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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Gotta Dance


Today while trying to get the baby to take a nap, I decided to give myself a bit of a rest too after a whopping 3 hours of sleep. I sat in bed and was flipping through the channels and came across Judy Garland in a movie I had never seen before. I started watching it and was oh so happily surprised to find that Gene Kelly was in it too! 

This all got me thinking. About my childhood, about my favorite musicals, about "the old days" of when my grandparents were young, and about my hopes and dreams for Sophie. 

When I was little, once or twice a week my Mom would walk me down to the corner and take me to the library. They had a kids group that you could just show up and they would read you their choice of book each week and then my Mom would let me pick a book and a movie to check out. The movies were all oldies and musicals but I didn't care I was just happy to be able to pick. So each week I would pick a musical and we would go home and watch it. Of course I still watched Disney, Carebears, my Little Pony etc, but this was different. It wa something special that me and my Mom did and it was a routine that although I was 5-6 years old I can still remember perfectly and still have that happy feeling in my heart. 

Musicals then became my thing. I'd watch them in between the other more kiddie shows and developed a Gene Kelly crush (along with my Hulk Hogan and Patrick Swayze ones) and couldn't wait to start dance class. My parents were great about getting me out to see musicals in local theaters and even broadway once to see Cats. But my favorites then and still now were the love stories. As silly as it may be I think that those movies gave me the idea of what a man should be and how girls should be treated like a princess more so than the Disney Princess movies. I've always looked at those men as the gentlemen I hoped to have someday and those women as the beauties I want to be. It was a different time then, where it wasn't as rare to have man treat you like a lady. And on the other hand it also wasn't as rare to have a woman act and dress like a lady. In most of my favorite films the man isn't even all that (except for my love Gene Kelly of course) but it didn't even matter! The old time movies had a way of making you fall for the lead guy even if he doesn't look like Brad Pitt. 

What I'm getting at in the end is, this is what I want for Sophie. I want her to be diverse enough that she will give things that are out of the norm a try and become a well rounded girl. Because some of those things that are out of the norm and not main stream are the things that can mold you to who you are. It's those things that you may hold closest to you and have the best memories of because they are yours. They are your memories that you don't share with the rest of the general population. I want her to be herself whoever that may be and love life to the fullest. And I certainly want her to see a few of these movies so she too can get the true idea of a lady and what gentleman qualities to expect in a man. And if nothing more I want her to dance and sing and have a blast acting like a goof :)

The movie I started watching was the Pirate but a few of my favorite oldies are below <3 These are some of my favorite childhood memories <3



Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Motivation and my Mama's Girl

Sophie is 5 weeks old it today which also means I've been home on maternity leave for 5 weeks today. I've had a job since I was 13 and have never gone this long without one. Mama is my job right now and it is totally a full time one, as any stay at home Mom would know, especially with the struggle of breastfeeding.

I know I made the right choice for me with choosing to breastfeed, but boy is it time consuming. I feel like most days all I do is count the hours between feedings, think about what I should be eating and drinking to make the milk come in or if I have time to pump. Everyone knows the nutritional benefits of breastfeeding and I'm not here to preach that because I feel like there is nothing wrong with formula and I eventually plan on supplementing.

The great things I can say about it is, the bonding you do with your baby is amazing. I love that I get to steal her away and have her all to myself just to look at her and sweet talk her for a little while. And the after feeding "thank you mama" smile that only I get to see melts my heart every time. I also think that between me being the milk lady and her hang out partner all day all night, I have created a total Mama's girl.

The one selfish yet major benefit of breastfeeding has been the weight loss. I have basically been forcing myself to eat the recommended 1800 calories that are needed to help your milk production. So in no way shape or form have I been dieting and guess how much I've lost?....... 28 pounds! That's right, 28! I had no clue it would come off like that!! I went from my wedding weight of 131 pounds to my honeymoon baby weight of 168 pounds. I had Sophie and just two weeks after I was at a 26 pound weight loss! I've since only lost 2 additional pounds but still haven't been cleared to start working out and it's been so hot that I haven't been able to take the baby out for a walk. I can not wait until I can start. I know it's going to be tough but my goal is to loose the remaining 9 pounds and tone up by September. I want to be wedding weight by our first anniversary and want to wear my favorite honeymoon dress again. I'll probably be tracking my loss on here because what better way to motivate myself then to show and tell strangers how pudge your feeling :)

Here are a few links I found on Pinterest that found very helpful with breastfeeding and also some post baby exercises I'm excited to do. And below that are my pre-baby picture, my 3 days before having her picture and my current post baby picture. I plan on taking pictures in my bathing suit also but those will more than likely just be for my eyes only....because I'm a chicken.....

