Ijeoma Kola pregnant in living room

Thursday Tea | Nesting Mode

I’m definitely starting to feel VERY pregnant. I’m getting winded after walking for about 10 minutes, I have to strategize on how to get out of bed every morning, and hemorrhoids have joined heartburn in cheerful third trimester woes. The good news is I’m almost done unpacking and decorating, so all that’s left is to collect a few more things for the baby and we’ll be all set for delivery! I’ve still got six weeks to go but a friend with a due date close to mine delivered this week so I’m on high alert because it could literally be any day now!

Thursday Tea is where I share a little weekly life update alongside some recommendations, advice, and things I’m currently loving!

1. Bio-Oil

I’d seen dozens and dozens of pregnancy recommendations suggest that women buy Bio-Oil to alleviate stretch marks, so I succumbed to peer pressure and got a bottle! I actually don’t have any stretch marks on my stomach (I’ve heard pregnancy stretch marks are genetic but don’t quote me), but I have recently developed some stretch marks on my boobs. Plus my belly has been itching like crazy! Bio-Oil helps keep my skin moisturized to alleviate itching and is a nice morning ritual to rub all over my body when getting ready, and for Jonathan to rub on my belly before we go to bed.

2. New Couch & Couch Covers

Rather than doing a full on apartment tour, I think I’ll be doing room reveals, and the first room that will be ready is our living room! We had an Ikea Soderhamn sectional with custom denim blue velvet covers in our old apartment, but wanted to have three separate seating areas in our current living room. I researched couches for a long time before settling on the Article Sven Leather Sofa – leather is a hardy (aka baby friendly) fabric that will last for years to come. More importantly though, this couch is amazingly soft! So buttery!

We’re getting a new set of covers for the Ikea couches from Bemz – a company that specializes in custom covers for Ikea products. I polled the good people of IG who largely voted for one of the darker contrasting colors (burgundy and the black & white chevron got the most votes), but I kind of feel like my original white, minimalist design aesthetic is slipping away and I need to reclaim it. Either way I’ll do a full room reveal in a few weeks (if the baby doesn’t interrupt said plans) and show you which covers I picked!

Bemz couch cover swatches on a wooden coffee table with tribal rug

3. How I Work with American Brands While Being in Kenya

I’ve been getting this question a lot lately, from both American and Kenyan followers. Even though I now live in Kenya, a large majority of my social media audience is still based in America, so American brands still want to partner with me to reach an American based audience. Shipping from the US to Kenya is EXPENSIVE because Kenya charges insane – like 75% of the value – duty on imports. Once a brand agrees to work with me, I pay to ship the items to Kenya myself out of pocket. To be completely transparent this ordinarily would have affected my take home pay for sponsored campaigns, but my engagement rate is way up since the move so I’ve been able to charge a bit more for collaborations!

animal print nail art, japanese nails, calgel, presto gel

4. Baby Shower Nails

My baby shower is this weekend (yay!) and not gonna lie the most exciting aspect of it has probably already happened, which are my nails lol! I’ve been struggling to find really talented nail artists in Kenya (I also tried when I was in Lagos a few weeks ago… I’ll have to share that mishap on stories soon), so I couldn’t wait to go back to my favorite NYC nail salon for an intricate manicure design. Rika did an AMAZING job! I’m finna keep these on til 2020 lol.

5. Shoe Stretchers

I’m actually not sure how much weight I’ve gained during my pregnancy (my doctor doesn’t weigh me on every visit, which is actually a relief), but I do know that some of my shoes are starting to get a wee bit tight. I’ve been needing to invest in shoe stretchers for years now because the pair of Louboutins that I have – that I saved up for and bought for myself while in Paris – is SUPER tight in the toe box. I wanted to wear the shoes for my baby shower so finally bit the bullet and bought some shoe stretchers, which made a huge difference! Highly recommend if you have any shoes that are tight in the toe area or need to be stretched to be a bit longer.

Those are my updates for this week – feel free to share any special requests in the comments for what I should discuss next week!

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  1. Bio-Oil is one of my favorites! It’s my go-to moisturizer because it’s gentle enough for my face, but effective enough for my knees and elbows, too. Hopefully one day I’ll use it on my growing belly as well. Love the nails and look forward to some baby shower shots. Happy Thursday!

  2. The third trimester is a whammy. It seems like everything goes from one to one hundred quickly. The extra weight, swelling, tiredness and the urgency of the due date to arrive is the upmost expectancy. You are definitely carrying your pregnancy well. I’m happy that your business is doing well even in Kenya.