Saturday, October 31, 2015

Daily Purse Essentials

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BeHealthyForEveryPartofLife #CollectiveBias


If you know me well you know I'm a simple gal with simple needs. When it comes to purse essentials it's the same. My sister once said, "Thats a big purse with barely anything in it." HA!

I love taking a peek inside a blogger's home, refrigerator, closest and well purse! So why not share my own! Winter and summer items will vary, but everything else remains the same.


Obviously, I can't go anywhere without my wallet, iPhone and sunglasses.


As a mom on-the-go I always carry a oversized clutch with baby essentials [diapers, wipes, healing balm and Infant Advil]. I like to keep everything in the pictured polka dot clutch so I can throw it in any purse or tote before running out the door. Infant Advil is key as it quickly soothes teething pain and fever.. I like to keep it on hand for those just-in-case moments. No one wants sick baby.

I'm ALWAYS hungry so I typically carry some sort of snack -- either a piece of fruit or granola bar for myself and pouch or puffs for Emerson. With winter quickly approaching I started carrying Emergen-C Immune+ Chewables. Having a new baby at home means I always need to be on point and can't afford to get sick. These chewables are going to help me stay healthy. Whether or not you're a new mom, looking for a little extra immune support, I highly recommend stocking up on the Emergen-C Immune+ Chewables.

Two other must haves are a re-useable bag [we get charged for bags in CA] and chapstick! I can't live without chapstick. I'm currently loving ChapStick Total Hydration which instantly soothes and moisturizes dry winter lips.



Key Winter Essentials 

1. Emergen-C Immune+ Chewables [$5.97]
- Immune support = More Heathy Days, More Healthy Nights

2. Chapstick Total Hydration [$2.94]
- 100% Natural; Advanced nourishing formula with organ oil and avocado butter and rosehip oils
- Instantly smooths and moisturizes
-Clinically proven healthier looking lips

3. Infant's Advil [$7.97]
- Happy baby = happy mama
- Provides up to 8 hours of fever/pain relief with just 1 dose
- Quickly soothes teething pain and fever

For the best prices you'll want to check out  Walmart.


What are some of your purse essentials? How are you staying healthy this winter?

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Life Updates + Loving Lately

Can you believe Halloween is this weekend?! I can't! Life seems to be moving along quickly and now that the holiday's are here it's going to be 2016 before we know it!

Before we get to what I'm loving -- Here are a few life updates.

+ Work is crazy busy which is awesome and hard juggling schedules and childcare. Luckily we have an awesome nanny who is flexible.

+ I hit my October goal at Crossfit -- 10 unbroken [kipping] Pull-ups. Awesome Right?! Now I'm working on strict pull-ups. My goal is five.

+ I ripped open two calluses last night while practicing kipping and pull-ups [enter double crying emoji]. This is the first time it's ever happen. Apparently it will take about a week to heal. Whomp, whomp. I guess next week I'll be cherry picking my WODs.

+ I basically quit drinking and am only drinking on special occasions. Why? Abs are made in the kitchen and well beer and wine don't help.

Ok, now for the fun stuff ;)

GAP Sleep Leggings
I ordered a pair of the ribbed cuff leggings during the last sale and I'm in love. They are super soft and cozy. I'm ready for another pair! These will definitely make the christmas wish list.
Mighty Nut Peanut Butter
If you missed yesterday's post about powdered peanut butter you can catch up HERE. Plus, there's a giveaway. Anyway, Might Nut [c/o] is my new favorite peanut butter. The best part is 1.5 g of fat for 2 tbsp!


Hand Care 101: Preventing Rips
Since I've been at Crossfit [over a year] my hands have never ripped, but then I was pregnant most of the time. Then took a few months off. Now I'm pushing myself harder everyday. With that said, I'm learning things like taking care of my hands. I thought I was doing a good job, but I guess not good enough. #crossfitproblems

* Don't let this scare you away from trying Crossfit. It doesn't happen to everyone. I'm just pushing harder and lifting more. Now I know what I need to do moving forward.

