My Pregnancy Must-Haves

We’re in the home stretch of my pregnancy (woohoo)! As we near the end I’m looking back on items I couldn’t have lived without. Pregnancy changed my priorities in ways I never could’ve imagined, but these products helped save my sanity (and body) along the way. I hope this helps you if you’re expecting!

  1. I’d heard a lot about bras but something I hadn’t really considered was maternity underwear. As my belly grew and even my high waisted underwear stopped fitting, these ended up becoming one of my “can’t live without” items. I’d recommend sizing up for a little extra comfort.
  2. Toward the end of my second trimester I had a day where I felt really light headed and sick – turns out I was low in iron. Low iron levels make it difficult to absorb water, which left me dehydrated. These, along with an iron supplement, totally took care of that problem and I’ve continued to use one a day since.
  3. I’ve always been a fan of Zella leggings, so I expected to like these for workouts. I was right – I ended up buying 3 pair. They stay up and are polished enough to wear with a sweater or to a workout.
  4. I work in an office setting, so I needed comfortable shoes that would still look polished. These heels have lasted my entire pregnancy, and they’re even more comfortable than some of my flats, including my tieks. The ankle strap keeps me secure while the arch provides the support I need to not get achy feet.
  5. I went through A LOT of maternity jeans and only kept this pair. They have just enough give without feeling like leggings and fit better than the pair of Madewell jeans I ordered and returned.
  6. Maternity bras are something I invested in pretty early on, including this Natori bra and this Spanx bra, but my favorite wound up being this soft cup bra. As my belly grew bigger, it wound up being the only bra that didn’t make my ribs ache.
  7. I’ve never been a big soda drinker but after giving up everything but water, this flavored sparkling water was such a treat.
  8. I cannot tell you how much I love these pajamas. I have them in the dress version, too, and they’re the first thing I change into when I get home. I love that they have front buttons, which means they’ll be great for breastfeeding, too.
  9. Living in Florida, shorts are a necessity and I have a pretty curvy lower body. Because of this, I bought and returned a lot of shorts. These are the best I found, along with these jean shorts.
  10. You can never go wrong with a little black dress, and pregnancy is no different. This dress goes great on its own, with a kimono, paired with a t-shirt or button down.
  11. Last but definitely not least, this pregnancy pillow has saved my sleep. I had one prior to this but it wasn’t quite thick enough. This pillow had just enough fluff to support my hips and my growing bump. I haven’t suffered from insomnia at all and I can’t say it’s because of this pillow, but I also can’t say it’s not because of this pillow.

And that’s all she wrote! I’ll be packing my hospital bag soon and I’ll be sure to detail what I did and didn’t use at the hospital in after the baby comes. Thank you so much for reading, and if you had something that was essential to your pregnancy, I’d love to hear in the comments.

Love y’all! XO

Kait

Valentine’s Gift Inspo

A version of this article originally appeared in the February 2020 Ocala Magazine.

Stumped? Here’s some creative inspiration to surprise your special someone with a sweet something.

February is for lovers. This decade, elevate your Valentine’s Day plans and get her what she really wants. Whether it’s a designer bag or an afternoon exploring downtown, Ocala has you covered.

Food Tour

Uncover a vast spectrum of cooking styles in Ocala’s historic downtown. Brick City Food Tours visit five local tasting locations in the downtown neighborhood. Between samples, your informative guides will share their experiences of local customs, historic stories and specialty shops. This walking tour is ideal for lovers eager to discover the culinary secrets and traditions that compose the horse capital of the world — book on Airbnb Experiences.

Wine Making Class

The Corkscrew Winery now offers swine-making classes, which turns the casual wine lover into a chemist. Book a private class and craft your favorite style or join a group of other wine connoisseurs by booking on Groupon.com.

Dance Together

Become the dancers you always wanted to be. Move in sync during a dance class with Ocala’s Arthur Murray Dance Centers, which specializes in teaching couples how to dance. Located in downtown Ocala, your first dance lesson is free.

Designer Taste

All it takes is to step into one of these elegant boutiques and any shopper will land on the perfect, fashionable gift. Shannon Roth Collection features Julie Vos and Theia jewelry, Current Air and Mod Ref clothing, and home goods designed by the talened Jan Barboglio. Steps away, Agapanthus boasts Pandora jewelry gift sets, Longchamp handbags and sought-after candles like Voluspa and the Capri Blue Volcano.

