Thursday, February 5, 2015

Win a Valentine's Day Makeover!

Attention Philadelphia Naturals! Tressenoire is having a special contest. You can win a Valentine's Day Makeover, both hair and make-up. 

Who is Tressenoire? They are a traveling hair styling service in the NY, MD, Philly/NJ area. What makes them unique? They cater to women with natural hair! You could get anything from an up-do to to a professional twist-out all in the comfort of your home on your time. If you aren't in the mood for the traditional salon experience, this is a great service to try. They can style natural and transitioning hair. 

How do you enter? The image below has the exact rules. 


GOOD LUCK!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Get a Fitbit!


Hubs got me a Fitbit Flex for Christmas and I've really been enjoying it. If you aren't familiar, Fitbit is like a SUPER pedometer. Not only does it track your steps, it can also track your sleep, distance walked and calories burned. In the Fitbit app you can track your water intake. Probably my favorite feature is the alarm clock. Rather than a blaring tone, Fitbit gently wakes you up with the vibrating band. This comes in extra handy if I have the baby with me and she's sleeping but I'm waiting for the alarm to actually get out of bed. All of this wrapped in the package of a cute little wrist band. 

It has been pretty nice to have. The Fitbit really makes me more conscious of how many steps I'm taking and has made me get up and MOVE more. It's usefulness has only been amplified by the Challenges you can set up. You can create a daily step or goal challenge between you and friends. Five other people on my staff have a Fitbit, and the competition has really been keeping us on our toes...literally lol. We find ourselves just making laps inside around the building. 

Have you purchased any interesting Wellness products lately?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Operation Hide My Edges


14 weeks postpartum, and postpartum hair shedding has hit. Particularly in my edges. 

Pregnant women's hair is gloriously long and thick because hormones keep the hair from shedding the usual 50 to 100 strands each day. Following delivery, when hormones start to return somewhat to normal, the hair shedding cycle catches up and hair begins to shed again. I've noticed a lot more shedding when I wash my hair, most noticeably around my hairline in the front. So, Operation Hide My Edges has begun. 

I'm doing this with a few different styles. I don't really like my hair in my face, but hair in my face styles cover my edges. The photo above is a twist out, in my face. I'm also doing wash and go's: 


Even with the hair somewhat pulled back here, in a wash and go my roots are so curly/fluffy that it kind of masks where my edges should be. Another method I'm doing is rolling my twists a little in the front, like a faux bang: 


And headbands, if I have one to match my current outfit:


There really is nothing that can be done. It's all hormonal. But, I am using Jamaican Black Castor Oil on my edges every other day or so, and not pulling too tight on them when styling. 

Have you dealt with thinning in your edges?
What was your plan of attack?

Sunday, December 21, 2014

What to Pack for Labor and Delivery

I have quite a few friends with babies on the way so I thought it would be useful to go through what I packed, what I used, and what I could have left home. Here was my list: 

Cellphone chargers: NEED

Birth CD: I didn't get to listen to any music because in the induction room I was in with another woman, and by the time I got to labor and delivery I couldn't even think about the room's atmosphere before I was whisked off to an emergency c section. But if I had been in a single room for the beginning of labor it would have been nice to have music.

Lotion: NEED. Unfortunately I brought a really perfumed Shea Moisture lotion with me so I didn't use it much, because I didn't know how it would react to babies skin. If I had to do things over, I would bring something with a more mellow, or no scent at all.

Flip Flops: Good for use in the shower.

Slippers: These were useful for when I was walking the halls. better than the hospital socks, but didn't expose my toes like my flip flops. I couldn't reach my toes at the end of pregnancy, so they were looking ROUGH lol.

Nursing Pillow: This was great to have while I was establishing nursing positions. I have the My Brest Friend Deluxe Pillow. I don't use this during the day anymore, but I still use it for night feedings, so she can fall asleep on it and it's easier to transfer her back to her crib. 

Going home outfit for baby: I brought one in newborn and one in 0-3 months. Even though she was almost 9lbs she still fit the newborn outfit.

Her first outfit. 


