Saturday, January 24, 2015

Yes, Sexy Nursing Bras do exist...presenting Leading Lady (PHOTOS)


One of our bloggers works with new young mothers and she heard from one that she is struggling to find sexy nursing bras out there. 

I was reminded of a photo shoot I personally shot with my iPhone a few years back featuring my baby sister who is also a part time model, Hawa Jay.

In the photos (above and below), Hawa is wearing a celebrity favorite line of intimate apparel called Leading Lady. The line makes comfortable, functional but still stylish and affordable easy-to-wear bras, camis and sleepware. 

(note: we were provided all the bras for free for the review and we eventually gifted all unused ones to a charity for teen moms)

The family-owned business that makes the intimate wear has been expertly tailoring nursing bras and sultry bras for full-figured gals for over 70 years at retailers across North America.

They sell stretch, lace, wirefree and underwire bras that are supportive including seamless sport and yoga bras and cozy sleep and leisure bras.

Buy them directly at Leading Lady.com 


 




 















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Jaime King is latest celebrity to launch children's clothing line


If you've followed this blog, you'd know that I have a slight healthy obsession with model-turned actress Jaime King.

So with that, I was quite excited to learn that she is going to join the long line of celebrities with children's clothing labels with her newJaime King for Sapling Child  collection of organic, non-toxic, vegetable-dyed clothing for children.

Sapling Child is an organic clothing company.



I found out about this day late to share as our occasional "Eco-Friday" post but I couldn't wait until next week to share! Woot!

I admit, I am one of those off-again-on again vegan, all-the time pescetarean, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, holistic, juicing, whole-foods eating, detoxing, yoga-doing, feng shui types of persons who geek out for news like this. *sigh*

Tee hee!




photo: Justin Campbell Photography

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Editor's Winter Weekend Picks




Just because the temperature has dipped and there may be snow on the ground doesn't mean you need to be stuck indoors this weekend. If you plan to venture out to go shopping, run errands, catch a movie or simply schlep your children to activities, you can still do it in style, mamas and mamas-to-be.

Here are my picks for weekend outings:

You do not want to be all stifled and confined to a heavy coat. So, instead, layer, layer, layer. Start with a long sleeve jersey top (or maternity top), layer a second one over that or add a thick but not so chunky sweater. 

Loop an infinity sweater around your neck like J. Crew's Cashmere infinty scarf in a neutral tone. ($208)

Then, skip the wool coat and instead top it with a vest like Tart Maternity "Aislin" vest ($119).

To stay chic and current, carry a tote for all your stuff in black but with a whimsical or fun image emblazoned on it. I love Juicy Couture's Lion Scream Tote ($128). 

Keep your heat inside your body and on your head by topping your dome with a fashionable wool hat like the Leith Knit Slouch beanie ($28).

Accessorize your look with edgy bangles. Ashley Pittman's new set of 5 Shaba Bangles in Dark horn ($545) are rocking my world right now. Loves!

There you have it. Have a fab weekend, mamas!





And the individual looks:













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Another model's post-partum selfie sends women into a frenzy



Another brand new mom is catching heat for showing off her super thin bounced back body weeks after delivering. 

In a caption to the above photo that Australian model Erin McNaught shared on her Instagram account, she wrote, "4 weeks PP [post partum] and I'm starting to get my stomach back!...adding that "aside from lots of walking and eating healthy, I've been doing loads of pelvic floor and transverse abdominus exercises. Still no traditional ab work which is driving me crazy! #bodyafterbaby".

The comments from mainly women were not so supportive, especially from those who say McNaught was pushing a false and unrealistic standard on average women who 1. don't have the genes she was blessed with that enable her to be naturally thin; and 2. neither can afford an army of personal chefs, nannies, trainers and other help to get them looking like her after baby. 

To be fair, McNaught did share with The Fix that she had a very fit pregnancy.


"I'm doing a little bit of yoga but mostly more high-intesity stuff," she told the magazine while on the red carpet to the PEOPLE's Sexiest People issue reveal last October. "I still do Body Attack and Nike training and all of that!"

Check her out during pregnancy and it becomes apparent why and how she was able to look like that. 

This is not the first time a celebrity woman has caught flak for sharing an unreal post-baby body weeks after delivery.

