March 29, 2013

Hoppy Easter!

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From my two bunnies!

March 28, 2013

Baby's First Easter Basket

Today I'm linking up with Stephanie and Katie for Saw it, Pinned it, Did it and showing off Hudson's first Easter basket! I had way too much fun putting this together. I've been working on it for a while and also pinned Emily's basket ideas to use as an inspiration.

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 Needless to say my planning paid off...Hudson loved the "sneak peak" of his basket!

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 My mom gifted Hudson with this basket from Pottery Barn Kids. He will put it to good use year after year!

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I filled it with all sorts of goodies, including some books, bubbles, stuffed bunny, bunny sippy cup, socks, bunny ears, and an "it's awesome time" shirt from The Printed Palette. (LOVE!)

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Cute animal eggs from Target. Love them!

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I got this bunny when I was pregnant with Hudson and saved it knowing it would be perfect for his first Easter. I added a bow tie from the dollar spot at Target.

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And yes...the basket is bigger than he is! He will thank me one day when it's time to hunt eggs!

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We can't wait for Easter! (bunny jammies from here)

Make sure you check out the other projects!

March 27, 2013

The Breastfeeding Diaries: Michelle from The Vintage Apple

I'm so excited and honored to be featuring Michelle's breastfeeding story today! Her story is super special to me....sometimes, no matter how hard you try, breastfeeding just doesn't work out. And it's okay! The world won't end! Michelle and her healthy little man are the PERFECT example!


Hi everyone! My name is Michelle and I am a new mommy (December 27th, to be exact!) of a handsome lil guy who has stole my heart and has his daddy wrapped around his little finger! I blog over at The Vintage Apple and pretty much talk about anything and everything! You can read about my baby boy's arrival here!
My story about breastfeeding is a little bit different than other mommies' stories, unfortunately. I planned on breastfeeding my son for 6 months and sadly my body had other plans for me.

The beginnings of breastfeeding for me were perfect...textbook, even. My milk came in the day the baby was born, and I was able to nurse with confidence as soon as he first latched on. Everything seemed perfect. I even learned to pump the first day because I knew I would need the baby to be comfortable with a bottle for when I go back to work and he goes to daycare. 


So, I alternated breastfeeding with bottle feeding and the baby did extremely well with both. Turns out, teaching him to drink from a bottle early on was a true blessing in disguise. Two weeks after the baby was born, I woke up one morning in EXTREME stomach pain. The pain would come and go, and I thought I had a stomach bug. I was really scared that I was going to pass the bug on to my baby and didn't know what to do. About four in the afternoon, the pain suddenly vanished. I was so happy that I wasn't feeling bad anymore and continued on with my daily routine. Around 11 that night, the pain came back with a vengeance and there was no denying that I had something MUCH worse than a stomach bug. My husband rushed me to the emergency room and I had to have emergency gallbladder surgery. 


On top of the gallbladder that was infected, I also had a Urinary Tract Infection that I didn't even realize I had. So, the ER doctor told me he was going to put me on a very strong antibiotic and breastfeeding would no longer be an option. I was DEVASTATED to say the least.


The medicine that I was on plus the surgery on my body completely dried up my milk. 


So...here I am, an exclusive formula feeding mommy. Please know that there is NOTHING wrong with formula for babies. Breastfeeding is not for everyone and sometimes mother nature has different plans for us. Of course I wish I was still able to nurse my little guy, but I know that he is getting plenty of nutrition from the formula that he is on and he is absolutely THRIVING!!!! He is 8 weeks old and gaining weight and growing right on schedule. 


Mentally, it took me a while to get used to the idea that I couldn't nurse my baby anymore. I was really upset and I felt like a disappointment. However, when I saw how fast my baby was growing and saw that he was just as happy and content as any other baby, I quickly got rid of the feelings I once harbored and embraced formula feeding. And now Daddy can help out with middle of the night feedings!