Pajamas, tank tops, going home outfit: all unnecessary. I wore the hospital gowns while I was there, and left in the same outfit I came in. 

Nursing Tanks/bras/pads: personally, my milk didn't come in until about an hour before we went home (3 days after birth) so I didn't need any nursing clothes and used my first pair of nursing pads on the way home. 

Belly Binder: I have this one and didn't wear it while in the hospital. The BIG mistake I made was not wearing it on the way home. Every bump the car hit on the way home was painful. I learned my lesson and always had it on for rides for the first couple of weeks. It really helped with abdominal pain and helping my organs get back to where they were supposed to be after the baby left a big space in there.

Socks: never used them. The hospital socks were much better.

Lanolin: my savior when I first started breastfeeding. I only had a cracked nipple for a few hours and no other nipples problems outside of normal soreness. If you are going to breastfeed, don't forget this. I don't know why hospitals don't provide it.

Underwear: never used. The hospital's mesh underwear are the way to go. I wish I had more to take home with me when I left!

What did you bring for labor and delivery?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Getting Started with Cloth Diapering


I am so excited by all the feedback from my previous post - My Cloth Diaper Experience. Multiple people wanted to know more about my favorite brands and types of diapers so I figured a follow-up post was in order. 

PURCHASING

I will only buy a diaper new/retail if I cannot find it on the Facebook Cloth Diaper Swap, or the Babycenter.com Cloth Diaper Swap. You'll save a lot of money on the swap boards, and it's also nice to help out other moms who are trying to monetize their unneeded diapers. I also sell my unneeded diapers on these boards. If you buy used, throw a 1/4 cup of bleach in a couple gallons of water and let the diapers soak for 30 minutes before washing them.

QUANTITY 

If you're diapering a newborn/infant you want to have about 34 changes if you want to wash every two days. If you're starting with an older baby, I would say start with having the same number as you use disposables per day. Sage goes through 6-10 diapers a day. She's currently nine weeks old.

SIZING

There are One Size diapers and there are sized diapers. Kinda like Small, Medium and Large clothes, vs. One size fits all clothes. Snaps, or a combination of snaps and velcro allow you to adjust the sizing. If you are starting from newborn you will likely need to buy some newborn sized diapers, and then you will move on to One Size or sized diapers after baby gets bigger. We moved into One Size diapers around six weeks. These One Size diapers will hopefully take her all the way through her diapered life.

EASE OF USE

The type of cloth diaper the most easy to use are called All in Ones. These diapers function the most like disposables. They have snaps or Velcro to easily put them on and take them off. My favorite brands of All in One Diaper is Blueberry Simplex and Thirsties. If you have a childcare provider these are usually the only type of cloth diapers accepted by daycare centers. 

The second easiest type of diaper that I have are pocket diapers. These function the same as All in Ones, except you have a pocket that you can stuff with different types of inserts to change the absorbency. These add some additional steps to laundry, because you have to unstuff and stuff the pockets before and after washing. All my pocket diapers are Bumgenius 4.0s

The third easiest type of diaper I own are fitted diapers. These diapers require two parts. A cloth portion that fits and snaps like a disposable, and a separate waterproof cover to go on top. My absolute favorite type of fitted diapers are Green Mountain Diaper Workhorses. And my favorite waterproof covers are Blueberry Diaper Coveralls. I should also note that the diapers in the photo above are also fitteds. Those are my two overnight diapers and I purchased them from a WAHM (work at home mom) on Etsy - Soothebaby

Another type of diaper, the fourth easiest,  that is used with a cover is called a pre-fold. You can do fancy folds with a prefold or just tri-fold it inside of a cover. That's what we do. Using pre-folds and covers are the absolute cheapest way to cloth diaper.

Note that I ranked these all easy, because no type of cloth diaper is really that hard. 

ABSORBENCY 

We very rarely have leaks. In my personal collection the two diapers that I can compare to disposables are my Bumgenius 4.0 pockets, and my Soothebaby fitteds. The others have good absorbency but get very wet on the inside, so I don't leave her in them long.  

Let me know if you have any other questions!

