Pregnancy Recap on My First Trimester

hikari murakami OC LA makeup artist blogger pregnant

I can't believe we're already at the 6 month mark of our pregnancy!  Helloooo, where did the time go?  I'm well into my second trimester and thought it would be interesting to do a recap on my first trimester.  Here are some questions I got and answered them as honestly as I could.  Everyone has different experiences and I always like hearing about others' stories, so here's my recap! Hope you enjoy.

1. How did you find out?

Besides the obvious peeing on a stick and going to the doctors, I'll tell you some of the reasons why I took a test in the first place.  I went to Hawaii for a makeup/hair job from 2/6-2/9 and I remember feeling oddly nauseous this one time during the trip, and then when I came back to LA. The first time I noticed how nauseous I was, was after our 3 hour boat ride photoshoot.  The weird thing was, I wasn't nauseous during the boat ride, but it was after.  I don't easily get motion sickness either.   At the time, I thought maybe it was just an aftermath from the waves and being off my center of gravity.  I was also hungry because we hadn't eaten since early lunch time.  By the time we got back to the dock, it was 7pm.  Eventually after we ate, I did feel better.  So I brushed off the nausea.  On 2/9, When I landed in LA, I felt really tired and kind of nauseous.  But this nausea felt like it was because I hadn't eaten a decent meal in hours.  We got home and I tried to eat but could barely eat anything.  I didn't want to throw up by eating (looking back, this was a mistake and I should of eaten something!  I'll go into this more later).  On 2/10, I was back at work but the whole day I was soo nauseous up until dinner.  I forced myself to eat some Japanese udon and kind of felt better after.  At this point, I thought something was off.  I rarely get nauseous and even if I did, it doesn't prolong like that.  And it was then that the actual thought of "what if I'm pregnant?" popped into my mind.  So I took a test on 2/11.   I'm bad about knowing exactly when my period comes, so I really had to look back to see how late I was.   It didn't help that my periods are not exactly on time every month so this wasn't a primary indicator.  So in my case, I went with my gut instinct and that I was abnormally nauseous as reasons to take a test.

2.  HOw did you feel when you found out? 

I share in depth in my last blogpost of how I really felt when I found out.  Initially my reaction wasn't sheer joy but now that time's past and as my body is changing, I have a newfound excitement about this!  Read about it here.

hikari murakami OC LA makeup artist blogger pregnant
hikari murakami OC LA makeup artist blogger pregnant

3.  Did you have morning sickness?

I guess I kind of already answered this in #1, but yes, yes I did... good news is that, my morning sickness never got to the point of throwing up.  Hallelujah!  Contrary to popular belief, my morning sicknesses didn't happen in the morning.  It happened sometimes during the middle of the day, and then in the evening.  I did read that just because it's called morning sickness, it doesn't necessarily just happen in the morning, so this wasn't a surprise to me.  My morning sicknesses were just these waves of nausea that would come and go.  When it came, it really sucked because you feel like you can't and don't want to do anything.  The thought of certain foods, or even thoughts, would trigger my gag reflex so bad.  I didn't even crave coffee anymore, and you all know I'm a coffee LOVER.  But nope, body said no during first trimester.  If I thought about Thai food or KBBQ, which I usually love, I felt sick.  Even the thought of me traveling, made me sick.  Or when I scrolled through Instagram and looked at my phone for awhile, it made me feel sick.  One time I was driving and the nausea hit all of a sudden, I had to breath so hard so I wouldn't throw up while driving, haha!  But despite all this, I will say that I was one of the lucky ones that had a relatively easy first trimester when it came to morning sickness.

4.  So how did you get rid of Morning Sickness?

I did several things that helped with my nausea.   All thanks to the internet and finding tips that literally felt like it was saving my life.  This was the number one thing I researched because I HATE feeling nauseous.  I have pukephobia.  I will do anything not to throw up.  Haha!  So here's a few things that helped me, and hopefully it'll help you too!

