First Birthday!

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We had a fun first birthday party for my son this week. It was a great team effort between my mom and some close friends but I also tried to keep it pretty simple for his first birthday. We chose to go with a minimalist puppy dog theme as I liked to call it and I did  get my inspiration from this blog. 


Cake Topper by my good friend over at North of Bloom 

Cookies from Luv Some Sugar and Slice by Candace Pettem. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram @luvsomesugarandslice.

First Birthday Keepsake Sign by a good friend (stay tuned for more info!)

Lassie Bunting upcycled from a Little Golden Book and bought on Etsy. Shop name is DomumVindemia.

Cake(s) were lovingly made my my cousin! Recipe was loosely based off of this recipe from the Faux Martha. Sprinkles were made out of coconut dyed with dye made by food (no artificial colours or sugars! All natural!)


It may have not been the fanciest shin-dig but we had a good time and the memories will last! The cake was definitely the best part!

Guest Post: Dear Breastfeeding Mama

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By |  Laura Cooper 

New breastfeeding moms: you’re doing it right. Sore, milk-spraying-across-the-room, cracked, “are these even mine?” boobs and all: you’re doing it right.

A lactation consultant’s help doesn’t mean you’re failing. Pumping when you never thought you would, tube feeding, spoon feeding, supplementing with formula; it doesn’t mean you’re failing.

You’re fighting to give your baby what you think is best, and make it work for you. Breastfeeding can look 100 different ways for 100 different moms and babies. I wish I knew that before I started.

For me, it looked like 10 weeks worth of lactation consultant bills, nipple balms, shields, different types of bottles, and a perma-puddle of tears at my feet as I nursed and tried to teach my little one to feed well. It looked like guilt in those early days, self-doubt, and extra weight on my postpartum shoulders that should have solely been for cuddling a tiny little boy. (He still won’t take a bottle, but, pick your battles: I picked to fight to make our breastfeeding relationship a strong one. I wouldn’t change that for a movie out or a beer downtown…the movie theatres will still be there when my little peanut is grown up.)

I’m sorry, new mom, that no one was able to warn you about the emotional struggle that would come with breastfeeding. It’s hard physically, but a good diet, rest, lots of water, and time will fix those nursing problems (and for all others, we thank our lactation consultants!) But no one was able to tell you that something so “natural” would be so hard to figure out mentally.

Don’t get caught up in that: you aren’t doing anything wrong if it doesn’t click and come natural at that first latch. Or the second, or fiftieth. Just because that mom who became Facebook famous for breastfeeding while doing yoga handstands has it in her upset-down bag, doesn’t mean that struggling to make the football hold work on your couch means you’re failing.

I’m sorry, new mom, that you feel pressure to introduce a bottle, when you fear nipple confusion, or a tongue for formula over breastmilk. I’m sorry that others just don’t get it: that switching to a bottle doesn’t take off that anxiety, that pressure, for everyone. I’m sorry that you aren’t told enough that you’re doing the healthiest, best thing for your baby and you should be proud of your decision! I’m sorry that in others’ advice and tips you find insults, guilt, and mom-shaming.

I’m sorry, new mom, that you weren’t prepared for how lonely breastfeeding can be. That sitting alone in a dark room at 1 a.m., 2 a.m., 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. trying not to make noise, with one arm trapped under a tiny little head is lonely. I hope you can find a tribe of mamas that you can text in the middle of the night and answer back and forth when your babes wake. I’m sorry that glaring eyes in public make you feel like you need to hide under a cover, or a whole blanket, or in a bathroom, or in a back corner. That your pride of figuring out breastfeeding and nourishing and nurturing your precious, sweet babe is squashed on by comments to cover up, or eyes that don’t speak — but that don’t need to.

I’m sorry that the stress of returning to work, or even wanting a night out, means sitting hooked up to a pump that might make you feel like a cow. That you’ll hydrate, and eat healthy, and sit and pump, and only get half an oz of that liquid gold. That you’ll re-enter all those feelings of what’s wrong and wonder if your breastfeeding journey is coming to an end — because no one told you that your body reacts perfectly for your sweet babe and different to a pump.

