5 Tips to Stay Healthy While Pregnant

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As a second time mom, I’m realizing more and more the importance of a healthy lifestyle when it comes to fertility, pregnancy, and the postpartum months that follow. Many argue that it’s all about the baby, but I beg to differ: if Mom isn’t healthy and isn’t well, physically and mentally, baby can’t possibly thrive. It’s essential for Mom to take care of herself before, during, and after pregnancy so that she can be the best version of herself for her child.

Here are five tips to stay healthy during pregnancy (and beyond!):

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I know it may be tempting to overindulge during pregnancy. After all, you do have two bodies to feed, right? Feel free to indulge in cravings once in a while, but be conscientious your daily needs and calories. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) advises that pregnant women only need an extra 200 calories per day in the last three months of pregnancy. No extra calories are needed until that point. So think twice before you decide to eat cake and ice cream for dinner!

Aim for starchy foods (bread, cereals, potatoes, rice, and pasta), fruit and vegetables, fiber-rich foods (whole grains, fruit, and vegetables), protein, and calcium-rich foods. Make sure you get plenty of iron, calcium and folic acid, all essential for a growing baby. Eat breakfast every day to kick start your metabolism, pick high fiber foods, and prepare small meals every few hours if you experience heartburn.

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During my first pregnancy, I was exhausted all the time and couldn’t even think about going to the gym. This time around, with more energy and motivation, I’ve been trying to stay active almost every day. My workouts of choice are pilates and walking/hiking, because I always know I am not overdoing it and have control. Pilates can easily be modified for pregnancy (I use a foam wedge to not lie flat on my back) and your pace during walks can always be adjusted as well. The key is to listen to your body and know when to slow down, take a break, or stop.

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It’s important to know what to avoid during pregnancy, because many ingredients can cross the placenta and affect your growing baby.

In the food and drink department, it’s important to avoid alcohol and caffeine, first and foremost. There are many schools of thought on the issue, but I recommend waiting until after pregnancy to enjoy that glass of wine or cup of coffee: evidence-based research has found that drinking even small amounts of alcohol while pregnant can increase the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, prematurity, or sudden infant death syndrome. When it comes to coffee, excessive consumption has been associated with a higher incidence of miscarriage and low birth weight. Plus, as it does in adults, caffeine increases a baby’s heart rate.

When it comes to medication, always ask your doctor before taking anything. Paracetamol at a small dose is considered safe during pregnancy, but avoid other anti-inflammatory drugs, antihistamines, and decongestants. Check out my post, “Natural Pain Relief for Pregnant and Nursing Moms” for some natural home remedies.

Pregnancy is the best time to drop any vices you have (smoking, alcohol, excessive coffee drinking) and focus on a healthier lifestyle. When I found out I was pregnant the first time, I threw out all of my makeup and beauty products and bought organic, paraben-free items that I knew would not harm my baby. It’s crucial to avoid salicylic acid (found in most acne cleansers) and retinol creams (anti aging creams) as they can harm your baby as well.

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Same goes for food: if pesticides can be harmful to adults, imagine what they do to a fetus! Buy organic produce when possible and read labels carefully. A good rule of thumb is: if you can’t pronounce it, you most likely don’t want it inside your body. A good way to ensure your diet is not deficient in any way is to take a prenatal and supplements. I swear by the brand Rainbow Light for my prenatal vitamin (no funky ingredients) and take algal oil, a vegetarian source of omega-3s and DHA, for its many health benefits. Check out my post, “Supplements for Pregnancy & Nursing” for some of my other favorite supplements  (I wrote the post last year when I wasn’t vegan yet!)

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I’m a big believer that you should follow your gut during pregnancy. Your body will always tell you when it needs a break or can’t handle something; it’s essential to take your body’s cues and rest when necessary. If you’re feeling a little concerned about baby, do not hesitate to use an at-home fetal monitor for some added reassurance. I love the feeling I get when I use my Up & Raise monitor and hear my baby’s strong heartbeat almost right away! Finally, always call your doctor right away if anything doesn’t feel right (contractions, bleeding, etc.) and, above all, trust your instincts.

