If you have ever been pregnant before, or at least read about it, you’ll know that back pain and soreness kind of comes with the whole pregnancy gig.  I’ve had 3 babies and can tell you all about it!  Once I confirmed I was expecting with baby #4, I was determined to find something that would fit my needs and wants when it came to lift, support, comfort, and function for a mom of 3.  Did anything like that really exist?  Was there really an ultimate pregnancy must-have to end back pain?  My “torpedo” belly has gotten more extreme with each pregnancy.  I knew this one would just be worst than the last, so I really just wanted something to help!

My first thought was that I should wear a maternity support belt.

Ew.

I had one.  I wore it for a total of 10 minutes, took it off, and never looked back.maternity support belt

Have you ever tried wearing one of those?  It’s very similar to a back support belt when you are doing heavy lifting.  Why would any pregnant woman want to wear this all the time?maternity support belt

If you’ve never worn or seen one, let me explain in just a few words:

  • Strappy
  • Velcrow-y
  • Hard/Stiff
  • Helps enhance your muffin top or any other spillage of squishy-ness you don’t want to advertise
  • Super uncomfortable – especially when you try to move in any other position besides standing perfectly still.
  • Not meant to wear under your clothes.  Honestly, if you did, there’d be more bumps and lumps than you’d know what to do with.maternity support belt

Need I say more?

The thought of putting that thing back on was enough to drive me to the web to search for a better option.

This is when I stumbled across the Blanqi Maternity Under-Bust Support Tank.  My thoughts went something like this: “Hmmm, this can’t seriously support and lift my huge belly…it’s just stretchy fabric!”  Then I started reading all of the many, many good reviews.  I mean, there were tons.  My desperation to have something as magical as this (and to not have a need for a “belt”) drove me to justify my purchase.  It cost more than what I had in mind, but I technically only needed one.  If it helped a lot, then it would have been worth every penny.  If it didn’t help as much as I’d hoped, then at least I had something to hold my jeans up instead of those belly band things that are always slipping and moving!The Ultimate Pregnancy Must-Have to End Back Pain, Blanqi Maternity Support

Before I received my Support Tank in the mail, I helped with an activity for our church youth group and ended up standing the whole time, about 2 hours.  I went home that night with such a sore and tired back, and I wasn’t even 20 weeks yet!  Showing, with just a small bump!

My tank arrived a few days later and I have never been better.  Honestly.  The next time I was on my feet for several hours at a time literally had no effect on me!  NO SORENESS.  NO BACK PAIN.  Seriously, amazing.The Ultimate Pregnancy Must-Have to End Back Pain, Blanqi Maternity Support

I am 35 weeks now and just spent 5 hours on my feet shopping for furniture this past weekend.  NO SORENESS.  NO BACK PAIN.  YAY!!!  This thing is seriously amazing.The Ultimate Pregnancy Must-Have to End Back Pain, Blanqi Maternity Support

Pros:

  • No back pain/soreness (thanks to the support across my back and under my belly)
  • Holds up my regular jeans/denim way, way better than those belly bands (that always slip and slide all over the place) – allows me to have a much better selection in wardrobe for my growing body.
  • Hides the fact that I’m not totally zipping up my jeans all the way!  Let alone even buttoning them!
  • Smooths out all the bumps (and muffin top and anything else that appears on my body while pregnant!) and is ultra flattering.
  • Very discreet, can be worn under dresses/skirts
  • Can match and even enhance your wardrobe because it looks like an additional layer of clothing if you wear them over your pants, etc.
  • Covers the gap from where your shirt ends to where your pants begin (and again, hides the unbuttoned buttons!).  Some of you may not have this problem, but my belly sticks out so far at the end that my “maternity” t’s won’t even cover me up!
  • Helps hide the belly button pop – that drives me crazy!
  • Truly Lifts and supports my growing torpedo-style belly.  As soon as I take it off I instantly feel the heaviness and weight of my belly.
  • Super comfortable, I have slept with this on many, many nights
  • I can also wear this after I have the baby – hold and support my shrinking uterus + who knows what else
  • Smooth out all the bumps and lumps that I am not going to love after this baby is out!
  • Because it’s the underbust I can totally wear this and nurse the baby without any problem.The Ultimate Pregnancy Must-Have to End Back Pain, Blanqi Maternity Support

Cons:

  • I wish I had all the colors!
  • I wish I didn’t go through 3 other pregnancies without this!
  • I wish I had all of their other support wear pieces!The Ultimate Pregnancy Must-Have to End Back Pain, Blanqi Maternity Support

I am not hired in any way by Blanqi to advertise this with you!  They’ve got many other wonderful items to offer, but the under-bust support tank is what they claim to be the MOST supportive, which is why I went with this one.

