Thursday, January 31, 2013

Essential Nursing Gear - A Bravado Design Review

Before James was born, I knew I wanted to breastfeed. So before he was born, I went out and purchased what I thought were 'essential' nursing attire. What no one tells you is that nursing bras, tanks etc are EXPENSIVE, just like maternity clothes. UGH! Chris and I were young -ish when we had James and money was tight. So I purchased a couple of sleep bras and a couple of 'going out' nursing bras. No nursing tops or anything as they were SO over priced.

I lived in my nursing bras even after I had stopped nursing James as I found them somewhat comfortable. But after 3 years of use, it was time to purchase new stuff for when Graham arrived.

I had heard of Bravado Nursing Bras when Jimmy was little, but thought again "WAY over priced for us" so again, I went out and purchased some slightly less expensive bras - and guess what - I HATE THEM! Like the older ones, the cups bunch and Graham gets mad when he has issues latching on.

So I finally bit the bullet and ordered a couple of Bravado Design Bras.


About Bravado Designs:

It all began with a leopard-print bra and two breastfeeding moms...
That first leopard-print bra, which was worn for 48 hours straight, is now called the Original Nursing Bra—and it’s still our bestseller, more than 20 years later!
From humble beginnings developed around a kitchen table, Bravado quickly built a strong reputation as having comfortable, stylish and quality nursing bras. Lactation consultants, midwives, childbirth educators and others in the health care community quickly started recommending our products to new moms, and they still do to this day.
Now Bravado Designs' products are worn and loved by moms worldwide, including by celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, BeyoncĂ© Knowles, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Garner and Jessica Alba. Although many things have changed since our early days, one thing never will: our commitment to bolster and enhance the self-esteem of pregnant and nursing women.
We test-wear our products on literally hundreds of pregnant and nursing moms every year to make our bras perfect, right down to the finest detail. We use real moms as models because we don't think we need models to make breastfeeding beautiful. We're a green company, and we donate products in our own community—not because it's the trendy thing to do but because it's the right thing. Because we not only want to be the brand on your bra but also the company you're proud to wear and tell your friends about.

My first purchase was the Original Nursing Bra in Leopard. I needed something that I could just lounge around in. While at home I didn't want to be wearing foam cups, but also didn't want to be wearing my sleep bras all the time.

'The Original Nursing Bra has been recommended by Lactation Consultants for over 20 years. This cotton nursing bra adapts to your changing shape making it perfect for pregnancy right through to nursing. Moms love to live and sleep in the Original Nursing Bra 24/7 - especially in the early stages when comfort is the key in your journey to breastfeeding success.'

This award winning bra is made of soft breathable cotton, that promotes healthy breast tissue. It really does adapt to your changing shape. I can sleep in this, lounge around and it even has enough support that I can go out in public wearing it.

The sizing is super simple and I would say true to size. I am a 36D in other bras so that's what I ordered and it fits great! Not too tight, but not to lose either. It offers full access to your breast, and clips on and off just like any other nursing bra. I highly recommend at least one of these bras for any nursing mom. They wash great and keep their shape.

The next item up for review is the Rebecca Minkoff Essential Nursing Tank. I was very lucky to have received this in a promotional campaign that Bravado was doing #DesignedforGood. I had been drooling over these tanks as, they are kind of like a 2 in 1 deal. They have a built in bra and it's a tank. You can also wear this tank while pregnant! Yes, the material will slightly stretch to accommodate your growing bump, but once it's washed, it retains its shape!

The price is great - at 45.99 CND but that's not the best part. With every purchase of a Rebecca Minkoff Essential Tank 20% of all sales go to the Jessica Seinfeld Foundation, Baby Buggy ®. Also, every tank that is purchased, Bravado will donate one to a mother in need. How great is that??

I love this tank. The material is very soft and comfortable. The two tone makes for an interesting piece. (You can get other tanks in solid colors from Bravado) You can dress this up or down. I usually wear my tank with a cardie and a pair of dark jeans, but you could wear it with sweats or yoga pants too. Like I said before, it's very soft, easy to nurse in and comes in two great color choices. Indy - which is what I have (Black and White with a cream trim) or Luca! A blue front and black back with a white trim. Both are super gorgeous! A great addition to any nursing moms wardrobe.