They’re usually always right.

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For more pregnancy-related posts, check out my posts, “So, I’m Pregnant, Now What?”  and “My Favorite Fertility/Pregnancy Apps”!

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Mama’s Renovation Project: Liam’s Nautical Room

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The most difficult realization I’ve come to in the last few weeks is that, soon, Liam will no longer have our undivided attention. He’ll have to share us with a little human who can’t yet communicate, cries a lot, and monopolizes Mommy’s time. He’ll realize that he often has to play independently to let us care for this new baby, and that he can’t always go to the playground or yell whenever he wants.

There will be new rules in our home, and, at first, many of them won’t be easy to accept.

I started feeling guilty every time we bought something for baby #2’s nursery, and constantly having to tell Liam, “This is for the baby”. Blame it on the pregnancy hormones, I don’t know, but I decided that it wouldn’t be fair for this new baby to get a brand new nursery if Liam didn’t also get the chance to be excited about his own room.

I made it my mission to create a big boy bedroom from scratch, paint job and all. And, yes, this Mama did it all by herself!

I decided to move Liam to our playroom/office (one of our three bedrooms that we really hadn’t touched since we moved in) to make him feel excited about being in a new, updated space. This was the room before the renovation:

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Yikes, right?

The first step was to remove all of the toys, shelves, and ridiculous amount of “stuff” we’d gathered in this unused space. Then came the fun part: painting.

Ha. Just kidding.

Not fun.

Especially not 6 months pregnant and solo. It took me SIX hours.

Liam’s nursery was nautical-themed, but the color scheme was neutral (whites and beiges, mostly), so I thought it would be nice to accentuate this theme for his big boy bedroom. I decided on a navy, white, and grey color scheme with wood accents.

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I worked with some beyond talented Etsy vendors to decorate the walls of Liam’s room and I couldn’t be more thankful for their dedication to this project and its deadlines. They were more than generous and cooperative, and I will always be grateful. I encourage you all to click the links to their shops below, and check out the wide array of custom-made items they have available. You just can’t beat the quality and authentic look of  handcrafted artwork!

To really give you a sense of the space, as well as close-ups of the various wall accents, I put together a little video of Liam’s room. I am no videographer (as you can probably tell from this footage), but I hope you like it regardless:

Here are some of the links for the different pieces throughout the room:

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I found this simple, “Welcome Aboard” buoy on Amazon.

The anchor pillowcase and wooden helm are also from Amazon, and the plush octopus and blanket are from Target! They have a great kids’ nautical line at the moment.

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These “Drift Away Mia Stripe” grommet curtains were also from Amazon. I ordered and returned a few different styles, and have to say this brand is the way to go. They are thick enough to block out light (perfect for a baby or child’s room), and are the perfect length as well.
Screen Shot 2017-11-11 at 2.54.26 PMHow perfect is this “Let Your Dreams Set Sail” sign by BarnParty? Pictures really don’t do it justice. It’s so beautiful, and the perfect addition to the room.
Screen Shot 2017-11-11 at 2.54.22 PMUnless you have a nautical background, you might not realize that these signs read “Captain Riehm” in nautical flags. How unique is that?