Honest Beauty
Anyone else loving Honest Beauty right now? I've been using the free trail for the last week and LOVE it. I can't wait to get my first bundle. I've been on the lookout for new makeup and this is totally up my alley. Everyday I really only wear mascara, bb cream and bronzer/blush. Simple girl, simple needs.


I feel like there's more things I'm loving, but I can't remember right now. Maybe it's the fact I'm up way too late or my hands hurt. Oh well.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!


Linking up with September Farm!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Tropical PB Smoothie + #EatMighty Giveaway!


Raise your hand if you love peanut butter. I just raised both hands -- just in case you were wondering. I'm a nut butter fiend and easily can go through a jar in a week. Hence why I typically buy it as a treat. Well, guess what? I'm stocking my cabinets with Peanut Butter & Co's Powdered PB Mighty Nut [c/o].  It's delicious and nutritious and doesn't have nearly the same amount of fat as regular PB, natural or not!

About Might Nut: Peanut Butter & Co just launched Mighty Nut, their new powdered peanut butter! Each batch of Mighty Nut is created from quality USA grown peanuts. The peanuts are roasted, then pressed, to remove most of the fat.  What remains is protein, fiber and delicious peanut buttery taste.  Mighty Nut powdered peanut butter can be rehydrated and used as a spread or dip, or as an ingredient in baking, cooking or smoothies and it is available in four delightful varieties: Original, Vanilla, Chocolate and Flax & Chia

Yesterday after Crossfit I made the hubby and I a smoothie and decided to throw in some Might Nut Original Peanut Butter. Let's just say it was a winner. Typically Nick hates nut butter in smoothies because it over powers everything. Well not this smoothie! 

Mighty Nut Powdered Peanut Butter is flavorful, smooth and not over powering. Honestly, I can't wait to bake something with it. 



PB, Banana + Pineapple Smoothie
Serves 2 [8 oz.]

1 cup Unsweetned Orginal Almond Milk
1 Frozen Banana
1/2 cup Pineapple
2 tbsp Mighty Nut Original Peanut Butter
2 tbsp Daily Fiber [my favorite is arbonne]

Place everything in blender and blend until desired consistency. Add ice as needed. Optional toppings Chia Seeds [pictured] cinnamon, Might Nut Chocolate, etc.




Aside from adding Might Nut to smoothies I've been mixing up a few tablespoons of the chocolate PB and enjoying it with bananas. A couple things to note: The paste consistency of the powdered peanut butter didn't seem any different than regular peanut butter. Although I was a bit surprised by the light chocolate flavor it was just what I was looking for. I think it would be perfect for baking. PB chocolate chip muffins, anyone?

Have you tried powered peanut butter? Thoughts? What should I make next?
_________________________________________________________________________________

Might Nut partnered with a few Sweat Pink Ambassadors to create recipes and snack ideas. As apart of the partnership they're offering readers a change to win a bottle of Might Nut! See details below.

Prize: (1) Might Nut Bottle

To Enter: Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter (it might take a second to load, but it should eventually pop up below this paragraph). This giveaway is available for US residents only [sorry]. 
One prize per person. If you win this giveaway, and have already won another prize from Mighty Nut through another blog, please disclose that you have already won so we can choose another winner. 

Please note, only entries via Rafflecopter will be eligible to win. Thank you and good luck!


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Emerson Quinn // Nine Months


Height + Weight | Right around 20 lbs!

Health | We had our first 24 hour bug and trip to urgent care. Poor girl woke up in the middle of the night throwing up and couldn't keep anything down. :( Of course, all she needed was pedialyte and some time. She also had her first case of diaper rash. Good times over here!

Sleep | Sleeps like a champ -- down at 7 p.m. and up at 7 a.m. We're down to either one long nap or two short naps a day.

