This week’s Hot Mom Monday comes from one of the most luxurious mamas on the block. You may recognize The Luxury Spot‘s leading lady (and super Hot Mom Spa Squad-er), Bryce Gruber, from some past guest posts on Spa Week Daily… but most likely her name rings a bell when associated with Vajazzling. Bryce’s daring spa video helped us put Vajazzling on the lips and hips of everyone in the social media-sphere! Now Bryce is back to share with us some more exciting news with us… she’s expecting! This second-time mama-to-be is spilling her veteran mom must-haves to help new moms prep for mommy-hood, luxuriously.

By Bryce Gruber

As I approach week 21 of pregnancy with my 2nd little nugget, I’m growing more conscious of all the things I didn’t know the first time around… in fact, there was so much. Like the stroller I picked about 4 years ago when I was equally as pregnant with my son- yeesh, I thought it was a zippy little thing but all it did was cause me backaches and ignore the issue of baby’s speech development. This time around I’m a wee bit wiser in all my choices, and have put together the must-haves for every new, expecting momma (and even those who are no stranger to this game).

1. Dressed to impress with no $tress

Good Maternity Dresses Can Be Had Affordably (um, why didn’t someone tell me that a few years ago?!): I each and every one of the 55 pounds I gained with my son (eat your heart out, Jessica Simpson) and each and every new maternity shirt I had to buy (basically every week to keep up). Frankly, it was exhausting to keep shopping (the pleasure of shopping is sort of wiped out when your feet swell like balloons), and I wasn’t feeling great about growing by a few pounds per week from the 2nd trimester. I spent oodles of cash on clothes I didn’t love, and they’re now out of style 4 years later. I was recently introduced to, where designer maternity duds are rented by the month (and then prorated by the week). Um, genius. Since most women can’t really wear their maternity wardrobe for more than 2-3 months before moving onto the next size, it’s perfect. And imagine all those occasions… your friend’s rehearsal dinner, your cousin’s birthday extravaganza, the wedding of your boss to your secretary- why spend a few hundred on a dress you’ll wear 1-2 times at the most when you can rent the same one January Jones wore for like $30 or less? Oh, and if you order the wrong size by mistake they’ll exchange it for free. (If you could see my heart right now you’d see it pumping out pure love for this) (In extra awesome news, is offering 10% off any purchase or rental with code Summer2012 (now through August 31, 2012)

2. Tame your glow

Your skin will probably produce a ton of oil, so take care of it with something safe. I love Elizabeth Grant’s Radiance Toner because the gentle formula is pregnancy-safe (adios, parabens!), sops up extra dirt and oil that your cleanser might miss, and keeps nasty pore gunk in check. All I can say is my once-awesome skin has become a constant project with all these wild hormones in me. Seriously, they’re wilder than puberty.

3. Suck it up, girl

I mean, not yet… Don’t wear shapewear when you’re pregnant, that just seems cruel to the baby inside, but it’s a known fact that doctors recommend shapewear for the weeks following delivery to sort of suck it all back in. Aside from just feeling more “normal” after delivering, the gentle compression actually helps re-tone your uterus and get it back to where it needs to be. No one tells girls that they tend to still look 6 months pregnant for the week or two after delivery and without some shapewear confidence and spirits about body image could head south fast. I love these from Body Wrap because they’re perfect under almost anything, suck in the entire torso, and are an affordable piece to add to your lingerie wardrobe (and trust me, you’ll be inclined to use them for longer than just a few weeks when you see how good they make your tush look, too).

4. The Ferrari of strollers

Like I said earlier, I made the mistake of getting a then-trendy stroller for my son when he was born. And then I got backaches from pushing a stroller designed for a much shorter person (I’m 5’8″), and then when I got a stroller for a tall gal, my babysitter complained that the handles were uncomfortable for her because she was a cute 5’2″. What was even more ridiculous is that the stroller faced the outside world, so my growing baby boy didn’t get much eye contact of verbal stimulation from me… sigh. This time around I’m committing to the Stokke Xplory for a solid few years. It’s built to last for a solid three years and adjusts to all of baby’s growth stages. The handlebars are adjustable for someone as short as a 4 or 5 year old (my son likes pushing it), all the way up to a 6’5″ man (a close friend of mine said he’s getting one too because it’s the only stroller he’s found that doesn’t make him a hunchback dad). The seat faces the front, your face, or even tilts up so the baby can check out the sky. I love it, and in the words of my husband (in his thick accent), “is it just me, or does zees stroll-arrr handle better than our auto?” Yes, Yossef, it does…

5. Just in case you just need a gift…

If you’re reading this as a considering-motherhood kinda gal (if you value your sleep and muscle tone, perhaps you should turn away now), you probably already have some pregnant or new mom friends and family members. One of the best gifts in the world for expecting and newbie moms is a Citrus Lane gift box. They’re packed with all sorts of mommy-must-haves that new moms don’t even know they need. Sometimes boxes include items like Gripe Water (a stomach remedy for little babies that only veteran moms know about), or non-toxic, chemical-free face washes meant to clear hormone-hacked skin. Somehow they pack a ton of expensive goodies into a really affordable box, and I’m thinking that’s up there with the miracle of birth (not quite as up there, but definitely on the same list).

6. The lazy mom’s solution to hydration

Everyone in the world has probably heart of Mustela by now, but their lotions and potions aren’t just great for babies… if you’re looking to have just one cream on your vanity that’s good for kicking stretch-mark ass, keeping baby smooth, and leaving you with a really light, babyish scent, I recommend Mustela’s 9 Months Ultimate Hydration. Delish, seriously.

Bryce Gruber is a Manhattanite mom and founder + editor of who can be found jet-setting off to every corner of the globe. She loves exotic places, planes with WiFi, summer clothes, & Sucre brown butter truffles. Bryce’s aim is to do to luxury what Elton John did to being gay. Follow her on twitter @brycegruber