Silvana Philippoussis, the model wife of tennis star Mark Philippoussis caught heat last September when she too posted her post baby body on Instagram commenting, " Finally found the courage to post this...Me. 2 wks after giving birth! Ladies, I know every body's different but trust me when I say: - Don't forget to suck in your postpartum tummy's!" 


She added, "It's the fastest most natural way to get your tummy back into shape:) I gave myself a few days to recover after birth then started sucking in a little everyday to ge my stomach muscles working again - every little bit counts! #iamoldfashioned #iforgetthewaistband #youcandoit #justdoit."

Um...yeah....



And in 2013, fitness blogger Caroline Berg Eriksen also got some of it when she posted this above photo just 4 days after giving birth! DAYS! 

It caused me too personally to backlash against gossip media which celebrate and put on their covers these post-baby bodies of these celebrities which serve to denigrate regular woman who cannot achieve such rapid loss and pump up arrogant men who love to shame women for not getting skinny after baby. 

It all contributes to pregorexia where women intentionally withhold food and nutrients from themselves and their babies in order to avoid gaining too much weight during pregnancy. 



There needs to be a balance between being a bully of other moms, as fitness pro Maria Kang was accused of being when she asked, "what's your excuse" for not looking as good as her after having a baby...and being motivational.

Cause really, no one who has had a tough time losing weight would ever ask another woman, why they too couldn't do it.

Just my thoughts. Chime in below:
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A non-vaccinated kid at Disney responsible for recent measles outbreak


Officials are blaming the recent measles outbreak at Disneyland parks on a kid of "anti-vaxxers", parents who refuse to immunize their children from deadly diseases, 

Apparently, as the theory goes, somebody's non- vaccinated kid caught the measles while traveling abroad then went to one of the Disney Parks in California and sneezed.  It was the little action needed for all the other anti-vaxxer kids at that park to be exposed and come down with the deadly disease. 

Sheesh! 

A total of 64 children since December in California have contracted the highly contagious disease, a likely impact of the anti-immunization movement, the Washington Post reports. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that measles is so contagious that if "one person has it, 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected."

And there you have it. We knew it was coming.

The outbreak has gotten so bad, California officials issued a warning telling anyone under 12 who is not vaccinated to avoid Disney, the Los Angeles Times reported. 

Disney has told its employees in contact with measles-sickened co-workers to stay home until they can prove they've been vaccinated and undergo a blood test. 

It's a case of too much education, a new study says, finding that anti-vaxxers are affluent, educated and cluster in certain communities and infect each others' thinking on the issue.

It's unfortunate. As I've blogged before, I could have died from catching German Measles while a small child living in my native Sierra Leone, West Africa decades ago. Vaccinations were a premium and privilege that all kids did not get back when I was growing up.

My best friend and I contracted the disease at the same time and he died. 

It is for this reason, I am always baffled by those who decide against vaccinating their kids, and to take their chances, believing they are protecting their kids, and not putting them as risk for early death. A report in 2011, found that the study that catapulted the modern anti-vaxx movement was a big fraud. 

Baffles the mind!

Sound off in the comments. Risk worth taking or reckless option to not vaccinate?

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

10 family meals that cost under $10 to make



As food prices rise and more families encounter sticker shock every time they look at price tags at the grocery store, the idea of feeding your entire family a meal that costs less than ten dollars can seem absurd. In fact, it’s entirely possible to pull together great-tasting meals without breaking the bank or resorting to a drive-through dollar menu. These ten dinners can be quickly thrown together, taste great and are inexpensive enough to stay within the bounds of a small budget.