Eat | Anything and everything! New foods this month: Tangerines, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, zucchini, homemade blueberry muffins, and a few bites of baked chicken! 

Wear | She's mostly wearing 12 months, but it depends on the brand.

Social | Her auntie Brittnay and uncle Adam came for a visit so there was lots of snuggles. She's also having a blast going on stroller walks and hanging out with her friends.

Baby Gear | Just in case you missed it you can check out our 6-9 month favorites HERE.

Milestones | 

+ Walking with a push walker. She does laps on the living room rug.
+ Feeding herself more solids like chopped up bananas and avocado.
+ First visit to Apple Hill and a pumpkin patch.
+ Working on bye-bye
+ She's starting to point at things
+ Started wearing little shoes. I picked up the moccasins above from Zulily.
+ Started feeding the dog
+ Gained more control going from standing to sitting and vice-versa.
+ First 24-hour bug and diaper rash
+ First 'off-road' walk with the bob.
+ We had to lower the crib.

Postpartum | Well, I developed a case of mom thumb about a week or so ago... Ugh! Still working out. Some movements are easier than others. Although, I know I'm getting stronger and stronger I feel like I've hit a plateau so it's time to really focus on what I eat. I've been cooking more and more paleo meals, but then I go and make homemade ice cream or eat pizza.... oops. Abs are made in the kitchen... I know what I need to do.

Other Emerson Updates: Birth Announcement | Birth Story | Two weeks | One Month | Two Months Three Months | Four Months | Five Months | Six Months | Seven Months | Eight Months

Monday, October 26, 2015

Guest Post | Post-Pregnancy Belly Wrapping

Psst: There's still one day left to enter the Purple Laurel Giveaway! Enter HERE -- Don't Delay.


Post-Pregnancy Belly Wrapping

Guest Post by Stephanie Miles from PurpleLaurel.com


When Tiara recently posted about her physical journey after having baby Emerson, it really struck a chord with me because I know so many of us moms struggle with how our bodies look post-pregnancy. Even though we know that our bodies won’t just “bounce back” after childbirth—unless maybe you’re Gisele Bundchen—I think that most of us still hope that we’ll be the outliers whose bodies will look even better than they did pre-kids.

Without a doubt, I believe that there’s no substitute for healthy eating and exercise when it comes to toning up after pregnancy. However, I’m also a big fan of postpartum belly wrapping, and I think it’s something that women don’t hear enough about.

The Options
Doing research on the various belly band styles is the last thing most moms want to deal with when they’re just getting home from the hospital. The sheer number of options can be overwhelming. When a new mom asks me what type of belly wrap she should buy, I almost always start by asking her to tell me about her childbirth experience.

Women who’ve had c-section surgery need wide, firm compression garments that are going to provide as much support as possible. It may sound counter-intuitive, but the tighter the wrap is cinched, the more comfortable your muscles will be while recovering from abdominal surgery.

Most moms who’ve had healthy, vaginal births are looking at postpartum wrapping as a way to decrease bloating and minimize stretch marks. Compression is important here, too, but so is selecting a wrap made from softer materials that won’t itch or irritate the skin.

Women with diastasis recti, which is an abdominal separation that happens when the space between your left and right belly muscles widens, benefit from the regular use of compression wraps immediately following childbirth, as well. A high-quality support wrap can stabilize the abdomen and allow women with diastasis recti to exercise, or in some cases just pick up their babies, without as much pain.

The Benefits
Around the world, women in all different cultures use postpartum belly wrapping for support, stability, and comfort during childbirth recovery. In the United States and Europe, we tend to focus more on the esthetic benefits—such as toning abdominal muscles, reducing water retention, and accelerating fat burning—but I believe those benefits are secondary. When it’s done correctly, belly wrapping should be able to speed up the healing process, reduce back and shoulder pain, improve posture, and relieve muscle tension in the torso.

