My Perfect Summer Sandal

Disclaimer: Tidewater Sandals sent me this product for free in exchange for a honest review.

I love flip flops. A little too much I think. If the weather was decent enough, I think that I could live in my flip flops (and believe me, I try to make it as long as possible, even when my toes start to turn purple in the winter). But when I wear flip flops, I need to make sure that they provide me with some sort of support, not only for my feet in general, but for my arches.

I have finally found my perfect pair of flip flops. Just look at these beauties from Tidewater Sandals.

Tallulah Gold | Tidewater Sandals

They are comfortable, stylish, cost effective – everything that I want in a shoe.

These sandals are perfect to wear to work or just around town and have arch support (which is key for me). I have been wearing them for the past month pretty much nonstop and are in love with them. I even wore them to Pinehurst this past weekend and they were super comfy to walk around in. I wore them yesterday during a huge rainstorm and loved that my feet were not slipping and sliding all over the place.

I really can’t say enough about these shoes. They are already a staple of my summer wardrobe and will continue to be a staple through fall… and maybe even winter!

Want to get your own pair? Tidewater Sandals is offering all of my readers a 15% off coupon code, BELLE15, that will be good through the end of May! Go ahead and get your summer wear today!

5 Essentials for the Breastfeeding Mom

Breastfeeding can be hard for so many women, myself included. I still have days where it hurts or I just feel drained, literally. Typically those days come after a long night and in my hurry to get Caleb back to sleep, I don’t take the time to make sure that he is properly latched. On those days, I find myself switching out one of Caleb’s normal feedings with a bottle of formula just to give myself a break.

Those days are thankfully fewer and fewer now that I realize how to correct that issue. Overall, I believe that breast is best but when it comes down to it, I’d rather make sure that Caleb isn’t going hungry.

My biggest piece of advice to you as a breastfeeding mom (or mom-to-be) is to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water. If you find yourself having a difficult time breastfeeding and are in pain constantly when you nurse, don’t be afraid to speak with a lactation consultant in your area.

These are some of the products that have saved my sanity when it comes to breastfeeding.

Kindle E-Reader with Built-in Light – When you’re breastfeeding, there really isn’t much else you can do at that moment (unless you have a sling or a carrier and then it’s game on). My Kindle has been a lifesaver, especially at night when Caleb needs to be fed and I don’t want to cut any lights on. It’s easy to control a Kindle with one hand and it allows my brain to relax/focus on something else for a bit. I’m currently working my way through Sweet Sleep: Nighttime and Naptime Strategies for the Breastfeeding Family which was recommended to me by Robb’s cousin.

Boppy Nursing Pillow and Positioner – The Boppy pillow was one of the first items that I added to my baby registry. I didn’t use it as much as I thought that I would the first week or so but I’ve been using it more and more lately. It helps me put Caleb in the perfect position to feed. It also gives my arms a break from holding him and Caleb likes to rest in his Boppy pillow.

Milk Drunk – Chocolate Protein Powder for Breastfeeding – This is a delicious protein powder for smoothies filled with lactation-boosting ingredients such as fenugreek, flaxseed, brewer’s yeast, and oat flour. Bonus – it’s vegan! I also recommend Mother’s Milk Tea by Traditional Medicinals as well for lactation support. I’ve used both to help boost my milk supply. I still haven’t managed to have enough extra milk to start storing some for when I go back to work but that’ll be my goal for February.

Nursing Bra – I’m not going to lie, I didn’t see the need for a nursing bra until I actually purchased one for myself. When I’m at home, I don’t bother with a bra unless I feel that I am needing the compression support. But I’ve found that with a nursing bra, I can wear it out in public for just in case or wear it around the house and it leaves me feeling a little less exposed to the elements. With the temperature in the house around 65°, that’s a pretty nice feeling to have.

Medela Tender Care Lanolin Tube – There are dozens of nipple creams out there for your tender bits and I recommend that you have something to keep your nipples from being chapped. I’ve been using Medela’s because I have received so many samples of it (nearly time I went to the doctor, I received more samples). Medela lanolin (lanolin is wool wax) is a thick, almost salve-like consistency that provides  soothing relief. I’ve also developed my own nipple butter that I will transition to once I’m all out of Medela lanolin (coming soon to my Etsy shop).

Did you have any issues breastfeeding?

5 Pregnancy Nighttime Essentials

Sleep.

It’s amazing how valuable sleep becomes when you are pregnant. It never seems like you are able to get enough of it, at least for me. Over the course of my pregnancy, I’ve discovered a few items that have helped sleep come a little bit easier. Hopefully some of these items will help you as well.

