In Search of that Youthful Glow…

You know, only an hour or so of sleep for a few months straight catches up on you….QUICK. With a baby that doesn’t nap OR sleep through the night (I know, I know, I need to read “Baby Wise”, but who has time to read with an infant?!) my skin was suddenly taking a turn for the worst.

I remember the lighting in our bathroom showed all these tiny wrinkles I have never spotted before, and the bags under my eyes were getting harder and harder to cover up. The foundation battle my fine lines and black and blue eyes were up against was spiraling. I knew it was time to call in the big guns – my sister – who is a Spa Coordinator at Hotel Terra, a high-end eco/lead-certified hotel in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She’s a skin angel, and I was soon saved.

She started by asking what scents I preferred, if I was looking for coverage with sunscreen, night cream, day cream, etc., etc. Some of the lingo was totally foreign to me, so she explained what certain things were for and sent me some samples.

I decided I wanted a light day cream with an SPF since we do a lot of outdoor activities living in Carlsbad, an age-defying night cream, and something to help tighten my skin aka make me not feel like I have a “mom” face. I mean, I’m not even 30 yet and just feel TIRED. And I look tired. Exhausted. Pooped. Like I got run over by a truck. Going on seven months of a still almost napless baby who continues to wake 2 or 3 times through the night means I’m just that…SO TIRED! Physically I finally feel like a human again (that started after about 4-5 months), and thanks to my sissy & her recommendations of Eminence skin care, my face does too.

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MommyCon Favorite Things

Every time I say “my favorite things” I break out humming “and these are a few of my favoriteeee thiiiiiinnnggsssss!!” So, hum along with me and see my top picks from MommyCon SF this past weekend!

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  • NuRoo Nursing Scarf – because looking trendy while nursing is all the rage. No, but really, it’s super convenient, comfy, and makes nursing in public way easier. My other favorite nursing cover is by Covered Goods; go check them out! http://nuroobaby.com/product/nuroo-nursing-scarf/
  • Spuni Spoons – Cute, colorful, and considered “baby’s first spoon” that apparently makes feeding less-messy because more goes in their mouths. Tanner still got as messy as usual, so I don’t know about that, but I love the adorable, bright colors & reusable carry-case they come in. My mom bought these for us and we left one at her house for when we visit and I took one home with us. http://spuni.com
  • Mum 2 Mum Bandana Wonder Bib – SO CUTE. A bandana + a bib?? Yes, please. Apparently these snazzy, adorable bibs can hold up to a cup and a half of water. IM.PRESS.IVE. and they come in lots of cute, bright colors like the spoons mentioned above! http://www.mum2mum.us/Wonder-Bibs/Bandana

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  • Combi 3-1 Activity Center (Official Name: Go and Grow Walker, Play Table, and Chairs): We already have a walker and activity center, but if we didn’t, this would be a keeper! An activity center that actually grows with your babe! Parents save money, storage, and baby keeps having fun with the same product that is basically a transformer.

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  • Combi Baby Chopsticks – I meannnn, come onnnn, how cute are these?!?!?

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  • Joovy Portable High-Chair and Glass Boob Bottles – My mom and I have wanted portable high chairs for a while now, because the restaurant ones suck; they’re always filthy and don’t fit babies well at all. And their glass bottles are amazing and come with cute silicone, colored sleeves to help you keep your grip. Glass is eco-friendly and healthier for babies than plastic.

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  • Bhoost Eco-Friendly Baby-Proofing Product Line – Known as the first eco-friendly baby proofing line to hit the market!

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  • MotherLove Herbs, Supplements, and Products – We continue to use these to enhance our milk production and I swear they help keep our nursing relationship alive and well.