Cindy, the owner of Ethel’sGranddaughter, has the most beautiful decoupage items in her Etsy shop. Decoupage is an old art form which dates as far back as the 12th century, but Cindy has applied her own modern twist to the process. The unique name of her shop is a homage to her grandmother, who taught her the value of creating things by hand, made with love. All of her items are created in limited quantities or even one of a kind. Screen Shot 2017-11-11 at 2.54.17 PMI immediately fell in love with this custom anchor by DesignedSigns. I love the simplicity of it, and that it will most likely always have a place in Liam’s room as he grows older.
Screen Shot 2017-11-11 at 2.54.12 PMI couldn’t go the nautical route without incorporating this amazing octopus decal. It was actually the first wall accent we put up! Liam is obsessed with his “blue octopus” and love to share it with friends and family when they visit. Make sure you check it out (as well as other cool decals) on WallumsWallDecals.
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Screen Shot 2017-11-11 at 2.53.22 PMMyDistressedLifeShop has been the most amazing discovery. Jamie and Robert, the owners, are two of the sweetest, most genuine people I have ever met. I was initially interested in just a few nursery items (which I will be sharing with ya’ll soon!), and they went above and beyond this request, providing not one but multiple wall accents for Liam’s big boy room. The quality of their work is simply impossible to convey through photos… and they created all of the items in only a week! I love that this power couple works as a team: Robert is the woodworker, Jamie the painter. They truly are a pleasure to work with, and I couldn’t recommend them more!Screen Shot 2017-11-11 at 2.54.03 PMScreen Shot 2017-11-11 at 2.53.52 PMDavid, the owner of DirtRocketDesigns, is always on the lookout for new ideas. If there is something you want for your home, he can make it! Large scale, quantity, you name it. Just shoot him a request! This beautiful navy compass is made from high quality durable steel and powder coated to last a lifetime – it can even be hung outdoors! I am obsessed with how it looks in Liam’s room, and definitely one of my favorite accents.

Screen Shot 2017-11-11 at 2.53.58 PMCandy, from GrayKeyDesigns, created one of the most special pieces in Liam’s room. I love that it includes my son’s full name, a homage to my father, true family man and man of all trades. I have admired him since I was a young child and only hope my son will be as great a man as he is. It is very touching to have this tribute up on the wall of my son’s room!
Screen Shot 2017-11-11 at 2.53.48 PMI was always a fan of porthole decals for a nautical-themed bedroom. Not only that, but it’s the safest decor to have right above a toddler’s crib! No one wants to go to bed worrying that a 10 pound sign will fall on their child in the middle of the night. No way. Liam loves pointing out the “fishies” and dolphins above his bed, and this Mama gets to sleep peacefully… at least for the next couple of months! StickItGraphix has a wide array of decals available. You’ll be impressed with their quality!
Screen Shot 2017-11-11 at 2.53.43 PM 1Me? Oar-obsessed? Yes, I am. I went with two different styles for above Liam’s bedroom windows: the top one, by MyDistressedLifeShop was one of the items they custom-made for Liam. I love the rope detail and slightly worn style. It looks beautiful!

TheShabbyShak has a ton of different oar styles available on their shop. I love the simplicity of this style, with just three thin navy stripes. But Angela’s store is way more than just oars: she offers a multitude of items, all so beautiful and delicate, from deer heads to farmhouse steel decors. You must check her out!
Screen Shot 2017-11-11 at 7.03.51 PMThese AlaskaRugCompany letters were a part of Liam’s nursery decor. They were actually up right above his crib, and we had to take them down when our crazy toddler started pulling at the letters and loosening the nails. The rope is refurbished Alaskan fishing rope, and I absolutely love the look. Screen Shot 2017-11-12 at 12.23.58 PMI mentioned The Org Store in my October Picks post, but have to bring them up again as they are my favorite storage bins for Liam’s room. One of them is jam-packed with stuffed animals, and the other in his closet with the clothing my son is quickly outgrowing. They are so easy to fold away and store, too. Check them out on their website or Amazon!
Screen Shot 2017-11-11 at 7.06.23 PMFinally, this beautiful painting was a gift from my grandmother before Liam was born. It will always be such a precious piece of art in our home.

 

I am thrilled with how Liam’s bedroom came out and have all of these amazing shops to thank for the result. Liam is in love with his “big boy room” and this alone makes all the hard work worth it.  I once again encourage you all to browse the Etsy shops above and see if anything catches your eye. I know I could spend hours checking them out!

 

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BarnParty

Ethel’sGranddaughter

DesignedSigns

WallumsWallDecals

MyDistressedLifeShop

DirtRocketDesigns

GrayKeyDesigns

StickItGraphix

TheShabbyShak

AlaskaRugCompany

The Org Store

Mama Naturelle’s Top Picks for the Family (November 2017)

Up to 75% off!

