Friday, March 30, 2012

Breastfeeding in Style: Spring 2012- Sheer Lace Top

Thursday, March 29, 2012

{Breastfeeding-Friendly Dresses}: Francesca's Collections Flash Sale

    I wanted to share this quick deal that's going on at one of my favorite boutiques, Francesca's Collections. Just today, they are having a 30% off flash sale on all of their regular priced dresses! It's a great time to stock up for spring and summer :)
{Here are a few of the "Milk-Friendly" picks I found in their selection of cute dresses}
Polka Dress/Reg $38
Garden of Roses Dress/ Reg $44
Yacht Club Dress/ Reg $44
Illusions Dress/ Reg $44
Happy Shopping!

With Love,
Maryam


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bluum Box Video Review


     Ok people... I am here today to let you watch me open my new Bluum Box!




     If you didn't catch from my "fun" video, the wonderful company that is Bluum, helps give you the chance to try out new mommy and baby products right in your home. All you have to do is sign up for their monthly subscription (as low as $11 a month) and you and your mail box will be happily receiving a new bundle of mom approved goodies every.single.month.
SO FUN
    To find out more about the Bluum box subscription and exclusive member's only benefits, head over here. You'll also find out how you can send a Bluum box as a gift to a new mom or mom-to-be.
DOUBLE FUN
     In addition, you can follow along with one of Bluum's in-house product reviewer and online maven, the gorgeous Nicole, on the Bluum blog, keep up on Twitter and find out about new happenings on Facebook.

     So do you Bluum box yet?

Your's truly,
Maryam

***Just so you friends know, I was given a Bluum box in order to review this company, but everything I have written and video-ed is my own and from the heart. I only accept to review products and companies that I truly love. Kapeesh?***

Monday, March 26, 2012

Nassim Naturals Giveaway Winner Announcement

     I wanted to say thank you to every single one of you who entered the Nassim Naturals giveaway this past week! I am so glad that I had the opportunity to share such a wonderful company with an equally fabulous product line. Unfortunately, the original drawing winner "Tara" forgot to leave her email address and she wasn't able to respond to the Facebook message I left. Soooo I had to do another drawing. ((If you're reading this Tara, please email me :) maryam{at}milkfriendly{dot}com))
The second drawing looked like this:
     Congratulations to Susie!

    
     I want to encourage everyone, especially those of you who entered, to hop on over to Nassim's site ASAP- she's having a limited time sale and I am not sure when it will end!!
     Thank you to all those who entered and a HUGE thank you to Nassim Naturals for sponsoring the giveaway!

With Love,
Maryam

Friday, March 23, 2012

Breastfeeding in Style: Spring 2012. Sheer Florals

Monday, March 19, 2012

{Review & Giveaway Goodness}: Nassim Naturals- Artisan Skincare for Mommy and Baby

     I am constantly looking for all-natural bath and body products for me and the babes. I browse the aisle as quick as I can and end up buying something that looks natural, smells good and says that it does what I want it to do. Well, I must admit that my under the sink collection of unused lotion bottles is kind of ridiculous. Please tell me I am not the only one...???
    Anyways, recently, I have had the pleasure of trying out a new innovative mommy and baby skincare line that is seriously, of the finest quality. I should also say that I am a true believer in small, creative businesses, because oftentimes, they have complete say in their products and end up standing behind the very best ingredients and formulation possible. 
    That being said, you need to meet Nassim from Nassim Naturals. Here's her little story...
Nassim and her Husband
     Nassim Naturals was born from my passion for natural beauty and natural healing. As long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by applying nature’s methods to healing the body - especially the skin. The skin communicates for our body: it tells us whether we are stressed, tired, malnourished, allergic – or healthy. However, we have been educated to ignore our skin and we often try to hide what it tells us. 

     When I moved to North America, I developed skin problems and would react to different skincare products. I went to doctors and tried almost everything: creams, ointments, lotions. Nothing worked. My background and passion educated me enough to know that there were too many toxins in the products I was using, so I launched my own research program to study the chemicals in mainstream products and to learn about their effects. My sensitivities to many products became clear as I continued on a journey of discovery into the world of botanical science. That is when the course of my life changed, and I realized that my passion could have an impact. I became an aromatherapist and continue to pursue workshops and seminars in herbology, aromatherapy and aroma-cosmetology.