Anyone have any helpful advise for breastfeeding or post baby weight loss/toning? Leave me a comment! You'll be the first one :)

Increasing Your Breast Milk Supply 500x648 Increasing Your Breast Milk Supply
More great tips
The BEST article on how to pump for your baby written by a gal who pumped exclusively for her baby for 14 months!! This was really helpful and funny to read.
awesome resource for pumping tips
Need to get a ball. Shrink Your Belly In 14 Days - Routine will firm and flatten you from all angles in just 2 weeks. Amp up results using a combination of ball exercises with high-energy cardio and simple calorie-cutting tips. In 2 weeks, you could lose up to an inch from your waist; in 4 weeks, shed up to 8 pounds or more.
biggest concern is my belly, these look like good exercises i can do while the baby naps

Honeymoon goal dress and weight of 131.
Me and my husband at our friends wedding, 3 days before Sophie's arrival at a whopping 168 pounds.
Me today, 5 weeks post baby, 28 pounds down, 9 more to go in 2 months...can it be done??




Monday, July 22, 2013

Bloglovin'

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Setting up Bloglovin' :) Making this happen!

Stronger than the Storm

Ok, so how many of you east coasters are sick and tired of that damn Stronger than the Storm commercial? Sure it's catchy and I understand that they are just trying to save local businesses at the Jersey Shore. But I've seen the horrible damage from Sandy first hand in Holgate (the very tip of Long Beach Island, NJ) and it is heart breaking what happened to our friends houses, the businesses that I've visited all my life, the beach that I long for all winter long...and I personally feel every last penny should be spent fixing up our town and all of the others that were effected. There are better ways to promote local businesses and LBI is already doing that! Just this past weekend a friend of mine hosted a Fashion Show which local businesses were all present or sponsored and they successfully raised money for LBI Love foundation and Jetty Rock Foundation. 

I am a Communications major and took many classes and an internship in Advertising/Marketing/PR. The cost of advertising time on radio alone is very expensive in the major areas like where I live in Philadelphia. I can't speak to TV commercial air time other than its more costly than radio and that commercial is played constantly! Is all the money really being spent wisely?

In Long Beach Island we are still waiting for the township to establish the dunes on the beaches and are told it will be at least until October. Everyone's houses are still vulnerable to damage with the next big storm until the dunes are put in and our island notoriously floods with most larger storms let alone if we were to encounter another hurricane with half the strength of Sandy.

Don't get me wrong, I am 100% for promoting local businesses. The mindset on LBI of little to no franchises on the island has always been something I loved but when areas are still struggling to protect themselves from any further damage I wish the constant campaigning would just back off a bit.

If you aren't familiar with the Holgate area here are a few pictures of what things still look like down "my end"of the island. I took these last month but it still looks like this. Fortunately you don't see this much devastation until you get to my neighborhood and most of the island has been cleaned up or is in the process of revamping. my family and I were very fortunate and only had minor damage and lost very little. I honestly thought our trailer would be gone (many are). Someone upstairs had to be looking over our little peace of paradise<3

95% of the beautiful million dollar homes on the beach in Holgate now look like this and are currently unihabitable.

Without the dunes in place, the ocean can easily breeze through and damage all of the smaller bungalow's across the street on the bay side that are still in the process of raising their properties. 

Our dock in the trailer park was destroyed along with the neighboring parks. Our Ice machine made its way into the bay and onto their dock. Some trailers from the neighboring park also unfortunately made their way into the bay or had the bay make its way into their trailers. We fortunately only lost our shed to sandy. The water line on our trailer showed that we were a mere few inches away from damage.