  1. Snack, and snack OFTEN! Never go too hungry because it's when you get hungry that you can feel more sick.  One of the worse things you can do is not eat when this happens.  Usually when I nibbled on something, the nausea subsided for the most part. I've never been so snack prepared in my life. I was never the type to meal prep, but snack prep for pregnancy I did!
  2. Ginger Ale or San Pellegrino (Blood Orange to be exact ha!).  I don't know if it's the carbonation or what, but these 2 drinks made me feel so much better!  
  3. Grapes, saltine crackers, nuts, and yogurt.  These are the snacks that I brought everywhere with me. I could only eat saltine crackers and grapes when I was in the middle of a nausea wave.  Find foods and snacks that you can tolerate, and stock up on them.  Listen to your body when the thought of certain foods make you gag vs. food that give you comfort.
  4. Peppermint essential oil.  I carried this with me at all times and sniffed when I felt nauseous.

5. what were the major body changes ?

Some of the things I experienced aren't necessarily first trimester specific, but it might be good to know it's completely normal if it happens to you too!  

  1. I lost weight.  Usually you think pregnancy = weight gain and I thought this would happen right off the bat.   But because you feel sick most of the time and lose your appetite, I found out you tend to lose weight in the first trimester.  As long as you're eating, you should be fine!
  2. I was thirsty.  I'm one of those bad ones that didn't drink that much water, and would drink coffee more than water (oops).  But once I got pregnant, I was THIRSTY and wanted to actually drink water.  I got good about it too.  I brought around a water bottle with me and filled it up whenever I could and made sure to drink good ole' H20.  It almost became a comfort thing to drink water.
  3. I got leaky.  OK, TMI. But most preggos go through this.  Your bladder control isn't as strong, your baby is  pushing down, and your muscles down there loosen up.  So if you laugh too hard or sneeze, you might...leak.  Sorry mama.  
  4. I ran out of breath easier.  Especially when walking up and down the stairs.  Slightly embarrassing at work when I go to the bathroom and come back up to my desk and I'm huffing and puffing.  But what can you do?
  5. I didn't start "showing" until week 17 (second trimester).   I felt my pants getting tighter towards the end of my first trimester, and noticed what seemed more like a not-so-cute bloat bump.  But not a cute baby bump yet.  Everyone shows at different times, and it's good to remember that.

All in all, my first trimester was thankfully easy.  I felt that this transition was more of a emotional and mental one vs. hurdling the physical challenges.  And as mentioned in my last blogpost,  I didn't feel fully ready or actually excited about being pregnant until I hit the second trimester.  As I'm writing this and comparing how I felt back then vs. how I feel now, it's affirmation that the mind and body does prepare and adjust to life changes, no matter what you think.  Second trimester's been amazing and can't wait to recap this one for you too!

hikari murakami OC LA makeup artist blogger pregnant

Paris Travel Part 1: What to do when you have no itinerary

There's SO much I can say about the beautiful Parisian city, I almost don't know where to start.  But I can say I fell in love.  I've always admired from afar the architecture, Parisian sense of style, and the overall energy of the city.  I feel so lucky to have actually experienced this in person. 

Because there's so much, I'm breaking down my Paris trip in a 2 part series!  Today I'm sharing 6 most memorable things we did.

Do you ever travel without an agenda?  Without a check list of places to go?  We did not have an itinerary to follow for the most part.  What we did do though, is once we checked into our Airbnb, we wrote down a few places as a starting point for the day.  Then we went from there.  But we went about our days without expectations.  I almost prefer this way of traveling.  What about you?  Do you like to plan out your trips or go with the flow?  

Either way, here are 6 things things you can consider doing if you're like me, and didn't plan beforehand, ha! 

1.  Walk the City

I never thought I'd say this, but I was so excited to walk.  Coming from LA you get so used to driving everywhere, you think walking down the street to the grocery store is a hassle.  But not in Paris.  By walking, you get to actually see the architecture, the ornate details of every building, people walking, sit down at a cafe, and be a part of the everyday Parisian people.  I recommend taking the metro to be able to visit more areas, but walk as much as you can. 

What to do in Paris
What to do in Paris
Paris travel blog review what to do in paris blogger
Travel blogger hikari paris city guide what to do
paris travel blog
paris travel blog
Paris travel blog review what to do in paris blogger

2.  Angelina 

Angelina Paris

If you want a Parisian restaurant experience, have lunch at Angelina (or brunch or dinner, of course).  I've actually never heard of Angelina until my travel sister mentioned it.  But when I looked it up, I was so excited to see the interior and try their famous Mont Blanc!  The restaurant is over 100 years old and is the epitome of what a Parisian restaurant would look like.  To be honest, I was more excited about the interior, than the food :p That's not to say the food wasn't good though - the roasted sea bass fillet I had, was well prepared, juicy, and tasty.  But I'd have to say, the Mont Blanc was my favorite and I would return for these.  They also retail chocolates (which they're known for), teas, confectionaries, and other delicatessen products.