 

• Belly Butter – I apply a moisturizing belly butter to my skin every evening after my shower. This not only helps to reduce stretch marks but is a very relaxing ritual that helps to relax my body for bed. I have a recipe coming soon for my belly butter, but in the meantime, you can purchase it at my Etsy shop! I typically like to use an unscented belly butter but you can add a calming essential oil, such as lavender, to help relieve stress and reduce anxious feelings [check out my Lavender Linen Spray DIY as well].

 

PinkBlush Maternity Pants – I LOVE these pants. The fabric feels so soft against my skin and they are cozy enough for both the warm nights of summer all the way through a crisp winter evening. Though they have plenty of room for my expanding belly, they don’t look like maternity pajama pants so I also am planning to wear them post-pregnancy. PinkBlush Maternity is a dangerous website for me to visit as I love pretty much everything that they have to offer. A lot of the clothes, even if they say “Maternity” are styled in a way that you can wear them even after you give birth.

 

Tums – Before I became pregnant, I would get bad heartburn on occasion. Since becoming pregnant, I have experienced horrible heartburn during my second and third trimesters as I was trying to get to sleep. Some nights it would get to the point where I have to stuff so many pillows behind my head that I was basically sitting upright – and that is no way to catch some zzzz’s. After suffering through it for way too long, I finally broke down and picked some Tums up. It’s amazing the difference those chalky little tablets made.

 

Belle – Don’t laugh. A lot of pregnant women tend to use a body pillow of some sort to help support their hips, back, and stomach (like this one) when they are trying to get to sleep. I just use my dog. She is the perfect size and has this amazing ability to know exactly how I need her to lay. As the weather starts to cool off, she generates enough heat to keep me comfortable and provides the right amount of support for my body. Plus, I think it helps her to be so close to Lil Bean and feel him move around.

 

Hot Tea – Even before I found myself pregnant, I enjoyed a nice cup of hot herbal tea before bed. Now that I am pregnant, I have to be careful about what sort of herbs I’m ingesting as not all are pregnancy-friendly. I like to create my own blends but in a pinch, I enjoy the Peaceful Mama Tea from Earth Mama Angel Baby Organics. It contains lemon balm, calcium rich oat straw, calming Chamomile, red raspberry leaf and orange peel herbs traditionally used to help calm and relax during pregnancy.

What are/were some of your pregnancy nighttime essentials?



Janie and Jack Holiday Collection

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means that I’ll receive a commission if you purchase from this link. I was compensated for this post.

Janie and Jack recently released their new holiday Mommy and Me collection and I am in love! The collection is inspired by the special memories created between a mother and her child during the holiday season. As a first time mom due in December, I’m excited about the memories I that will soon create with Lil Bean.

The collection features a range of clothing for women and girls/boys ranging in age from 0-12 years old. The price point is very reasonable, ranging from $7-$169. It includes a wide array of styles in classic red hues and luxe velvets, perfect for a festive holiday get together.

Here are a few of my favorite pieces from the collection:

Embroidered Rosette Socks ($7) – I am a sucker for itty bitty baby socks as I think most people are. There is just something so adorable about their smallness and these socks, with their dainty embroidered rosette, take the cake. Even though these are geared more towards a baby girl, I don’t see why little baby boys couldn’t wear them as well!

Plaid 1-Piece ($42) – This is a wonderfully festive one-piece perfect for dressing your little one in when it’s time to celebrate. Chances are, I’m going to be too tuckered out this year on having just had a baby to really make the effort in dressing our Lil Bean up but I love this for maybe next Christmas. Besides, anyone who knows me knows that I am obsessed with plaid.

Dog Bib ($14) – I only just now noticed how well this adorable dog bib matches the Plaid 1-Piece (above). This is a soft cotton bib, machine washable, that is perfect for wiping up any holiday spittle that might dribble out from your little one partying too hard. The little embroidered dog adds just a touch of festive cuteness.

Faux Fur Sweater Dress ($69) – Even though my eyes tend to gravitate more towards boy items, I couldn’t resist sharing this knit dress with you all. Wouldn’t it be adorable for a little girl and I love the faux fur collar.

Velvet Tie Dress ($148) – This elegant velvet shift dress is not just for moms, but for anyone looking for a festive dress for their holiday party. It even has pockets which is a nice touch for someone like me who really doesn’t carry around a purse all that often.

In honor of the collection, Janie and Jack also released an exclusive video moderated by author/nutritionist/mother Daphne Oz featuring mother-child duos and fans of the brand to talk about their relationships and dress themselves and their mothers in their favorite looks.

Watch the Full J&J Holiday Collection Me and Mommy Video

Do you make it a point to buy a festive holiday outfit for yourself or your little one?