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July 23, 2014

Top Must Have's for #Pregnancy, #essentials for a #healthypregnancy

Now that we've been there...done that! I thought that I would round up some of my absolute could-not-live-without items. You know...the must have essential items for the full 9 months of pregnancy!

Clockwise from top right

Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser hair butter - I received mine as a part of an Influenster VoxBox, and I have to say...it is really the only product that I use religiously on my hair. It has helped with the first trimester hair loss, and definitely helped my hair to stay strong through out the rest of my pregnancy.

Meditation - every night before bed, I put my head phones on, and zone out. Most frequently, I have done patience, compassion, flowing with change and pregnancy meditations on Meditation Oasis, but every now and then I throw in one for deep rest, or stress and pressure. It helps to reset my brain, and helps me be better to myself the next day.

Coconut Butter - I have to thank Kelly from The Turnip Farmer for this one. When the belly stretches, it inevitably gets itchy and sore. A gentle rub of coconut oil and bam! I literally found that new stretchmarks disappeared overnight!

Running - it has been my sanity saver, my personal me-time, and the way that I knew that I was taking care of my own body, so that it could take care of my baby. I ran for 8.5 months of my pregnancy, earned a few medals along the way, and gained an incredible amount of confidence in myself.

Belts - skinny belts, wide belts. Braided belts, stretchy belts! Belts were such a great and easy way to update my existing wardrobe when I was newly pregnant and wanted to feel like I looked pregnant...not pudgy. Such an easy and inexpensive wardrobe update!

Juice - I started juicing during my pregnancy at 20weeks and it was an amazing experience. It felt really great to know just how many fantastic and wholesome nutrients I was putting into my body in a single glass, and what I was passing on to my baby. I definitely know now what juices I love, and which ones I don't!

Rebirth Wellness Centre - having a great support system on your side outside of your family and friends can make all the difference in your pregnancy experience, and that rings true for me. From our Doula, Jena, to my therapist, Jodi, and at the end Dr. Andrea, the naturopath, we were able to establish a strong circle of support that will carry us through the years. I cannot sing their praises enough!

My favourite maternity outfit - My Thyme Maternity jeans carried me through two trimesters, and I loved pairing them with a simple tami from Old Navy, my black boyfriend cardigan and a pair of flats. Easy peasy, done and done. When you find the outfit that you absolutely love, switch up your accessories to keep it fresh. Add a pop of color with a belt, or your handbag.

So...there you have it! That's what got me through the whole nine months, and while I'm sure everyone's list will differ, it will be totally driven by your priorities and lifestyle. For me, it was important to keep running, to juice and feel great about what I was putting in my body, and to take care of my mental health.

Overall, it led to a very well rounded, healthy, happy and positive pregnancy!

July 22, 2014

Summer Festival #Fashion

One thing that my husband and I love to do in the summer is go to the various festivals and outdoor concerts that our city hosts in July and August.

This is the perfect venue to try out something a little out of the box when it comes to your wardrobe.

Summer Festival

Tiered tanks in bold colors
Striped shorts with structured pockets
Tall gladiator sandals
Wrap bracelets
Feather charms

I love this look for a variety of reasons. First, it uses pattern in an unexpected way. When I started wearing my tribal print shorts by Kristine Cook Designs last summer, I was super self conscious about all of that pattern and visual interest on my rear end. The truth is, it distracts the eye and creates an illusion.

The cobalt tank is beautiful and flowy, the perfect cut to hide the hips!

Accessories wise, wrap bracelets from local arts festivals, and necklaces with interesting charms are great accessories for the Summer. Pick pieces that you love and wear them with pride!

Go bold this summer by mixing neutrals with bold colors and patterns!

July 21, 2014

Infant Feeding Solutions with Dr. Brown's #baby #newmom #bottlefeeding

A few weeks ago, there was a lovely box of goodies on my door step from the amazing folks at Dr. Brown's.

Over the next several months, I will be introducing you to the various products that we have received to review, starting with the Dr. Brown's Natural Flow Standard Bottles, and continuing all the way through our adventures in solid feeding with the Food Masher and other bowls and cups! (the solid feeding phase is one that I am extremely excited about and we will be sharing loads of healthy recipes to nourish your babe!)