Another month, another roundup! When you find a gem, it’s selfish not to share, right? Here are my picks for the month for November:

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I found this ArtNaturals set purely by accident and thought, why not? I’ll give it a shot. Turns out it has now become a staple in our home and an essential part of my nighttime routine. I look forward to it as soon as I put Liam down for the night!

My favorite mixes are frankincense/eucalyptus when we’re feeling under the weather at home, and lavender when I need to wind down (or Liam was tough that day!) But, really, you can’t go wrong with any of the oils. Just sniff each one and decide what works for you! Aside from the delicious aromas that spread throughout our bedroom within minutes, I am hooked on the diffuser’s sound: almost like pebbles under rushing water. My very own little spa, from the comfort of my own bedroom. What else could an expecting mama need?

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I didn’t get a souvenir of Liam as a newborn and definitely wanted to find a kit for baby #2’s arrival. This footprint and handprint set, by Up & Raise, is perfect to commemorate those first couple of days (and adorable, teeny tiny fingers and toes!)

This 100% alpine white clay kit is safe on baby’s skin, eco-friendly, and easy to use, guaranteed to not crack or lose its shape. It’s also one of the few kits on Amazon to offer an all-white color body design that eliminates the gap between clay and backboard for a clean, elegant finish. It’s the perfect baby shower gift and a keepsake so beautiful that you can even hang it up in baby’s brand new nursery.

Bonus? Its more than reasonable price. Make sure to snag one here!

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I have been very open about my transition to a vegan diet and, well, like all vegans… very vocal in general! 😉 This Hollywood & Twine mug has been my go-to for my pregnancy tea (Yogi “Mother to Be”, if anyone is wondering) and occasional decaf coffee in the morning. It’s wide and fits a lot, too, just the way I like it!

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These Treelance tanks make me want to quickly give birth and get back to yoga and full on pilates! They’re not only extremely comfortable but tight enough to wear throughout a work out without any slip ups (yes, even in downward dog!) They’re super versatile (with or without simple, uplifting sayings), and can be worn on-the-go or to the gym, yoga class, etc. Made of 95% Cotton and 5% Spandex, they truly “hug” your body like a second skin. Note: they do run a tad small, so depending on fit preference, decide whether you want to size up or not. I did, just for the sake of pregnancy!

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Haven’t we polluted the earth enough? The manufacturing of plastic products releases a whole set of carcinogenic, home-disruptive and neurotoxic chemicals into the atmosphere. These products eventually find their way to our ecology through the air, water and land pollution. LexStraw revolutionizes the straw game. For years I’ve been complaining about having to throw straws out after a single use and my fear of ingesting harmful chemicals. Paper straws, as eco-friendly as they are, just aren’t practical. These stainless steel drinking straws are perfect for hot beverages (no more fear of melting plastic!) and are reusable. They can last for ages if you clean them properly! In addition, stainless steel does not leach chemicals and does not interact with the beverage you are consuming. These straw also come with a cleaning brush and storage bag. Snatch a set on Amazon!

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This brand is so incredibly awesome, and I’ll give you three good reasons why:

  1. All of their products are made of bamboo fiber, softer than cotton, and thermo-regulating (meaning they allow you to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter!), as well as anti-static.
  2. All of their products are breathable and moisture wicking: bamboo fiber has micro-gaps, which pull away moisture and keep air flowing.
  3. All of their products are sustainable: grown organically (no pesticides, no insecticides, no fertilizers!), without artificial irrigation (producing commercial harvests of bamboo requires only rainwater, and all water used in the production process is recycled and re-used.)

I am obsessed with their full length leggings (they feel like tights!) and shaper bras. If comfort is what you’re looking for, look no further!

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Land of the Wee products should be in every home. I mean it. You won’t find any softer crib sheets, towels, and changing pad covers anywhere else. We recently got a crib sheet/changing pad cover set (pictured above) and hooded towel  for Liam and were so impressed with the softness and quality. You just have to check them out!