Savor the Cook

Give the gift of zest and bring home the cooking of chef Albert Barrett. The woman who savors flavors will love anything from Stella’s Modern Pantry – handcrafted chocolates, Caymus wine, specialty cheese, caviar spread and more.

Sentimental Selection

Gallery on Magnolia is home to hand-crafted “spirit tiles.” Each tile begins with wood and is wrapped with copper and a glass infusion then fired to create a work of art. Each displays a glistening scene paired with a synonymous quote, and the E.E. Cummings “I care your heart with me” tile is perfect for a special woman.

Art Aficionado

Ocala’s art scene is booming, and art enthusiasts are sure to love hand-selected pieces. Check out the First Friday Art Walk on February 7 to explore Ocala’s native art scene. Art devotees will love the innovative work of Ocala’s local artists.

Water Adventure

Silver Springs State Park is a natural wonder right here in Ocala. Spend the day on the water taking in the springs by paddleboard, canoe, kayak or glass-bottom boat. It’s perfect for the couples who loves to get outdoors, and as an added bonus: finish the day sharing an ice cream cone at Paradise Treats.

Commemorate Your Wedding

The creative team at Marley Mae Market & Paperie is known for thinking outside the box. They’re bringing their A game for Valentine’s Day with custom pieces to commemorate your wedding day. Choose from a custom print of you wedding vows or first dance song lyrics and remind your lady of the first day of the rest of your lives.

A Night at the Theater

What’s more romantic than a night at the ballet? The Reilly Arts Center hosts Dance Alive National Ballet on February 21 as they present “Loveland.” This ballet is inspired by the pull of the moon, a love story that blends love, romance and passion.

Be Inspired

Ocala is host to an award-winning museum, home to approximately 18,000 objects in its permanent collection and features temporary traveling exhibits. At the Appleton Museum of Art, take in artwork from Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and more as you cozy up to your partner.

Horse Capital of the World

What could be more fitting for a romantic day out than horseback riding in the horse capital of the world? Book a private ride or join a group and tap into your adventurous side with Cactus Jack’s Trail Rides. We hear some of the best bonding experiences come from experiences that test your comfort zone.

Ocala is home to a wide variety of ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day whether your partner prefers gifts or quality time. Regardless of how you celebrate, what matters most is who you share it with.

Photos by Brittany Bishop Photography.

Ocala Christmas Photo Locations

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! In Ocala it’s still pretty warm, but we’re all faking it by decorating early and forcing joy on everyone we meet. One thing that’s right on schedule though, is planning our holiday photos.

As someone who has taken her fair share of Christmas card photos in Ocala, this year I started to feel like I’ve run out of new locations. We don’t get snow here, so we really have to get creative with where we muster holiday cheer. I put on my thinking cap and assembled a list of my favorite local locations for a festive Christmas card.

Silver Springs State Park

Glass Bottom Boats, a sweet shop filled with festive goodies and romantic pergolas covered in ivy. What could be more Ocala?

Kandy Kane Christmas Treeland

We don’t get snow in Ocala, but we do get Christmas trees! This is one of my favorite galleries to look back on because it was a true experience. We cut down our own tree and decorated it that night!

Appleton Museum of Art

I love the regal feeling of this location. The Appleton boasts a reflecting pool, gorgeous marble walls, a garden courtyard, floor to ceiling windows and, of course, breathtaking art galleries.

Downtown Ocala

Ocala’s historic downtown is one of my favorite parts of the city. There’s gorgeous architecture with every turn, and now that the original brick has been restored it feels even more revived.

Your Local Park

Ocala is home to some beautiful local parks! This park is just off 11th Street in the downtown Ocala neighborhood, and there are so many more like it. Just to name a few: Tuscawilla Park, Baseline Road Trailhead and Sholom Park.

After you’ve chosen a location, then it’s time to select outfits! Stay tuned for my next post, where I’ll break down outfits for every location. Where is your favorite local photo location?

10 Easy Last Minute Costumes

Let’s get real. You, like so many others, waited until the last minute to find a Halloween costume. It’s almost too late to order anything from Amazon and your local Halloween store is bare racks.

Instead of freaking out, take these four steps:

  1. Get outfit inspiration ideas from this post.
  2. Check Facebook Marketplace for local costumes sold by your neighbors.
  3. Use the Amazon Prime your aunt pays for and get a costume shipped to you in 2 days.
  4. If steps 1-3 have failed you, hit up Walmart or Goodwill and put together an easy DIY costume.