The last 'Essential' that any new nursing mom (or veteran Mom) needs in her wardrobe is the Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra. This was one item I really REALLY wanted, but at the time could fork the money out for. At $50.00 CDN, it packs a hefty price, but is SO worth the money.

The Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra melts onto your body and gives you comfort unlike anything you've experienced from a nursing bra before - wear it while nursing or as a maternity bra. A mom and celebrity favorite, everyone loves this seamless nursing bra that molds to your shape.
I honestly wish that I could go back in time and NOT buy anything BUT these. They are the most comfortable nursing bra ever! They do have foam cups, but you are able to take them out if you want. Both James and Graham had difficulties nursing with foam cups, but with this bra, Graham has no issues whatsoever. The fabric is like butter - SO soft and stretchy. I can wear this ALL day and it never gets uncomfortable.

I purchased the Dark Plum color (pictured above) and was very excited to get it. The color is slightly different then shown. The picture shows more of a royal purple, but the color is more plum (red undertones) regardless - I love the color. They have a new Season Color coming out in February called Orchid Pink! Can't wait to get one of those as well!! I love that they have a wide selection of colors. Black, white, nude, ice pink and then the seasonal colors. So there is something for everyone.

If you are only wanting to purchase one bra from Bravado, I highly recommend The Body Silk Seamless bra. Well worth every penny. It's a great everyday bra. I love mine and will most likely continue to wear it even after I am done nursing Graham. It washes very well, holds it shape and just an all around wonderful bra.

Bravado Designs also offers other bras and panties. They have their Sublime Nursing Bra, Allure Under wire bra and some really cute panties!

Connect with Bravado Designs

Want a chance to win??

Right now - till February 15th - Bravado Designs is giving a Bra away every day! Show Us the Love is their newest campaign - Enter daily for your chance to win! I have won and I cannot wait to receive my new bra! Tweet it, Instagram it, Pin it!! There are many ways to win!! Be sure to check it out!!

Much love

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Please note that I purchased my own Body Silk Seamless Bra as well as my Original Nursing Bra myself. The Rebecca Minkoff Tank was sent to me not for review purposes but  for a campaign Bravado was running in the month of December. All opinions are strictly my own and may differ from others. NO monetary compensation was exchanged for this review. I wanted to write a review and so I did. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Graham is 3 Months Old!

WOAH! 3 months already??!! I'm not going to say that I don't know where the time went, because I've lived it - Oh who am I kidding - Where has the time gone??

In the past month Graham has hit some milestones - some that we are super excited about, and others that I thought would take some time.

For example:

We have lots and lots of giggles now. He smiles pretty much on command and we are loving the cooing. James imitates Graham when he coo's - it's one of the funniest things I have ever seen. Both boys cooing... priceless

TEETH! Yes - I noticed a few weeks ago that Graham was starting to suck on his fist like a mad man. Then on James' birthday day (the 18th) we had a HORRIBLE day. Graham was the fussiest baby ever. I couldn't put him down, he didn't want to nap. He needed to nurse all day long - come to think of it, it may have been a growth spurt too. So when I stuck my finger in his little mouth to get a feel around I could FEEL two little bumps. I thought there was NO WAY my 12 weeker could have a tooth - let alone TWO teeth. I tried to get a good look and once I did there they were. They haven't completely broken through yet, but I would give them another couple of weeks and we should have two bottom teeth. Time to bring out his Amber!

Rolling over - Since Graham was a 'little' guy let's say around nine days old - the boy could roll himself onto his side no problem. As we started doing tummy time (which he hates by the way) he could roll over front to back, with no issues. So, last week I had him on his play mat looking up. He wasn't really playing with his toys. He was more or less batting ONE certain toy and then cried as he doesn't like lying on his back. I walked away to the kitchen to put my cup away (like 6 feet from him) and when I came back the bugger was on his TUMMY! I don't think he was happy about it, but then he just rolled himself back onto his back. Since we bed share the rail went BACK up. I'm not taking any chances of him falling.

We are going to the Doctor tomorrow for his 3 month check up and we are also going for his first set of 2 month shots. We have decided to do a delayed vax schedule as it is what works for our family. I'm curious to see how much he has gained and how much he has grown.

