Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve Video: new mom Jennifer Hudson's leaked "Feeling Good" ad

Oscar-winner, singer, actress Jennifer Hudson, who gave birth to her first child, a son  David, with David Otunga last August lost all of her baby weight and more. She's gone from a size 16 to a size 4 and looks AMAZING! I found a leaked version of her new video "Feeling Good" which says a lot about her weight loss journey which included eating right, exercising, and following Weight Watchers (she is their official spokesperson now).

The Weight Watchers ad video has a great message about the new year too!

This year, a lot of magazines and newspapers abandoned their glossy and print papers to save costs and converted to online only formats.  So in essence, they shed their "issues" ! I will and you should too!

Check out the video below the other images of Hudson! Happy New Year to All! Be safe!!

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The "it" Family Holiday Card for 2010 was...

So, since you all know I "try" to stay ahead of and abreast of what the "posh"est families are doing, I did an informal poll based on my own personal experiences and observances. Based on my eh hem "research", I have decided that the "it" holiday card to send in 2010 was....drumroll please......

the square FLAT finish card 
from Tiny Prints!!!

ta da!

So that means the glossy photo is passe, as is the black and white photo, as is the photo taken by the professional family photographer, as is that photo taken from above with everyone laying on their backs in a circle.

This year, it's about being sensible and economical, but not too economical. BecauseTiny Prints has a team of personal designers and handlers that personally take care of each order and offers personalized customer assistance per order, it is priced slightly above Shutterfly, Kodak and Costco!

Also, Tiny Prints did a wonderful job marketing itself to and engaging many of the influential mom bloggers early on including Social Moms (formerly Twitter Moms). So we spread the word, and spread it widely, getting many of our followers to use its service!

Just thought I'd share that for those of you who CARE about keeping up with the Joneses. Ha! And if you didn't send the "it" card this year, no fret! The trend "should" be still in fashion in 2011....I THINK!


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Pregnant Rachel Zoe to make her own maternity line

According to In Touch, “Rachel wants to be stylish during her pregnancy, so she’s making many of her own clothes. She’s excited about becoming a mom and expanding her line,” the magazine reported last month.  It isn't confirmed, but like anything in this Holly"world", say it enough in the rags, press and blogs and it either comes true or is ignored. We'll see...

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ziggy Marley & Pregnant Wife in LA

Reggae royalty Ziggy Marley and his very pregnant wife Orly Marley were snapped by paparazzi In LA.

Ziggy along with his wife and their children Gideon(L) and Judah(R) went for breakfast on Christmas Day at Urth cafe in Beverly Hills.

Ziggy and his wife are expecting their third child together. In all, Ziggy has five children, three of whom are from previous relationships.

Read more: Ziggy Marley And Very Pregnant Wife Take A Stroll In LA [Photo] | Urban Islandz 
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Study: Richer Teen Girls more likely to have abortion

Babble reports:

A new U.K. study shows that teen abortions directly correlate with wealth. The posher the neighborhood, the more likely a teenage girl is to have an abortion if she gets pregnant. In the most prosperous neighborhoods, 80% of teen pregnancies end in abortion. In the poorest, it’s more like 30%.

The reason, the authors suggest, is that girls from richer neighborhoods are more likely to have aspirations that might be compromised by early parenthood. They are expecting to go to college and to have prosperous careers. Having a baby in the teen years would certainly interfere with those ambitions, if not make them impossible. Girls from wealthy backgrounds may also have pressures put upon them by their families to be successful, as well as to be “well behaved.” A teenage pregnancy in a prosperous community might be seen as scandalous.

Girls from poorer neighborhoods, by contrast, might have fewer expectations for achievement and fewer models of certain kinds of success (academic, economic, etc.). What they are likely to have more models of, however, is women who have made compromises, and often, had babies when they were teens themselves.  Though these lifestyles may not seem particularly ideal, the idea of escaping this path may seem less attainable. And because teenage pregnancies are more commonplace in less well-off communities, there is much less stigma attached.