Any woman who has had a c-section knows how painful it can be to sneeze or even cough in the weeks afterward. Proper belly wrapping can minimize that discomfort. And the great thing about a wrap, specifically, is that you can continue to tighten it until you get the desired effects.

The Fit
Belly wrap sizing is another point of confusion for lots of women. Every manufacturer will have slightly different sizing recommendations, but here’s my basic advice: If you’re still pregnant, measure your belly at 8 months and choose the corresponding wrap as your size. If you’re 9 months pregnant, subtract 3 to 5 inches and select that size. If you’re like I was, and your belly seems extra large, you can also play it safe by selecting one size up from your pre-pregnancy size. Most belly wraps are designed with five inches of adjustability, so there’s plenty of leeway built in. Girdles with hook closures can be harder to fit, so you may want to hold off on buying one until after your baby is born.

The Reality Check
Belly wrapping is not a cure-all for every postpartum ailment, and it certainly isn’t going to give you six-pack abs overnight. Although belly wrapping isn’t going to harm you, I have spoken to physicians who advised women not to wear belly bands if they have postpartum incontinence or prolapse. Both of these issues can be made worse under the constant pressure of an abdominal brace.

The truth is, postpartum belly wrapping is just one of many components in a childbirth recovery plan that should also includes healthy eating and moderate exercise. Belly wraps work best when they are worn for at least 30 minutes at a time—up to 18 hours per day—for the first one to three months after delivery.

My Picks
A search for postpartum belly wraps online will bring up hundreds of thousands of results at all different price points and quality levels. Here are my picks for the best wrap options, based on our selection at Purple Laurel.

Best For C-Section Recovery: Postpartum Waist Cincher
Best For Ab Tightening: PL Compression Wrap
Best For Back Support: Wide 4B Support Belt
Best For Long-Term Waist Slimming: Postpartum Compression Girdle

Breast Cancer Awareness Month



Barbells for Boobs
[Photo credit: South Tahoe Crossfit]

Every month and everyone has a cause, October just happens to be all about the boobies. Yup, if you didn't know now you know -- it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This year I participated, with the local Crossfit affiliate, to help raise funds for early detection. [Read previous posts HERE and HERE.]

The BIG event was Saturday and the community showed up in full force. To date South Tahoe Crossfit has raised $12,000 [and counting]! Donations can be made through December 31! Remember every $80 raised pays for one mammogram!

Back to the event! It was full of love and pink. I finished a scaled version of  'Grace' lifting 55 lbs in 2 minutes and 20 seconds. [Grace = 30 Clean & Jerks for time]

[Photo credit: South Tahoe Crossfit]
Why Barbells for Boobs? Barbells for Boobs is a non-profit organization dedicated to the early detection of breast cancer, with an emphasis on woman under 40 and men. We all have a right to know. When I worked in LA a co-worker was diagnosed with breast cancer at 28! Due to early detection she's a survivor!

Below is Kim not only is she a member of South Tahoe Crossfit, but she's a breast cancer survivor --due to early detection. You can read her full story HERE.

[Photo credit: South Tahoe Crossfit]
Breast Cancer Facts
- Breast cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in women, with skin cancer being the first.
- About 1 in 8 women born today in the U.S. will get breast cancer at some point in their lives.
- Approximately 231,340 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. each year.
- Breast cancer patients with employer-sponsored health insurance spend $6,553 out-of-pocket.


Early detection is key 
- Even as the second most common cancer among women in the United States, millions of women are surviving breast cancer thanks in part to early detection and improvements in treatment.
- The goal of screening exams for breast cancer is to find cancers before they start to cause symptoms (like a lump that can be felt). Screening refers to tests and exams used to find a disease, such as cancer, in people who do not have any symptoms. 
- Breast cancers that are found because they are causing symptoms tend to be larger and are more likely to have already spread beyond the breast. In contrast, breast cancers found during screening exams are more likely to be smaller and still confined to the breast. 