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  • MilkCharm Breast Milk Freshness Tracking System – Perfect for the exclusively pumping mama, these charms have one side with the days of the week, and one side with the times of the day. Any mom knows it’s easy to lose track of when you pumped, so these little charms make it easier! Just remember to spin the dial, though! 😉

MommyCon San Francisco, 2014

This past weekend the day I had been looking forward to for months was finally was here – MommyCon 2014 in San Fran!! I follow The Baby Guy NYC, The Leaky Boob, MommyCon, and a few other social media accounts that participate in this event for moms-to-be and new moms, and being a fresh mama myself, I couldn’t wait to attend.
I booked our event tickets when we still lived in Florida since my parents live in Roseville, a suburb of Sacramento, and knew it would be the perfect excuse to visit home and spend the weekend with my co-attendee, my mom! It ended up being ten times sweeter now that we moved to North San Diego, because the flight home was now only an hour and a half long. HEAVEN with an infant who is on the verge of crawling. So long, 9 hour travel days to visit home from the east coast! My legs and back (and sanity!) won’t miss you!

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One of my best friends has newborn, so both us, our babes, and our moms were so excited for the weekend ahead! My mom and I haven’t had a girls’ trip in years, so we splurged and got a hotel room at the Parc 55 Wyndam (where the conference was being held) the night before MommyCon, which was Saturday, April 12th. And let’s be real, who wants to drive two hours to San Fran and two hours back in the same day…with a seven month old…nottttt me! My brave BFF, Jenny, and her mom, Lisa, took on the traffic-road-trip-newborn-adventure and did the drive there and back in one day. Jenny said after a screaming match on the way home that whipping out a boob while they were stuck in nose-to-nose traffic saved the day – boobs to the rescue!! (no, I don’t encourage in-motion-vehicle breastfeeding, but desperate screaming times call for desperate measures. We’ve all been there, and most of us would do the exact same thing with exclusively breastfed babies if you can’t pull over.)

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On Friday my mom and I left Roseville at about 11:30am (of course we planned to leave at 11 – life with a baby…add a half hour everywhere you go!) and got to the city by about 2. The traffic wasn’t bad until we hit Berkeley and it nearly stopped. Luckily for us Tanner was catching his Zzzs in the car seat. Yay Tan! Yay mama and grandma peacefulness! We enjoyed all the scenery of driving into the bay and seeing the new bridge that took us into the city.

 

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We valet parked at the hotel (hi, $56, so kind of you to be so affordable.) We weren’t trying to save $10 and park a few blocks away with luggage and a stroller and a baby. No thanks! The Parc 55 Wyndam is so nice! I’ve stayed at the nearby JW Marriott during a previous trip, and both are so pretty. After posing with MommyCon signs, we unloaded our things in the room and relaxed for a little bit before heading out for a stroll around Union Square. We ate at a local restaurant (on of the city’s oldest) for lunch, then hit the town! After enjoying the sights, we met up with my best friend Courtney, who lives in the city, for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory (which was PACKED and had about a two hour wait – but we didn’t care since we were in good company). Tanner was with us throughout all of this (duh) and is seriously the best. baby. ever. Have I mentioned how much I love breastfeeding? It makes it SO easy and convenient to travel. No bottles. No mess. No having to remember a million parts and have to deal with sanitizing and washing on the go. And carrying around breast milk or formula in a cooler. (I usually travel alone so the girls are extra helpful with minimizing luggage! Well, they’re luggage in their own way, seeing that when they’re full they seem to weigh about 500 lbs!)

 

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After dinner (it was so late for us! 9:30! Tanner was raving!!) we headed back up to our hotel room to get ready for bed and a fun adventure in the morning of MommyCon! We got to bed around 11 – seriously like 4am for a mama and grandma (she’s way too cute to be picturing a perm-filled-gray/or-orange-haired little ‘ol granny) and a baby. But we were having too much fun!