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Feng Shuing the baby's Nursery

I hate clutter. I am also a minimalist. My motto is to keep everything in its place. I've followed some Feng Shui techniques in the past, but to keep it simple, I just try my hardest to keep the children's toys in their rooms or their basement playroom. I keep all books, papers and office materials in my home office; all clothes in closets, hampers or laundry room etc.  And if an item finds its way out of place, I put it back.  Ohdeedoh did a great post about Feng shuing your baby's nursery that seemed helpful. Essentially, they took all the most sensible, practical advice and enumerated into a simple checklist I loved! 

Check out these awesome tips:
Common-sense things you're probably already doing:
:: Use natural materials whenever possible for bedding, curtains, flooring, rugs, furniture, and toys. 

:: Keep drawers and closets organized and pruned of too-small and out-of-season clothing.

:: Have different sources of light in the nursery, some for daytime and others for evening and nighttime. 

:: Limit the electrical appliances near the crib. This includes various monitors, air filters, vaporizers, fans, etc.

:: Open windows daily for good ventilation.

Some interesting tips you might also want to try:
:: Choose a soft shade of green, blue, pink, orange or beige for the walls. No reds, yellows, grays, or blacks. 

:: Bed sheets should be soothing colors. Bright red is a no-no. Soft blue is recommended.

:: Place the crib at the furthest point from the door. You don't want it under a window or in the middle of the room. You also don't want it against a wall that has plumbing on the other side of it.

:: Orient the crib so that it points north, which represents stillness. Southwest and northeast are acceptable second choices.

:: Keep the space under the crib empty. Resist the urge to use this space for storage.

:: Limit the number of toys and books in the room.

:: Curtains are preferable to blinds, and white curtains are best.

:: Try gentle essential oils, such as chamomile, rose, vanilla and lavender.

:: Make sure there are no hard corners from dressers or changing tables pointed at the baby’s head or body. If there is an immovable point, try to cover it with a silk vine or red ribbon.

:: Reconsider the patterns and images in the room, especially if it is a themed room. 

According to feng shui guide Tabitha Miller, "Avoid garish cartoon characters and action figures. How can boys “stop moving" when they are sleeping on planes, trains and automobiles? That theme would better for a playroom. Nature designs are excellent and promote growth. Animal designs should also be chosen carefully. Ferocious or aggressive animals, even when they are made for a baby’s room, should not be chosen. Some of these are found in jungle motif designs and include lions, tigers, bears, and reptiles. Make sure that designs do not have harsh points, such as arrows, crosses, diamonds, or triangles. Motifs with fish are fine as long as the watery theme is not overly dominant. Otherwise, respiratory, lung, nasal, or kidney problems could develop."

If you're truly desperate for a good night's sleep, you've got nothing to lose by trying these ideas:

:: Start from scratch. Move the baby to a new room. According to one expert, "Ideally, a child's room should be in the middle, or the 'bosom' of the house, to induce feelings of security in the child. A new baby should have a bedroom that is not over a garage or has an empty space below. The bedroom also shouldn't be located where there is excessive noise that might keep the baby from sleeping, such as close to a living room where the TV is on or close to a noisy street or neighbor."
:: Do a thorough cleaning of the entire room -- including walls, baseboards, windows and floors -- with natural cleaners. Repair wall holes, cracks, squeaky windows, peeling paint.

:: Follow the principles above in designing and arranging the space.

:: Declutter your own room of baby-related paraphernalia. While you're at it, organize the baby stuff in the rest of your home, too.

Read More

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Resource helps families keep up with all safety recalls

Thanks to my friend AfroChic, I can share this awesome one-stop-shop source for finding out about the latest recalls for a variety of  products for and targeted to infants,  babies, toddlers, children and the family.

Macaroni Kid safety announcements newsletter is a wonderful resource that is helpful and often updated.