[Photo credit: South Tahoe Crossfit]
For most U.S. companies, fall marks open enrollment season, which means now is the time you can review your employer-sponsored benefits offerings and choose the health insurance policies that best meet your financial and health care needs. 

Consider additional coverage
Aflac’s cash benefits can help policyholders pay the out-of-pocket costs associated with costly cancer treatments. A cancer insurance policy can be used not only for treatment expenses not covered by major medical insurance, but also for extra child care that may be needed, transportation to and from the doctor or treatments, and even everyday living expenses, such as mortgage payments or groceries.

How Aflac is supporting the cause 
- For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Aflac will be partnering with the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) again for its second annual “This Duck Wears Pink” campaign.
- Aflac supports the groundbreaking work of the AACR – the first and largest cancer research organization in the world with a membership of more than 35,000 professionals residing in 101 countries working on the front lines of the effort to eradicate cancer. The AACR backs every aspect of high-quality, innovative cancer research.


For more information about Aflac’s partnership with the American Association for Cancer Research Foundation click HERE.

If you're in a giving mood please feel free to donate to Barbells for Boobs HERE.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Mad Scientist Float with Homemade OREO Ice Cream

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SpookyCreations #CollectiveBias 


Halloween is the prefect time to get creative in the kitchen! Even us fit folks have guilty pleasures. While I have a weakness for ice cream my hubby likes popcorn and pop [aka soda]. Other than popcorn, I don't regularly keep ice cream or soda in the house -- making them a special treat.

Craving a sweet treat the other night I decided to make some homemade OREO ice cream! The hubby had other plans for the ice cream, Fanta (Orange) Float!


OREO Ice Cream [adapted from Baked by Rachel]
Serves 4-6

Ingredients
1 cup 2% milk
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cups sugar
1/4 tsp salt
5 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups OREOs [broken into pieces]

Directions
In a medium bowl, add heavy cream and set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine remaining heavy cream, milk, salt and sugar. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Meanwhile, whisk eggs until smooth. When contents of the saucepan begin to steam, slowly pour 1 cup of warm liquid into egg yolks while continuously whisking. Add egg mixture to saucepan. Stir and continue cooking over medium heat until mixture coats the back of the spatula. Pour mixture, through a mesh strainer, into the reserved heavy cream. Stir and cool over an ice bath.

Cover and chill mixture for 4-6 hours/overnight.

Once chilled churn according to manufacturer's directions. In the last 5-10 minutes of churning, slowly add OREOs.

Transfer ice cream to a freezer safe container and freeze for 4-6 hours or frozen solid.


Once you have your freezer stocked with homemade ice cream creating a 'Mad Scientist Float' is simple! Pour the Fanta (Orange) into a mason jar/glass and top with a scoop [or two] of OREO ice cream. Stand back, watch it bubble, and enjoy!

Although a Fanta (Orange) float is fun and tasty, I'm a simple girl and love the OREO ice cream as is. I'll leave the float making to the hubby ;)


I was able to pick up Fanta (Orange) and a box of 'spooky' 2-pack OREOs at our local Safeway. Next time you're out shopping be on the lookout for an exclusive coupon to save $1.50 when they buy (1) Fanta mini-can or 8-pk 12 oz. bottles AND (1) Nabisco Cookie or Cracker (4.5 oz. or larger, any variety.)


Fun Tip: The OREO 2-packs also make for a fun treat for trick-or-treaters!

What spooky creation are you whipping up?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Fit Friday | Crossfit + Gear to live in this season

Yahoo.... it's Friday!

Once an athlete, always an athlete -- Crossfit has resurrected the old athlete within and I love it. Everyday I keep pushing the limits and I feel great. I RX when I can, but scale when I need to. There's just something about the camaraderie and healthy competition.