Weight: Appox. 15 lbs 3 oz - I will get a definite reading on the digi scale
Height: 26.5 inches!!
Head Circumference: oops! forgot to ask!

Graham is believe is outgrowing all his 6 month sleepers - yes - that means we are moving up to nine month ones. They may be a tad too long but I need a wider fit. *We have put away all 6 month sleepers and are using 9/12 month sleepers as well as clothing* I mean the boy does eat every hour for crying out loud - I'm lucky if he goes 2 hours between feedings. I can't pump worth poop so I'm all he has right now. I REFUSE to supplement with formula - so for now I will be a milk tap. I noticed that he prefers the right breast over the left (as did James) so I usually offer the left first then the right. it's working good for us at the moment- but I think he is getting lazy. His latch hasn't been as strong as before. So that is something I will need to talk to someone about.*He may have an upper lip tie - I will be sure to talk to the doctor about this*

We are slowly adding sleepy hours at night. He did one night of 5 hours straight, then the next night was a 3 hour stretch and up every 2 hours after that. Last week he did 6 hours which was FABULOUS! Then every 2 hours after that. Usually he doesn't need a change, just a top up so I don't really count that as waking up as I don't have to get out of bed and I think it's more like Dream Feeding. Sunday night he did 7 straight! Then up form a change and nurse and then did another 3. We are getting there!!

We are still bed sharing - I don't see him transitioning anytime soon - again I am ok with that. We had to put the rail back up as he is rolling now - it's a pain in the butt but again, it's needed for safe bed sharing.

Graham still isn't really interested in toys yet - I can shake a rattle and he responds to it, but he hasn't grasped at any toys yet. He'll get there soon. He has also found his feet! it's super cute! I remember when Jimbo found his feet - it was foot in the mouth ALL THE TIME!!

His hair is GROWING back - FAST! His one month photos clearly show a "Terry Bradshawesque" hairstyle. All the hair on the top of his head fell out - so I was assuming he would be bald for awhile. NOPE not this little guy. It's growing in fast and THICK! We thought maybe it was going to be red - but he's blond just like his brother. Now whether or not it's poker straight like mine - or if he's going to get some curl like Chris - I guess we will just have to wait and see!
The past three months have been AWESOME! You seem to forget the infant stage quick - So I'm having fun remembering certain things. Graham is such a blessing - I just love him to pieces!

Happy Three months Pugsley. Love you tons!


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Monday, January 28, 2013

Downtown & Perogies!

Over the weekend Chris and I decided to take the boys to Granville Island. I must say - it was a TERRIBLE idea to go down on the weekend. It was SO packed and we went right through nap time. Parenting FAIL!

First off - it was raining and cold. Secondly - we do not have a double stroller and James doesn't like to walk all the time and enjoys running off! Graham wasn't going to cooperate in the carrier so I gave up. Right off the bat James wanted nothing to do with the kids play place. He kept saying "I don't like toys!" Umm - really kid?? You don't like toys?? He had a melt down right away.

We decided to go and get something to eat - Pizza seemed like an easy choice. He loves pizza... WELL - not that day! "I don't like pizza. It's yuty" UGH! Nothing was going to please this little guy. Graham only fussed once. He needed a change and a nurse. Easy enough. We went through the whole market - and boy was it ever crowded. NEVER AGAIN!

We thought we would look around outside while it wasn't raining and again James threw a fit. It was nap time and he needed to go down... BADLY! So Chris took Graham and James crawled into the stroller. He looked really really big and just odd.

He finally fell asleep and we decided it was time to go. We spent only 2 hours downtown and while driving home Chris and I both agreed we won't be doing that again any time soon!

Yesterday Chris and I made Perogies! Now I have only ever made them once before and my Grandma and Gramps were down to help. I love Perogies but I LOVE homemade ones even more. There is something about them... a comfort food for me.

Now there are SO many different varieties to make but in my family we do a cheese and potato mix. My Grandma said to roll the dough out with a pasta maker as you get a uniform dough but we hand pinch them closed. I must say it was A LOT of work.

After everything was said and done Chris and I made 18 dozen perogies. Enough to last at least 3 months HA!! They are super easy to make once you get your rhythm.

