Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ellie's Baby Announcements

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Four weeks postpartum and my announcements are out and mailed! Go me! After seeing how cute my baby shower announcements turned out, I knew I wanted to go through Tiny Prints for my announcements. After making several mock-ups, I went with the Special Snapshots, but some of my other favorites were the Glowing with Love, Metallic Dots, and Sprinkled Bliss. It's so hard choosing just one! I used the newborn pictures my sorority sister took of Miss Ellie and I love how the bunny looked with all the pink. The back of the announcement also has a picture, which I thought was special. Plus, our family and friends got an extra picture of her.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Kiki La Rue $50 Giveaway!!

One of my favorite shops to buy from is Kiki La Rue, they're affordable, great quality, and their owner Becka and her team is the best. If you have any questions about sizing, fit, etc. they get back to you so quickly! They're totally reachable through their Facebook, Instagram, and on their site. I've never in all my life seen a shop that so hands on with their customers and gives honest feedback instead of just coaxing you into buying something that isn't going to work for you. Becka has straight up told me when to size up, size down, when not to buy this dress but another that would work better for my body. I love it! I'm not the only one who gets this special treatment either, if you look at their social media pages, you'll see that every question gets answered.

One thing that stands out to me too about KLR is the variety of sizes they offer, everything from small-4x and they just introduced maternity and shapewear! Hello! So excited to try some of the shapewear! Plus, the models for the clothing vary just like really people so you can see how a dress fits on someone really thin, with a large chest, heavier, etc. It's awesome to see clothing on real bodies.

They just put a ton of new arrivals up and I wanted to share some of my favorites with ya'll:

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The sheer bottom on maxi dresses have become a favorite of mine this summer, they're so lightweight and perfect for a hot day!
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How fun are the colors and print? Love it!

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I die over these leggings! They look like they'd be hard to wear, but they're totally one of those items where you wear them once and they quickly become your favorite! Add a long drapey top, layer on some necklaces, and you're good to go!

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Chevron is everywhere and the neckline on this dress is so cute. I adore this dress! Plus it comes in more colors!

Kiki La Rue is generous enough to give one reader $50 so you can sport summer's cutest items! Woohoo! I already have my cart ready to check out sisters! There are several ways to enter and the giveaway will close June 27 midnight PST with the winner announced the following week! Be sure to check out their site and see all the new arrivals posted almost daily!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Lactation Cookies

Breastfeeding is really important to me and I hope to b/f Eleanor for the first year and then start to wean. B/f is not easy though, it's hard work! I drink 2 cups of Mother's Milk a day, take fenugreek, and I made these lactation cookies that I'm going to be sharing with you guys. I've had a hard time increasing my supply and am meeting with a Lactation Consultant this week to help me build it up and ensure that our little Ellie is getting enough. I know there's only so much I can do and if we go to just formula or have to supplement that I didn't fail, it just didn't work out as awesomely as I had envisioned.

Anyways, from all the talk amongst my mommy friends and in my Mommy and Me group (which is so awesome, if you have the opportunity to join one do it! Meeting women with babies close in age to your own and having somewhere to go to vent, celebrate and learn has been an incredible experience to me. Check out your local Healthy Beginnings to see what's available in your area) lactation cookies is one way to help build your supply and they are delicious! My father-in-law couldn't stop eating them, and not he didn't lactate as a result. They're super easy too!

The recipe I used is from Belly Belly:

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1 cup butter or margarine
1 & 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups oats, thick cut if you can get them
1 cup or more chocolate chips/sultanas/almonds/macadamia nuts
2-4 tablespoons of brewers yeast

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Preparation time is around 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 356F.
Mix together 2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal and water, set aside for 3-5 minutes.
Cream (beat well) margarine and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mix well.
Stir flaxseed mixture and add with vanilla to the margarine mix. Beat until blended.
Sift together dry ingredients, except oats and chips. I actually used a freaking sifter and it took forever, next time I'm just going to mix it!
Add to margarine mixture. Stir in oats then chips.
Scoop or drop onto a greased or lined baking tray. Because the dough is a little crumbly, it might be easier if you use a scoop.

Bake for 8-12 minutes. I used a cookie scoop and it made about 30 cookies and I ate the rest of the dough.

On their site they have a ton of ideas for variations (I used white chocolate chips for mine), ways to make it healthier and some more tips/tricks. So be sure to check out their recipe!

I found the flaxseed and brewer's yeast at my local Sprout's shop, but any health food store should work. The brewer's yeast is the magic ingredient that helps your supply and it's a huge freaking tub that I had to buy because I couldn't find anything smaller, but I plan on putting it into my smoothies and other food. I mean why not right? If you know another pregger, I would suggest splitting those ingredients because there's just so much of it! I know I'll be giving mine away or sharing it with whoever is interested!