I do have an affiliate link here that will give me a small commission (at no cost to you) if you choose to purchase one, but will also give you 20% OFF your purchase!  A win for all!

The Ultimate Pregnancy Must-Have to End Back Pain, Blanqi Maternity Support

Striped-T | Maternity Support Tank | Army Green Pant, similar | Gold Bar Necklace, similar

Take a look at our De-Frump the Bump posts 1 & 2 and look at how many outfits I pulled off, all with this support tank underneath!

Seriously though, I’d tell the whole world about this thing with or without a special link with a 20% discount.  That’s just what we ladies do, right?

xo, Lora & Tammy

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Okay you guys, this has got to be one of my favorite outfits from our De-frump the Bump posts!  It was featured in Part 2 (but you also need to check out Part 1 if you haven’t already!).  This maternity stripe dress and pink overcoat are dreamy for me and my bump!  The dress actually isn’t a “maternity” dress, it’s just super soft and stretchy – which is right up my alley!  The dress can be worn so many different ways, dressed up or dressed down.Maternity Outfit Idea, Stretch Stripe Dress, Valentino Studded Heels, Pink Trench Coat, Pregnancy Fashion

Maternity Outfit Idea, Stretch Stripe Dress, Valentino Studded Heels, Pink Trench Coat, Pregnancy Fashion

Maternity Outfit Idea, Stretch Stripe Dress, Valentino Studded Heels, Pink Trench Coat, Pregnancy Fashion

The pink overcoat is the perfect addition to this already darling outfit and is now 40% OFF!  It goes so well with those studded heels!

Maternity Outfit Idea, Stretch Stripe Dress, Valentino Studded Heels, Pink Trench Coat, Pregnancy Fashion    Maternity Outfit Idea, Stretch Stripe Dress, Valentino Studded Heels, Pink Trench Coat, Pregnancy Fashion

Maternity Outfit Idea, Stretch Stripe Dress, Valentino Studded Heels, Pink Trench Coat, Pregnancy Fashion Stripe Dress | Pink Overcoat (40% OFF NOW!) | Shoes (Valentino) or similar | Maternity Support Tank

Last week flew by in a flash for me.  Like, I blinked, and it was over!  I think it was all of the running around and Christmas shopping I was trying to get done.  This is the last week of school for my 2 older kids before winter break.  I am REALLY excited to sleep in for a few weeks and not have the morning get-ready-for-school rush that is part of our usual routine.  I am definitely a night owl and love my morning sleep!  Being 30 weeks pregnant I think I deserve a little extra shut-eye anyway, right?

xo, Lora & Tammy

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The holidays are in full swing everywhere which always means gift giving is part of the equation.  My husband was nominated to be in charge of the Christmas group gift for 2 lovely ladies that they work with.  He did a great job with collecting the money from everyone but leaving the purchasing of the gift wasn’t something I was okay with (I’m a total control freak!).  A handful of gift cards was not really the best way of showing appreciation for these gals (at least not in my mind), although it would be the simplest way.  I had about $200 to spend for each of them, and after bouncing a bunch of ideas around I felt the best about putting together a gift basket for them.  I’ll be honest, I was nervous about spending everyone’s money and making sure I represented the group well!  It turned out to be really cute so I wanted to share with you what I did!!! This gift basket tutorial will inspire you in your gift giving dilemmas this season, or any time of the year!

To make things easier on myself, I decided to make the gifts identical between the 2 women.  I trolled around Pinterest and put together a list of items I thought would work for the gifts.  My goal was to buy as many items that I could from the same location so that I wouldn’t have to store hop a bunch.  Naturally, I went to Target, since I really go there for just about everything!

Hot chocolate, Starbucks, Target, mug, gift basket, tutorial, ChristmasI wanted this to be a Christmas/cozy themed gift so this Starbucks double hot chocolate was definitely needed.  The mug was a must and throwing in a Starbucks gift card was a cute way to give them a little something extra when they were out and about.

To do list, cute pens, Target, gift basket, tutorial, fringe, keychain, ChristmasThis “to do” list and set of pens were totally cute and an easy addition as a gift for 2 hard working ladies.  Who wouldn’t want these?  I also stumbled across this cute gold fringed key chain that was a great last minute accessory to add in.