Bookmark this! Check it often!
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Hair Gallery for Black, Brown & Biracial Babies

Happy Girl Hair has a wonderful 9 page-and growing-gallery of hairstyles for babies, toddlers and little children with Black, Bown and biracial hair. I'm always struggling for hairstyle ideas and was excited to discover the gallery recently. The blog has lots of tips, information and resources for caring for kids' hair. I've also heard from a few white parents with bi-racial or adopted kids looking for resources. This is a great find!

Parents like Joey Mazzarino, the head writer of Sesame Street, and a Muppeteer who wrote the song for his daughter. Mazzarino is Italian. He and his wife adopted their 5-year-old daughter, Segi, from Ethiopia when she was a year old.

Check out the awesome video which I watch with my little girl and LOVE! It's been all the rage for the past few months since its release

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9 Ways to Increase your Chances of Having Twins

revisiting an old post:

How to increase your chances of having twins:
  1. You Use Fertility Drugs or Treatments 

    Advancements in fertility drugs and treatments are probably the two reasons most responsible for the increase in twins, triplets, quads and higher multiple births. Fertility drugs and treatments such as invitro fertilization can bring a Mom's chances of having twins (or more) as high as 1 in 38. Be careful of your fertility drug if you don't want to risk having multiples! There is one study that shows using Chlomid may increase your chances of having twins (or more!) to as high as 1 in 5. You should definitely be having long discussions with your doctor about the real chances of having twins as part of your infertility treatment options. As wonderful as life with twins is, don't take a friend's prescription of Chlomid to increase your chances of having twins (this has happened!) Fertility drugs cause other side effects, and should never be taken without the supervision of a medical doctor.
  2. You are an Older Mom 

    There are several reasons why older moms (those over 30) see an increase in odds of having twins: Theory on Older Moms Increased Chances of Having Fraternal Twins The chance of having unassisted twins increases once Mom turns 30, and peaks around the time Mom turns 35 - 39. Your chance of having "unassisted" twins increases to 5% if you're between the ages of 35 - 39. Science is looking at the theory that older women are more likely to conceive twins because of a rise in the production of a follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). The theory is higher FSH levels can cause some ovaries to be over stimulated and release two - or more - eggs in a cycle.

    Theory on Older Moms Increased Chances of Having Identical Twins
    Another theory on why older Moms have higher odds of having twins is that, as Mom becomes older, her eggs become more brittle, and instead of dividing during the initial phases of the baby's development, they split into two separate babies.
  3. Increased Use of Fertility Drugs
    Women face decreased fertility over the age of 30. As a result, women in this age range are more prone to use fertility drugs, or other treatments, which increase the chances of having twins. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, about one-third of women between age 35 and 39 and two-thirds of women over 40 have fertility problems. If you are over 45, your chance of having twins is 17%. Who has the best odds of having twins or more using fertility drugs? If you're brave enough to try having a baby when you're over 50, your chance of having multiples is . . . 1 in 9.
  4. Twins Run in Your Family 

    "Do twins run in your family" is probably the second most common question asked to parents of multiples, right after "Are they twins????" The answer to the first question is, yes . . . and no.

    If you, your mother, or your mother's mother is a fraternal (dizygotic) twin your chances of having twins increases significantly. The main reason for this is an inherited a gene for "hyperovulation" - you release more than one egg during an ovulation cycle, which increases your ability to conceive fraternal twins.

    Some experts also say that there is no correlation between Dad's genetic background and the birth of twins. Other experts say that Dad may pass a 'twin gene' (the hyperovulation gene) from his side of the family to his daughter. Or the gene may be passed on to his son, who passes it on to HIS daughter - and so on.

    Many experts also say identical (monozygotic) twins are not hereditary - identical twins are simply random by nature. Studies and research show that none of the 'factors' seen in increased twin births (fertility treatments, age, weight, hereditary, etc.) make any statistical difference in the chances of having identical twins. Many families with identical twins, however, beg to differ!
  5. Your Track Record 

    If you have given birth to one set of fraternal twins already, your chances of having twins again is about 1 in 12!