Hope you're all having a great week, I have an awesome giveaway later this week for you ladies!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Ellie's Newborn Shots

One of my girlfriends from the sorority was sweet enough to come by and take a few shots of Ellie and they turned out so cute! I just love them and how they turned out. Alexa is a total triple threat, she's a travel spray tanner (looks so good too, if you're in southern CA, let me know and I'll refer you to her!), photographer, and had the best sorority recruitment stats ever (she even beat mine!). Thanks again Alexa for the gorgeous shots!

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I also wanted to thank all of you for your sweet wishes! This is the happiest I've ever been, all of my dreams have come true by becoming a mother. I truly have never been so blessed. Not everyday is easy, but it's so worth it. Thank you again for all of the love!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Product Review: Image Skincare Cell.U.Lift and Tinted Moisturizer

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As some of you may remember, I’ve been using Image Skincare products for several months, I reviewed their Ormedic line here. I can’t rave enough about the skincare line, it has moved mountains for me in terms of how my skin looks. I’ve started using two more of their products that I just HAVE to share with you guys as well. For one, I’m just that girl who needs to spill every great sale, product, and new trend with everyone. Then for two, I’m a blogger and this is the forum in which I shout it from the rooftops. Then for three, I’ve already talked about one of the products a bit in my weekly Bumpdates. So now, here is the review I’ve been promising you guys!

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Image Skincare was sweet enough to send me their Body Spa Cell.U.Lift Firming Body Lotion after reading my Bumpdate about my Stretch Mark Gate and I’m so thankful they did! I started using the product right away and took a few pictures along the way to document. The marks aren’t completely gone as you can tell in the picture below, but are hardly visible. I’m going to continue to use the product post-baby in the hopes that I don’t get any marks on my belly that may not have been visible beforehand, to prevent any additional marks appearing on the underside of my chest, and to further decrease the visibility of the ones I have now.

The Body Spa Cell.U.Lift Firming Body Lotion smells so yummy, a nice mint scent and the first couple of times of use gives your skin a nice little tingle. It has a soft beige tint to it, absorbs easily into the skin without any residue, and I used the lotion once a day, either at night or in the mornings after my shower, and it never left any type of product on my clothes. I could lather up, get dressed, and be on my way! I love that it rubbed in so quickly and left my skin so soft and without marks.

From their website, the lotion has an EPP complex that’s exclusive to Image to strengthen collagen fibers and reduce the volume of lipid cells and underlying tissue. The lotion isn’t just for expectant mothers, like a belly butter, but is for anyone who has stretch marks or cellulite. The product reduces the appearance of cellulite, increases circulation, and improves skin quality. 

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Picture 1: The day I saw the stretch marks
Picture 2: One week of using the Body Spa Cell.U.Lift Firming Body Lotion
Picture 3: 10 Weeks after Picture 2

I focused the product mostly on my chest and belly for stretch marks due to the pregnancy, and saw a significant difference in the reduction of my stretch marks and truly feel that the lotion kept my skin from getting more. This lotion is amazing, just the confidence it’s given to me with the results I’ve had I consider it a holy grail product, it’s incredible and a product I’ll continue to use. This would be a perfect gift for any mother, either just expecting or post-baby to help them prevent or reduce the look of stretch marks and help tighten their skin post-partum.
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The Prevention+ Daily Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30, from their site, "This next generation pure physical broad spectrum UVA/UVB moisturizer provides an even skin tone and healthy glow while protecting against the damaging effects of the sun." You can use it alone or combined with your makeup. I've used it both ways,it's perfect for a day without makeup when you're running errands. There's one shade available and it seems a bit dark, but blended right in perfectly with my skin. It was like magic! You couldn't tell that I had anything on at all, but my skin was evened out and had a little glow to it. It was nice to be able to not wear any makeup, but feel confident in going out with just a bit of coverage that's lightweight and protects against the harsh sun rays.

The moisturizer is good for all skin types, especially those with uneven skin color and tone. It's water resistant so it's perfect for a day at the pool or beach! If you have problem skin, the lotion is oil-free so it shouldn't bother your skin, but still give you a gorgeous tint. I know that there's a lot of hubbub about using more safe products, and this one is Paraben free and chemical free high sun protection. I really love this lotion, it's been wonderful in my daily routine.

Have you had the opportunity to use their line? If you're interested in trying these out, and I highly recommend that you do, call 1-800-796-SKIN to find a location near you that carries the line. Image Skincare has a variety of lines of products that focus on different skin care needs, Prevention, Ageless, Vitamin C, the Ormedic line I reviewed before, etc. If you have any questions about the products I tried, feel free to comment below or send me an email!

FTC disclaimer: Image Skincare provided the products for an honest review, I was not compensated for this post and the opinions above are completely of my own, based on my own experience.