I would skip breakfast, eat a fast lunch and have dinner with Adam. Now, my life revolved around my next feeding and there wasn't anything I could do about it. I now know that the baby is growing the most in the first few weeks and that my cravings were actually for things my body needed to nourish the baby. 

5) I didn't realize that it's possible to fall in love with someone I've never seen. I became attached pretty early on. It's hard not to. There is hardly a moment when I forget I am pregnant and I feel such love for this little person inside of me. It's such an intimate experience so grow a child inside of you. I must admit I fought the attachment a bit. I tried to tell myself that anything can happen. Babies are miracles. It's really a wonder we have so many in this world. But I couldn't help it. We gave the baby a pet name. My life's purpose is suddenly first and foremost defined by the effect it would have on my body and the baby. This was no love at first sight. This is love at no sight. 

Thankfully, everything has subsided and I've super relieved. My energy is back and I'm back to bouncing all over the city. My appetite and I are working with each other. I finally have some boobs to call home about. I'm really enjoying the party. AND I heard it stays like this for a few months so excuse me while I go enjoy the golden trimester. 

I love my curls. Sometimes, though, I really am not up to combing it. The easiest solution is to hide it all under a scarf or a turban. I tried two types of turbans and loved both.

One is a simple scarf that I wrapped around my head once. I tied it in a knot at the base of my head and left the ends out in the back.

For the other style, I used a jersey scarf in a bold color and pulled all the fabric to the top of my head. I twirled it in a bun and secured it with a hair tie. 

Turbans are a great way to hide a bad hair day. It's also fun to just try something different. 

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Starting a clothing line is not the easiest thing to do. There seems to be no surefire way that will guarantee success. I'm wary of calling any part of the path of Tabii Just a mistake because I've learnt so much from each misstep. There is one thing I did at the very beginning that resulted in wasted money, time and energy that I wish I could go back in time and undo
When I started my line, I had all these lofty goals about how I wanted things to look. Couple that with limited knowledge of the tech world and you have a formula for disaster. I was sure I wanted a beautiful website. Having a strong web presence is super important and I wanted mine to be unique. I wanted to stand out! I wanted a custom-made website. I attended lots of business expos and found a web company that took me out and did a bit of wining and dining. I was sold. I hired them. I was soon to find out that their idea of chic and elegant was way off base. They offered me only a partial refund since they had already built a site. I found another one at another business expo (see a pattern here?) that I liked. I started working with them and was pleasantly surprised at how accessible they were. Their fee, though, was so expensive that I couldn't pay all of it in one lump sum. I was sure it was worth it, though. They directed me to all these glossy, professional sites they had built and I was impressed. We decided that I would pick a Wordpress theme and they would customize it. After they built it, the problems started. I wanted the font just a tad bigger, which cost extra. I wanted the color changed. You guessed it! This cost extra. Over the course of a year, every minor change I wanted cost more and more dinero and they were getting annoyed that I was getting annoyed at this. I wanted them to show me how to do it. They assured me it was too complicated for me to understand.

One thing no-one tells you when you launch your line is that your knowledge will rapidly increase and your taste will most likely change because of this. Soon, my website didn't meet my needs or my tastes. I wanted to launch an online store but had to create an external link from my website because, surprise, integrating it would cost extra. I started checking out my designer friends' sites and asking them about theirs. I was shocked to learn that most went with simple templates and no customization. Their sites were beautiful! 

I finally decided that a functioning ecommerce site was much more important than a unique site. I also brought on an IT expert to my board of advisors. He quickly saw that they built the site in such a way that only they could make changes even through WordPress. It took one solid weekend of manually transferring my information across and many very productive calls to the support teams at GoDaddy.com and Shopify.com to come up with a site that I loved, was easy to navigate on the backend and that WORKED smoothly! I "designed" it myself from a simple template and am able to integrate my newsletter, social media outlets, etc to the site seamlessly. 

I wish I could go to every emerging designer who is thinking of getting a website and offer them money to go with a template website as opposed to all these smaller web companies that promise you the sky. It's not worth the headache and it's a complete waste of money to build a custom site. These platforms are easy to learn on your own. That knowledge will save you money. The customer support at Godaddy.com and Shopify.com are seriously amazing and you will come to love them like family. I survived my biggest mistake which was having a custom built site.  To emerging designers, I would say, do some research, talk to other designers and be frugal. Go with a template you like but you're going to need your money for manufacturing. 

And, if you're curious, here is my website. 

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We're working on something very, very exciting. I can barely keep this under wraps. I had to film a short video announcement today and I cannot tell you how long it took for us to film a simple 3 minute video. It was so funny. Apparently, my body didn't get the memo that today is a working Sunday. It's rebelling. Here's one of the many bloopers from today. Where is a water boy when you need one?

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Hair and beauty are two areas that are endlessly fascinating for women. No lady has ever complained about finding the perfect products for her skin and hair so our quest continues. Here are 3 trends we never thought we'd see everyone gushing over.

Anti-aging for the hair-Who knew that hair actually ages along with the body? Research shows that anti-aging serums and creams for the hair are actually having a major moment. There's even an at-home hair coloring system that has anti-aging properties. You're never going to complain about hair that's too young and healthy. 

Drop the mask-If you're looking for immediate results, masks are your best friend. In as little as an hour, you can have fresher, brighter skin. Apparently, word got out about this. Masks and peels saw a 66% sales jump in prestige outlets in 2013. 

Tender loving skin care- Remember when every expert recommended frequent exfoliation? Not anymore.  Oils, gentle gels and hydrating cleansers were the stars in 2013. Treating your skin gently is the new rage. This goes double for the skin under the eyes. The face holds the most layers of product (think moisturizer, primer, makeup) so finding a gentle but effective cleanser is the key. 

2014 is the year of healthy, young hair with insta-gorgeous skin. Are you in?

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I'm really torn on thrift shops. On one hand, it's a great way to give life to new clothing. On a global level, it's a massive business that simply does not make sense ethically. Bales of used clothing are usually exported to other countries when not sold here. This can stifle the local fashion identity of the country, unnecessarily devalue the clothing which is already inhibited by the fashion calendar and "give consumers a false sense of security that the rate at which they are consuming and disposing of clothing is at all sustainable", among other things. Read more about this here. With every shopping decision I make, I try to be conscientious, though, so I found myself in a thrift shop in Park Slope that was closing down. I chatted with the owner who told me that though business was good, she was done. She wanted to try something different with her life. I wanted to not only support her but get meaningful pieces to add to my wardrobe.
 I got this 100% wool cape for $35. It's not the warmest thing so I keep it for warm spring days. I also got this leather midi skirt for $15. I think it was so inexpensive because the clasp at the waist at the back wasn't a smart decision, design-wise. It kept popping open. I switched it for a more appropriate pant hook. I love that this skirt length is so flattering on us skinny girls but I'm thinking about cutting it into a mini and doing something interesting with the excess leather. I just know myself and I know I will get more use out of a mini skirt. 

Thrift shopping isn't necessarily a negative thing. I really fell in love with these pieces and I've been lusting and plotting after a cape for some time. This leather skirt is just a good investment piece. Do I go thrift shopping often? Not really. Would I recommend it? To each his own but this is a great alternative for people who complain about the high retail price of "conscious" clothing. 

My bill was $50 and I got 2 great pieces that are sure to last me a long time. 

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