      I chose to make the products I make now because as I was gaining more knowledge, more and more mothers were asking me to create lotions and balms for their families. I strongly believe that our choices have an impact on how children see themselves not only as responsible for their own growth, but also responsible for the growth of their community. My love and respect for mothers, and my desire for future generation to grow up around less chemicals, conscious of their bodies and of the environment was an immediate confirmation for me and led to the creation of Nassim Naturals, where products are made of natural plants and high quality therapeutic grade essential oils – without additives, chemicals, or artificial scents. 
     I can attest that I am always on the hunt for pregnancy safe products and I really love that this is the focus of Nassim's products. Her studies in botanical science and aromatherapy make her the expert on her products. She's just not going in with an idea, and leaving it up to chemists to formulate her products, she is creating the combinations herself.
      I also love that it is her priority to share every ingredient in her artisan skincare line. She does not want to keep the ingredients a secret and I think this is of the utmost importance. We should know exactly what we are putting on our skin and our family's skin.
    Here are 3 of the 4 products I as able to try. Soothing Balm, Moisture Body Lotion and Ouchie Diaper Cream. You can find all the products on her Skincare Bakery page. First thing, I love the packaging. Each baby product has a cute little animal on it and the boys were very, very interested. I think Nassim took the stainless steel canister in consideration when she was choosing a product container. No leeching of plastics, safe to throw around in the diaper bag and you are able to scrap out every single millimeter of lotion to use. Also, they are completely reusable. You can thoroughly wash them out, put a different product in there for on-the-go, hold earrings or put some rice in it for a fun musical shaker for the kids. Like I said, very thoughtful.
    I also love the Massage Oil I got to try. This stuff is SO soothing and I use it after every shower and bath (for me and the boys) and it gives that amazing relaxed feeling. Also it's the perfect prenatal massage companion. Take it with you to your massage appointments and you can truly relax knowing that your masseuse is using a massage oil that you can trust.
     SO....who wants to win something this week?!? Well, Nassim has graciously offered to do a giveaway for you lucky, lucky readers. With a super easy entry, you can have the chance to win TWO products of your own from the Nassim Naturals website. Read the giveaway rules below and ENTER!
*****GIVEAWAY RULES******
 
PRIZE
*Your choice of two products from the Nassim Naturals website.

 TO ENTER
     Go to the Nassim Naturals website, chose the two items you'd like you win, come back here and leave a comment on which items you'd love to have. Make sure to leave your email address too.  This giveaway is open to readers in the the US and Canada :).

 ADDITIONAL ENTRIES
2 MORE WAYS TO ENTER:
1. 'Like' Nassim Naturals on Facebook and tell her Milk-friendly sent you.
2. Follow Nassim Naturals on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway. For example: "I hope I win some artisan skincare for me and baby from @NassimNaturals via @milkfriendly http://ow.ly/9Kvx4 "
***Be sure to leave separate comments on this post for each of the additional entries you've done and make sure to include your email address if it is not easily visible on your profile***
 
ENDS this FRIDAY MARCH 23rd
@ 12 midnight PST
     Winner will be chosen by random and will have by 48 HOURS to respond (or another winner will be chosen). The lucky winner will be announced the following Monday.

GOOD LUCK LOVELIES!




***Just so you friends know, I was given the Nassim Naturals products I mentioned above in order to review this company, but everything I have written is my own and from the heart. I only accept to review products and companies that I truly love. Kapeesh?***

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cloth Diapering 101


     OK, so I HAD to share the most useful email I've received in a long, long while. One of my sweet readers, Chevonne wrote me the most perfect intro to Cloth Diapering I have ever seen.
     First, a little background... with my first pregnancy, we tried to be as green as we possibly could. Of course, I knew about cloth diapering, my mom even cloth diapered and used a washing service, but I really did not know how popularized and available it really was. We'd seen the hybrid diapers (Gdiapers) at our health food store and tried those. We liked them, but did not love them. I never realized how many modern mamas out there were cloth diapering until I connected with so many of you through the blogging world. Soon I realized that anyone who CD's was a die hard fan. There had to be something to it, more than the so-called hassle of cleaning the diapers, something that really led everyone to absolutely and whole heartedly love it. So I decided to try it out and go all in this time around.
     If you remember this post, I mentioned I was going to try and cloth diaper baby #3 and I asked if any other cloth diapering mamas had any advice. In the little research that I have done, cloth diapering in it's entirety can be very overwhelming. There are so many options, varieties and techniques surrounding the CD world, that honestly, it can be very easy to give up and throw in the towel. To my delight, so many of you cloth diapering veterans have reached out and offered to help in any way. One of the special CD connoisseurs, my girl Chevonne, really went the extra mile to break it all down for me.
Here's a little bio from Chevonne herself.
  • 33 years old 
  • Lives in Comox, British Columbia, Canada
  • Married since '05
  • 2 kids - Ewan Lloyd, born April 2, 2008 & Sela (that's SEE-la) Frances, born July 17, 2010 (so we're almost hitting 20 mos CDing)
  • Cloth diapered Sela since birth, Ewan for night time
  • I am an Admin for our Island Cloth Diaper Forum on FB
  • Participated in the Great Cloth Diaper Change in 2011, will be doing so in 2012 (I can get links to locations & dates as well as this is now done globally)
  • BFing Sela for almost 20 months, and am an avid baby wearer.
(People call me "Crunchy" but where I'm from, it's called "normal" LOL)