Angelina Paris
travel blogger hikari paris city guide what to do
paris travel blog angelina review
Angelina Paris
Paris angelina travel blog what to do review

3.  Rent a bike

When in Paris, ride a bike through the city.  This was one of the scariest things I did while we were there. I was so scared at the thought of going through the streets of an unfamiliar place, riding only inches away from cars... I almost didn't do it.  But ended up being the most fun and exhilarating activities we did. Sounds so cliche but there's nothing like the wind blowing through your hair and taking in the beauty of the city, being uncomfortable but comfortable all at the same time. 

paris travel blog what to do
paris travel blog what to do
travel blogger hikari paris city guide what to do

4.  Musee Carnavalet

Musee Carnavalet was the one place both Lara and I really wanted to visit.  We saw photos on Instagram and knew we had to get a few photos of our own!  Nestled in Le Marais, this museum is dedicated to showcasing the history of the city.  The day we went, admission was free, so we scored there!  I actually loved how intimate this museum was.  It was a smaller museum, packed with history.  My favorite was the courtyard.  I could sit in the courtyard forever...!

Musee Carnavalet
Musee Carnavalet blog review
Musee Carnavalet blog review
musee carnavalet review photos
musee carnavalet review photos
musee carnavalet review photos
Musee carnavalet review travel blog paris blogger hikari murakami

5.  Stroll the La Seine Area

One of my favorite things we did was take a (long) walk along La Seine. La Seine is "The River" where you can take your time to stroll, rest at a cafe, visit the Cathedral of Notre Dame, take a boat ride, or walk across Ponte Alexandre III.  Pretty much wherever you end up, there's scenery to admire and something to do.  HIGHLY recommended!    

La Seine paris blog review
Paris travel blog review what to do in paris blogger
Paris travel blog review what to do in paris blogger
La Seine review paris travel blog
Paris city guide travel
La Seine paris blog review cafe
travel blogger hikari paris city guide what to do

6.  The Louvre

Louvre museum travel blog city guide
The louvre travel paris blog what to do

Not to be such a sap, but the magnificence of the Louvre really got to me when I saw this place in person.  Pictures don't do justice at all and I won't forget how I felt.  We came when it was about to close, so we didn't get to explore the inside, but because of how big it is, you would probably need a whole day inside!  But even if you don't have time to go inside, it's totally worth it to visit for the outside!

Louvre paris blog travel

Je t'aime Paris, I'll be back

There's so much more (to do) to Paris, but you'll just need to get there to experience it firsthand ;)  Can't wait to be back in my favorite city and explore more.  Stay tuned for Part 2 - What To Wear & Practical Travel Tips.

Au Revoir!

Night paris blog travel

5 Things I Focused on During My First Year of Freelancing Full Time

I quit my corporate job exactly one year ago, and proud to say that I've been freelancing hair/makeup full time now for a good year (I was freelancing on the side prior).  There were things from my corporate job that I applied as a freelancer, but I've learned a lot more by being on my own and actively growing my own business.  Having no safety blanket of a corporate job lit a fire under my a** to really get my business going.

Thought I would share 5 things I focused on this year and how it all went! 


Branding was the first thing I worked on.  As an artist, I feel that I'm constantly working on this.  Branding is almost like soul searching.  You have to ask yourself, what kind of artist are you?  Who are you and who do you want to be?  What's your persona and how do you want to be perceived?  You can't be afraid of "going there".  I feel that's most of the battle.  As silly as this sounds, this is the first thing (I think) you should start exploring.  Because once you start figuring this part out, you start attracting the kind of jobs you want and taking the photos you need for your branding.  You can then think about how you want to lay out your website, blog, and social media platforms.  It makes you think about what and how you want to post photos on Instagram, update your Facebook status, or blog.  I completely reworked my websites and upped my visual game on Instagram for cohesive branding all across!  But don't get too stuck on thinking, because starting is better than no action.