My advice to new mommies: Don't get frustrated with breastfeeding! Keep an open mind and know that there is so much help out there for nursing mothers! And if you can't breastfeed for whatever reason...don't beat yourself up!!!!! It is OKAY!!!!!!!


I welcome any questions you might have!!!! Email me any time about any of this and I would be more than happy to talk to you about my journey !


Thank you so much Julie for letting me share my story with your readers!!!


Thanks Michelle! If you are new to my blog, welcome! You can catch up with the other Breastfeeding Diaries posts and guest posts at the top of my navigation bar!

March 26, 2013

Calling All Sponsors!

It's official....starting April 1st The Girl in the Red Shoes is officially offering sponsorship!!! I'm so excited to get this underway...I think it could mean big things...which means big things for my sponsors!

I've put a lot of time in to this blog....and sponsoring me will allow me to keep on doing it. Sponsoring me will also mean that you get to grow your blog and readership along with me! I am able to sponsor larger blogs, which in turn gets my sponsors more publicity...it's a win-win people. 

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The Girl in the Red shoes currently averages 110,000 page views a month!

GFC, Bloglovin, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram followers increase daily!

Plus, I'm cheap! You can see my sponsor options at the top of my navigation bar. Have a question? Email me! 

In other news....
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Follow on Bloglovin
Did you hear that Google Reader is going away soon? Make sure you listen to Hudson and are following me on bloglovin so that you don't miss a post!

March 25, 2013

Spring Favorites for Littles

Spring Favorites for Littles

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10
Dear Michigan: I'm over you and your snow. I'm beyond ready for some nice weather. To get in the spring spirit I picked out a few of my favorite spring things for little ones!

1. I'm dying over these colbalt moccasins by Freshly Picked! I've been on the hunt for cute shoes for Hudson and these are perfect! Rumor has it Freshly Picked is on Brickyard Buffalo today...check them out!


2. These Candy Kirby Designs leggings are too cute for words. In fact, I want a pair for myself!

3. I have a feeling one of these teething necklaces by The Vintage Honey Shop will come in handy very soon! This one is beautiful!

4. Love these printed hoodies from Old Navy...only $10!

5. Little Hip Squeeks makes the sweetest baby blankets. I want one in every color!

6. If I had a baby girl she would be rocking this one-piece...seriously adorable.

7. I think I need to have a baby girl just so I can buy these headbands. Also by Little Hip Squeeks. In love! 

8. Confession: I totally use Hudson as an excuse to buy the stuffed animals that I secretly want for myself. I've been eying this Jellycat fox for awhile and need to make him mine Hudson's. After all, how spring = lots of baby animals, right?

9. Love love love this chambray pullover! Hudson needs this asap, don't you think?

10. And what spring outfit would be complete without a pretty bow tie? Aidie's Hideaway makes the cutest bows for little girls and just started making bow ties! Love!

What are your spring favorites?

March 21, 2013

Saw it, Pinned it, Did it...Monogrammed Water Bottle

Linking up today with Stephanie and Katie for Saw it, Pinned it, Did it! Are you ready for the easiest gift idea ever?

This week Hudson was moved up to the next room at daycare. My baby is growing up too fast! As a thank you, I wanted to make a little gift for Morgan, the girl who was his primary caregiver each day.
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So I made this super easy and cute monogrammed water bottle for her! Morgan is young and likes to workout, so I knew she could put this to good use.


Here is the original pin.

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You will need a bpa free water bottle (I got mine from Target) and a vinyl monogram. I ordered this monogram from the fabulous Crystal Faye.

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First, make sure your water bottle is clean and dry. Then line up your vinyl....I just eyeballed mine. 

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Then use a credit card to secure the vinyl and push out any air bubbles.

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I chose red and grey because those are the colors of the shirts at daycare. I also added a polka dot bow just for fun!

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Wrap it up and you have the perfect gift. Morgan loved it!