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Saturday was MommyCon and it began at 10, so check-in started at 9:30. After standing in about a ten minute line (not bad at all!) we got all registered and were on our way to explore the conference rooms. Our first stop was at Project Breastfeeding, a group founded by a DAD!!! (Yes, a sweet daddio!!) to spread breast feeding awareness to normalize feeding from the tap. After his wife was shoved 1728272 formula bottles in her face at her labor and delivery hospital, and with no lactation consultant on site to help new moms, Hector set out to build Project Breastfeeding to help dads become more aware that breastfeeding is not only natural, but best for baby. The more education dads receive on BF helps moms be more successful, and encourage a healthy and successful BF relationship for mom, baby, and the whole family. I swear the breastfeeding battle/lack of normalization nationwide can be won just by having the correct support. I mean, seriously, how amazing that a man is so proactive to help moms succeed in breastfeeding just by spreading awareness. Tanner and I were honored to be part of his mission and had our picture taken breastfeeding to support his campaign. (There is nothing wrong with formula feeding your baby – every mom does what’s best for them, their baby, and their situation. The WHO recommend breast feeding as the #1 source of nutrition and nutrients for your baby, but formula was made for moms who are unable to breastfeed, whether it be for personal, health, or other reasons. We had low supply problems for ten weeks due to undiagnosed tongue and upper lip tie, & had to supplement, so are in no way judging formula feeding mamas! I’m just grateful every day that I stuck with BF and was so undetermined to give up, for me and Tanner. I applaud moms being moms and feeding their babies – period.)

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After our participation in Project Breastfeeding, we wandered around the various product booths before sitting in on some speakers. Our first speaker was Jayme Grason, aka The Baby Guy NYC. This guy is absolutely hilarious and seriously knows his ISHHH when it comes to baby products. This session was held as Q&A style, so moms could ask Jayme questions relating to anything baby – product recommendations, lifestyle tips and tidbits – whatever. He was so funny and informative. If you don’t already, go follow him on Instagram and Facebook. You’re missing out until you do! Then we sat on at the very end of Essentials 101.

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After this Q&A session we fed Tanner in our room before we had to check out. We stored our bags at the Bell Desk for the rest of the day and returned back to MommyCon to meet up with Jenny, Tucker, and Lisa for the rest of the day enjoying all MommyCon had to offer.

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We sat in on a few other speaker sessions, and stopped at every vendor booth in the conference room. Here are a few of my favorite things I stumbled upon… (see next blog post with details on these gems – this is already long enough, and hopefully you made it to read this far as is!)

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We wrapped up the day by jumping over to the Westfield Mall across the street to grab lunch. Let me tell you – it was the cleanest, healthiest, nicest food court I’ve ever seen! A worker at one of the Asian restaurants was handing out teriyaki chicken samples, and as soon as I had that bite, I had to have more. So my mom and I ate here at it was DELISH. Jenny had Thai food and her mom had yummy vegan food.

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After lunch we went our separate ways for the drive home and we drove back to Roseville around 3:30pm. The conference went until 5, so we missed the keynote speaker, Alanis Morisette, but were pooped and didn’t want to crawl in traffic the whole way home. Tanner fell asleep for most of the drive, and we stopped about halfway to get Dairy Queen cones + a blizzard, so the trip went by quickly.

All in all, we had such a fun time at MommyCon and the best girls’ weekend in the city! I love spending time with my mom, and now that I have a little one, I love her even more! (Didn’t know that was possible). I love seeing the special bond between a daughter and her mom (us) sharing the love of my little guy/her grandson. There’s just something so special about the mother-daughter bond, and it really makes me hope for a girl when we take the baby #2 leap someday. Otherwise who will be my best friend and take care of me when I’m old?! 😉

Thanks for a great event, MommyCon, and thanks for hosting us in San Fran! Maybe see you next year 😉