Normal might not mean easy, and it doesn’t have to. You’ll make your own normal, and don’t let anyone tell you it’s not just that: yours.

New mom, you’re doing amazing. Whether you breastfeed for 5 days, or 5 weeks, 5 months, or 5 years: you are providing your baby with the best. Whether your breastfeeding looks like a breeze, or is a long-fought bottle, or whether it means exclusively pumping, or topping up with formula…Mama, you are killing it!


Laura Cooper is a first-time mom of a busy little boy, and wife to a PhD student. A displaced Maritimer and a travel writer by trade, she now calls Hamilton home.


 

Guest Post: Calm Your Fear of Postpartum Anxiety

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By: Kristy Rodriguez

Postpartum Depression gets a lot of attention these days (which is great! Awareness is important), but did you know that postpartum anxiety can be just as disruptive? “Great,” I hear you say. “Another thing to worry about.” But pregnancy is a time of joy. Or at least it should be. It can be hard to really feel that joy if you are worried about what’s coming. But the best offense is a great defense! Ease your mind—and help make sure that you are not caught off-guard—with four easy steps:

Step 1

Educate Yourself: Learn about the signs and symptoms of postpartum anxiety, and how it is similar to (and different from) postpartum depression. Talk to your doctor, your midwife, your doula, and your mom friends. Then take matters into your own hands by seeking out information from multiple, reputable sources, in print or online. Do not just consume endless horror stories—there is nothing productive in that. Look instead for sources that focus on prevention and treatment.

Step 2

Make A Plan: Discuss your concerns with those around you. Get your partner, your care providers, and any friends or family that will be helping you in the early weeks and months on board. Make sure they know what to look for and have a plan for checking in on your mental wellbeing after delivery. You need the people who know you well on the lookout, just in case you yourself are not in a state to identify what is going on. And if things get bad, they may need to push you a bit to get help.

Step 3

Ask For Help: Compile a list of potential mental health treatment providers in your area, and know what your insurance does or does not cover. That way, if you need professional intervention, you can get the help you need faster, and you won’t need to scramble to find this information while under the influence of postpartum anxiety or depression, while learning how to care for your new arrival to boot. Think of it as your worst-case-scenario toolkit.

Step 4

Relax: When it comes to postpartum anxiety (or depression, or any number of physical or mental difficulties) the best prevention is to be as healthy as possible. So, take care of yourself the way you would anyway. Being kind to yourself, saying no to stress, eating a healthy diet, staying hydrated, getting quality sleep, making sure that you have at least some (doctor approved) movement in your days—all of these things will help you to be as physically and mentally healthy as possible.

In other words, now that you are prepared for the worst, take the focus off of possible future problems and put your focus on meeting your needs in the here and now. If you need any help with these things, consider picking up a copy of Pure Nurture: A Holistic Guide to a Healthy Baby, your guide to self-care during pregnancy.

If you are already struggling with postpartum anxiety, skip straight to steps 3 and 4. Getting help as soon as possible will help you get back on track faster. There is a way out, and there is no shame in needing a little help to find it.


Kristy S. Rodriguez, pre- and postnatal wellness expert and advocate, is the owner and founder of Pure Nurture, LLC, a business devoted to educating and inspiring women to nurture and nourish themselves through pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. As a Holistic Health Coach and Registered Yoga Teacher specializing in pre- and postnatal wellness, Kristy works with individual clients, as well as teaching classes and workshops, both in person and online.


Safer Regimens. Real Results.

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Quinoa & egg muffins + a modern take on an egg sandwich

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These two meal options were derived from this one recipe. The recipe is designed for toddlers but it’s great for anyone! It was a big hit in our household and I added some finely chopped swiss chard and nutritional yeast.


Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1.5 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup finely chopped broccoli
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper

Courtesy of: ahealthysliceoflife.com 


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For my breakfast sandwich, I added butter, mayonnaise, additional cheese and some arugula with the mashed up egg muffin on rye bread. Easy peasy and full of nutrients!

The perfect and non-toxic Valentine’s Day look with Beautycounter

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