Ok, to read the AMAZE email she sent me and to link up your own blog posts on cloth diapering, follow the jump :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

{Bump Update}: 4 Months

      YAY! Finally my 4 month bump update. I've had these photos waiting to post, but the gender announcement kind of stole 4 month's thunder. 
    And speaking of the gender announcement... I've also had some time to really marinate in the reality that we will be having another boy. In thinking that we would possibly have a girl next, Sky was our little baby boy. That whole concept gets changed, and you as a mother really start to think of the new family dynamics. I've always said that I wanted a big family of boys (4 boys and 1 baby girl). Call me crazy, but I really loved seeing those active, rambunctious and sometimes mysterious boy families growing up. The boys always had such admiration for their mothers and they seemed independent at the same time. So I guess it's now soaking in that I will get to have that for myself. And to be honest, I think this is what I am cut out for. 
     We can't forget to mention that I have a husband and dad like Brian. He has such a calm soul but with an extraordinarily active lifestyle and yearning for adventure. He needs to be in constant physical activity, enjoying nature and getting outdoors. This combo is exactly what a house full of boys will truly need.
     Oh, and we also met our midwife and she is w o n d e r f u l (but what midwife isn't, right?) She has been delivering homebirths here on Oahu for something like 30 years and she has that perfect mix of complete confidence and laid back attitude. She is a natropath and already had some great information and insight into certain things I never knew about even after having 2 homebirths with my boys. 
     Andplusalso, when I asked if she knew anyone who performs posterior tongue tie clippings (read my breastfeeding story so you know what I am taking about), she said, "Yeah, I do it myself." I thought this was the coolest, and then she mentioned, "midwives have done it forever, so I do it too." That was perfection for me. In the slight chance that this baby has a tongue tie (it tends to be hereditary) there will be no need to try and find someone on the island to take the baby and perform the simple procedure, she will be able to do it in our home, easy peasy. Ahhhhh, such a sigh of relief for Brian and I.
     Well, that's all I can think of right now, but I will be posting my 5 month update soon considering I am 5.5 months now :) Also, if you want to catch up on the 3 month update, click over here.
*****

Each month of this pregnancy, I'll do my bump updates in this same exact outfit. I am wearing stripes on top of stripes, so it should be very interesting to watch that belly grow in all those lines!
Brought to you by:
m a t e r n i t y


Can we also talk about how cute this watercolor kaftan is from Soon... jeepers.

Lots of Aloha and love your way dearies,
Maryam

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

{My Breastfeeding Story}: With Kristel from the blog Glowing Light

This is a new little series I am starting all about other Mama's breastfeeding stories. There is something special about hearing someone else's testament of their nursing journey. I have learned first hand that it is not as easy and as natural as one would think. There are so many factors that can go into successful breastfeeding and I think everyone can learn from these mom's trials and tribulations. Reading these stories, you can either appreciate the smooth road you have had, give you faith that with commitment and support, you can push through the tough times, or open your eyes that it can be difficult, but I'll tell you now... that's ok. Good things don't always come easy. 
*****
      I am so happy to have Kristel from the blog Glowing Light. Her little family is stylish, sweet and she writes with heart. Kristel's breastfeeding story is one of perseverance and faith. 
{How stinkin' cute is her little man Liam?}