2.  Improved Photo editing skills

This goes along with branding, but I think it deserves it's own description.  I used to only share professional photos of my work - meaning only posting photos I received from photographers I've worked with.  At first, I thought this was enough and to a certain extent, it was.  But after awhile, I wanted to show my personality more.  I needed more content.  This meant I had to learn how to take good photos on my own and edit them.  I analyzed lighting and composition to the level that I can, so I could take (good) photos, even if it was just on an iPhone.  I took the time to learn how to edit my photos via VSCO (Vscocam) and photoshop app on my phone (and currently learning Lightroom).  By learning how to take and edit photos, this helped me achieve consistent branding.  The reason why you might be attracted to your favorite blogger or artist, is probably because they got #1 and #2 down.  Branding and photo editing skills.

Hikari instagram branding

3.  (Social Media) NETWORKING

Networking is a no brainer!  No matter how advanced you are in your career, you need to constantly be doing this.  Especially if you're just starting out, networking both in person and on social media will get you further (and sometimes faster).  Being an introvert myself, this was something I had to "get over" and just do.  If you're shy, start out by showing up on social media.   If I were to be totally honest, networking events still make me nervous.  So I like to "social media" network beforehand, so these in-person networking events don't feel as awkward.  By connecting online first, it would break down my introverted tendencies, and then allow opportunities to meet creatives that I felt like I already knew!  Whether through Facebook groups or Instagram, I've met a ton of great people along the way - for that, I'm grateful to Social Media.

4.  Hustle

My motto's always been, whatever you're doing, work hard and give it all you got.  For me, hustling means doing things even if it's not about the money or convenience.  As a freelancer, we all get presented with opportunities, sometimes paid, sometimes not.  In the beginning of your career, the latter is more common.  You think about the time and cost involved, and then you make a choice to take it or leave it.  Hustling doesn't mean doing anything and everything (paid or not), but it does mean to take an opportunity to invest in the value it brings.  Invest in a relationship you want to build or invest in the experience you'll gain.  So in that sense, you do whatever it takes, and hustle.  For example, driving 2/3 hours to a non-paid photoshoot might seem like too much of a hassle.  But I choose to look at it differently.  Maybe I'm trying to connect with a photographer I really want to work with, or a big time vendor is going to be at the same shoot and I want to meet them in person.  At the time, it'll cost me more time and even money.  But once those connections are made, that's forever.  They'll most likely remember you and hopefully refer jobs.  And you will refer them.  Which happened many times for me! Yay!  Hustling means doing something for your business everyday. Whether that'd be sending out emails to people you want work with, networking, reworking your website so it's SEO optimized, etc.  Something everyday.  Because "dreams only work if you do."

5.  Speak up

I saved the best for last.  This one (along with #1) is huge, especially for me.  I've struggled with speaking up almost my entire life.  I had confidence issues like...what if the things I had to say wasn't important? Is this a stupid idea?  What if I get rejected?  God forbid...what if they say NO?!  Some months ago, I heard a quote that changed me and my career forever.  

"A closed mouth doesn't get fed" 

It seems so obvious - but for me, I've realized that being too quiet wasn't going to get me anywhere!  Sure, my feelings were less hurt because people couldn't tell me NO, but I wasn't letting people say YES to me either.  Because all you have to do is speak up and ask for opportunities.  Talk about your dreams and ambitions more to others and pretty soon, those things will manifest.  You could start with "hey I really want to do more of _____, do you know of anyone that could help" or "hey I'm really interested in what you're doing, can you tell me more/can I assist you?" or "hey I know you regularly work with _____, but if you ever needed a backup, I'd be happy to work with you" or "I really love how you're editing your photos, can you share what apps you use?" etc.  There's a million ways to speak up!  If you're anything like me, I know this can be tough, but trust that it works.  It's helped my business so much this year!!

This year was a TOTAL whirlwind!  I reached goals that I didn't know I could this year.  I've learned more about myself.  It makes me slightly emotional thinking about where I started and where I'm at now.  I can only imagine what's in store!  

I hope this was helpful and if there's anything that YOU did to add to this, please let us all know!

business branding freelance vscocam VSCO

Till Next Time!