The large trailer park down the street housing hundreds in their summer time piece of paradise were washed away on top of each other and had damage so severe that the owner decided not to reopen. I am so thankful for the hard work our parks owner puts in to keep us all in our happy place.

Many homes lifted off of their foundation and floated into others. Here is one of the last remaining few that just recently was demoed. There were many others just like this that were cleaned up before I was able to get down. I still am sad that  in my preggo state I wasn't able to help more once the island was open to public. 

Another angle, the saddest part is the families whose homes were ruined like this had all of their property still in these homes. And just walking down the street you could see all of their things, couches, beds still with sheets on them, things hanging in their closets which really brings it all home that it could have been you and your family. It looked like a tornado came through. so many people, lost so many things.

Just this weekend we had major flooding from a simple thunderstorm. It's normal for our island to flood, it always has. But when the ocean meets the bay at certain points on the island and you see people walking with water up to their knees it puts it into perspective just how easy it would be to have a devastating blow to a place you call home again.

These pictures were taken by me within the last month. If your interested in seeing pictures of the storm, during the storm or directly after the storm here is one of many of the video's on you tube showing the devastation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7N8MEYzgP1Y

Were you effected by sandy? I'd love to hear your story, especially of any special finds post Sandy! We have friends that have connected with others on facebook and were able to reclaim some of their memories that washed up miles away.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Things I'm lovin' Thursday

Since my life is currently a bit boring and consists of diaper changes, feedings and baby talk I've decided not to bore you all with more praise over my beautiful baby girl and write about a few things I'm lovin' right now.

First and foremost, International Delight's iced coffee has been the one thing getting me through these late nights lately. have you tried it? If you haven't you have to! When I was still working and not pregnant, I was stopping several times a week to Dunkin or Starbucks to get an iced latte which ends up being a bit expensive! I just recently tried the ID iced coffee and I am madly in love.


I went on the website (link above) to check out what other flavors they might have and not only do they have a coupon on there for it (I'm a bit coupon obsessed- aspiring extreme couponer) but they also have an adorable idea for a lemonade/iced coffee stand. I don't have kids the age to run a lemonade stand but if you do check it out, they have free printable banners, cupcake toppers, signs etc. that you can print with your home computer.



And if running lemonade stands aren't your thing so much or your kid is still too young like my baby girl, here's a cute little photo op idea I saw on Pinterest just the other day!

I'd love to do a shoot like this with Sophie but probably not until next summer, but I love the yellow romper from the Etsy shop Chicabootique. I just may have to order it for next summer! Check them out they have a ton

Ok thats all for this Thursday! P.S. all my opinions are my own and I am not receiving anything to promote.


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Baby Girls Grand Debut

I just sent out Sophie's birth announcements this week and I am so in love with them! I used Tiny Prints for the template and printing and they did a great job and showed up super quick.
 
But what I am most excited about is the pictures and the outfit! I originally wanted to have pictures professionally done, but thought about it and would rather spend the big bucks for pictures when shes older. So I ended up taking them myself with my camera and using an app to adjust the brightness. If you've never used the Snapseed app I highly recommend it! It's free, it has tons of filters and touch up functions and its really easy to use so check it out!

So I love everything nautical. My wedding was down the shore and beach themed, my baby showers were beach/ mermaid themed and I just had to do beach themed announcements for my little beach baby. I found this fabulous shop on Etsy called SquishyCouture. She makes the most adorable baby accessories and outfits that are perfect for photo shoots. This is where I found the most perfect Mermaid outfit for Sophie's "Look who just washed in" announcement. The quality is excellent, it was delivered quickly and I am so happy with how the pictures turned out! You'll have to take a look at the shop if you're in the market, check out my two favorite pictures below that I ended up using for the announcement :)

Oh and leave me a post if you have any other cute shop recommendations!



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

My life is now complete

I don't have long between feedings but wanted to update. My beautiful baby girl Sophie Mary was born at 6:30pm June 18th. I have never been more happy in my life. I now know what everyone means when they say your whole life changes when you become a mother. Of course there is the obvious sleep deprivation and limited if any me time. But what you don't see is the shift in priorities, and the total instant obsession I have for her. She was instantly my everything and I've never been happier in my life <3