Aloha! & Links for Your Week

We are in Hawaii this week for an early 5 year anniversary trip. (Yay!) and Clare’s first plane trip! 

So for my weekly post this week,  a post detailing the best articles and blogs I’ve read over the last few weeks.  So many good ones!

  • Mayim Bialik’s excellent response to the recent Similac commercial getting a lot of press. She says: “The ad shows breastfeeding as “just another choice,” ignoring that it is the medically recommended way to feed human babies. It’s not the same as cloth versus disposable diaper choices or deciding which baby shampoo to use. This commercial undermines medical and scientific fact under the guise of “It’s all the same, don’t judge. And if you do, you are the bad mom.”
  • I read a lot about breastfeeding because I am very much a breastfeeding advocate, but I love Elisha Wilson Beach’s response to the internet freaking out over her photo of breastfeeding her toddler in the bathroom.
  • This is an excellent, albeit long, article about a Welsh playground called “The Land” and a look at how much childhood has changed in the last 30 years.  Really, really interesting. Makes me wish American playgrounds would take on this idea, and expands my idea for what I want our kids to experience growing up.

Have you read anything awesome lately?

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March/April 2015 Book Reviews

In an effort to not end up with a huge long post of books like this one from last year, I am doing book reviews every 2 months on the blog this year. Check out January/February here.

And now for the books I finished in March and April:

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The Secrets of Midwives – This was a great novel! It fed my love of childbirth stuff with my love of story. Well written, kept my interest, quick read. It really had everything. Birth, love story, family relationships. Loved it.

Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers – I really like the premise of this research. Such a good look at the way our culture puts peer interaction on a pedestal while forgetting the importance of adult attachment. It was recommended by some attachment parent friends, and I definitely jive with the principles. The actual writing was a tad repetitive.

Body of Work: Finding the Thread That Ties Your Story Together – Listened to the audible of this short book. I really like how this author talks about ALL of our experiences, jobs, careers, hobbies as “ingredients” for our body of work and how experience from seemingly very different backgrounds can dovetail nicely into a career or path. Coming from someone who has a very Eclectic ‘ingredients’ that resonates with me a lot.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
– Since pretty much the whole internet seems to be reading this book, I figured I’d give it a shot. I was skeptical, mainly because I’d heard so much about it from blogs and podcasts, I wondered if there was more to learn. Turns out yes, there was! And I also wondered if it’d be similar to Joy of Less that I’ve also been reading, but they definitely have had different ideas.

My main takeaways –

-Only keep items that spark joy
-You will find a clickpoint where you have just the right amount of items
-Let unread books GO. They have served their purpose. Same with half finished books. Gave me the freedom to do that!
-Loungewear – don’t downgrade your regular clothes to loungewear (i totally do this) and some people have more loungewear than regular clothes and that’s okay. (I.e. work from home mamas!)
-Don’t leave your shampoos and stuff in the shower indefinitely. Only bring them in when you are using them. Helps with the slime factor.

All in all, great book, makes you really think about your relationship with your stuff and was a quick read.

Still Alice – This was a very vivid portrayal of what it’s like to be someone living with early onset Alzheimer’s. Now that I’ve finished the book, I’m looking forward to seeing the movie version that Julianne Moore won the Oscar for.

Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination – This is a very short book form of JK Rowling’s 2008 Harvard Commencement Speech. Eloquent as always, I love how she is always fighting to help those less fortunate.

As of this writing I just finished Buddhism for Mothers, am working on Raising Your Spirited Child, am almost done with Better Than Before and have a whole slew of books on deck for vacation next week.

What have you read lately?

**This post contains amazon affiliate links, if you chose to buy a book from amazon based on my recommendation, Clare’s diaper fund gets a few cents.  Thank you for supporting my creative endeavors!

**If you want to try out Audible, please support my podcast by going to http://www.audibletrial.com/postpartum  where you can get a free audiobook and 30 day trial.

Bella Materna: Nursing & Maternity – A Review and Giveaway!

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I don’t know if I can even count the number of nursing bras I’ve been through since Clare was born. I can count at least 11 off the top of my head, but there’s probably more. It is so hard to find bras that are one, comfortable and two, fit larger chests. At the start of breastfeeding I was up near an F or higher. Probably the closest I had come to finding one I liked was Soma Intimates, and theirs did not hold up in the wash at all after many times wearing them – and now they don’t even carry my size anymore. WTH? Anyway, that’s not even including the possibility of finding a bra that actually LOOKS decent. I had given up on that a long time ago. There just aren’t really pretty bras for larger chests in general, and especially not nursing bras.

But I have been proven wrong with Bella Materna! Anne, their wonderfully sweet creator, offered to have me try a few of their bras to review. (And we are also working on some exciting stuff partnering with them for my podcast. Stay tuned)

I tried their Sexy T-shirt Bra in Rose and the Anytime Tank in Black.

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First, let’s talk about the bra. The first thing I noticed was that the straps are really thin. You typically don’t find this with bras for larger chests. I guess they figure if we have big breasts, we have linebacker shoulders too? Anyway, this bra has nice thin straps! And it’s super pretty. The lace trim adds some femininity to it without being itchy. I HATE itchy, so this was a big plus. I also really liked that it was rose colored and not that awkward flesh color that most neutral bras are. It was different and I appreciated that. It is also really breathable. The back part has an almost mesh-like quality to it, which coming from someone who despises sweating, this is great. It also has a whole extra section of clips on it, which is amazing. Usually bras don’t have this extra extension, and I could see that being really helpful especially during pregnancy and early nursing when everything is changing so much. Finally, it’s WAY more supportive than other nursing bras that I’ve tried. Support is a big freaking deal for those of us with large chests

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Now let’s talk about the tank. I was incredibly surprised how much I liked this tank! I was skeptical because I usually hate “built in” bra tanks because they are annoying, uncomfortable and not at all supportive. But this tank is the complete opposite of all that. It’s SO comfy and also really supportive. Even with my chest! I guess the best way to describe the material is that it’s like almost swimsuit like, but smoother and softer. It’s great! And because of the ruching on the sides, it’s flattering at any size, but also really stretchy in that it would totally fit over a growing pregnant belly. Highly, highly recommend. When we have more kiddos, I’d definitely want to have a few on hand during those early days. I think this tank and yoga pants will be my new mama uniform of choice.

Anne also told me that at Bella Materna they are committed to using quality materials that last a LONG time. Many of the moms who submit reviews to their site say that they used their bras through multiple kiddos and multiple pregnancies. Awesome!

They also sent me a racer back conversion, which turns their bras into a racerback bra. I personally don’t wear a lot of racerbacks, but I know that would be a huge plus to many mamas.

The first bras I tried didn’t fit quite right, I needed to go down a band size, and Bella Materna’s return and exchange policies are super convenient. It’s all free and very quick. The turn around both times was just a day or two.

They are also SUPER helpful in explaining how your bra size will change over the course of your pregnancy and nursing spans. This will be a topic we focus on in an upcoming podcast, and they also have information on their website about differing sizes.

All in all, I highly recommend Bella Materna’s bras, and I love to be supporting another mom entrepreneur while getting great quality products. Next I’ll be eyeing their sleepwear and underwear!

Thank you, Anne and Bella Materna!

I’m so excited, because Bella Materna has offered to giveaway a Sexy T-Shirt Bra and Anytime Tank to one of my blog readers! Just follow the directions at the rafflecopter link below and I will pick a winner on the 13th.

Bella Materna is also offering readers 20% off their first order with code KellieJoy20 between now and 5/31/15.

Yay!

Click for Bella Materna Rafflecopter Giveaway