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At the time of my last post, I mentioned a different maternity belt that I loved in the early days of my pregnancy. However, as my bump grew, so did my need for support. Most maternity belts on the market provide support all around, which means that they press down a little too hard on the belly as well. This maternity belt fixed this issue by offering a rounded, cushioned front and an adjustable back strap. It supports my back while hugging my bump. I could literally sleep in it. For any mom past the first trimester suffering from pelvic or lower back pain, LucyVee has the belt for you.

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I was waiting until the colder months to give these OLABB socks a shot, and I’m so happy with them. Liam loves showing off his “animals” and I’m comfortable knowing he is nice and warm in his fuzzy socks. At such an affordable price, how can you resist? They have tons of different styles available for all ages. Get a set here!

The Truth About Raising Boys

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Even before I started reading Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys by Stephen James and David Thomas, I already knew that little boys were nothing like little girls.

It was obvious from our earliest play dates, simply observing the way my son and his little friends interacted with the world. I’d watch, in awe, as his girlfriends sat playing with itty bitty dolls, lining them up on the table, meticulously, all of their plastic legs bent at the same, perfect angle. In the meantime, my son practiced his left hook by knocking down blocks, or beamed with pride as he smashed his activity cube as hard as he could against our wooden floors.

I still see it today as my son perfects his vocabulary and begins to string clumsy sentences together, and the girls his age are having in depth conversations with their moms about wanting string cheese and sliced strawberries for snack time.

Just like grown men and women, little boys and girls are entirely different mentally, physically, and emotionally.

It surprised me to find that baby boys and girls actually develop distinct differences as early as the blastocyst stage, one of the earliest developmental stages in the womb. At the fetal stage, testosterone levels in boys reach adult intensity, influencing the development of the male brain, and as early as the eighth week of gestation, baby fetuses are already bigger than girl fetuses. But, as James and Thomas note, the differences aren’t just physical:

From birth, boys are more significantly more active and wakeful than girls, whereas girls show a greater aptitude for communicating and are more sensitive to relationships compared to boys… The male brain is wired for activity, whereas the female brain is biased towards personal connections.

I found the chapter on Liam’s age range (2-4) fascinating. James and Thomas call it “The Explorer Stage”, highlighting the fact that young boys live in their imaginations as much or more than they do in “reality”. Boys in this stage are active, aggressive, curious, and self-determined.

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Explorers are bundles of energy and it seems as if all we do all day is chase them around the house as they discover and interact with their world. Nothing satisfies them more! When it comes to discipline, boys are often stubborn learners, but there is also a good reason for this:

The explorer’s brain secretes less serotonin than the brain of a similar-age girl. Among other things, serotonin works as an impulse-control agent and is responsible for inhibiting some of the aggressive effects of testosterone.

If you’ve ever dealt with an aggressive toddler, you are not alone. Liam had a phase during which he would hit other kids on the top of the head. It was traumatic for me and Joe as we tried to find ways to get through to him, trying all possible methods to get him to stop. It was a relief to find out that this, too, is a developmental stage that young boys go through. This aggression can be an emotional response and a means of communication, but, at times, this aggression can also signal overstimulation, hunger, or exhaustion (as was often the case with Liam!)

As young explorers grow and mature, so does their hunger for purpose and power. As parents, it is our job to simply find safe places for them to exercise their need to be active as well as their desire for self-determination.

When we afford them the opportunity to exercise power and control in ways that are safe (and minimal, in the big scheme of things), we honor a developmental and emotional need of theirs. What an explorer really needs is discipline, structure, and patience. For a boy to thrive as an explorer, he requires boundaries, open space, consistency, and understanding. 

With young boys, it is essential to follow these tips that James and Thomas outline perfectly in their book:

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Explorers can’t process abstract ideas so be simple in your demands and set clear, realistic boundaries that they can grasp (i.e. “It’s almost time for lunch. When the timer goes off, please put your toys away.”)

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A limited selection of options can give boys a sense of success. You can say something like, “Do you want to sweep the floors or pick up your toys?”