Thoughts on MommyCon overall –

-Perfect for moms-to-be so you can see what all the must-haves are out there
-Was good for new moms, but better for moms-to-be due to all the new products and education-based forums geared toward new mamas (at Tanner’s age, 7.5 months, we’re past a lot of the goodies that we’re being showcased…which was FAB for my wallet!!)
-I’ve been to wedding fairs where I was a vendor and every booth had to host a giveaway, whether it be a product or gift certificate. I really liked that because it made all the attendees really excited. I wish there were more giveaways going on, although there were some really great ones.
-We loved some of the open forums with speakers, but wished they repeated some of them. If you missed one session, there was never a repeat, so that was kind of a bummer.
-Some booths had AMAZING coupons; Joovy had a 40% off everything in your cart voucher. My mom and I have been eyeing a portable high chair, and low and behold they had one! So these coupon was an awesome surprise, and we’re definitely going to buy one.
-There were really wonderful hands-on opportunities for lots of different products. Being able to see various baby items and test them out was great, especially for moms-to-be who were trying to decide between different strollers, high chairs, toys, etc…
-MommyCon was SO family-oriented and comfortable! There we’re clean restrooms, a stroller check, a nursing lounge, and short check in lines.
-We got the cutest welcome bag filled with all sorts of awesome goodies! (geared perfectly for moms-to-be with samples of products, like a bottle, paci, nipple cream, nursing pads, nursing tea, and other great swag and coupons.)

—> When I jump on my computer I’ll be adding pics and descriptions of our favorite things, purchases, and more! (Tanner is nursing on my lap so we’re typing this from my phone – yep, hello, carpal tunnel!!)

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Fitness Friday

So apparently I thought it would be a good idea to do my first set of workouts since um, a year + today. Yes, set, as in two…

I started my morning attending my very first Stroller Strides class. I’ve heard about these before, and have always wanted to try one since having Tanner. My friend Annie scared me to death when she told me she puked TWICE at the ones she went to in Seattle. Having what feels like absolutely no muscle tone anymore and thighs that filled with cellulite out of nowhere, and a stomach cut down to my guts where Tanner was pulled out, I was feeling anything less than confident about going to my first class. But hey, if you’re going to workout, at least you can bring your babe anddddd overlook the ocean! Bonus about living in North San Diego, the day was also a perfect 64 degrees with an ocean breeze. The instructor, Katie, was so sweet and accommodating to everyone’s bodies and fitness levels. Four of us from my Mommy MeetUp group went, and we all considered ourselves Level One. Of course there was some MILF with a rock hard body that also had an infant, who absolutely killed the workout. Bitch. Haha. No, but seriously, good for her. She looked amazing. And good for all of us, because you have to start somewhere, and I’m really proud of all of us for giving our first workout post-baby all we had! We ran up and down the beach stairs, did tons of lunges, squats, and arm workouts. We ran a loop in the sand and had walk breaks in between workout segments. It was an hour and by the end I was so exhausted! But if I can get myself to attend class at least once a week, I’ll be happy!

By the time we got home it was about one o’clock, and we had our next workout class at 3:30. What was I thinking?! At this point it was already getting sore from Stroller Strides! Pathetic!

Barre class. Ho.ly.cow…this was intense! I felt like a complete uncoordinated loser because I could barely do anything! If you’ve never taken a bar class before, it’s a mix between Pilates, ballet, and yoga. I don’t really know where the yoga came into play because this shit was HARD. Like really hard. Luckily Tanner was super fussy half the time so I had an out from some of the moves! Kiddos to the mamas who wore their babes in carriers. You rock. I suck. Haha. The instructor was amazing and in killer shape for having a four month old. The studio was so nice and even offers child care! So nice for mamas. This class was a demo for moms and their babies, but usually classes are for anyone (and baby less). Ashley, our MeetUp group coordinator, set this up for us, and it was really fun to see the other moms. I’m proud of us all for giving it a go! I don’t think it’s for me (and my terrible back), but glad I have it a shot! Maybe when I get back into a little better shape, I’ll give it another shot.