I'm beyond pumped to participate in my first Barbells for Boobs this weekend! Curious about the event and cause check out the video below. If you're in a giving mood please feel free to donate HERE. Every little bit helps and every $80 raised pays for one mammogram.

Since I started working from home I've found myself living in workout apparel -- Not kidding. I shower and put on yoga pants. Recently I've been working on building a workout wardrobe I love. Here are just a few pieces I'm loving and are worth living in this season.
Gear to live in this Season

TNF Pullover | I absolutely love this pullover! It's so comfy and looks great with jeans or leggings. I'm ready to buy it in another color or two!

Lululemon Scarf | The only scarf you will every need. Actually buy it in two colors.

Tote | I can't pass up a good tote. This will be your go-to tote from running errands, traveling, or hitting the gym. It's durable and cute! #winning

NIKE | Yeah, I could buy true Crossfit shoes, but I love my Nike trainers. Plus, they're perfect for running errands.

Leggings | Seriously the best leggings I've ever bought. Don't buy one, but two.

Headband | Because keeping your hair out of your face at the gym is key. Enough said.

There you have it, I'm doing 30 Clean & Jerks on Saturday and living in workout gear.

I'm looking for a new pair of leggings. Any suggestions?

Baby Gear | 6-9 MONTH FAVORITES

6-9 MONTH FAVORITES


Technically Emerson turns nine months next week, but I think we're safe to chat about some of our favorites over the last few months. We're still loving and using some of the 3-6 month favorites too!

Highchair | Emerson has been eating from her big girl chair since she was six months old. She actually feeds herself too! We don't have this particular highchair, but we do have one with wheels -- it was a hand-me-down. I love this one because it's a good mix of modern and functional.

Baby Brezza | We make Emerson's food 90% of the time. The Brezza makes making baby food easy. It steams and cooks! All you have to do it wash and chop.

Walker | Someone really loves to stand. We introduced a walker around seven months. She's been on the move ever since.

Toys | Emerson loves to sit and play! Other than the walker her go-to toys include the Sassy Rock and Roll Ring StackerFisher-Price Butterfly Shape Sorter and Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Piggy Bank.

Bibs | Girlfriend LOVES to fee herself, but things can get messy. These bibs are great! They catch about 90% of the food she drops. Plus, you just rinse them off and they're ready to go.

Fleece Sleepwear | It's starting to get cooler at night so emerson is back to wearing fleece pjs. We love Carter's because they are so affordable!

Childhood Blanket | Ah, the softest blanket in the world. We love our Lulujo Baby Childhood Blanket [c/o]. Check out our full review HERE.

What are some your 9-12 month favorites?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Business Highlight | Q&A with Purple Laurel + A Giveaway!

Navigating pregnancy, postpartum and baby gear can be overwhelming. There are so many products out there and what works for one person may not work for another.

With that said, I'm chatting with Stephanie the brilliant mom of two behind Purple Laurel, an online shop that sells postpartum shapewear and nursing bras. YAY! 


ME: Why did you start Purple Laurel? What made you focus mostly on postpartum items?

Stephanie: My sons are just two years apart, so I’ve been in this phase of my life—pregnant, recovering from birth, and breastfeeding—for pretty much the last 3+ years straight. What I’ve discovered is that it’s really tough to find products for new moms that are both durable and stylish. Most cute nursing bras start losing their shape after they’ve been washed a dozen times, and a lot of the big name belly wraps have a reputation for not holding up very well. So I just started researching to see what else was out there.

I wanted cute, comfortable, really high-quality nursing bras that I could throw in the washer and dryer without worrying about the fabric shrinking or the seams unraveling. When Purple Laurel first started, that’s all we had. But then I started hearing from friends who weren’t finding really high-quality postpartum shapewear online, so I decided to go on the hunt again to find medical-grade compression wraps that would hold up well and wouldn’t be super noticeable underneath clothes.

ME: I love that you can dry your nursing bras! As a first time mom there were definitely times I was on the struggle nursing train. Do you have any great nursing tips? What about favorite nursing bra?