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Hudson was excited to move up to his new room with babies that can sit up and some that can crawl....this mommy is NOT ready for that!

Make sure you link up!

March 20, 2013

The Breastfeeding Diaries: Jen from David + Jen = Max

Welcome to another addition of the Breastfeeding Diaries! The support for this series has been amazing! My goal has been to feature all different types of experiences. If you have a special story you would like to share, please email me! Today I would like to introduce you to my friend Jen from David + Jen = Max. Jen had a breech baby (like me!) and has made it to the one year mark of breastfeeding, sometimes supplementing with formula. You can learn a lot from this mama! 
My name is Jen and my little boy, Max just turned 1! I am very excited Julie asked if I would share my breastfeeding experience with you. It has been so helpful for me to read about other women's experiences so I hope you can learn a little from me. I am still breastfeeding twice a day (at night and in the morning). I exclusively breastfed for 8 months while I stayed at home unexpectedly with my son (I lost my job which really did end up being a blessing so I could focus my time on breastfeeding and taking care of my little man who was very demanding). I pumped when I returned to work for 2 months before I called it quits since I was only getting a total of 2-3 oz out for the day. I supplemented with formula for the 2 feedings while I was at work and continued breastfeeding morning and night. Now that he is 1 we are weaning him to almond milk and coconut milk while I still breastfeed those other 2 feedings. I am not sure when I will stop as I think I will let him decide if he is still interested or not. I really like our time together and it has proven to be a great sleep relaxer for him before bed. I rarely get any fussing now when I put him down for the night. 

I decided to breastfeed because I have heard all the positive benefits for both baby and mother. It is what our bodies and breasts were meant to do as women. It is also very cost efficient and I didn't want to spend that money on formula each week. I really want to stress that although it is supposed to be natural to breastfeed, it is not easy. It requires a lot of patience, work and commitment. I have known lots of women who for one reason or another had to give up. I know there are circumstances which prevent women from continuing, but I promise it is worth it if you can keep at it. 

I had issues where I didn't think I was getting enough milk, I had to call a lactation consultant numerous times, I even made milk cookies and swear they helped me build my supply back up. Those first few months (even well into month 2) can be super frustrating. I re-lived it recently with my twin sister who just had her first baby in November. I really just tried to share what I had already experienced in hope she would try her best to continue and she's done a great job. She is now into month 3 and is SO glad she has stuck with it. 

I remember what frustrated me in the beginning and it was trying to make it to the 3 hour mark. All the classes and books say that you should go 2-3 hours in between feedings. Well, when your baby doesn't nap well and you can't keep him happy approaching even the 2 hour mark it gets really taxing on your mind and body to feed that often. I would try so hard to make it to the 3 hour mark, when in reality it's OK to feed every 2-2.5 hours if your baby seems to really want to eat. I wish I would have listened to his cues more than the books.

One recommendation my lactation consultant told me to try to increase my supply (not get extra, just to get enough to feed for a meal) was to pump immediately after feeding. This was to signal to your body that you needed more milk. This works best in the morning, but I did it all during the day feedings for a few weeks and it really worked. It is VERY time consuming because not only are you breastfeeding your baby, you then have to hook up your pump and all your supplies for another 10 minutes of pumping. This works better for little ones who are old enough to play on their play mat or if you have help. Drink a ton of water. Always have it with you when you are feeding. Make sure you are eating. It is very easy to miss meals since you are most likely feeding through them. Have your spouse/family have dinner ready and take the baby as soon as you are done feeding so you can eat. It's very important to get the proper nutrition or it will affect your ability to produce milk. For some reason as soon as I started to feed Max I began to feel not hungry even if I was starving 2 seconds before. 