All in all our day was really great! And exhausting. Tomorrow I’ll be so stiff and sore, but I’m glad to be back in a workout mode! Even if it just means a Stroller Strides class once a week to start 😉 a baby changes your body in ways you never imagined, so the number one thing to remember is to be kind to yourself, be patient with yourself, and always go at your own pace. Never judge another mama or your own body, because everyone is different and heals from childbirth at their own rate! We’re all beautiful inside and out! 🙂

A few of our Favorite Things…

As all my friends know, we were the first of our little crew to get pregnant, so were pretty much all on our own for finding all the “must-haves” for first time mamas of this decade. And they all know I’m a research FREAK so they can skip the 123981273 books out there & know I probably already read over 1029389347530498 reviews and narrowed down my favs based on majority opinion of online reviews and testimonials. As more and more of our mid/late 20-something single wild women become married & have bumps of their own, Tanner & I have become the go-to pair for recommendations on products. 

Instead of texting & emailing novels (Jenny & Stin, you know this first-hand!!) individually to each one of my newly-preggo girlfriends like I’ve been doing, it’s time to create a post with my favorite round up!

I’ll start this new little blogging tradition with my favorite items FOR THE PREGNANT BEAUTY…YOU, THE MAMA! I feel like WAY too often the mother-to-be herself gets forgotten and put on the back burner during pregnancy. Everyone is (rightfully so) excited about the new little peanut on the way, and the poor thing carrying that little (heavy, body-changing, pain-causing) bundle is now secondary. Poor mamas!!! You need more love! Okay, so here we go…here’s a list of our favorite items for the pregnant woman throughout those 9 months of (sick, tired, anxious, heartburn-filled) bliss! 😉

 

TRIMESTER ONE:

  • Saltines. Water. Gatorade. and a clean toilet you’ll feel comfortable hurling over.
  • A blog/notebook to jot down all your milestones (like our pregnancy journey blog, “Little Bean”) so you can look back & have record of all your pregnancy moments.
  • SLEEP. SLEEP. SLEEP. Zzzz…everyone says “SLEEP NOW!” during your third trimester, knowing your baby will be here soon. That’s total BS…let me fill you in on something…by the end of the 3rd tri, your body will feel so huge & smooshed, I promise you won’t be sleeping at all then. Get sleep now while you can!! This applies to most of the second trimester too (before indigestion and heartburn invade your body like a devil with a burning hot pitchfork & fire breathing dragon sidekick.)
  • Soup, white bread & noodles. This is all I could stomach during the first trimester, anyway. I had MAJOR food aversions to almost everything…the worst were (well, this one was great for not gaining weight anyway) chocolate, any meat, pasta, and veggies. So, pretty much anything good for you (besides the chocolate…what kind of woman has aversions from chocolate?!?! Don’t worry…it came back with a vengeance during the third trimester.)
  • Download the Zulily app…you might thank me, or hate me for this one. 😉
  • Download a few pregnancy apps! Our favs were Sprout, What to Expect When Expecting, and a couple others I’ll update when I go grab my phone.

 

TRIMESTER TWO:

  • TUMS. LIKE GO TO COSTCO & GET AS MANY AS YOU CAN. But only the smoothie kind since they actually taste good.
  • Maxi dresses & leggings. Because who’s trying to fit into their jeans anymore?! Get like one pair of maternity jeans that make you feel pretty…and have room to grow.
  • Tanktops with bras built in…I had heartburn SO BAD that I literally couldn’t wear a bra.
  • Sports bras that are like 2-4 sizes bigger than you’d normally wear. See above…that heartburn. Hide anything that fits tight under your boobs!!! 
  • A pregnancy pillow. Zulily always has the best ones at a huge discount! You won’t survive the third trimester without one so order now! Especially if you order from Zulily, because by the time it actually ships to your house you’ll be a month further along (yes, great deals, but they’re shipping takes FORRRREVER. Like at least 3-4 weeks, no joke.
  • Start your registry. Put mostly medium-priced & bigger items you won’t be able to afford yourself. DON’T PUT ANY CLOTHES. You’ll get like 500 outfits anyway. (I’ll make a separate post for our top registry favs).

