Sunday, October 30, 2011

{October Sponsors}: Small Sponsors Part Two


{Small Sponsor Love}

OUR LITTLE LENTIL: Mama to gorgeous Adelaide. They bed-share, breastfeed, cloth diaper, and eat a vegetarian diet. She's an all-around compassionate, crafty, liberal, restless soul growing on her paths of motherhood and life. You can also read the breastfeeding interview she did for us here.

SEQUINS AND CANDY PHOTOGRAPHY: Follow her photography and family happenings on her personal blog Clean up on Aisle Four. You can also see her recently finished chevron wall she painted for her office.

COASTAL FAMILY LIVING: A surf family here in Cardiff who shares coastal inspirations, parties, photography, local food and style. When Nicole and I connected, it was fun to find out that my husband Brian surfs with her mother-in-law :)

ECLECTIC BAZAAR: Have you wondered where this lovely lady is lately? After her day job as a dental hygienist, Meghan is spending the rest of her spare time training to become a yoga instructor. I know I can't wait to get my first yoga sesh from this babe!

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     If you'd like to have your blog featured on this here blog, check out the sponsor info page and feel free to email me :)

     And a little Transformers costume update: The making of the Bumblebee costume for Coral. I am not so sure if Brian and my costumes will come to fruition, but I know Coral's will be pretty bomb dot com :)


With Love,
Maryam

Saturday, October 29, 2011

{October Sponsors}: Small Sponsor Love Part One

     The first half of our small sponsors. Feel free to snooooop around (I know they'll appreciate it.)

  {Small Sponsor Love}

SALT: A surfboard and lifestyle company out of NYC. Co-creator, Nabil Samadani is the genius behind those milk bottles up on my banner.

PLANETGEAR.COM: Weekly discount site featuring all the latest outdoor and eco-friendly products. Your Facebook "like" in the last few days of October will give $1 to Breast Cancer Awareness.

hottlt: Mama, photographer and now blog designer shares her daily happenings and some other great resources and tips if you're new to blogging. Check out her Friday Freebies for these fun fonts.

GREENYOURAIR: My little eco-friendly plant company. Each of our stylish plants filter harmful chemicals from inside the home. The idea came when I learned how many toxins are indoors, especially new baby nurseries. We opened a tiny Etsy storefront this week too :) Email me maryam[at]greenyourair.com and tell me you're a Milk-friendly reader and you'll get a 10% discount.


MARLOWE&CO.: Love this family. If you read THIS post, you'll understand why. Mama Kiffen is witty and hilarious.

XOXO,
Maryam

Friday, October 28, 2011

{Fortuna Family Happenings}: Gearing Up for Halloween with DIY Transformer Costumes


     So if you didn't already know, Coral is OBSESSED with Transformers. He eats, breathes, sleeps Transformers (like literally, every time I ask him what he dreamt about, he spits out "Transformers".) So it's kind of a no-brainer what he chose to be for Halloween.

    He's BumbleBee till he dies and he directed that Daddy will be Optimus Prime, Sky will be Ironhide and Me, I am supposed to be the only girl Autobot- Arcee (she's a motorcycle). I have to admit, she is pretty hot.

Arcee: Source

    And of course, I couldn't go the easy route and just buy the costumes, I decided I wanted to create everyone's costumes myself out of cardboard. Hopefully we'll have some kick-butt costumes to show off in a few days. I've got heaps to do!

{Here's the beginning}

Any more crazy Halloween DIYers out there?

XOXO,
Maryam
 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Breastfeeding in Style: Family Holiday Photo Ideas

     Everyone wants to have spectacular family photos and I think your photos should be as unique and interesting as your little family. Coordinating outfits doesn't mean that everyone has to be twins. I think you should find ways to blend colors and elements to be cohesive but still give everyone their individual style.


     Each outfit should stand alone for solo shots but add to the overall family look. Find one piece that you love (maybe your daughter's sweater) and work around that. Find something from that sweater, the color, the knit, the print and find more pieces to pull the rest of the family's outfit together.

    For me, I would start with what I want to wear (haha, am I right?). Even though Sky is older now and wouldn't necessarily be on-demand feeding during the shoot, I would still want to make sure I had access in case there were a melt-down at some point. I love dresses and maxis for photo shoots, so button-downs are the easiest way to have the milkin' access I would need.

{Some Button-down Dresses I'm Digging}

Yumi Kim Jeni Maxi

Francesca's Taking Flight Dress

Ruche Braemar Ruffle Dress

MINKPINK Carnaby Sheer Maxi

ASOS Johann Earl Lace Collar Longsleeve Dress


     Most of all, just bring your family into the shoot and be candid and have fun. Have props and toys for the kids (bubbles, lollipops, balloons, instruments) something to keep them excited and entertained.



{A little fam photo inspiration mock-up}
Family Holiday Photo Ideas




Find more ideas from my girl Fawn and her Sequins and Candy Photography's family photos portfolio.

XOXO,
Maryam

Friday, October 21, 2011

{Breastfeeding Guest Blog Interview}: Along Came a Pea

It's always refreshing to find and connect with other hip nursing moms. It makes me oh-so happy to think that we all share a special little bond with one another. This being said, I am on a mission to find and bring to you, other fabulous, breastfeedin' and bloggin'-mamas.

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     I'm elated for you all to meet the lovely mama Valeria from A Little Pea Came Along. Her two girls under 2 are pure beauties and it has been such a pleasure to get to know this sweet lady through the inter-webs. Read on to learn more about her and her take on breastfeeding and fashion...