  1. Quesadillas – With some cheese, meat and flour tortillas, you can put together a filling and kid-friendly meal in no time. Even if you decide to splurge on some salsa and sour cream to jazz things up a bit, you’ll still come in well below ten dollars for the entire meal if you choose your items carefully.
  2. Roasted Chicken and Veggies – Opting for a whole chicken is cheaper than buying one that’s pre-cut and you’re able to roast it with root vegetables for a delicious, well-rounded meal. The vegetable choices are up to you; find things that your family likes, but that won’t break the bank. Sprinkle them with seasonings you already have on-hand for a great meal that seems fancy, but costs next-to-nothing.
  3. Spaghetti – If you’re really in a pinch, a cheap jar of pre-made spaghetti sauce can go a long way. Browning some ground beef to add to your sauce can thicken up a cheap brand, adding flavor and protein to the dish.
  4. Burritos – Filling flour tortillas with refried beans and cheese is quick, easy and great-tasting. As an added bonus, it’s also incredibly cheap. If you have a bit of room in your budget, you may want to add some meat to the mixture. Burritos are just as delicious without the meat, though, and the beans are high in protein, helping you stay fuller, longer.
  5. Breakfast for Dinner – A dozen eggs, a small package of bacon and a can of pre-made biscuits make a great breakfast-for-dinner menu and are cheap enough to come in under ten dollars at the checkout counter. The bacon is likely to be the most expensive item on the list, so make sure that you shop wisely when you choose your brand.
  6. Dinner Salad – A big salad with plenty of veggies and your choice of protein can go a long way without giving your wallet a workout. Making this meal economical will require you to chop and rinse your own lettuce and vegetables, however. Opting for the pre-chopped bags of salad mix is much more expensive in the long run, and you get much less product sold at a higher price. Sacrificing the convenience of pre-washed and chopped veggies for a little extra time in the kitchen will save you dollars at the register.
  7. Chili and Cornbread – A package of chili seasoning mix, one can of beans, one can of tomatoes and a pound of ground beef will make enough chili to feed five people. Adding some warm, crumbly cornbread to the menu makes a great-tasting, inexpensive meal that’s particularly good for those cold, winter evenings.
  8. Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Sandwiches – Comfort food classics like tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich pair perfectly together and are among the least expensive meals you can make. To give the meal a bit more flair, spring for some crusty French bread or sourdough, rather than standard sandwich slices.
  9. Beef Stroganoff – While traditional stroganoff calls for a higher-quality cut of meat, it’s still delicious when cheaper ground beef is used as a substitution. Cream of mushroom condensed soup, sour cream, milk and some egg noodles are all you need to crank out this delicious dish on a dime.
  10. Tacos – Crunchy tacos are a kid favorite that can be pulled together very inexpensively if you skip optional toppings like olives and peppers. Corn tortillas tend to be a bit cheaper than their flour cousins and contain less sodium to boot, giving you a delicious meal for a low price.


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Bump Watch RoundUp: Zooey, Ashlee, Tiffanie, Milla and More


Milla Jovovich says she is at her ideal pregnancy weight (Celebrity Baby Scoop)

Zooey Deschanel and her beau Jacob Pechenik (Page Six)

Tiffanie Amber-Thiessen  and her husband are expecting their second child (Instagram)

Kelly Rowland talks getting body back after baby (BlackCelebKids)

Ashlee Simpson emerged to reveal her baby bump, at last. (US Weekly)

VH1 Love and Hop cast member Emily Bustamante confirmed she is expecting with her rapper beau Fabolous (Bossip)


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Valentine’s Day Gifts for the Expectant Mom


With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, this is the perfect opportunity to show the mom to be in your life some love! Just a kind card or letter to let them know you are thinking about them is great, but a personalized gift is a great way to support a lady who may be experiencing lots of aches and pains.

One gift idea that’s great for any mom to be is a relaxation basket. Simply purchase a good size basket and then fill it with all her favorite goodies. Perhaps fill it with her favorite bubble bath, sweet smelling lotion and super soft socks. Pick out a new book or a favorite magazine and her favorite candy treat to place in as well. If she is not much of a reader, choose a DVD and maybe some popcorn and a soda.

If a gift certificate is in your budget, you might include a spa day. Many spas offer maternity massages and this is a great gift for an expecting mother over fifteen weeks.

If a gift certificate is not in the budget, opt for making your own coupon book filled with free foot massages or a “duty free” night so she can relax in her own tub while you pick up the slack.

The key to any of these gifts is personalization. Choose items that you know she enjoys and that will help her to relax and enjoy the holiday.

Another sweet idea is to give a gift to the mom from the new baby. Maybe include a sonogram picture on a card and include the caption “You are “heads down” the best Mommy around” Love, Baby’s name. Maybe include a small basket of goodies that are from the baby such as some snacks she has been craving since being pregnant or a children’s book about a mommy and baby with a personal inscription on the inside.

Whatever gifts you decide on, this mom to be is sure to feel the love and enjoy her Valentine’s Day!