Stephanie: When my oldest son was an infant, he had a posterior tongue-tie and trouble latching, which meant I was pumping ALL.THE.TIME for months. I went from knowing nothing about breast pumping, to being someone who could talk your ear off about the merits of different flange sizes or milk storage bags.

One of the first things I discovered was that I needed a hands-free solution, because my son was colicky and he wasn’t just going to play on the floor by himself while I pumped six times a day. I tried making my own pumping bras, and I bought a handful of different pumping-bustiers, but the hands-free bras we have at Purple Laurel are so much better than any of those other solutions.

Nursing bras that are made for pumping hold the breast shield in place really securely, which increases suction and ultimately means you’re able to get more milk during each pumping session. So I would definitely say that my favorite nursing bra is our Classic Pump Bra, and I would also say that buying a hands-free pumping bra was one of the best things I did as far as making breast pumping easier on me.

ME: I completely agree -- a hands free pumping bra is a must have item! Speaking of pumping, what do you think is the biggest issue?

Stephanie: The biggest issue is a lack of knowledge about what products are out there to make pumping easier. When I first started pumping, I was sitting next to an electrical outlet, holding the breast shields in place with my hands, and wondering how I’d be able to keep this up for the next 15 minutes with a fussy newborn beside me. I had no idea all the gadgets and garments available to make pumping easier — and this is coming from someone who considers herself pretty savvy when it comes to planning ahead and doing all the research.

The first thing I realized was that I needed to have my hands free while I pumped. I made my own pumping bra, and when I realized the poor fit was causing my milk supply to drop, I made the switch to a hands-free pumping bra. When you’re pumping at home, the hands-free bras allow you to nurse on one side while you pump on the other.

ME: When I was pregnant I really relied on friends. What advice would you give expecting moms?

Stephanie: Do your shopping early! Most of our customers at Purple Laurel are one or two weeks postpartum, and they’re usually up in the middle of the night researching belly wrapping on their phones, either because they’re in a lot of pain or because they’re looking for ways to get rid of that tummy pooch after pregnancy.

I’m happy to answer those frantic emails, but I still think it’s better to do your research and make your purchases ahead of time. That gives you the time to really look at all the different options—for example, some women prefer soft belly wraps and some women prefer structured girdles—and figure out how to use whichever wraps or nursing bras you’ve selected before you’re sleep deprived and juggling a fussy infant.

ME: Any new items we should keep an eye out for?

Stephanie: I’m really excited about our new seamless nursing bras by Nizo, called the Kismet Bras. These bras have a hidden pocket in the pull-down flap where you can place nursing pads to hide any leakage that happens during the day. What makes them really amazing is that you can take out the pads if you don’t need them and put in a warm or cool pack to decrease breast discomfort on days when you’re sore or achy.

ME: As a mom, how do you maintain work/life balance?

Stephanie: It’s not easy, and I don’t have it all figured out. I’m fortunate that I’m able to work from home. Although I’m answering emails and IMs all day, I get the bulk of my work done early in the morning, before my boys wake up. Starting my day before everyone else is nice because it allows me to clear out my inbox before new messages start pouring in.

I know a lot of moms work after their kids go to bed at night, but I’m really not a night owl, and I’d prefer to use the time after my boys are in bed to catch up on blogs and watch my favorite reality shows.

Thank you, Stephanie! I'm not ready for baby number two, but I know where I'm buying nursing bras!


Prize: (1) $75 Purple Laurel Gift Certificate 

To Enter: Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter (it might take a second to load, but it should eventually pop up below this paragraph). This giveaway is available for USA & Canada residents. Please note, only entries via Rafflecopter will be eligible to win. Thank you and good luck!

P.S. All emails will be provided to Purple Laurel. Once the giveaway has concluded you will receive a 25% promo code. 



a Rafflecopter giveaway