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“Today will be a little different. We are going to _____ today.”

Just like with babies and infants, toddlers thrive on consistency and routine. A simple change can really throw them off, so make sure you inform them of any changes so they can adapt smoothly.

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“We are kind – we do not hurt people or things.”

“We always tell the truth – we do not lie.”

Have your little explorer define what “kindness” or “being helpful” means to him. As he gets older, make sure he can give you an example to show that he has a clear understanding.

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“Watch how carefully I turn the pages of the book.”

“Let’s see how gently we can love on baby brother.”

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Make sure to use logical consequence that young boys can understand and connect to their actions, such as: “Remember, I asked you not to throw your balls in the living room. Only in the play room or outside. Because you didn’t listen, I’m going to put them away for the rest of the afternoon.”

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Little explorers should go outside at least once every day, and to the park at least once a week. It’s essential, regardless of weather or temperature.

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As James and Thomas put it, “an emotionally charged adult only provides more fuel to an already emotionally charged child.” Instead of raising your voice to get your child’s attention, use a strong tone and make eye contact to convey authority.

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Avoid lengthy directions and get to the point with as few words as possible. Don’t give instructions in the form of questions (“do you want to eat lunch now?”), and avoid ending sentences with “okay?”.

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When your little explorer is successful at a task, praise him! Experiencing success and affirmation is one of the best motivators of future behavior for little boys in the explorer stage of development. Even select activities that can be successfully completed and affirm everything positive: “I saw how hard you were working. I really like that you’re such a hard worker!”

I highly recommend this book to boy moms, especially as they learn to navigate the many stages of their sons’ developments. I’ve loved reading about ways to facilitate Liam’s transitions through these stages and how to help him reach his full potential.

You can get a copy here!

Mama Naturelle’s Top Picks for the Family (October 2017)

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As I prepare for baby boy number two’s arrival, I am also discovering new brands and products along the way. As you already know if you follow Mama Naturelle, my focus is always on health, eco-friendliness, and comfort & practicality. Every month I will share a few of my family’s favorites, and hopefully you will love and adopt them in your home too!

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One Pot Pumpkin Pasta
Creamy, healthy pumpkin sauce simmered with tender pasta, topped with roasted brussel sprouts.

There are tons of meal kit companies out there, but, for vegan families, Chip and Kale takes first place. They are a non-subscription meal kit company that differentiates itself from its competitors by doing not only all the shopping, but also the chopping and portioning so you don’t have to. The meal kits come frozen with all the ingredients inside, as well as basic cooking instructions. No prep involved! You literally just have to heat up the ingredients, which saves so much time and precious energy at night (Moms, you know what I mean – gotta save the last bit of energy for bath/bedtime!)

Gluten free & family packs are available, and meals start at $5.50 per serving. Check out their menu options here!

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When Liam expressed interest in drinking out of a “big boy” cup, I immediately looked up reusable, safe options on Amazon. I was glad to find both Better For Your & Greens Steel and their stainless steel tumblers. Stainless steel is a great alternative to plastic cups, and it’s dishwasher safe!

Better For Your’s double wall air insulated design solves the shortcomings of single wall stainless steel tumblers. Their laser etched cups means no ink, which also means no chemicals and no designs wearing off with time. They have a bunch of educational designs for kiddos to learn while they sip!

Greens Steel tumblers are eco-friendly, safe, toxin, BPA, phthalate, and lead free. The company goes above and beyond to polish both the inside and outside of the cup to prevent rust and the “metal flavor” that can sometimes happen with stainless steel cups. Their animal designs/colors are a hit in our house, and Liam loves picking his cup at meal time. It’s a win win! 

Screen Shot 2017-10-24 at 11.52.20 AMScreen Shot 2017-10-24 at 12.26.57 PM.pngHope and Henry is probably my favorite baby/toddler brand, but also the most underrated. They have an Amazon shop (yay Prime!) but also a beautiful website that you just have to check out.