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Vintage: Peek inside A Celebrity Parent Swag bag


In addition to getting paid oodles of dough for doing the things they love (acting, singing, reality-showing), celebrities are always getting s.w.a.g which  stands for souveniers, wearables and gifts or as my celebrity friends tell me “stuff/s*&% we all get”. The “we” does not usually include the common man or woman.  In sum, various brands, designers and labels love to throw free products at celebrities because of the instant marketing and promotions they’d get if the celebrity is photographed wearing the product or pushing their child in it, (as in the case of strollers and buggies, for example)

Naturally, being fascinated with celebrities like most Americans and others are, folks covet what celebrities have and want to rush out and get the same thing. It’s a no brainer for a brand to get their stuff in one of these bags.

Often times, when celebrities agree to attend a charity event, or are selected to present at an awards show or perform, they get these enormous very valuable gift bags as a thank you.  Sometimes, companies actually have to bid or compete to get their products in the bag. Imagine, having to hire a publicist or agent to get your company’s product in a bag of items to be given away for free! Companies like Jewels and Pinstripes, for example, assemble bags for various events and then scan print and websites for “sightings” of the celebrities actually using the product they got in a bag. What comes next? The brand gets that photo out there and the rest is history, as they say.

Pregnant celebrities and parents also get parenting and children related swag at various gifting suites that are open during and pre major events like The Grammys, The Oscars, The Sundance Film festivals etc. During these events, select brands send representatives to showcase products (its almost convention style) and often times  they give away free samples! Sometimes they permit the celeb to rent the item or wear it for an event with the expectation of returning it.  That is usually the case for gowns and dresses for major events the celeb would likely wear only once anyway.  For smaller, less expensive items, celebrities are allowed to keep the items! Woweee!

If you are fortunate enough to be the baby of a celebrity, the perks start when you are born!

Check out a gift bag  (above) that  Girls in Tinsel Town  gave away to the babies of new celeb moms like Christina Applegate, Emily Procter and Samantha Harris.  

The bag contained: Gift certificate for custom Isabelle Grace Jewelry mommy necklace, Gift certificate for Kokopax classic carrier, Gift certificate for Kokopax Diaper Bag, The Patchwork Bear baby clothes bear box kit, Ladybugs and Lullabies boutique hair clips and gift certificate, Diapees and Wipees shoulder bag and signature bag, Gift certificate for personalized Label Out Loud™ Essentials Combo by Mabel’s Labels, Pirose luxury nursing scarf by Reno Rose, Blackout blind for prams and strollers by SnoozeshadeBeba Bean Knit Poncho, Robeez Ballerina Bear slip-ons, Gift certificate for personalized Name Your Tune cd, BooginheadSippiGrip and PaciGrip and an issue of Pregnancy and Newborn Magazine. (Retail Value: $900.00)
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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

State of the Union 2015: Fact Check on Teen Pregnancy and Abortion


Last night was the State of the Union address and during it President Barck Obama made a couple of bold statements about was right "teen pregnancies and abortions "nearing all-time lows.”

The fact-checking organization and website FactCheck.org was on the case and verified the veracity of these statements:  
Obama: We still may not agree on a woman’s right to choose, but surely we can agree it’s a good thing that teen pregnancies and abortions are nearing all-time lows, and that every woman should have access to the health care she needs.
The rate of teen pregnancies in the U.S. has been on the decline for decades, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Vital Statistics. In 2013, there were 274,641 babies born to females aged 15 to 19, a rate of 26.6 births for every 1,000 teen mothers. That was a 10 percent decline from 2012 and “the lowest number of teen births ever reported for the United States.” According to CDC, it was also 57 percent lower than in 1970, the peak year for teen births.

However, despite this progress, teen pregnancies in the U.S. still outpace many other developed countries including Canada and the United Kingdom, according to United Nations statistics.
As for abortions, the Guttmacher Institute reported in July 2014 that the rate of abortions in 2011 was the lowest since 1973. In 2011, “1.06 million abortions were performed, down 13 percent from 1.21 million in 2008.”

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Ali Larter welcomed daughter, Vivienne


Congratulations to Heroes alum Ali Larter on the birth of her daughter, Vivienne Margaret MacArthur on Thursday, January 15.

"It's a girl!" Larter wrote on her website. "We couldn't be more excited to share news of the arrival of Vivienne Margaret MacArthur on Thursday January 15th 2015...She came bearing gifts for her brother: Batman sheets and lots of Gummy Bears!!! 7.5 lbs of love." 

The Legends actress and her husband Hayes MacArthur are parents to 4-year old son, Teddy. 
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