I highly recommend taking a breastfeeding class while you are pregnant WITH your spouse or mom, whoever is going to be with you the first hours/days. I took a class with my husband and read books, but when it came time to breastfeed I was still clueless. I was just hoping the nurses would hook him up to me and he would take things from there. Luckily that is basically what happened that first feeding, but after that it's very reassuring to have some help. The nurses are always there if you have questions, but I wanted my husband to look and see if he was latching right or help me readjust him. I had a c-section (Max was breech) so I had a really hard time with a cradle/cross cradle position. I am so thankful I met with a lactation consultant at the hospital. Since I was there for 4 days she came every day and reassured me since my milk didn't come in till day 5. She showed and taught me the football hold (c-sectioners I would try this) so I wouldn't hurt my stomach.

Those first 7-8 months are very time consuming with pumping/breastfeeding, but I promise it DOES get better. Imagine only 4 feedings a day! Your baby can and will go 4 hours in between feedings especially after you introduce pureed baby foods. My best advice would be to stick with it and push through. Oh, and lanolin should be your best friend those first weeks/months. It is truly a lifesaver. And remember, your baby's stomach is the size of a marble when they are born so there really is no pressure right off the bat. 

I'm still looking for mama's of multiples to share their experience...good or bad!

Are you new? Make sure you catch up with the Breastfeeding Diaries series at the top of my navigation bar.

March 19, 2013

Thoughts from a Single Mom...with Lee la la

I'm swapping blogs today with Lindsay from Lee la la! I'm over at her blog today talking about being the no-so-perfect mom.....check it out!
What does it mean to be a single mom?
Being a single mom means being a one women show every.single.day.
It means setting the dinner table for two and quiet evenings alone...just the two of us.
It means holidays are split. Time is shared.
It means being open to change, new people, new experiences.
It means doing your best even when you feel like throwing in the towel.
It means disciplining even though it's your weak spot.
It means having a solid support system... my parents are my rock.
It means making decisions on your own that you hope support the best interest of your child.
It means standing on your own two feet and owning it.
I believe parenting was meant for two parents. A team of sorts that equally nurtures the needs of their child to the best of their ability. Single parenting? Definitely not what I had planned for my life.
A common theme over at my blog, is painting my role as a single mom in the most positive light possible. It's showing the world that this stereotype doesn't have to be negative. It's being able to create a life for myself so I can still be a stay at home mom to my daughter while balancing two home based businesses. It's allowing myself to have a life outside of being a mommy and rediscovering what makes me tick. It's pushing myself out of my comfort zone and realizing that Landyn and I have beautiful things that await us. It's embracing being alone and working on myself from the inside out only to have a special someone step into your life when you least expect it.
While I'm certain this season of my life is only temporary, it's been growth and I wouldn't change a minute of it.

Lindsay Roberts blogs at Leelala where she chronicles life as she knows it with an emphasis on personal style. She lives in sunny California where she lives in flip flops and oversized sunglasses.

March 18, 2013

No Pinching Here!

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Happy day after St. Patrick's day! Did you wear your green yesterday or did you risk getting pinched! Hudson and I wore green.....it's a good color on us redheads!

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We also celebrated that morning with green jammies and a new toy!

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Hudson LOVED his Scout puppy from Leapfrog. It says his name and is all kinds of adorable! We've had it since I was pregnant and have just been waiting for the perfect time to give it to him. St. Patrick's day seemed appropriate since he's green!

Also, this happened. The husband and I shared a shamrock shake and it was amazing. 

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Later in the day (and one outfit change later) we made some homemade butternut squash for the little man. Hudson hasn't really been all that in to eating solid food but he LOVED the squash! We couldn't even get a bib on him.....when he's hungry, he's hungry RIGHT NOW....just like his mama. Squash got all over daddy too!

 photo DSC_1049.jpgThank you to everyone who entered the Simply Made With Love giveaway! And a big fat thank you to Leah for sponsoring it and making such adorable outfits! The winner of the $25 shop credit is Valerie from Along the Way with V & J. Congrats girl! Look for an email from me today.
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