    Even if you haven't given birth to twins, the more children you have, the higher the odds of having twins are with your next pregnancy. By your fourth or fifth pregnancy, your likelihood of having twins is four times greater than it was during your first pregnancy.
  6. Weight and Height 

    The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recently released a study involving more than 50,000 pregnancies in the US that shows women with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or higher saw an increase in chances of having twins. The study also found that taller women, in the 75 percentile for height, were also more likely to have multiples.
  7. You are Nigerian 

    You have increased odds of having twins if you are Nigerian. It is reported that Nigeria has the highest twinning rate in the world, about 1 in 22. A study concluded that the mother's diet was the cause, being high in cassava, a type of yam or sweet potato. The peelings of this vegetable are thought to contain a chemical that causes hyperovulation.
  8. You eat a pre-pregnancy diet rich in dairy and animal protein.

    A study performed by Gary Steinman, MD of the Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York, compared the twin birth rate of Vegan Moms (moms who eat no animal products, including milk) to those Moms that consumed dairy and other animal products. It turns out that the milk-drinking moms were five times more likely to have twins over the Vegan moms.
  9. Best Way to Guaranty you Have Twins
    Although there are some things you can do to increase your chances of having twins, the only sure way to have twins in your family is to adopt. One of my friends has adopted not one but two sets of twins in her full house.

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Hong Kong Pop star Leon Lai & Model Wife Gaile Lok expecting

and in news from some Asian paparazzi subjects Hong Kong Pop star Leon Lai & his model wife Gaile Lok are expecting. The couple got married secretly in Las Vegas last year and were part of a string of Chinese stars to do so.
dated photo of the couple fishing when they were still dating

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bump Watch: Penelope Cruz looking bored at Lakers' Game

Christmas was a disappointing day for Los Angeles Lakers fans. Kobe Bryant and the team were dominated by LeBron James and Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat in their first match up of the season (Lakers lost 96-80). Husband and wife Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz were spotted in the stands, as well as rapper Kanye West, singer, and actor Sylvester Stallone. As usual, Lamar Odom's wife Khloe Kardashian was there to show her support, as well as DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, who attends every game. Magic Johnson on the Lakers in a post-game analysis: "they embarrassed themselves and they embarrassed their fans."
Photos by AP/Mark J. Terrill

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Pajama Jeans: The new mom jeans?

Just saw a commercial for Pajama Jeans, which are really just jeggins, jeans made out of lycra leggins materials. They are made to fit like chic "painted on jeans" in dark denim and from the commercial above look to be focused and tailored to moms on the go.

The commercial was hokey and reminded me of the Snuggies TV ad, but notice how the makers of the Snuggie have been raking in the dough, eh?

Could these be the next "mom jeans"?  Here's a little something about the company I found online:

We were noticing that people were wearing their pajamas on airplanes and in grocery stores. But a lot of people have mixed feelings about it because they think it's inappropriate and sloppy," Stacey Buonanno, merchandising manager for The PajamaGram Company, maker of the double duty "denim," explained to StyleList.
A lot of people wear their workout clothes out. But we thought it would be easy to take a pair of jeans, style them similar to a yoga pant, give them all the jean detailing, but make them stretchy and soft so that you wouldn't mind wearing them to bed," she told us.

Adding that, "The cool thing about the fabric is that the outside looks like a typical twill but it definitely has more of a jersey feel. And the inside is really, really brushed, so it almost feels like the inside of sweatpants or fleece."
It appears I must be late because these things have been on The View and Rachel Ray already. 

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Working Parents' Guide to Getting their Children into the Ivy Leauges

Here's another post from my blog The Politics of Raising Children from the Washington Times Communities/Family Today section 