Fuzzy socks, Christmas, burt's bees, vanilla pumpkin, candle, Target, gift basket, tutorialYou can’t give a warm and cozy gift basket without a yummy scented candle and super warm socks.  They are sooo fuzzy and soft inside and are heat insulating to top it off!  I also grabbed this Burt’s Bees kit which had hand lotion (always a must for winter), hand salve, cuticle cream and lip balm.

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Toffee, Bacon, chocolate, ghirardelli, Christmas, Target, gift basket, tutorialWe hit up the candy isle next.  I may or may not have been really hungry and really wanting chocolate at that same exact moment.  I narrowed down the many, many delicious options to these 3 beauties: Dark Chocolate Toffee, baconluxious chocolate, and Ghirardelli.  I wanted to give them a good assortment!

Gift box, gold, white, Target, gift basket, tutorial, ChristmasFor the actually assembly of the gift basket, I started out with this cute Sugar Paper gift box (similar square one here), roughly 9×12 inches.  There were lots of other cute boxes of various sized but because I had an idea of how much I wanted to fit inside, this one seemed like it was the most logical.

Gift box, gold, white, Target, gift basket, tutorial, tissue paper, ChristmasI grabbed a package of gold and white tissue paper (or this polka dot one would be super cute too) to act as a filler and ended up using 2 of each color.

Christmas, gift basket, tutorial, Target, how to, gift I added the biggest items first with the taller items in the back.  The Burt’s Bees package and Ghirardelli chocolate bags were also big but I decided to open them up and use the contents as a filler.  I figured the hot chocolate packets and Chocolate Toffee wouldn’t work as a good filler so I left them alone!Christmas, gift basket, tutorial, Target, how to, gift  The next biggest items were the pens and to do list.  They fit best right in the middle and I was able to prop up the pens so that they would be seen with the excess tissue paper.Christmas, gift basket, tutorial, Target, how to, giftThe bacon chocolate bar, Burt’s Bees hand lotion and cozy socks were next.  I played around a bit with their placing but liked this best.

Christmas, gift basket, tutorial, Target, how to, gift Lastly came the fillers, or the easy little things that could go just about anywhere.  The 3 other Burt’s Bees items were too small to place in front so I used a little scotch tape on the bottom of each to secure them to the lid of the candle.  The gift cards worked nicely in the mug and the individually wrapped chocolates were perfect in the front!  I draped the key chain along the socks and called it good.

Christmas, gift basket, tutorial, Target, how to, giftAfter everything was in place, I took cellophane wrap and unrolled it (while roughly measuring/eyeing it) to make sure it would cover the box with room to spare at the top.  It ended up being about half of the roll that I had, which was perfect since I was putting together 2 of these.  With the help of my daughter, Jayda, I placed the box in the center and pulled up the 4 corners of my sheet of cellophane.  I gathered it all and pulled the front part of the wrap around the sides and towards the back of the box.  I had Jayda hold the gathered cellophane at the top while I tidied up/folded it back (almost like wrapping a gift) and taping it down with clear tape.

After I made sure our gathering point was as tight and low as it could be (if it was too high, the cellophane would be too loose and saggy around the box), I tied a piece of baker’s twine around it to hold it in place.  It took a few tries for the first box until I got a good feel for where this needed to be.  Don’t lose hope if it’s not perfect the first time!  Try again and keep adjusting until it feels secure.  Once done, I added a cute gift tag to the twine and then tied a big pretty gold bow around the whole thing to cover up the twine.

Christmas, gift basket, tutorial, Target, how to, giftI think it turned out really cute!  I was wishing I had one of these gift baskets for myself!Christmas, gift basket, tutorial, Target, how to, gift

Did I mention I got all but 1 thing from Target?  It was great.  I used my Target Card and saved 5% on everything (every time!).  The not-so-great thing was I had my 3 kids with me the whole time.  We had many moments where I was ready to run and hide in the clothing racks and not claim those kids as my own, but we all survived thanks to a bag of Doritos and chocolate milk, hurray!

The great thing about putting together your own gift baskets, or in this case gift box, is that you can completely customize it for the person being gifted!  Plus, you have control over how much money is to be spent.  This was a hefty one because I had so much to spend, but normally I would have used a smaller box and probably left out the gift cards!  I had a lot of fun putting this together and will look to doing more of these the next time I am giving a gift!

xo, Lora & Tammy

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