 

TRIMESTER THREE:

  • THROW AWAY YOUR SCALE!!! By now you’ll start visiting your OBGYN bi-monthly, so will be weighed there anyway. Do you really need to be reminded how you just downed three slices of cheesecake??
  • Stock up on items you’ve been craving. It’s ok, indulge. Unless you just got diagnosed with GD. Then, I’m sorry for your suffering!
  • MORE TUMS.
  • Foods than contain fiber. The constipation that comes now is unreal.
  • A PRE-NATAL MASSAGE. It’s probably the only hour you’ll feel like a human for a while.
  • Bigger leggings 🙂 Our favorite were the maternity leggings at Pea n a Pod.

Tanner is crying now, so I’ll add more when I get more time 🙂

 

XO

SHOUT OUT!

…toooooooo MOMMY PROJECT SD, where Kristen blogs about ”first time mommy musings, style & swag” (Mommy Project, 2014).

http://mommyprojectsd.com

We met Kristen through one of our mommy/baby play groups & she & her daughter, Blake, and are too cute! Her blog is adorable & showcases being a new mom in the San Diego area. Seeing another mom be able to dedicate time to herself to update her blog inspired me to get LBH back up & running (on the blogging spectrum). Visit the Mommy Project SD on Instagram too!

@mommyprojectsd

Thanks for the blogging pick-me-up & inspiration, Mommy Project SD!

Remember LBH is on Instagram & Facebook even when our blog isn’t updated regularly!

@littlebetterhalves

facebook.com/littlebetterhalves

WE’RE ALIVE!

I intended to start this blog as soon as Tanner was born, and kick it off as my “Little Bean” blog came to a pregnancy bump close. Well, those first 6 months were completely a blur, and I never really had more than ten minutes to myself. When I did, I caught up on trashy reality shows, took a shower, brushed my teeth, or made a snack. Kyle traveled (and still is traveling) throughout a good 80% of each month, so living away from family and friends doesn’t leave much time for myself.

 

Since I’ve last posted, here’s a few major (fabulous, exciting, and wonderful!!) life updates!

  • Tanner was born August 30th, 2013
  • We suffered major milk supply problems for THREE WHOLE FREAKING MONTHS! But a light was finally at the end of the breast feeding tunnel, and at 10 weeks my supply problems were diagnosed due to an upper lip and tongue lie. Tanner had laser surgery on those both and three weeks later (at nearly THREE months to the day) MY MILK SUPPLY FINALLY CAME IN! REJOICE!!!
  • Tanner is almost 7 months old!!! (will be on March 30th!)
  • WE MOVED TO CALIFORNIA!! and absolutely LOVE it. Every day is a beautiful adventure & it’s the best thing we could’ve ever done for our relationship & our family. We live in Carlsbad (North San Diego County) & it’s our little slice of heaven. Kyle still lives & works out of South Florida most of the time, and spends open weekends with us. Tanner & I have our own little groove going, and when Kyle is with us it feels like a happy vacation 🙂 We’re ready for him to be able to jump ship & stay with us for good!
  • I’m hoping to update this at least once a week now that Tanner naps for longer than 10 minutes, and I’m not spending all my free time with my boobs out breast feeding then supplementing, then pumping to try to increase supply, just to start that process all over again. He breast feeds like a champ now, eats every few hours, and LIFE IS GOOD!

Until next time,
xo, Shelley

 

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20 Crock Pot Freezer Meals

As we’re prepping for our own baby on the way, we had the idea of wanting to pre-prep freezer meals for when our little one enters the world. There’s nothing easier than having a meal ready to go to make life easier. We shared this idea on our FB page yesterday, and after popular interest, have decided this would be the perfect post for our first blog entry!

We created this list thanks to SIX SISTERS via Pinterest on 20 crockpot freezer meals, with a shopping list and all! Click the link below to view & download for yourselves.

PDF FILE:  20 Slow Cooker Freezer Meals

.DOCX FILE: 18 Slow Cooker Freezer Meals that can be made in 1 Hour

XO,

Shelley

Little Better Halves