Last week, I had a chance to chat with my law partner who lives in the Los Angeles, California area about college prep. Her daughter is 16 and has had the privilege of attending some of the most selective and elite elementary and secondary schools in the nation, first while they lived on the east coast and later the west coast. While we both acknowledged that children from privileged backgrounds have substantial advantages over those who attend poor performing schools with substandard resources, overextended teachers and other deficiencies, we agreed that a family with less means could surmount obstacles and take certain steps to assure a path to the Ivy Leagues for their children as well.  Although the quality of a school, its program, and teachers; and the affluence of a family do a lot to set up a child for success, there are very simple things that parents who do not have much means can do to overcome limitations.
For the most part, success starts and ends with the parents.  Below is a list of simple tips that parents of any socioeconomic status can take. It’s a mistake to think that good genes and a wealthy background are the binding factors among Ivy League students and graduates. There are a host of alums who got admitted, survived and excelled the Ivies via dedication from their parents who did everything in their power to help their kids succeed.
A lot of parents understand the concept of being active in their kids’ academic and learning lives but many do not know how.  Here are a few tips to start and parents who feel they have been slacking can  take the occasion of this New Year to start again anew and recommit to their children.  Even if a child is past any one stage of these tips, like the saying goes, it’s never too late for a new beginning.
Before birth
The moment a mother-to-be discovers that she is pregnant; she can make a concerted effort to read out loud to her baby beginning in the second trimester when her baby’s ear buds have formed and is able to hear sounds from the world outside her mother’s womb. It doesn’t’ have to be Shakespeare but can be her favorite magazine or romance novel.  Several studies support the concept that babies learn to recognize and respond to sounds they hear repeated and can do so before being born even. Similar research supports the playing of music, particularly classical music, to babies in the womb to bolster their intelligence or development. 
California obstetrician Rene Van de Carr says he has observed a 33-week-old fetus pattern his breathing to the beat of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.  Van de Carr, who wrote While You're Expecting...Your Own Prenatal Classroom and teaches parents how to stimulate their unborn babies through music and other exercises at his Prenatal University in Hayward, California, says because the fetus followed the rhythm of the symphony, it's obvious he learned something about the rhythm and enjoyed it.  I can testify to this effect. I played Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies from The Nutcracker Ballet Suite for the last two trimesters of my pregnancy while driving to and from work and performing errands.  After he was born, whenever he was fussy, all we had to do was play that tune to get him to settle down. His ears would perk up. He’d turn his head and listen attentively. Obviously, he remembered the song while in utero.
In Childhood. Read to your child for at least 20 minutes a day, from birth to early childhood and beyond. By now this piece of advice is common wisdom, and is advanced by many research institutions and educational societies, such as theReading Foundation. You can break it up into bite sized bits for younger children with shorter attention spans and eventually increase it to a full non-interrupted 20 minutes. If we think about the time we spend watching TV, on Facbeook, Twitter and other forms of social media, there really isn’t excuse about NOT having time to do this.  At bedtime is the easiest and best way to squeeze in this requirement. If it’s the only piece of homework you do as an adult, this should be it.
Take your children everywhere. Exposing children to new situations and scenarios via outings can help them appreciate a world larger than the boundaries of their neighborhood.  You don’t have to take them to an exotic European vacation either. A 2009 U.S. Department of Education study found that kids who travel over vacation -- no matter where they go -- did better in reading, math and general knowledge than their peers who didn't vacation.  If you can’t afford a far-away vacation, a family car trip to relatives in another state can be beneficial.  Beyond vacationing, even a simple car drive through a scenic part of town, a  romp through an annual outdoor festival,  a trip to the local’s farmer’s market to pick out colorful fruits or to the Fisherman’s wharf to look at seafood can be good enough. It’s about getting the kids to see a variety of peoples and locations. Leaving a kid at home, while it may be easier on your nerves, only encourages them to sit around watching television, playing video games and partaking in other mindless activities that may not stimulate their active brains enough. My sister worked with impoverished Baltimore city schoolchildren while she was in college at the University of Maryland at Baltimore. She would share stories of children she taught who thought Washington, DC was worlds away when in fact it was just a short 45 minutes drive from their homes.  Stories like this tells you how limited a child’s prospects could be if he has that narrow vision of the world. It doesn’t have to be, of course.

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Natalie Portman confirms: She's Engaged and Pregnant!

Actress Natalie Portman has lots to celebrate, after announcing her engagement and pregnancy.

The Israeli-American star, 29, is expecting her first child with fiance, ballet choreographer Benjamin Millepied in Spring 2011.