Over the past week, we have absolutely fallen in love with the Dr. Brown's Natural Flow Standard Bottles. We have a voracious eater on our hands, and these bottles definitely help with gas and spit up. Our guy is eating about 4oz every 3-4hours (yes...at less than two weeks old!), and he just goes to town on his bottles, so knowing that we are using one that preserves vitamins, reduced spit ups, gas and burping (because really...our Tank does not have time for things like that!)and is gentle on his little belly really gives us loads of peace of mind.

The bottles are also really simple to put together. The ventilation chamber goes inside the bottle, so it vents the bottle for a vacuum-free feeding experience. Our little guy's tummy is happy, and we don't have to worry about spills, mess or spit ups. Since the bottle vents on the inside, there is less room for error; no nipple collapse to worry about, and it even makes burping easier!

Now that we have had the Dr. Brown's experience, I am in the process of switching over all of our bottles. A happy baby makes for a happy mom, after all, so I figure...I'm not going to mess with a great thing!

Stay tuned right here and on Instagram as we develop healthy solid feeding recipes and snacks, and continue our love for Dr. Brown's!

Disclaimer: I was provided a variety of feeding solutions, including bottles, bowls and cups, and accessories by Dr. Brown's for the purposes of these reviews. All opinions expressed are my own.


Postnatal Summer Fashion #pregnancy #postnatal

When I had our first son, it was mid June. It wasn't super crazy hot yet, but the warm weather was definitely on its way. I learned very quickly that soft flowy fabrics, a good pair of sandals and simple accessories will become your best friend.

Postnatal Summer Fashion

Dresses were my favorite when I was in that first postnatal phase after having Owen, and they are this time around as well. Look for empire waisted, soft fabrics that don't cling to your tummy. Bonus points if you can find dresses with detail like the ruched neckline of the one above. A little detail can add just enough visual interest to make even the simplest summer dress special.

Gladiator sandals are still my favorite type of footwear for summer, and unless you're dealing with postnatal edema and swelling, they'll likely become yours too.

For accessories, think big floppy beach hat, structured fedora, or open weave cuff and long necklace like the ones pictured above.

Ultimately, you want to be comfortable, but feel human again!

July 18, 2014

That time they laid a baby on my chest... #birth #purpose #pregnancy

When they lay your baby on your chest for the very first time, it is a rush of emotion like none other. I didn't have this experience with our first birth, so I was very much wanting it to happen with Graeme's delivery.

I will be honest. I was a little freaked out about him still being attached via umbilical cord, and of being stitched at the same time. Of the blood and guts and gore. But honestly? Truly?

It was incredible. This time, I knew not to top off my epidural so much that I didn't feel contractions or the need to push. This time, I knew what I wanted, I trusted my body and went with the rest. I knew my purpose in all of this process and left it to trust.

I was still scared, though, so when they asked me if I wanted him to be cleaned off on my chest, I wasn't sure what to say. I looked at Jena, our doula, in a bit of a panic and am so thankful that she smiled and said Yes, she does

The moment that he came out and I saw his beautiful face, which immediately broke into a cry, I started crying. I knew that I was smiling, but there was just such a huge rush of relief that the tears came fast and hard. It was so overwhelming, and I think that added to my panic of not knowing what to say when Ney asked me if I wanted him on me.

As soon as he was on my chest, Ney started getting him cleaned up and I started talking to him. He calmed almost immediately to the sound of my voice, and I kept trying to reassure him that everything was ok, that he was with his Mama and we were just going to snuggle for a second.

This boy, I tell you. Oh this boy has my heart. I thought it was going to be impossible to love another child with quite as much passion as I love my Bear, Owen. A few years ago when we were just starting to talk about having a second, I talked to my bff Tiffany and she said it's like your body grows a second heart; one for your first child, and one for your second.

Until now, I didn't really know what that meant. It's completely true.

I truly think that having this beautiful experience was what I needed to come full circle on our previous birth trauma. This birth happened as it should; I was in control as much as I could be, trusted in our team and the process, and let everything happen as it should. I advocated for myself, my baby and my body, and challenged the answers that I didn't agree with.

It make my heart sing to know what I accomplished, on my own terms, and to recognize that I deserve to feel proud.

In this moment, I felt that I had a space to breathe, that my heart was full, and that my mind was overjoyed at what our family had become.

I am so thankful to have finally had this experience and know it is a memory that will stay in my heart forever.

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