Hi all!
     I'm Val from A Little Pea Came Along and I am so happy to be here on this lovely blog. In the spring of 2009 I traded in my happy little life in San Francisco with my handsome man for the mama life back in my hometown of San Diego. Before having a baby, my two passions in life were books and fashion. My love for reading lead me to buying lots of baby books during my pregnancy. After devouring a couple I realized one thing: I wanted to bring it back to the basics. This meant that this new mama in skinny jeans and sky-high wedges wanted to use cloth diapers and became passionate about breastfeeding. Now our family has grown to four and we keep it simple: good food, music, adventures, and actively trying to live a green life. My motto: Always say no to mom jeans.

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What were the top 2 reasons you decided to breastfeed?
     Mainly, the hundreds of studies that have proven human milk's amazing properties that are absolutely the most complex and nutritious food that you can give your baby. Also, breastfeeding has no environmental impact. No formula factories, packaging, bottles, or water required.

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What's your breastfeeding "must-have" item?
     The boppy! A comfy/cute nursing bra! Cloth nursing pads! Easy down tanks! A pump! Wait, I was only supposed to pick one? Really, the only things you need to successfully breastfeed are dedication, boobs, and a baby :)

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Have you found yourself sacrificing style in order to be able to dress "milk-friendly"?
     I have sacrificed a couple cute tops that would be impossible to nurse in unless I removed my shirt altogether but I have found creative ways of making most clothes milk-friendly. Most things can be either be pulled up or down. I refuse to sacrifice style for motherhood!

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Have you had any wardrobe malfunctions? If so, I'm sure there's a story, do tell!
     In those first few weeks of breastfeeding, I am sure anyone in my close proximity was flashed. Also, there was that time I leaked at Target and realized after I walked around the store with two wet spots on the front of my v-neck :(

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What's the best advice you can give new breastfeeding moms?
     We were meant to nurse our babies and do not let ANYONE tell you otherwise. Seek advice and support. It's not a walk in the park in the beginning but I promise it is SO worth it. There is nothing like seeing your child find comfort, health, and warmth in something your body provides made especially for her.
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Thank you so much Valeria! 


     Make sure to click on over to learn more about Valeria and her family on her blog. I especially love this post about bfing :) 


Happy weekend lovelies!
XOXO,
Maryam

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

{Guest Post}: Baby Led Weaning with Pepper Design Blog

     Are you wondering what you'll do when baby is ready to eat foods other than breast milk? My good friend Morgan, from Pepper Design Blog (it's fantastic, you should definitely go over there and snoop around), is sharing a guest post for us, all about her experience with the Baby Led Weaning method...


Her blog

Hi guys!
     Guest blogging over here from PepperDesignBlog.com. Recently, I posted on Baby Led Weaning and our adventures in introducing solid food to our daughter, Liv.

     We’re huge fans of Baby Led Weaning – have you heard of it? It's a new, well actually, old idea on introducing solid foods to infants. Waaay before we had baby spoons and Cuisinarts, babies learned to eat 'adult food' by handling, sniffing, tasting, gumming and squishing whatever they were introduced to.


     BLW means introducing what the family is having for dinner (rather than pureed food) at about six months of age. Food is cut into chunks, strips and bite-size pieces that babies can 'palm' (since most don't yet have a pincer grasp by 6 months) and play with. Big chunks might include a strip of toast, a slice of peach or a large chunk of chicken – basically any food cut long enough that they can both grasp it in their fist and gnaw on it.

     The first stages of BLW introduce food (the textures, smells and tastes of it) to babies before they actually begin consuming it. The theory here is that they’ll train themselves to eat successfully without the need for spoon feeding.

     Here’s a look at squash that’s a regular on her menu. I roast it with sea salt, pepper and garden herbs (I think this day’s choice was rosemary):


     And then when it’s all finished cooking cut it into long strips for her to try.



     At first we attempted a hybrid approach to Baby Led Weaning and I experimented with handmade pureed baby food.

     We boiled, blanched and pureed (that’s what that magic bullet is for!) broccoli:


     And roasted up yummy carrots, green beans and squash:


     All to be pureed.

     
     But the result. Nay. Liv was not a fan of the blended version of her favorites, even when I packaged them so prettily in her little lunch packs.



     So we went back to the whole versions of those foods.


     I still cut up food that is of choking size (such as these little blueberries which she devours) so she can feed herself.


     No, she's not really pointing :). Liv's been practicing her hand eye coordination to get that pincher grasp (thumb and forefinger) down - all while playing with her food.

     The one downfall? It's so messy!!

     As you can imagine, if baby gets to control where the food goes, it goes everywhere. Thankfully our yellow lab, Bodie, is quick to catch most of the chunks that go tumbling off of her tray!

     You have to get used to the idea that about 2/3 of the food that you first introduce will be wasted and in piles on the floor. Slowly that number drops and slowly babies begin to consume more of the food itself.

     I think Liv might even love the clean up part just as much as the eating part.

     We love it. BLW means I get to put a few choices of food in front of her and she gets to feed herself. I can eat lunch, make dinner or otherwise work with her right next to me. If you're interested in learning more, Google 'Baby Led Weaning', there are a ton of great blogs and resources out there - including this book.

     We love that she gets to participate in our meals and enjoys a good steak, fish fillet or pork tenderloin just as much as us! She totally digs it.

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Thank you so much Morgan! 

     Has anyone tried BLW? What was your experience? For us, in the beginning stages, those net things were amazing for them to be able to get the food in their mouths with something slippery like avocado :) Anyone have any more tips?

XOXO,
Maryam
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