The couple met last year while filming ballet drama The Black Swan, which Portman has received critical acclaim and a slew of award nominations for.

French-born Millepied, 32, a classically trained ballet dancer who studied at the School of American Ballet as a teenager, was hired by filmmakers to choreograph Portman's dances.

Read more
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Study: Taking folic acid & iron while pregnant makes smart strong kids

Women are told to get adequate folic acid both before and during pregnancy to help prevent birth defects. Now a new study finds that folic acid, along with iron, can improve their children’s intellectual and motor skills.

Researchers found that children whose mothers took prenatal folic acid, iron, and vitamin A have better working memory, inhibitory control, and fine motor functioning than children whose mothers took vitamin A alone.

The study was conducted by Parul Christian, Dr.PH, of Johns Hopkins University, and colleagues, who followed 676 children aged 7 to 9 years who had been born to women who participated in a double-blind, randomized trial of prenatal micronutrient supplementation between 1999 and 2001 in Nepal. Study children were also in a placebo group of a subsequent preschool trial of iron and zinc supplementation.

Read More

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Alanis Morissette gives birth to boy on Christmas Day

Singer Alanis Morissette has given birth to a healthy baby boy.

The Canadian-American singer and her rapper husband Mario 'Souleye' Treadway welcomed Ever Imre Morissette-Treadway on Christmas Day.

'All are healthy and happy,' a spokesman for the 36-year-old star told

Read more

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Gilbert Arenas & Fiance Laura Govan expecting 4th child

 VH1 “Basketball Wives” Star Gloria Govan(L) poses with her pregnant sister Laura Govan(R) at the “Welcome to Los Angeles Party” for Matt Barnes earlier this month.
Laura Govan, who is the fiancée of Wizard’s player Gilbert Arenas, is expecting the couple’s fourth child in spring as she is four months pregnant.  The couple welcomed their third child, a baby girl, in December of last year(2009).

Gilbert and his wife-to-be  have been together nine years and have two other children: daughter Izela, 4, and son Alijah, 3.

See more pictures at

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

MTV to Air Abortion Episode of "16 and Pregnant" on Tuesday

MTV's controversial "16 and Pregnant" show will air a special episode this week debating all sides of the abortion issue on Tuesday, December 28 at 11:30pm ET.

The special, entitled “No Easy Decision,” follows a young mom facing an unplanned pregnancy.  Florida teen Markai Durham, an alumna of “16 and Pregnant,” will debate and eventually receive an abortion after discovering she is pregnant for the second time.

Dr. Drew Pinsky, a celebrity doctor who has been featured in radio and television shows such as “Loveline” and “Sex Rehab” with Dr. Drew, will host a panel discussion with other young moms.

The special episode builds on the controversy of previous shows, which critics have condemned as glorifying teenage pregnancy.

Yet in a recent study released by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 82 percent of youth, boys and girls age 12 to 19, said that “16 and Pregnant” helps them “better understand the challenges of teen pregnancy and parenthood and how to avoid it.”

In the same study, teens watched three episodes of the show and answered questions. Of those teens, 93 percent agreed with the statement, “I learned that teen parenthood is harder that I imagined from these episodes.”


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Saturday, December 25, 2010




The randomly selected winners using
from nearly 500 entries are:

who WON

 compliments of Mā

who WON

a  $50 Gift Certificate to 

who WON


who all WON 

and qualify to win a sitting and session with award-winning celebrity maternity portraits photographer Rachel Jeraffi

who WON

who WON

A Classic 4 Pack of Swaddling Wraps in the Star Light or Star Bright print as seen on Kourtney Kardashian's son Mason's stroller

compliments of NOT FINDING OUT

who WON

who WON

who WON

who WON

A Isabella Oliver Ruched Tank Dress, a celebrity favorite as seen on UK TV Personality & model Myleena Klass

KATE Gray (corrected)
who WON


Winners are being contacted over the next 48 hours.

Here's hoping the announcement has made their holidays a little brighter!

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