Hope & Henry was born from the belief that beautiful, high quality clothing can be affordable to all without sacrificing the well-being of our people and our planet. Their hope is to leave the earth a little better than they found it, which is why they only use certified organic cotton.

They value each and every person behind the garments, and share their profits with the talented women and men who sew their clothes and bring their vision to life. I mean, what’s not to love? As for me, I am OBSESSED with Liam’s shawl collar cable cardigan (pictured above) and baby boy #2’s cable sweater one piece. So darn adorable!

Screen Shot 2017-10-24 at 11.52.17 AM As second time moms already know, pregnancy is very different the second time around (and I assume, every time after that): you pop way earlier, urgently need maternity clothes, and feel discomfort that you didn’t feel until, well, the last month of pregnancy with your first. Not super pleasant.

My underwear and pajama drawers needed a major update, and I decided on some maternity/postpartum items to make my life a whole lot easier and comfortable for the upcoming nine months and beyond. I found the brand Intimate Portal on Amazon, and was very impressed with their selection for new and expecting moms, ranging from lingerie and sleepwear, to lounge wear. These were some of my favorites:

Screen Shot 2017-10-28 at 11.40.19 AMThese tanks are made of 92% Cotton and 8% LYCRA, lab-tested against a variety of harmful compounds. The form-fitting crossover style is perfect for nursing, and the inner pockets are ideal for nursing pads or bra pads (if you have to venture out into the world!) I love how soft the tanks are to lounge around at home, and that they are comfortable throughout all stages of pregnancy. 

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I also love these maternity and postpartum underwear!

The under-the-bump maternity underwear (second photo) are so comfortable, you guys. Made of 95% Cotton and 5% Spandex, the under the bump, crossover style ensures no pressure and ultimate comfort. The low-rise style is also perfect for moms recovering from cesarean births.

The postpartum absorbent protective briefs (first photo) are such a great idea as well: they can absorb the equivalent of 2 light tampons or 2 liners! Personally, I would still use a liner, but it’s always nice to know that I have that extra protection! These can be used for menstrual periods, postpartum bleeding, stress or urge incontinence, bladder leakage, urinary incontinence, postnatal recovery… Basically anything!

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Bobo and Boo focuses on two things: versatility and eco-friendliness. Their safe and stylish dinnerware for kids is made of natural bamboo, and all of their products are non-toxic, FDA approved & BPA free. They’re also renewable and sustainable, as well as dishwasher safe!

Why bamboo, you may ask? Research confirms that plastics are not only bad for the environment, they are also bad for people. And before you ask, yes, even BPA-free plastics are bad for people – especially little people. Many plastics, including BPA-free plastics, contain other chemical plasticisers that are also endocrine disruptors. This means that they could cause many of the same health issues.

Bamboo is a highly versatile natural resource and an eco-friendly solution for many of our modern needs. It is one of the fastest growing plants in the world, only needs very little water and doesn’t require fertilisers to grow, and is a naturally resilient plant that doesn’t require pesticides.

I love that Bobo & Boo was inspired by a mother’s search for affordable non-plastic dinnerware, and her vision to create beautiful designs for children. We love the “coastal” bowl set in our home!

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The Org Store is a family-owned and operated company offering high quality products aimed to help organize homes and keep the focus on family.

These hampers are literally everywhere in our home, used as storage for stuffed animals, toys, pajamas, etc. The drawstring closure and carrying straps are a great touch, and I love that they’re lightweight and collapsible. Perfect for storage! The nautical prints even complement Liam’s new “big boy” room, but I’ll save that story for another post… Stay tuned! You can find these collapsible hampers on Amazon here.

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Did you know that most toothbrush/toothpaste companies (Colgate, Oral B, Crest, etc.) still test on animals? Additionally, billions of plastic brushes reach landfills globally each year, taking over a thousand years (at least!) to degrade.

GoWoo toothbrushes are made of 100% organic and biodegradable bamboo. Their extra soft bristles, perfect for sensitive gums, are made from a synthetic nylon resistant to microbial growth. I love the different colors, helping us make sure we don’t get our toothbrushes mixed up!