Hello Milk-friendly readers!
     My name is Kristel and I am so happy to be here on Milk-friendly. I'm a twenty-something year old wife and mama living in Denver, CO but originally from Miami, FL (I know, polar opposites). I blog over at Glowing Light and wanted to share my breastfeeding story because my son and I have been on quite a journey and I wanted to encourage other mamas out there.
     Growing up I never thought much about breastfeeding...in fact, I never thought much about parenting at all. I thought it would be something I might do...someday...if the opportunity came up. Well, I fell in love and got married and it didn't take long for baby fever to hit. Two and a half years into our marriage my husband I found ourselves expecting our first baby, a son we would name Liam. I immediately began doing all kinds of research on raising babies. It didn't take long for me to decide that I would be breastfeeding. Isn't that how all mothers do it? I had never seen anyone breastfeed in my life but surely that was the way to go. I admit that I was very nervous at first. Would it be weird to breastfeed? Would I be able to do it anywhere? How long should I breastfeed? Should we introduce bottles at all? Should I stock up on formula just in case? As my pregnancy progressed I found myself becoming excited about breastfeeding. I asked questions, looked at blogs, bought a couple nursing bras and pretended that formula didn't even exist. I was ready. Or so I thought.
     My son was born on August 5th, 2011. It was a fast and furious delivery and he was out in the world less than five hours from when I felt my first contraction. I was happy to have had such a great labor because I knew it would help our breastfeeding relationship. He was immediately placed on my chest after delivery and he latched on like a champ. In fact, the whole time I was in the hospital I did not experience any problems with breastfeeding. Even the lactation consultant was impressed and sent me home with high hopes for a bright breastfeeding future. That's when the problems began. 
     It didn't take long for the pain to take over. It was so bad that I dreaded every feeding time. My mother stayed with us when we first came home from the hospital. She would come to me with a crying baby and say, "I think he's hungry," and I would cringe at the thought. I couldn't even take a shower without wincing in pain at the water hitting my chest. I tried lanolin, gel pads, squirting breast milk on my nipples. I went back to the hospital to talk to the lactation consultants. I talked to my midwives. I attended a breastfeeding support group at a local baby store. I asked friends about their experiences. Nothing seemed to be working and I was beginning to feel desperate. I continued to breastfeed because I was determined to make it work. I kept thinking, "after four weeks it'll be fine...after six weeks it won't hurt anymore...after the two-month mark everything will fall into place..." I watched these milestones come and go and still I was dealing with pain every time Liam would latch on. When he was around three months old I started thinking about formula. I had originally wanted to go one year with breastfeeding but I was beginning to doubt I could do it. I decided to scale back my goal to six months. Six months of exclusive breastfeeding...then I would quit. I felt terrible. As much as I hated the pain of breastfeeding, I was still passionate about it. I still believed breastfeeding was the best gift I could give my son and I still loved the intimacy and bond that existed between us. It was true that the pain had lessened over the months, but not enough. I was already mourning the end of our breastfeeding relationship. I didn't make sense in my head. He was gaining weight, he was happy, why was this so difficult for me? 
     Then, all of a sudden, at around four months, the pain subsided. I could shower without shielding myself. I could nurse my son without giving it a second thought. I no longer needed nursing pads or creams. It was working. We were breastfeeding successfully and without pain. I'm not sure what happened. He was still nursing the same amount. He was still latching the same way he always had. I guess everyone is just different and some people need more time to adjust than others. There is no magic number of weeks for breastfeeding to work out. Some mothers never feel pain or experience complications with nursing their babies. Some moms get over it in a few days. Some moms take four weeks. And some, like me, take four months. It is what it is. I'm just happy that I stuck with it. I'm happy that I had such a good support system. My husband, family, and friends always encouraged me to keep at it. 
     Now Liam is six months old and we are definitely not weaning yet. I see no reason why we can't continue to nurse up to his first birthday and beyond. I feel extremely thankful that we have overcome our issues and cultivated a fantastic breastfeeding bond. I always tell new moms and moms-to-be that breastfeeding may be the most difficult thing they have ever attempted, but that they shouldn't give up right away because it's also one of the most rewarding experiences they will get with their baby.


Thank you so much Kristel!! 
Make sure to stop on over to Kristel's blog Glowing Light and show her some love :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Breastfeeding in Style: Easy-Open Spring 2012

      Along with the "Easy-Up" tops I touched on last time, button-down tops, or "Easy-Open," should be part of your breastfeeding ensemble. It will be a cinch to ditch the plain old white button-down blouses, and reach for something with a bit more style to pump up your new mommy wardrobe. 
     In my Milk-friendly breastfeeding style categorization, "Easy-Open" tops also include zippers and wraps, but I thought I'd separate the three and really give you as many options as possible. The buttons obviously give you amazing access to nurse the little babe, but you can also chic up your look by tucking your top into some high-waisted skinny jeans, shorts or a lovely skirt without having to wrestle and pull up your top to breastfeed. Pair it with a nursing tank or nursing bra and you are good to go!
      {Here are some of my recent finds}
$13.80
$48
$28
$13.50
$88
$88
$88
     As much as I love to wear unique tops, I think you should have at least one or two plain and versatile button-downs like the one in my style board below. Having a nice neutral base lends to some super cute accessories like these neon citrus earrings. I can also picture this outfit with a big chunky necklace and a maxi skirt.
Breastfeeding in Style: Easy Up



    You can click the large image or the small individual images to link to a piece you love. Also, I just got this nursing bra (pictured in the style board above) in care of Leading Lady, and let me tell you that it is incredibly comfortable! I'll do a more detailed post on that soon :)

With loads of Love,
Maryam


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