Perogie Dough (My Baba's recipe)

5 cups of all purpose flour
1 Egg - beaten
1 Tbsp. Salt
1/2 cup oil
2 cups of boiling water

In a large bowl add flour and salt. Make a well and add beaten egg and oil to well. Slowly add the boiling water (CAREFUL IT REALLY HOT) and mix by hand till all combined.

Turn out onto floured surface and knead till soft and there are no more flour clumps. Set back into bowl, cover and let stand.

Perogie Filling (Baba's recipe)

12 medium russet potatoes - peeled and cut into quarters
3 Tbsp. of milk
1 cup Cheese Whiz * you can use grated cheese as well but I like the ease of Cheese Whiz*
1/4 cup of Onion flakes

Boil potatoes in water and milk till cooked. MASH until smooth or until there are no more LARGE clumps. Add Cheese Whiz and onion flakes and combine till all mixed together.

To make a Perogie:

I used a can to cut out my Perogie dough - I used a Baked Bean can.

Take a small handful of dough and roll it out with a rolling pin - run it through your pasta maker (we went to a #5 thickness)

Cut out rounds - FLIP the round over so the side that was touching your work surface is now the upside - add a small amount of filling to the round - MAKE SURE THERE IS NO FILLING TOUCHING the rim - Pinch close - repeat until all dough is done or until you run out of filling.

Place on a cookie sheet and freeze if you would like.

To cook them - put the Perogie's into a pot of boiling water - make sure it's a low boil and not a rapid boil as that could break the Perogie open.

Serve with onions! and ENJOY!

Much Love


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Friday, January 25, 2013

A Friday Family Adventure

Since Chris has been off (2 weeks and counting) we have been going out almost everyday to drop off resumes. I love car rides - as does Jimbo. Graham on the other hand - HATES them. Travelling this year is going to be interesting.

Today we decided to drop off just one resume - Downtown. Jimmy kept asking us where we were going and we repeated over and over again "Downtown, to the city!" James would reply with "City?? OH ok"

We came home and got cleaned up. Our power went out this morning so we didn't chance running the hot water out in the middle of a shower. After that we decided to go to the beach!

After the beach we decided to go out for dinner. We haven't done that since BEFORE Graham was born. I was nervous, but the night went perfectly. We got the boys home, bathed and Jimbo went to bed. Chris and I are now watching movies and I am hoping to get to bed a decent time as we are headed BACK Downtown to Granville Island. Can't wait!

Much love

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Jimbo turns 3

On Saturday we threw James a birthday party! My little big guy turned three on Friday! (I'm still trying to process that)

Every year I say to Chris "We just need to do a small get together of friends and family to celebrate" - YEAH RIGHT!

For James' first birthday I went WAY overboard with invites. The day of his party, there were 30 people in my mother's home. Yes! THIRTY! There was so much commotion, and bodies that when it came time to sing him 'Happy Birthday' we made him cry...hard.

For his second Birthday - the 49ers were playing the Saints and in my house, when the 49ers are playing - the game MUST be on. So we had a gathering of fans   all Jimbo's Aunts and Uncles. Again - when I started planning I wanted 10 MAX - 20 showed up.  At least he didn't cry.