Monday, December 8, 2014

My Cloth Diaper Experience


I LOVE cloth diapering. I didn't even know it was a thing until I started following TweedleTee10 on YouTube. After I saw them, I immediately started researching and decided that cloth diapering was for us. The reasons for cloth diapering are cost effectiveness ( disposables are expensive!), environmental consciousness (disposables just sit in landfills!), chemicals (disposables have tons of chemicals in them), and cuteness (they are freaking cute!).

One of my friends on Instagram asked me to specifically talk about cost effectiveness and the labor involved in washing them. I spent about $250 for my beginning stash before baby was born. This was comprised of new and used diapers that I got on the Facebook and Babycenter.com swap boards. For those thinking "ewwww, used diapers!" it's not bad at all. Sellers send them to you washed, and you do a bleach soak and another wash and they are good to go for your baby. Sage is 2 months old today (woot!) and grew out of the newborn sized diapers about two weeks ago. I have since sold her diapers that were too small for about $140, and purchased some new ones.  So as far as cost effectiveness goes, one thing you can't do with disposables is sell them when you're done! Also, the one-size diapers that I've purchased will take her all the way through potty training, or around 40lbs, whichever comes first. Definitely a great investment. 

When it comes to the labor of cleaning the diapers, I don't feel it's too bad at all. We don't use any special detergent, just Tide Free and Gentle, which we use for all our clothes also. The only detergent requirement is use something that doesn't have softeners in it. We have a really old washing machine, which is actually better for cloth because many times the High Efficiency machines don't use enough water to really get the diapers clean.  The process is do a quick rinse cycle (this rinses away most of the pee and poo), then a wash cycle, then a second quick rinse cycle at the end (to make sure all the detergent is out of the diapers). Then we dry most diapers in the dryer. The waterproof diaper covers we hang dry. We wash generally every other day to every two days. Our water bill has only gone up $8 since starting cloth diapering. I have to note that this wash routine works fine now because she is exclusively breastfeed, and breastfed poop is water soluble. Once she starts solids, we'll probably have to invest in some flush-able diaper liners. These lay on top of the diaper and allow you to easily throw the poop in the toilet before washing. 

We keep dirty diapers in a regular trash can with a Planet Wise pail liner inside. When the lid is closed, it doesn't smell at all. Something to note is that the chemicals in disposable diapers cause baby pee and poo to smell much worse than it does on it's own. We used disposables while visiting my in-laws for Thanksgiving in Virginia and my husband immediately noted how bad her diapers smelled in disposables vs. cloth. 

My stash is comprised of All in One Diapers, Pocket Diapers, Fitted Diapers, Prefolds, and Diaper Covers. It is REALLY easy to get carried away in the diaper world. There are so many different types, and brands, and they're so cute! If anyone would like me to be more specific on brands I use or types I recommend let me know and I can totally do that. 

Have I convinced you to cloth diaper yet? ;-)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Almost Skin Bra

This post brought to you by Almost Skin. The content and opinions expressed below are that of http://www.nesheaholic.com/.


My boobs are pretty much at the forefront of my mind 24-7 nowadays, since they are the vehicle through which Baby Sage gets all of her nourishment. When I was contacted by Almost Skin to review their Backless Bras I said something along the lines of: Thank you, but I'm nursing right now and my boobs are huge so there is no such bra that can support them. Well, I said it much more professional than that, but you get my drift.

They did send me the product and because I thought it was cool I figured I could at least share the info about it.

The basic mechanics of the Almost Skin backless bra are the inside of the bra has adhesive that sticks to your skin to support you. The cups come separately with a clip to clip them in the middle as you would a normal front closure bra. The bra comes in a protective tray to keep lint and dust from getting on the adhesive. The material is Cotton, Silicone & Polyolefin Gel and they REALLY feel like skin.

Cleaning and care is easy: warm water, a bit of soap, and air dry.

Now that Halloween is past, the holiday season is upon us and if you have a little black, backless, dress you're looking for a bra solution for, try out the Almost Skin backless bras. Sizing goes up to 38DD. You can use coupon code SHOP to get 20% off. 



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