I’ve done the first part for you – check out my favorite easy, last minute costumes here:

Space Jam Lola Bunny and Bugs Bunny

All you need is the jersey (I got ours from Ebay), white basketball shorts, triple stripe socks and bunny ears. Lucky for you, I’m selling ours on Facebook Marketplace here and here.

Contestants from The Bachelor

Y’all know I love the Bachelor and all things Bachelor-adjacent. Slip on the bridesmaid dress that lives in the back of your closet and carry around a rose. Don’t forget the two drinks per hour limit!

Pink Ladies

At this point, everyone should own this pair of Spanx faux leather leggings, right? Throw on an oversized pink button down, a cute pair of sunnies, a bandana and you’re ready for action!

Social Butterfly

Full disclosure, I still may rock this at work on Halloween. It’s tasteful, super cute and only requires a pair of wings from your local Walmart.

Regina George

“Regina George… How do I begin to explain Regina George? I hear her hair’s insured for $10,000.” Cut out holes in a tee and confidently rock that look.

80s Workout Diva

Channel your inner Jamie Lee Curtis and SWEAT! This is a perfect example of an easy DIY from Walmart or Goodwill. Biker shorts are back in style and every Goodwill I’ve ever been to carries a fanny pack and a windbreaker.

Cowgirl

Who doesn’t want to ride a horse at the party? This pony and cowgirl accessories are easy to find at your local Walmart in the toys section!

Beer Pong

I saw a girl dressed as this in college and I’ve envied her ever since. It requires a little DIY, but if you’re someone who would rock this you probably have some extra duct tape lying around, anyway.

Hippie

If you went to Coachella this year you already have this outfit, so why not rock it twice?

Dancing Women Wearing Bunny Ears Emoji

Grab your go-to little black dress, a pair of bunny ears and your BFF!

2019 Nordstrom Sale Review

The Public Access of Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale is now live and will continue until August 4th! This is the first year I’ve shopped the sale and I stuck to a few pieces I’ve had my eyes on that rarely, if ever go on sale plus a few basics. My husband and I are sticking to a frugal budget due to our recent move, so the items on this list are all less than $100!

Zella Live In High Waist Leggings

igobykait Kaitlyn Butler Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Zella Leggings

This is my second year purchasing these leggings during the sale and last year’s are still in great shape!

Spanx Faux Leather Leggings

igobykait Kaitlyn Butler Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Spanx Leather Leggings

100% worth the hype. Smooths cellulite, comfortable, high waisted and have great stretch. These rarely go on sale so definitely get them while they’re still in stock!

adidas Edge Lux 3 Running Shoe

igobykait Kaitlyn Butler Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Adidas Running Shoe

Y’all, I’m obsessed with these sneakers. I feel so trendy with the pattern and they’re extra comfortable while still durable enough for the gym.

Outdoor Voices 7/8 Springs Leggings

igobykait Kaitlyn Butler Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Outdoor Voices Leggings

Save your money. I had high hopes for these leggings but they run extra small, have very little give and aren’t high waisted enough to control the belly. My husband’s remarks were, “Are those showing your knee?” Did I mention the color contrast isn’t super forgiving on us pale ladies?

BP. V-Neck Tee

igobykait Kaitlyn Butler Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Plain White Tee

A staple tee is always necessary and this tee does its job. I bought this in white, black and grey. It’s not as long as I would’ve expected, but is still long enough to tie up if you want to pair it with high waisted jeans or a cute slip skirt.

BLANKNYC Suede Miniskirt

igobykait Kaitlyn Butler Nordstrom Anniversary Sale BLANKNYC Suede Miniskirt

I LOVE the texture of this skirt. It is a little shorter than I expected, but I’m very excited to rock this with some booties.

Leith Rib Wrap Sweater

igobykait Kaitlyn Butler Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Wrap Sweater

I was really expecting this shirt to be more flattering with the wrap element. In reality the “girls” try to escape constantly and it’s so short that it sneaks from its tucked in form and is loose within minutes.

BP. Button Front Knot Hem Tee

igobykait Kaitlyn Butler Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Knot Tee

Say hello to my new favorite shirt. Soft, affordable and oh, so flattering.

Zella Resolve Racerback Tank

igobykait Kaitlyn Butler Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Zella Tank

What’s not to love about a good workout tank? I love the racerback element that shows off back muscles and the sleeveless element allows me to check out my triceps in the mirror! Come on, you know you do it too.

Do you shop the sale? I’ll feature a try-on session on my Instagram Stories. Share your favorite pieces with me in the comments section!