Now when I started planning this years birthday, we decided to host it at our home as it's A LOT bigger than our last place. I made a list of people, and saw that it was getting out of hand - FAST. So I decided we would just have family, a couple of our friends (James' Godparents) and Jimbo's friends O and L. I was so happy that I had kept the list to 10 people. We decided to do pizza, and cake and snacks etc. We would let the kids watch Cars 2 as it was a Cars themed party. I was super excited for him!
Then Chris said that he felt bad that we weren't inviting certain people - ie people who have been around since the beginning (one thing you learn after children - when you are the only married couple who has children friends come and go) So we went back and decided we would invite a few more. They wanted to be here, and I know James loves them all. So now our list was up to 15.
My sister let me know that her and her boyfriend were thinking of coming into town, but she wasn't sure as Ryan has school etc etc. I was hoping they would make it in, but I got a text on Thursday saying it wasn't going to happen as they couldn't afford the ridiculous flight prices. I was so bummed, but totally understood.
You still with me??
On Friday, my Mum called saying she was coming down for the weekend. She just needed to get out of her house and was leaving shortly. Ok - now we are up to 16. Still ok - but I was getting worried.
So, on Friday night my Mum called to say she was in town and would be over shortly. James was getting tired as he hadn't napped and it was well pass 8 o'clock. So we kept him up till Grandma got here - well..
Grandma showed up as did Jimmy's Aunty Sammi and Uncle Ryan. Grandpa Jock came too! I was so excited to see my sister and James was SUPER thrilled to see his Aunty. But in the back of my mind the number went from 16 - to 20. I did it again! *22 people actually came*
Saturday arrived and we got everything ready for Jimbo's big 3rd Birthday party. I made a cake as well as some cupcakes. We decided to do Hamburgers and Hotdogs rather than pizza, and hoped to god that we had enough space for everyone.
I had to run out again to get more plates, cups etc - and needed to pick up a few last minute decorations. Chris ran to Costco to get the food and my Mum stayed with the boys as Jimmy took his nap.
I came back with balloons and some extra goodies for the kids goody bags. Then it was time to start the party.
James was so excited for his friends to come. Since he is the first grandchild on each side as well as the only child in our group of friends, this was the first year he had 'his' friends come. I loved seeing them lpay together and to see their excited faces when it was cake time, presents etc. We all ate, snacked, talked and had a great time.
James opened all his gifts and had a blast doing it. He was thrilled to get to open "my presents!" He got some more Lego Duplo from his Uncle Brandon, a new pair of Air Jordan's from Uncle Keegs. A New Scooter from Nana and Papa. A Car garage from his Great Aunt, also a T-Ball set from his Aunty Lisa and Uncle Trev. He also got some new clothes and play dough.
We bought him his very own Big Wheel. Chris had one when he was younger, James love his new bike. He looks so cool on it!

The night was great. James had a great time, as did everyone else. I will say that I am glad I only have to do this once a year. Wait - I get to do this twice a year now...Oye!


He didn't cry or fuss - was an exceptionally good boy and loved all the attention he got. He woke up this morning saying "it's my birthday?? Jimmy's birthday" I guess that means he had a great time.

Until next year - or should I say until Graham's day???.....

Much love
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Friday, January 18, 2013

A Birthday Surprise

Quick post before I hit the hay - my sister and her boyfriend surprised Jimmy for his birthday! I am SO BEYOND excited and happy to see them!

Tomorrow we shall party!

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Three years ago....A letter to my son.

"The love I felt was instant, the bond was forever and my life as your mother started."

To my sweet and sassy Jimmy;

Today you are three! I feel like I have blinked and POOF - three years have passed.

You are such a special little boy. So smart, and funny. Caring and sensitive. Stubborn at times and very independent.

This past year you have grown so much and have flourished. You have learned to count, sing your ABC's and you know how to work Nana's iPad better than anyone. You are learning to read and can spell words out. As Forrest Gump said to Jenny "He's so smart Jenny"

You made new friends, whom you love to play with. You are a social butterfly just like your Daddy. I love that about you. So happy and carefree. Don't ever lose that bud - it will make life better.

As I sit here trying to find the right words, all I can think about, is the moment when we first met. After 15 hours of labor, and two hours of pushing, we finally got to meet - eye to eye. The love I felt was instant, the bond was forever and my life as your mother started. At that very moment, you were my everything. I was lost in you and in awe. A true mother and son bond.

Now three years later, you are a very independent little boy. Always wanting to do things by yourself. "I get my own water Mum" only asking for help when it's truly needed.

A lot happened this year - we moved, and while it took sometime for you to understand you know where home is. You stopped wearing diapers and potty learned on your own time. Now you are a champ on the potty. We are so proud of you.

When your brother was born you opened your heart to him. You love him so much and he loves you too. I can't wait to see you both grow up.

James, you are my sunshine, my light, my life. You will never know how deep my love for you goes. Everyday with you is special, and I am looking forward to watching you grow. I know you will be a great man.

Please always remember to smile, be happy, and know that I love you to the moon and back. You will always be my baby.

I love you Jimbo... Happy Birthday big guy.

Love Mummy

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Monday, January 14, 2013

A sneek peek - Family Shoot 2013


I CANNOT wait to see the rest! It was a SUPER cold day but we all toughed it out! I love this candid shot of Chris and James!

Much love

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